Nature’s Canvas With Changing Hues At Park Woods Shoghi
What An Unplanned Road Trip Turned Into
Many years back while driving up towards the Shimla hills on one of our innumerable unplanned road trips (one fine winter mid-morning at 11 AM we felt a deep yearning to get out of town and had hit the road by 12 Noon!), we chanced upon Park Woods Shoghi.
15 kms before Shimla on the NH-22 highway, we saw a blowup on a large flex depicting some tents, cottages and jungle trails. Feeling adventurous as we already were, we took the turnoff from the highway at Shoghi, a small hamlet, and drove 3 kms on a forest road. Since then, the road has been metaled and you won’t be abusing your sedan like we did!
Over the years we have spent some of our best times here, at this nature and adventure resort.
At Park Woods, instead of a TV you have nature’s canvas with changing hues and vistas of the mountains, forests and valleys. Instead of the atrium lobby, you look up to the azure sky in the morning which changes to blazing orange in the evening and star spangled at night. Instead of stale air-conditioned ‘oxygen’ you breathe in lungful of bracing pine scented mountain air with the breeze tingling each part of your body.
On offer are deluxe cottages with all modern facilities in the midst of pine trees dotting a ridge which contributes to the quaint ambiance of the resort. For a more forested experience and a whiff of adventure, many prefer the deluxe tents. We love this rustic retreat – nature flowing into our rooms at all times. Simply relaxing in a hammock reading a book or listening to the birds, enjoying the serenity!
Trying New Activities
We have done many things for the first time here. Picking up a geared mountain bike and pedaling around in carefree abandon. Unleashing our indomitable spirit at valley crossing, surprising ourselves. Challenging ourselves on the adventure obstacles. And yes, defying gravity – giving it a try at least on the rock face while climbing! Or enjoying an adrenaline rush rappelling down through wilderness.
Even though the open air barbeques and bonfires in the evenings have remained our all time favorites, we also relish a meal on the machaan, enjoy a visit to a village home for tea, never miss a hike up to a hilltop; the experiences at Park Woods have been endless.
Whenever we changed wheels and needed to burn rubber on the highway – we would end up at this tranquil place!
Our Choicest Seasons – Monsoon and Autumn
We have often felt that monsoons are the best time to be in the hills. Overcast skies, pealing thunder and striking lightning is a welcome change from the heat and humidity of the city. When the valleys are awashed green, the clouds are flitting down amongst the trees, sunsets are stormy and the tourist crowds are non-existent. Long walks perhaps in a light drizzle, hearing the dancing peacocks in the distance and coming across seasonal waterfalls. Or sitting in the cottage verandah watching the rain, reading at leisure and at other times simply enjoying nature’s beauty.
The perfect occasion perhaps to read Kalidasa’s Meghadutam.
Quoting from the English Penguin translation –
“Blended of mists and light, winds and water
can a mere cloud bear messages
that only the living with keen senses
and intelligence can convey?”
In autumn, when the rains have eased off, we love heading up. Winter has not yet set in – the weather is cool and perfect with the desolate brown hillsides having given way to green rolling meadows. The conifer forests look even more majestic. The stillness and tranquility seem to have got enhanced. Watching the clouds drifting down in the valley is oh so romantic!
Park Woods Shoghi is an excellent destination offering myriad experiences of misty mornings, dew kissed forests, verdant valleys and untouched countryside with panoramic views.
At the estate’s rambling wilderness, the flora and fauna – tall oak trees, red billed magpies flitting across, nervous call of the barking deer, spectacular mountain views – nature at its most pristine makes one so thankful for the few days stolen at this offbeat resort, each moment being a timeless blessing!
Note: Sadly our friend and business associate who used to run this place for 18 years upto December 2020, passed away due to a sudden illness . We no longer visit Park Woods and are not associated with it in anyway.
Memories are all we have now…..
Article Authored By: Achal Bindraban
Page Design By: Ranjana Achal