The Long and Winding Road! I couldn’t get that song out of my head when I was in Shimla. The soulful and sad voice of Sir Paul McCartney rang in my ears and revisited me like recurring dreams.
It wasn't coincidence. If anyone walked as much as I did I’m sure they’ll learn to appreciate the long winding roads of Shimla. On the first day I climbed the steep trail to Jakhoo peak and did some more walking in the rain soaked forest. On the second day, I sauntered up and down the Mall road hunting down restaurants and popular hangout places. My feet were sore from walking. The third day was yet the hardest. I walked from the Ridge to the Viceroy’s Lodge and again climbed the forlorn road towards Summer Hill. And towards late evening I made yet another unsuccessful attempt to Chadwick falls, located 7 km from the main town and 45 minutes walk from Summer Hill. I had walked halfway but I didn't have enough time to finish off. It was a gloomy day and the last lights were fading out of the horizon.
The roads in Shimla are made for walkers. There are so many winding short cuts through deodars forests. Mall road, the most important road in Shimla is a pedestrian zone. The feeling of walking down the road not bothered by the honking sound has much more freedom than one can imagine. At one and half kilometers long, Mall road is one of the longest pedestrian zones in India. The road is fashionable and displays the magnificent architectural grandeur of bygone eras. Walking makes you see things slower and allow you to take in more.
Shimla’s steep steps and sloppy roads are toughest on tourists coming from the plains. But the sight of road brimmed with heads revives another world from another era. In Shimla you walk and sit and then walk again. There are green benches every short interval to help you regain your strength.
In Shimla you want to keep on walking!