Mashobra, located at an altitude of 2500 m above sea level, is one of Asia\'s largest watersheds with the Indus and Ganges on either side. It is a small town in the district of Shimla, in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is surrounded with densely covered forests of oaks and pines.
Mashobra was built by Lord Dalhousie in the 18th century. It is found in the biographies of Lady Mountbatten and Lady Edwinas. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, paid a visit to Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy and then Governor General of India, and his wife Lady Edwina. Before 1948, Mashobra used to house one of the only two Presidential retreats in India. The other Presidential retreat is Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secunderabad.
Mashobra is visited by the President of India every year and during that period the main office shifts to the retreat at Chharabra. The building of the Presidential retreat is a completely wooden structure originally constructed in 1850. The Wildflower Hall at Chharabra was the residence to Lord Kitchener as well as Lord Ripon during the British Raj, now a property of Oberoi Hotels. Today Mashobra is a well known tourists destination.
The villa of Chevalier Federico Pelite at Carignano is a famous picnic spot and was turned into a resort in 1920. The reference to this villa can also be found in the novels by famous writer Anita Desai. Chevalier Federico Pelite, an Italian photographer during the time of Queen Victoria named this place Carignano after his native town Carignano, in Italy. It takes nearly ten minutes to reach Carignano from the centre of Mashobra.
One of the main specialities of Mashobra is fruits. It is one of the main markets supplying fruits and vegetables to Shimla. There is also a temple dedicated to Mahasu Devta, a local name of Lord Shiva, which attracts many pilgrims. The place is also known for musk deer and is a home to the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary.
The best time to enjoy the place is from July to September. Mashobra is easily reachable from Shimla. It is just 15 km from Shimla and buses and taxis are available to the destination. The nearest airport is also at Shimla, about 35 km away. However, the nearest railway station is at Kalka, at a distance of 100 km. Mashobra is also reachable from Delhi and Chandigarh, by road.