Charms of Chalets

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Crossing a crowded Shimla, dotted with shops, restaurants and banks, my apprehensions rose. I grew more and more doubtful about the place I was heading to. Could it really give me the peace and quiet I was looking for, away from the daily din and the hustle-bustle of city life? Or would it be just another “getaway” with all the usual touristy trappings?

An hour later, as we approached Naldehra, all my doubts vanished. The first thing which struck me was the untouched beauty of the place. Surrounded by wooded forests and lush green hills and the Sutlej cutting through, Naldehra is one of most picturesque hill stations in India.
In the midst of the winding roads, the thick mane of the deodar trees and the exquisite landscape stand the Chalets — Naldehra’s hidden gems. With breathtakingly beautiful views of the valleys and forests, the Chalets are a treat for the senses.
As the sunshine filters through the thick cedar leaves, it is an experience in tranquillity and solitude, where time stops and nothing moves.
The last Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, who often camped in Naldehra, was so taken in by its beauty that he named his daughter “Alexandra Naldehra.”
Spread over two acres of land in the Himalayan mid-hills, the Naldehra Chalets is an elegant boutique property created like Scandinavian wooden homes, offering magnificent views on all sides.
The Chalets are the perfect place to get away from the frenzied and hectic lifestyle of the city and be one with nature, and yourself. Curl up with that unfinished book by the fireside in your cosy cottage. Or get on to the nature trail, go for long walks and catch a glimpse of rare birds or a horse grazing on the grass. Or laze around for hours on a hammock under a clear blue sky and nothing but tall trees surrounding you. Or take a leisurely swim or simply lounge by the poolside under a starlit sky or on a sunny afternoon or as the rain patters on the glass roof.
The pool hall, packed with plants, brings the charms of the woods inside. One is almost swimming with the cedars.
A luxurious spa is at hand for those who want to de-stress. Get a relaxing ayurvedic massage, get a sauna, take a hot shower, and as you lie in the jacuzzi, soak in the splendour of the Himalayas. At night, when the Chalets’ light reflects on the tall deodars in the dark, one is transported into a world of fairy tales. The atmosphere
is charged with the lighting up of bonfires in the private gardens of the log cottages.
The Chalets are the ideal place for recreation, offering play areas, a pool table, table tennis, a croquet green, putting green and a cricket pitch. For keen golfers, Naldehra boasts a majestic and well-groomed golf course — the oldest 9-hole golf course in the country, later expanded to 18 holes.
And don’t forget to visit the Mahunag temple on the golf course. This is where the place derives its name from: Naldehra means the abode of the king of snakes.
So take time out for that long overdue break, switch off your cellphone, head to Naldehra, and lose yourself in the lap of nature.

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