A stretch strewn with rocks, boulders & stones; a ride that’s 15 -20 mins. long & your fate that’s entirely dependent on the mood & prowess of your horse that’s taking you uphill, crossing the muddy, swamps & maneuvering its way to Mahasu Peak.
Oh, we are talking about the much-recommended experience of Kufri, Shimla – riding on the back of an exploited horse to Mahasu Peak.
Kufri, named from the word ‘Kufr’ – meaning lake, is a small hill station in Shimla , popular for its trekking & hiking trails. Just like any other hill station, Kufri is home to many natural & man-made tourist points (more on that later). Some will delight you to the core, and some will send shiver down your spine. Whether you cover all tourist points or not; what you can’t miss is – a 15 mins. long horse ride to Mahasu Peak that restores your faith in Gods like nothing else.
How it all starts:
It all starts from the moment you step in Shimla & start making inquiries about the local tourist spots. Like a relative hell bent on getting you married, all taxi drivers & travel companies will recommend you to visit Kufri to enjoy the scenic beauty, without fail.
Your taxi driver will drop you to the point that marks the beginning of this adventure. As soon as you step out of the car, you will smell horse poop & find yourself paying to the guy who will supply your horses to ride you way to Mahasu Peak. With no further adieu, you place yourself on the back of the horse & sit with much grace & poise – only to make a laughing stock of yourself a few minutes later.
Why it’s a good idea to ride with your near & dear ones alongside you:
This ride is less of an adventure & more of a dangerous, blind risk since you mount on a horse with no helmets, knee gear or any safety equipment. The cherry on the cake is that you don’t even get a person who can attend you & your horse. You are left on your own.
The moment I sat on my horse, it started to move. At first, it felt liberating. Because you know, I was riding a horse. But the next moment, when I saw the patch which was all muddy, swampy with horse poop strewn all over, I started to get jittery. But that was just the beginning. It became worse with all the rocks & boulders on the way. If you lose your balance even for a second, there could be a serious accident.
But that wasn’t all either. The horses started competing with each other for space by brushing against each other & even biting one another (Yes, that’s true; they bite). They will shove & push other horses to get ahead exactly like we do to secure the seat in Metro. And that’s scary.
This is more than enough to lose your calm & you start shouting like a 3 year old kid who gets increasingly scared when the Merry-go-round picks up the pace. The more you shout, the scarier it gets. And then all you can do is – remember your God & plead for your life.
And no amount of screaming, shouting or praying can save you if something had to happen. Sometimes, the horses slip & lose grip. This is why, it’s important to have family & friends around to safeguard.
Who knows; it could be your first and/ or last stallion ride. You might want to say your last words to your near & dear ones before you say goodbye. 😀
Tip: If you must, go early in the morning for the horse ride, say 9 am. Spend an hour at the peak & come back before the clock strikes 11 am. You will avoid the rush hours & the maniacness that increases by the hour there.
What you may do before you embark on this adventure that can be your last:
You may read Hanuman Chalisa for 101 times & pray for your safety. In fact, it will be a good idea to bribe Lord Hanuman with prasad for INR 11 at Jhaku Temple, Shimla after you come back safe.
Selfie Tip: Forget about the selfies. Save yourself. Don’t let go of the saddle even for a second. Sit tightly with a firm grip of the saddle. Focus on your posture & leave the rest to the Gods.