Chharabra, a small village situated approximately 8250 feet (2514 m) above sea level, 13 km from Shimla, India, on National Highway 22 (Hindustan-Tibet Road), has summer retreat of President of India, summer residence of Governor of Punjab, a five star luxury hotel, a boarding school, and a helipad even though the population would be less Than 500 people (including students of boarding school, staff of the President's Retreat and Governor's house and the hotel). The village is surrounded by evergreen pine forests, and has magnificent views of the Himalayas.
Mean monthly maximum and minimum temperatures range from 8.6 C in January to 24.1 C in July and from 1.9 C to 15.7 C, respectively. Mean annual rainfall is 1600 mm. Annual precipitation is in excess of 1500 mm, over half of which falls during the summer monsoon. Chharabra has temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summer months of April to June, Rainy season (monsoon) from July to August, Autumn from September to November and Winter from December to March. Chharabra used to receive snowfall by end of November, but with global warming, there has been remarkable change in weather pattern here as well.
Flora and fauna:
Chharabra is part of Shimla Reserve Forest sanctuary and catchment area. The natural vegetation comprises pine, oak, cedar or Himalayan deodar, and rhododendron, as well as maple and horse chestnut. The wildlife consists of jackals, kakkar (barking deer), and the occasional leopard, as well as numerous bird species such as the Himalayan eagle, pheasants, chikor and partridges. During monsoons, many wild flower species, wild strawberries and other berries can be found in found in forest.
Chharabra has good climate for apple cultivation and there are few a@hards here. Cobra Plant is found in plentiful during monsoons. The Britishers introduced several trees and flowering plants notably Weeping Willows, Silver Oak, Chest Nut, etc. from other parts of the World that can be seen at Chharabra. The Retreat, Hem Kunj, Dukani, Kalyani House and Wild Flower Hall had weeping willows on their grounds.
Trekking around Chharabra:
Places of interest:
- A route leads from Chharabra to Kufri. This route starts from Hotel Wild Flower Hall and this route leads through thick forests to Kufri Cantonment.
- Second route is from Chharabra to Mashobra through apple orchards and pine forests. This is a very scenic route and one can have great view of Himalayas throughout the route. A metalled road leads to Presidential Retreat. Near the gate of Himalayan International School, a trail on right leads to Mashobra. Another route is to continue to the Presidential Retreat and a route leads to Mashobra from there.
- Thirds route leads from Chharabra to Dhalli. After reaching Himalayan International School, take the route to the left. This route leads through thick pine forests to Dhalli. There is a school for physically handicapped children on the way. This school is run by Government of Himachal Pradesh. A diversion from this route leads to Kalyani Helipad.