Location: About 20 kms from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Weather: Pleasant in summers and chilly in winters.
Places to See: Himalayan Nature Park, Indira Tourist Park & more.
Best Time to Visit: October to June
Best known for skiing, Kufri is a small hill station about 20 kms from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, India. Kufri derives its name from a local word ‘Kufr’ meaning ‘lake’. Though established in 1819 by the British, Kufri has gained popularity only in the last few decades. Kufri, at an altitude of 2,630 meters above the sea level, is a perfect escape from the urban world set amidst the mountains offering enchanting views of the majestic Himalayan Range.
Climate in Kufri
In Kufri, summers are pleasing and start from April and remain till June, with the mercury levels range between 12°C and 19°C. Monsoon arrives as early as July and prevails till September, and the temperature drops down to about 10°C. Winters, here, prevails from the month of October till March. Kufri gets very cold, and the average minimum temperature goes below subzero levels, in winters. Snow fall is a regular feature i.e. why it is apt for snow games.
Tourist Attractions in Kufri
Kufri is popular amongst adventure seekers for its annual winter sports event held in February. Organized by the travel and tourism department of Himachal Pradesh, the festival’s highlight remains the skiing competition. However, tobogganing (sliding downhill on a sled) is another popular activity. Apart from the festival, there are tourist places like the Himalayan wildlife zoo which is home to rare antelopes, felines and birds including the Himalayan monal. Beside the Himalayan Nature Park, Indira Tourist Park is a great place to enjoy the picturesque setting. Chini Bunglow is another tourist attraction famous for its statues and architecture.
A trek or a horseback ride to the Mahasu Peak, which is the highest peak in Kufri, is worth exploring. Not only it offers amazing views of the Himalayas, but also gives you a chance to go-kart at one of the highest go-kart tracks in the world. Do make a most of the opportunity to enjoy at Kufri Fun World, which is a great amusement park at such a height. At Mahasu, you will find ample of local food stalls selling noodles, parathas, cold drinks, water, omelettes, etc.
Excursions from Kufri
Kufri is also popular among trekkers as it offers some great treks to Manali, Shimla and Rewalsar. If you’re thinking to check out some other places around Kufri, then you can head towards Fagu, Narkanda or Chail. All these places are known for their spectacular setting, while Chail is also known for being the summer retreat of the princely state of Patiala.
Accommodation – Hotels/Resorts in Kufri
Kufri has quite a few budget and mid-range hotels which offer good facilities and services. Due to its scenic locale, most of the hotels provide an enchanting view of the surroundings. Almost all the hotels have their in-house restaurants that offer Indian, Chinese and Continental food. However, good resorts are located on Kufri-Chail Road and Kufri-Fagu Road.
How to Reach Kufri
Shimla Airport at Jubarhatti is the nearest airport about 40 kms from Kufri. It offers fights to and fro from Delhi. The other nearest airport is Chandigarh International Airport that has good flight service from major cities. Once can hire taxis or board buses to reach Kufri.
The major railway station is at Kalka, about 120 kms from Kufri. You can board buses which ply at regular intervals between Kalka and Shimla. From Shimla, you can again take bus to Kufri. Or else, you can hire a taxi directly for Kufri. Otherwise, in case you have time and want to explore, you should take Kalka-Shimla Toy Train from Kalka which takes about 6 hours to reach Shimla. Again you need to take bus or taxi to reach Kufri.
Kufri is well-connected through NH5 and Kandaghat-Chail-Kufri Road. Regular buses from Shimla (17 kms), Chandigarh (128 kms) and Delhi (357 kms) are available. Otherwise, taxis are always there to reach the desired destination.