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Taking off on a steep downhill next to the then Darbanga Palace (now Loreto Convent Tarahall school) the exquisite walk leads one through the residential of Kaithu. Surrounded by horse-chestnut plantation near the city jail and further on to get a picturesque view of the Annadale. Where the Durand cup soccer tournament was first played, Annadale now is a beautiful golf course and the city helipad maintained by the Indian Army with a hotel and some residential besides it.

In the hustled choked traffic of Shimla the walk envisages a different environ of the queen of hills. The morning fresh air on the steep gradient of the downhill for about two kilometers leads to Thakur Bagh where one feels the hill town effect amongst the changing landscape of today. Once at Annadale the outlook totally changes with a rather straighter walk on a metalled road after viewing a beautiful old Kali temple to begin this section of the stretch. The road from here on is though motor able but the early morning protects one from inhaling carbon dioxide of passing traffic. Walking among a very few locals who too are in pursuit of fitness, the roads leads you into a thick forest of Himalayan deodar and Oaks. This stretch, of more than four kilometers in currently the most untouched walking path of Shimla. Considered to be the walker’s paradise the forest road and the Chaura Madan walks both now are more consumed by polluting traffics, whether early mornings or evenings. Though the regulars still prefer them but only to be hassled en route. Even the stray dogs make like life miserable for them on these straight walks.

Rarely one sees Rhododendrons (brass) in Shimla now, which was a flower to make squash from in the olden golden times. However on the Annadale to Vidhan Sabha second section passing by the cremation place, some Rhodos are witnessed blooming from the crowd of oak tress around them. The Graduals of this road passing through the jungle terrain leads to a sitting shelter more or less halfway, en route. Resting before taking on the oncoming uphill sounds to be the logic of this shelter with benches and covered roof for convenience, maintained by the Municipal Corporation Shimla.

Though not a killer one, the uphill offers another resting abode near the Yarose. The motivation however to keep going becomes the beauty of walking in a jungle terrain with the facilities of urban i.e the well maintained road, which perhaps is kept by the Indian Army. Other walks though are picturesque and rather gradual (easier for anybody to traverse) but the roads are havoc making the situation even grim if a vehicle passes by due to the dirt it leaves behind for the health walker.

Leading from front of the Ellerslie house, the State electricity board headquarters the walk takes one to view the lovely Tarahall school protected from behind by the Shali peak at the last bend. Thus ultimately receiving you up at the Vidhan Sabha or to say the Mall road, where some refreshments await to sit back and cherish the memories of this one.

Rain ShelterForest path

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