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Café Under Tree – Fall in love with Shimla hills over a cup of tea




SHIMLA- It’s a scene from a movie; having a cup of coffee while sitting in the balcony of a house amid an evergreen forest, tranquil and mystique, fog crawls through it. Nature is a healer but urbanization has no place for it in cities choking in vehicular and industrial pollution, where air is always dusty and that honking of hundreds of vehicles at the same time never seems to stop, and to which city people have adapted.


Well, at least, a part of this scene can come true in Shimla – capital city of Himachal Pradesh, once known as ‘queen of hills’. Among good cafes in Shimla, Café Under Tree is a new and unique addition. Considering traffic vows and struggle for parking cars, this place is blessed with ample parking space.


Spread across an area of 1400 square feet, it is nestled amidst Deodar forest of Jakhu- highest peak of Shimla at 2,455 meters.It is barely 2-3 kilometers from the Shimla Mall.


Through large façade of transparent glass, a foggy evening would make you fall in love with hills.


It just sinks into your head and you just never want to leave the place. The music is great; food is even better, and the hosts are humble with a good sense of hospitality. Café Under Tree has caught everyone’s attention in a short span of time, and it does not surprise the kind of influx it has at peak hours.


The café made mostly from deodar wood is encapsulated between trees. In fact, the architecture, designed by architect Toito Sema (from Nagaland), is inspired by a leaf-like design to justify the name -Café Under Tree. It is worth mention that the wood used in the construction of this café is totally reclaimed. Not even a single tree has been felled for it.

Interiors talk of the effort put into the planning of the café. Wooden lamps are the catchiest elements that the owner has designed himself.


They have spot lighting filaments which can be turned  up or down depending on the natural lighting.

In a portion of the café, there is large display of cutlery and other decorative items. The raw architecture is fused into a modern look that makes it charming enough places to hang out with friends.


Café Under Tree is and has ample space for parking. For those who want to explore the place the conventional way, that is walking, it is well worth the effort.


From parking, you need to take a few stairs to reach the cafe.


Views from both the inside and outside are simply unique. Being high up on the Jakhu peak, you’ll encounter mist playing a game of hide and seek with the sun and clouds, now and then. On bright shining days, with your beverage, there are beautiful sunsets and sunrises.


Just like the café ambience, the food served here is simply amazing. Café has a chef who previously worked with Oberoi Group and has an experience of 16 years.


We enjoyed a mouth-watering sandwich, crunchy Masala Dosa, lemon tea and the popular Chola Bhatura. The food was delicious, we must admint, and non-oily which goes well for the diet conscious lot.


After it, with the generous owners Akshay Pandit and Shrey Pandit, we had a look at the kitchen and chatted with the chef as well.

I and my brother Shrey are living the dream of our father who has always wanted to bring good to the city. He has a vision to serve good food to the locals and tourists and that’s what we envision about Café Under Tree,

said Akshay.

That’s not all. The owners are planning expansion in future.

Café Under Tree is going to undergo serious expansion as we are planning to organize evening woffes and late night dinners,

said Shrey Pandit




City Lifestyle

HPTDC’s Online Service for Ordering Food for Takeaway and Home Delivery Launched



HPTDC Online Food Order Service

Shimla-An online facility to place orders of food was launched by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation on July 21, 2020. It was informed by the HPTDC, Managing Director Kumud Singh. She said the Corporation has introduced a facility to place an online order of food for takeaway and home delivery at its selected properties.

“The public can place orders for a variety of tasty, hygienic and healthy cuisines at their homes by placing online orders,”

she said.

Consumers can place online food orders at these properties by visiting its website ( Currently, the orders can be placed from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The HPTDC staff has been imparted special training to take all necessary steps for prevention of COVID-19, she said. The food is prepared by trained Chefs of the Corporation in safe and hygiene environment, she added.

She informed that this service has initially been started at Hotel Peterhof Shimla, Goofa Ashiana Restaurant Shimla, Hotel Kunzam Manali, Cafe Monal Kullu, Cafe Raviview Chamba and Cafe Satluj Rampur. She said that this service will be extended to other properties in a phased manner.

Photo: Himachal Watcher

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Fursat Se- Shimla Based Cultural Community to Plant 550 Trees on 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji



Shimla-On the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, Fursat Se, a cultural community based in Shimla plans to plant 550 trees. The founder of Fursat Se, Amrita Bhasin, is working towards creating safe spaces for promotion of art, literature and open dialogue through the medium of events.

“We invite 550 people (&more) to pledge and plant one tree each and help us initiate a Green Movement by the people and for the people,”

She said.

Anyone interested in this, can pick a local tree sapling and plant it in allowed areas of the neighborhood and pledge to take care of it, and send the information on the same with a picture and hashtag #TreeTalesIndia to Fursat Se. For pledging, volunteering and becoming a part of this initiative you can contact them, and Fursat Se will share the pictures from their social media handles.

The initiative is organized by Fursat Se- A Cultural Community in association with- Swach Himalayas, a Himachal based NGO started by Savitoj Singh, that works towards spreading awareness about various environmental issues, undertakes initiatives like regular visits to old-age homes, orphanages through numerous community driven events and Unbox Himachal valley- a Himachal based start-up by Shivee Sirmauri, working towards empowerment of rural women by providing employment opportunities and reviving old cultural handicrafts.

Fursat Se- 550 trees plantation

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Himachal’s fitness enthusiast shines at Indian TV Reality Show




Himachal's Fitness enthusiast sachin sharma of Shimla

Shimla: Sachin Sharma, a handsome man of 26, is currently a person who stands in contrast to Himachal Pradesh’s ill-famed youth struggling with drug and substance abuse – a crucial issue that has sounded an alarm in the State. Sachin is the one who joined a gym at the age of 19 – an age at which teenagers are struggling to escape from the jaws of drug/substance abuse, especially Heroin (Chitta).

Sachin, born in a middle-class family of Deha village, Theog, Shimla district, recently appeared in what could be called India’s first fitness reality show “Indian Fitness League.” It wasn’t a bodybuilding show, but the challenge was to undertake tasks designed to check who is the fittest. Sachin was the only one from Himachal to have made through the auditions. He was selected as one of the 40 fittest people of India. He earned the special attention of the hosts of the show as well as among other competitors.

The next episode of the TV show would be telecasted on October 6 on Discovery Sports at 4 PM.

To know more about him, Himachal Watcher interviewed him (Watch Video). We found that his story is inspirational in its own way:

Far from ill and unhealthy habits, he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink or take anything that would toy with his physical and mental fitness. He definitely doesn’t take steroids. Since last seven years, he has followed a strict discipline in diet and habits. He didn’t compromise with his studies either. He completed his schooling from Dayanand Public School in Shimla.

In 2018 he completed his post graduation in Masters of Business (MBA) from Himachal Pradesh University and had procured a placement for himself too.

He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth so placement did matter for him. His father Mohan Lal Sharma and mother Subhadra Sharma are both serving with the Crime Investigation Department (CID), HP, as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and Head Constable respectively. It wasn’t easy to manage an additional expenditure of Rs. 15,000 – 20, 000 on his protein diet for seven years.

At this point, his decision-making ability was put to test. He had to choose one of the two: job placement and passion for fitness. He listened to himself and decided to seek a career in the fitness industry.

Though Sachin’s body is in good shape, he isn’t actually a bodybuilder. He is a fitness enthusiast, who has trained without a professional trainer or a mentor. He made ample use of YouTube to learn. He didn’t take up fitness as his passion because he was inspired by someone. He was his own inspiration.

He first received an opportunity to get on a stage at annual Mr. Himachal competition. Later he won the Maruti Suzuki Devils Circuit held in Chandigarh.

Now, after his tremendous performance at the IFL, Sachin has received sponsorships and was inducted in the TG Athlete group. Opportunities in the fitness industry have begun to appear before him. He believes that someday, he would extend support and guidance to other fitness enthusiasts of the state, which he could hardly receive for himself.

He is an idol for the youth of Himachal, especially because fitness is an antonym to drug/substance abuse and indiscipline. In the majority of cases filed under the Narcotics, Drugs & Psychoactive Substances (ND&PS) Act, the accused are reported to be between 20-25 years. A couple of days back Shimla Police arrested a 22-years-old local boy with a packet of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) stamps. 

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