The best way to get to know Shimla is to walk some of the quieter roads, which will explain why the city has captured so many hearts. There are enchanting deodar and oak forests, clear weather, new vistas around every bend…. In summer, the cool breezes are a welcome relief. Autumn is beautiful and the leaves change color. The city is quietest during the monsoon, there are few tourists and rain and fog create a romantic atmosphere.
The Sanjauli-Jakhoo Hill-Ridge walk has plenty of silence, birdsong and dappled sunlight, with some views of the Himalayas. By Sanjauli Chowk, take the road up to Jakhoo Hill. Where the road continues, take the path that goes to the left, called the Upper Forest Road. After about 1 km, take the road to the right at the fork. It leads to a place called Five benches. Three roads branch off here. One goes to Jakhoo temple (climbs to the right), one goes straight and the third goes to Rich Mount (descends to the right). Take the last one before descending to The Ridge.
Ridge-St Bede’s walk has you heading southeast to Chhota Shimla. The road passes Oak Over, the residence of the Chief Minister. Go left, to Raj Bhavan (formerly Barnes Court), the governor’s residence. It was here that the 1972 Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan. At the entrance of Raj Bhavan, take the road on the left (east). Nav Bahar. This is known as Lovers job. It is a quiet road that winds through oaks and conifers, in the past Churail Baori (the witches’ spring) to the crossroads above St Bede’s College. You can take it back to Shimla.
The Vidhan Sabha-Annandale walk starts from the Vidhan Sabha, passing the Electricity Board Office and a concrete rain shelter, and turns right to descend to the Annandale Meadow (a golf course now). A path continues straight ahead before you descend to the left TheGlen. Silence and cedar, and a stream at The Glen (which may have water). Occasionally buses run on this road, to and from Annandale, so you can get on again.