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.
17 Comments Add yours
Highly not recommended.
I visited during winters when Shimla was covered with snow, people selling snow dress , snow boots etc on rent, that package also includes horse ride, tube ride and skiing making it 2500 INR for 1.
If I would have read this earlier, may be I never would have risked my life along with my wife’s and parents in the dangerous weather conditions when the path was all snowy and more slippery..
Terrible and horrible experience. The man coming along with us and taking up the horses (to be very honest not horses but hybrid of horse and donkey i.e. khachchar) were rude and pretending what not..
A tourist whenever is up for any adventure is very much concerned about their safety but here it completely goes for a toss.
It’s a life learnt lesson, reviews are must to read before trying out any more adventure trips especially like this where the life is at risk with no safety measures.
And yes you will definitely realise here that you only live once.. !!
Agreed completely with what you have shared. This has been my experience too
It’s Dec 2019 and it’s still the same! Wish i saw your post before going. Wouldn’t recommend this at all, especially if you have children and if you feel bad when someone treats any animal badly! The people handling the horses are very very rude and are least bothered about our safety. He just cares if you are sitting properly or not. The snow dress is required only if you are opting for skiing. Only the shoes is needed cuz of the dirt and filth. Anyday i would recommend taking the other route, which is a 10 min ride in a 4*4 jeep. You can also go by walk and it is way more cleaner than the horse route.
Thanks Bharath. Sad that there is such low upkeep for tourist attractions and safety is so heavily compromised
After visiting kufri your blog makes sense to me, sarcasm is perfectly balanced and yes i prayed a lot 🤣🤣 jai hanuman 🙏
how much they charged for ride??
what is pricing???
can we go by walking instead of horse riding????
500 per person. No, can’t go walking. It’s too slippery. And turns can be dangerous because of too many horses. Also, it’s all mud, horse shit and pebbles. So!
While going uphill, it was scary when the horse dramatically stopped near the edge of cliffs. But my perspective changed when the man walking horses behind me said – “These horses also care about their lives. They won’t simply jump-off.” After this, we enjoyed our ride to the top and back again.
In the end, its all about how you train your mind. The horses are tamed and who likes a plain and non-adventurous ride. I had come with 4 friends recently and for us it was the best part in Shimla.
That’s indeed a good perspective. I remember someone telling me that too, and yes, I agree – a bit of adventure is always good. But horses don’t jump from the cliff. And yes, they do care about their lives, but no so much of the rider’s if they smell danger.
These horses are competitive and thus bite each other, shove each other to walk & walk ahead. In front of me, a little girl fell off along with her mother from the horse & bumped into a big stone. Now, you see I am afraid of that because the route is strewn with stones and stones & it’s easy to get serious injuries the moment you fall from the horse.
Someone has shared a similar experience in comments.
That said, the intent behind writing the blog was just to lay down the risks with the adventure. Rest depends upon the people who want to/ do not want to experience it.
After all, they also say, “Dar ke aage jeet hai!” 🙂
My god. 6 years later, this stuff still stands true. I almost fell off the edge as I lost my balance when the horse ran for a few seconds after the keeper guy hit him to pick up the pace. I was saved by the tree nearby. It is ridiculous and feel it should not be legal considering that the people handling the horses seem to have zero regard for anyone’s safety. So, yes the horse will definitely do what it takes to save itself but I assure you it could care less about the person riding.
Hey Apurva, glad to know that you are safe. And totally, it shouldn’t be legal anymore. Safety of people should be paramount, and they have made a joke out of that.
Please don’t go on Rainey session . it goes horrible
I think one should never go there. Not a safe place anyway
Kufri horse ride is hillarious n not at at at all safe, the people with the horse are not friendly n very rude, they tie the horses to one another in a row n make us ride, no safety measures at all, children are totally ignored with safety, we had a horse ride with our group, n around 10 of us had a great fall with serious injuries, but there is not even a single police or anyone to care, very bad experience, I recommend everyone not to take a horseride in kufri
I agree. I have the same feeling. I was lucky to not have the experience you felt. But I can totally relate. Too bad you had to go through this. To remedy this, go to Rajasthan and take a camel ride instead. People there take care of you 🙂