The literal meaning of ‘Aamod’ is small joys. This translates into the tagline of the hospitality group – choti choti khushiyaan. For those wanting to escape the crowd and cacophony of the loud festive season in North India, a quick and serene getaway is possible in Shoghi.
The charm of a place is in discovering its secrets. And Aamod Resorts at Shoghi will allow you to truly explore and find your anchors in this less known hill station. You can truly put your feet up and enjoy that vacation without any other agenda, except for connecting with. This is exactly what we did during a recent weekend getaway at Aamod Resorts at Shoghi. About 15 kilometres and 30 minutes before the bursting-with-tourists Shimla lies the quaint hill station of Shoghi. And Aamod Resorts is on a turn-too-fast-and-you-miss-it hairpin bend in the Shimla hills.
Shoghi is a tiny piece of paradise tucked away on NH 22, thirteen kilometres short of Shimla. As the car stops, you’ll find yourself on a gentle hill slope, under a thick cover of oak and pine trees. Aamod at Shoghi is an Ecotourism resort set in a pristine virgin forest. As you walk towards the cottage, you’ll notice a certain design philosophy. Anything man-made at Aamod perfectly blends in with nature. There are in total 20 cottages in Aamod Resorts at Shoghi and all are scattered in the beauty of the lush green jungles, uphill & downhill. The location somewhere in the outskirts of the main town helps retain the ‘secluded’ feel of the property.
The whole idea of escaping to the hills is to be able to enjoy their majesty in full grandeur. The last thing you want to see is a concrete jungle taking over the mighty oaks. Shoghi is one place where the land mafia is still, not all, pervasive and therefore, the hills are still green. That is how Aamod Resorts wants it to be. So cars are parked a little distance downhill. Yes, be prepared to walk and tone those calves and glutes when you come here. You will find yourself in nature’s trance, enjoying birdsong, or the sunlight filtering through the deep oak jungles (not a single tree has been felled during the construction of the property).
Rediscover the simple joys of walking in the woods amidst the scent of oak and pine trees. Nothing grand – just simple nature walks, spotting several species of flora and fauna. The grandeur comes from the dense forests and magnificent views of the mountains and valleys.
Trekking down to Nalthalak village just about three kilometres below the resort to enjoy a typical Himachali meal in the courtyard of one of the village homes. We started our meal with some rice and shakkar with a generous serving of homemade ghee that was actually poured from a kettle!
All that nourishment came in handy at the adventure course that was a whole lot of fun. Let the child in you take over as you negotiate the adventure course manned by experts trained in mountaineering.
The spa session at the Sublime Spa on the summit of the hill was the ultimate in hedonistic relaxation. A divine combination of juniper, olive and almond oils was used to relax the muscles and a soak in the Jacuzzi that provides a panoramic view of the valley below – was the high point of the relaxing stay. The sunset post this awesome session was the best sunset of my life.
To enhance the old world feeling, the resort has a multi-cuisine restaurant & bar called “The Colonial” where you indulge in Indian and local Himachali delights. I loved the baked fresh thin crust pizza with the freshest vegetables and the unheard of palak halwa and lahsun ki kheer rustled up by the GM and Executive Chef, Harish Sharma. At Aamod Shoghi, the bakery casts a tantalizing spell on the sweet lovers. Do try their fresh Apple Pie and variety of other puddings.
Aamod at Shoghi offers you the perfect balance of unspoilt rugged surroundings and comforts of modern living, to provide you with a relaxing holiday that would rejuvenate your spirits through various interactions with nature and local culture.
For more information, visit: www.aamodatshoghi.in
Text and images by Aarti Kapur Singh