Shoghi, a tucked-away hill station in the lap of Himachal will woo you with its fresh, clean mountain air and gorgeous views. It’s just 14 kilometres before Shimla but feels like a million miles away from the crowds and chaos of the city.
In this little valley sits Aamod Resort, a paradise for nature lovers. Aamod at Shoghi is an eco-tourism resort set in a rich virgin hill forest. Take an easy train ride on the Kalka-Shimla Railway or drive to this little slice of paradise.
The 6-hour drive from Delhi left us bushed but the fatigue quickly faded away as we walked into the resort. A Himalayan Bulbul sang out to us as we walked uphill to the reception.
The courteous staff welcomed us with Buransh, a local drink made from the Rhododendron plant.
The property stretches over a large hill with wooden cottages spread across. Walking around, we realised how well the earthy architecture blends with nature. Marbled steps carved along pebbles and perfectly trimmed bushes work as trails on the hill that guide you around the resort. It is so peaceful and calm that you can hear the sound of silence. What bliss it is to be surrounded by tall trees in the heart of the magnificent mountains!
The resort has four categories of well-appointed accommodation.
We walked into the Mud Finished Deluxe Cottage. Furnished with pure Sheesham wood gave a rustic warmth and a luxurious feel. A bunch of fresh Himachali apples sat on the side table. The walls were adorned with glorious lanterns and historical photos of Shoghi and Shimla.
At the sit-out, we spent some wonderful moments tuning in to birdsong and gazing at the beautiful views.
The Super Deluxe Pine Cottages are set amidst dense pine and oak trees. Fabricated with Sheesham wood, silk and cotton, they are super snug. The resort also has Family and Deluxe Family Cottages, offering you total privacy and fabulous panoramic views to gaze upon while sipping your hot cup of tea.
Smart Secret: Book the Deluxe Family Cottage for yourself since it’s 900 sq. ft. above sea level. You will really feel like you’re on top of the world.
Food & Drink
The Resort has a multi-cuisine restaurant and a bar named ‘The Colonial.’ As the name suggests, the restaurant takes us back to the colonial era through its artsy architecture. Mud finished walls with chic furnishings and the French styled chairs at the sit-outs make it the best place to have your meal. The board outside tells you the Specials for the Day and the gooey apple mousse is a highlight. We were invited to savour Himachali cuisine cooked with love by the chefs. We tried, and loved, the slurpy Kheru soup which was a blend of fat free yoghurt and turmeric packed with other indigenous flavours. Another superb discovery was Siddu with desi ghee, a soft and fluffy bread with sweet or salty stuffing, as per your preference. The bar is well-stocked, too.
For a perfect evening, sip your rum beside a nice bonfire and sing along the soft instrumental music of the 80s, the best of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.
For Adventure Buffs
Aamod Shoghi’s Adventure Course is a delight! Burma Bridge, Rope Bridge Walk and Commando Net—don’t be scared even if you are a newbie; they have a proper safety system and a trained team in place.
Wish to go a step ahead? The staff can arrange for you to go Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Nature Trails, Orienteering, Mountain Biking, Hangman and even Fishing. They also provide you with all essentials to camp either inside the resort or out into the woods. Set up your tents, cook for yourself and learn jungle survival.
For those who like to keep it light, spend your evening at ‘Good Times’, the Recreational Cottage. Play video games, board games, Foosball, Table Tennis or even Basket Ball. Accompany your cup of coffee with a book from the shelf for a peaceful little time.
Finding your way into the woods whilst listening to each leaf swing, each bird sing and the engine of the Toy train running is serene. We were lucky enough to have felt this on our short trek down to the Nagthalak village, a village with about 20 household and hospitable people. We had fresh and authentically cooked Himachali food.
Aamod at Shoghi never leaves a stone unturned to make you experience a Himachali’s life. You can speak to the staff beforehand and they would provide you with an experienced guide, a trail to follow and packed snacks and beverages for the way.
Crave some head-to-toe pampering? Head straight up to the Spa. Sitting atop a ridge, it looks out toward Shimla and Kasauli. Take a detoxifying massage or slide into the open jacuzzi overlooking a sea of mountains.
Smart Secret: Climb right up to the Spa in time to capture the sunset. You will find the sun slowly falling to sleep, painting the sky a glorious pink and gold. You can also stay up till late and watch the sky fill up with stars.
Long nature walks under the blue sky, adventure sports, outdoor excursions, rejuvenating spa and scrumptious food. They have it all. A comfort stay in the luxurious rooms with breathtaking views. Plenty of action for the adventurous soul. Aamod at Shoghi has it all. The staff is friendly and professional, the service top notch and the weather always wonderful.
Check in, and check it out!
AAMOD AT SHOGHI
Village Shahlaghat, P.O. Kaithlighat, Teh. Kandaghat, Near Shoghi, (Shimla), H.P. 171219
Review: Harshit Nagdev & Alisha Qayyum