Day 2: THANEDAR – SOJHA (2735 M / 9000 ft) 95 kms / 3 ½ - 4 hr drive
Early morning we do the Saroga Forest Hike – a 2 hr hike on a forest trail that introduces you to the rich flora of the inner Himalayas. The forest is full of Blue pine, Silver Spur, Christmas tree, Spruce, Oaks, Rhododendron and Taxus Himalayana (the tree from which Taxol is derived and used for curing cancer). After breakfast check out and do an exciting drive along the Ani & Gandah Nullah gorge to reach Jalori Pass – this pass links the Shimla & Kulu hills. A staff member from our property in Sojha will meet you here carrying packed lunch and after a short break you begin the hike to Raghupur Fort – about 3 ½ hrs to & fro ( do remember to keep your Hiking boots handy in case you aren’t already wearing them on the drive). From the pass it is a level walk in the open for about hundred meters towards Sutlej Valley before it heads straight into the forest on a well-defined trail. Half a kilometer later, a short steep climb takes one to a small meadow that offers a photo-op. A short rest and off you go into the Oaks and Rhododendrons forest slowly climbing up and then shifting gear for a final steep climb of 15 to 20 minutes. Here the tree line finishes and we move into a lush green meadow. A little up and we are rewarded with a 360 degrees view of The Himalayas, Dhauladhar and Kinnaur ranges, all of them in one sweeping glance. All around you are swathes of lush green meadows that gently descend into the oak and blue fir forests. Walk back down to the pass, your vehicle would be waiting here and a 10 minute / 5 kms drive will bring you to Sojha village and our retreat. Evening at leisure around a bonfire. Overnight stay in the Banjara Retreat & Cottage.