The Apple Orchards in Shimla | The Orchid Hotel Shimla

The Apple Orchards in Shimla

A lady picking apples from an orchard and putting it in her basket

Known as the "Queen of Hills", Shimla is flanked by snow-capped mountains on all sides. The picturesque hill station is adorned with colonial architecture and scenic lush valleys. And not only that, but Shimla is also famous for its succulent red apples, which give rise to several exquisite apple orchards.

Do you love apples? Then you should definitely explore the apple orchards, Shimla. In and around the city, the apple orchards are enveloped in thick forests and rampant oaks and pines, creating an amicable environment. As you stroll through the apple garden in Shimla, you will be struck with a familiar sweet smell. Additionally, you can even grab one from the trees and take a fresh bite! The best time to visit apple orchards in Shimla is during the month of September when the apple trees are fully bloomed.

Apples hanging from branches at an apple orchard
Basket of fresh apples plucked from apple trees

Mashobra apple farm in Shimla is one of the most famous apple gardens. The apple orchard situated 7000 above sea level is one of the enormous apple orchard estates in India. Apart from the availability of fresh and juicy apples, the orchard conserves a wide selection of flora and fauna. Starting in 1887, the Mashobra apple orchard was established by Alexander Coutts, also known as "Lord Dufferin". The centre later became a horticultural research hub specializing in fruits. As you step into the orchard, you will be greeted by several locals working in the garden. You will be able to closely witness how the scarlet apples in Shimla are grown. You can also choose to stay at the orchard resorts and enjoy the sunkissed golden Himalayan sunrise, or the luxurious The Orchid Hotel.

The story seems straight out of the Garden of Eden. Previously, apples were never grown in Shimla. They were imported from Japan and other places across the world. As part of his life experiments, a Philadelphia man, Samuel Evans Stokes sailed to India in 1904 in pursuit of a spiritual journey. In the 1920s, when the poverty-stricken Shimla was struggling under the colonial British rule, he decided to grow apples to look for a solution. A small village called Thanedar became the core of apple gardens in Shimla. Situated at 7000 ft above sea level, the small place comprising government buildings is surrounded by apple orchards on all sides. You can visit during the summer months when the crowd is less and the temperature is modest.

A path with apple trees on either side of it
An apple hanging from a branch at an apple orchard

Shimla is known for its abundance of apples and apple orchards. Some of them that you must visit is the Thanedhar apple garden and Kotgarh village. Each of these places is filled with the riveting aroma of the fresh produce, amid the ethereal views of the hill station. A visit to these apple gardens is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!