Hassan Valley, also known as Shimla Green Valley, is one of Asia’s densest forests and popular tourist attractions in Shimla. Most tourists must have seen a glimpse of this lush forest on their way to Kufri through NH 22. You can find many tourists stopping here to witness the beauty of this scenic valley. But looking at a forest from far is not as adventurous as walking into the woods, isn’t it?
For those who wish to explore a small part of this dense forest, a one day trek is an ideal deal. The forest includes beautiful trees like pine, oak, deodar and rhododendron. There is a one-way trek to enter the water catchment sanctuary with a deep gorge on one side and mountainous view on the other. There is a cycling trek of 7 km up to a small hut after which there is no road. One can go beyond this point on foot if he wishes to explore more of this jungle. Expect for Monday, the sanctuary remains open for visitors from 10 in the morning to 5 PM.
It is one of the best places to spend your day exploring Shimla’s flora and fauna close to the city. While cycling or walking in the forest, you can also catch a glimpse of some wild animals like ghoral, leopard, sambhar, fox, flying squirrel, owl and porcupine. Well, you have to be very lucky to catch a glimpse of these animals as they are rarely seen on the track and prefer to live in the denser parts of the forest.
Beside wild animals, this place is also a wonderful ground for bird watching. There is a huge board at the entry gate where can learn about the various bird species found in this region. You can find some of these gorgeous birds including brown wood owl, eagle, house sparrow, blue magpie, etc., during your walk into the wilderness. You are advised to take plenty of water and eatables with you, but please make sure not to litter the natural environment.
At a distance of 7 km, there is a huge water reservoir that was built in 1910 by the British Government. It measures 120 feet in length, 20 feet in breadth, 16 feet in depth and has a capacity of 300000 litres. During British era, the water was stored and transported through steel pipes to the then Viceroy’s residence, situated at the Indian Institute of Advance studies, Summer Hill. This reservoir, situated in the middle of lush green landscape, is indeed the highlighting point of Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary.
Above the reservoir, you can see a small temple of the local deity covered with wildflowers. Right next to the reservoir there is a small hut of the Forest Ranger and one for the caretakers. Beyond this point, you need permission from the forest department to explore the same trail that continues for another 7 km before ending at a small shrine and a damaged hut.
How to reach?
The distance to Shimla Green Valley is about 8 km from the local bus stand. You can hire a Cab from Bus stand or get touch with us for a more convenient trek to Hassan Valley. We organize regular one day expeditions to Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary. Interested travelers can also contact us for renting cycles and mountain bikes.