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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Haunted no more, Shimla’s Chudail Bauri to turn into children’s park

Located along the road connecting Chotta Shimla and Navbahar areas near St Bede’s College, the bauri is a perennial water hole feared by travellers since the British Raj days.

dehradun Updated: Sep 20, 2019 06:16 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Chudail Baudi a haunted place on Nawbihar-Chota Shimla road.
Chudail Baudi a haunted place on Nawbihar-Chota Shimla road.(Photo by Deepak Sansta / Hindustan Times)
         

Chudail Bauri, which finds mention in many a spooky tale, including Minakshi Chaudhry’s Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills, is set for a makeover.

The dreaded patch of forest, 2 km from The Mall, is now being developed into a park, starting with a playground for children.

Pressed for providing recreational space to a growing population, the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) has begun construction at the site spread over 800 square metres that was once counted as one of the 10 most haunted haunts in town.

Located along the road connecting Chotta Shimla and Navbahar areas near St Bede’s College, the bauri is a perennial water hole feared by travellers since the British Raj days. Many believe that the speed of vehicles slows down in the area at night and a woman in a white saree is seen asking for a lift. Incidentally, the stretch is accident-prone. Two British-era cemeteries are located in the vicinity.

“This is all myth. We’ve been hearing these stories for years. This place is not haunted. The park will be ready in six months at a cost of Rs 6 lakh,” says Kimi Sood, the councillor of Benmore municipal ward where the site is located.

Author Raja Bhasin leaves it to faith. “Many believe in ghosts, but I don’t. In any case, it’s said that spirits surrounding water holes in the hills are benign.”

The municipal corporation plans to develop the area further with a walking trail for senior citizens as part of the smart city project. “Once the park is ready, we will see how we can use the space further,” says SMC commissioner Pankaj Rai.

Parks and playgrounds have been a pending demand of residents. Actor Vivek Mohan has been running a campaign, SOS, urging the government to create more playing spaces for children in Shimla town. “The campaign, SOS, highlights the paucity of playgrounds and open spaces in Shimla,” he says.

The SMC plans to develop more open spaces after the first such park for senior citizens was set up at Jodha Niwas. It has already spent Rs 18 lakh to tap Chudail Bauri as a source of water supply for areas such as Sadhnaghatti and Dobhighat.

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 22:38 IST

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