Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It was formerly the summer capital during British rule. The city of Shimla is built on several hills and has ridges attached. Important hills are Jakhu (8050 ft), Prospect Hill (7140 ft), Observatory Hill (7050 ft), Elysium Hill (7400 ft) and Summer Hill (690 ft). There is a lot of controversy over the origin of the name Shimla.The name of Shimla was derived from 'Shyamalaya' which means blue house which is called the name of a house made of blue slate by fakir on Jakhu. According to one version, Shimla is derived from the name 'Shamla' which means another blue woman's name for Kali. This place was on Jakhu hill, there was a temple of Goddess Kali. The idol of the goddess was given a new place during the British period, now the famous Kali Bari temple. During the Gorkha war, Shimla was unnoticed. It was only in 1891a. That Lieutenant Ross, the then assistant political agent of the Hill States, established the first British residence, the only wooden hut his successor, Lt. Charles Pat Kennedy, built the first paved house in 1822 after Lieutenant Kennedy, named 'Kennedy House'.
Construction of Hindustan Tibet Road started from Kalka in 1850-51 and the first inclination was to Shimla. The road up to Shimla was used for wheeled traffic till 1860. A 560 ft long tunnel was constructed outside Sanjauli. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of India. After independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and later the capital of Himachal Pradesh. In 1903 a railway line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla.
Shimla is presently the capital of Himachal Pradesh and has been the capital of the British in East India, as much as we can think of all the natural gifts that Shimla has received as a blessing, this place is surrounded by lush green mountains and snowy peaks. The aura of structures during the colonial era and the serene hills here make it very different from other hills.
Fast emerging with unprecedented expanses, Shimla is known for its colonial heritage and grand old buildings, some of them well known are the Viceregal Lodge, the attractive Iron Lamp Post and the Anglo-Saxon.
A variety of shops, eateries on the Mall Road are the center of attraction of the city, the scandal point here is associated with the historical event of the former Maharaja of Patiala, from here the view of the remote snow capped peaks. In 1946, leaders of the Indian nationalist movement gathered in Shimla for an important conference and paved the way for independence for independence. With the completion of the Kalka-Shimla narrow railway line in 1903, the development of towns was encouraged. After independence, Shimla was initially the capital of Punjab. The capital of Himachal Pradesh was designated in 1966 after the creation of Himachal Pradesh.
Shimla is a beautiful hill station that is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at an elevation of 2202 meters above sea level, this place is also known as 'Summer Refuge' and 'Queen of Hill Stations'. The present Shimla district was created in 1972. This name of this place is derived from 'Shyamala', another name of 'Maa Kali'. Jakhu, Prospect, Observatory, Elysium and Summer are the important hills of this place. In 1864, this place was declared the summer capital of British India. After independence, this place was also the capital of Punjab for some time. Shimla was later made the capital of Himachal Pradesh.
This picturesque hilly region attracts various tourists. Tourists can enjoy breathtaking views of this mountain range from the ridge, a sprawling open area that links Lakkar Bazaar and Scandal Point. The Jakhu Temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, which is situated at an altitude of 8048 meters above sea level. Colonel J.T. The beautiful Christ Church, designed by Boileau, is adorned with colored glasses that feature ridge views.
The Dorje Drake Monastery belongs to the Ningma tradition which reflects Tibetan Buddhist culture. On the other hand, there is a Kali Bari temple dedicated to Goddess Kali Devi, where devotees keep a throng throughout the year. Hindu festivals like Diwali, Navratri and Durga Puja are celebrated with full pomp and gaiety in this temple. Devotees can also visit the Sankatmochan temple located at an altitude of 1975 m above sea level. This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and was built in 1966. Different temple complexes have been replaced by different deities.
Beautiful ancient structures
Shimla is famous for its ancient heritage buildings, which represent the British architectural style. Rothney Castle is one of these buildings, which used to be the residence of Alan Octavian Hume. Tourists can also visit the 'Manorville mansion' where Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Maulana Azad stayed in a meeting with Lord Wavell in 1945 to discuss the issue of independence.
Another attractive heritage building, the Town Hall which was built in 1919, currently houses the office of Shimla Municipal Corporation office in this building. The Viceregal Lodge, built in 1888, is also known as the 'Rashtrapati Niwas'. It is a six-story building surrounded by well maintained lawns and gardens. The Indian Institute of Advanced Study is currently located in this building. The Renaissance architectural style of this building makes it an attractive and hot tourist destination of Shimla.
The Gaiety Cultural Heritage Complex represents the Gothic Victorian architectural style, designed by 'Henry Irwin'. This building complex offers visitors the opportunity to see a large collection of traditional and modern artifacts. The building has an auditorium and an old theater. Woodville was the residence of General Sir William Rose Mansfield. Who served as Commander-in-Chief during the colonial period in India. The building was converted into a heritage hotel in 1977. Gorton Castle and Railway Board Building are also marvels of Shimla's colonial architecture.
Miscellaneous Tourist Attractions
The aviary of the Himalayas provides an opportunity to see various species of birds, including the state bird 'Monal'. The Glen, which is an ideal picnic spot, is located at a distance of 4 km from the ridge. It is a delightful site with a panoramic stream and greenery. Tourists can also go for a picnic in Annandale. During the British rule, racing, polo and cricket were played in this open area. The historic toy train journey was started in 1903 by Lord Curzon. The trip provides an opportunity to cover a distance of 96 km, passing through beautiful valleys and mountains.
'Solan' Madh Nirman Shala, Darlaghat, Scandal Point, Kamna Devi Temple, Jakhu Hill and Gorkha Gate are popular tourist attractions of this place. The Himachal State Museum and Library displays micro and miniature hill paintings and books, Mughal, Rajasthani and contemporary paintings. Items related to various bronze artifacts, photographs, stamp collections, anthropology can also be seen here. Shimla offers some special shopping opportunities to its visitors. Shopping areas such as malls, Lower Bazaar and Lakkar Bazaar are famous for unique wooden crafts and souvenirs.
Tourism activities in Shimla
Shimla is famous for having the largest ice skating rink in India. During the winter, the ground is covered with natural snow and this is the time (December to January) when skating is thoroughly enjoyed. Tracking is also very popular here. Places like Junga, Chail, Churdar, Shali Peak, Hatu Peak and Kullu are connected to Shimla by various routes. Tourists can explore Naldehra and Salogra by mountain biking from their destination. Rivers like Vyas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum offer tourists the opportunity of rafting.
A comment on Shimla weather
Shimla enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year, making it a year-round tourist destination.
Route to Shimla
Shimla is well connected by air, rail and road, the main mode of transport. The Jubarhati air port is the nearest air base to this location. There are many flights to this airbase from Indira Gandhi International Airport. Tourists can also reach their destination from Kalka railway station. Apart from this, buses are also available from major neighboring cities to Shimla. The winter season is the best time to enjoy skiing and ice skating, while summer is ideal for sightseeing and trekking.
Best time to visit Shimla
March to June is the best season to visit Shimla. During this, the weather of Shimla is pleasant. Good for outdoor activities. The temperature remains between 15 and 35 degrees during these four months. Trekking, camping, rafting or paragliding can be done easily during this season. However, you will not get to see snow in these months.
The weather from late December to February is good for enjoying the snow. During this time, Shimla as well as tourist places like Kufri, Nal Dehra, Chail etc. get snowfall. Some can also enjoy snowfall by going to the lower regions.
What should be your to-do list while in Shimla?
Kalka:- Shimla Railway:- First of all reach Kalka and board in to train for shimla. You will enjoy mountains, valley,green trees and beauty along the route is unexplainable. This train passes through many tunnels.
The Mall Road:- Walk on the all road which Crowded with tourist. Vehicles are not allowed only pedestrians and emergency vehicles are allowed on this road. Famous for Local shops like handicrafts, shawls, woolens, exquisite jewelry etc.. Cafes and Restaurants which serve tasty food.
The Ridge:- After mall road you can go to the ridge beautiful place , here you can click some photograph and can see the natural beauty.
Christ Church:- Situated on the ridge oldest church,made in British Era. Main tourist attraction on ridge.
Lakkar Bazar:- Road to the left side of the ridge, this is famous for the wooden item shops.
Jakhu Temple:- It is about 8 km far from the ridge trek to the Jakhu is enjoyable. In the way you will see the long trees and dense pine forests. you can reach there by taxi, on foot or ROPE way . There is big statue of the god Hanuman. Be aware of monkeys they can snatch your mobile or purse. So dont try to take photo there. There is steep slope so carry water and food. it is advisable hire cab to go there if kids are with you.On the way to the top of the hill, there are beautiful views of hills, surrounding valleys, huge trees and of course the playful monkeys jumping from one tree to another.
Annadale:- Annandale is 2-4 kms from the Ridge at a height of 6,117 ft.This is an army museum with a golf course, a cafe, and a glass house for various cacti. museum has collection of armed forces, warfare equipment, achievements, medals, uniforms, musical instruments, signed documents, photographs, guns etc. one must visit this place. Less crowded with tourist.
Summer Hill:- 5km away from Shimla.Summer Hill is an extremely beautiful place. The place is surrounded by tranquil and quiet hills, which give it a magnificent aura.The very-famous Himachal Pradesh University is also situated at the Summer Hill only. The splendid views of the snow covered mountain terrains are simply mesmerizing and unforgettable. The place is perfect for taking a casual and leisure walk amidst the quietness of the Mother Nature. Summer Hill is situated in between huddles of green hilly trees, like pine and deodar.
Kufri:- This is 16 km from Shimla and has long been famous for its ski slopes and fine views. The best time to visit Kufri is in summers, between April and June. However, one may also the place between December and February to enjoy snowfall and skiing. It is famous for its trekking and hiking trails.horse and yak riding is available. It is advisable to go in winter. you can enjoy Horse riding, Skiing, tobogganing, Skiing is famous in Winters at Kufri.
Chadwick falls:- 7 km away from Shimla.chandwick fall is wonderful place for nature lover. It can be reached fromSummer Hill, which lies along the Kalka-Shimla rail line. The best time to visitChadwick Falls is after monsoon (July to October). If you want to have a glimpse of the Chadwick falls, take a walk of about 45 minutes from the Summer Hill of Shimla. The Shimla Chadwick falls flow from a height of 1586 meters. The fall is encircled with thick green woods from all sides and looks amazing in the midst of steep hills of pine and deodar. The standing woods make the place look all the more exotic and ravishing. The water of the Chadwick falls of Shimla is very cold and bracing.The water of the falls is chilly and refreshing, increases after the monsoongets over in September.
Shimla offers much more than charming colonial buildings against a backdrop of the magnificent snow-capped Himalayas. Much more than the dozens of Bollywood songs set on Mall Road or its oldest boarding schools. The upper reaches around the Shimla region offer skating on natural ice as well as hosts the MTB Himalaya (South East Asia’s biggest mountain biking race).
My list of best to-do things in Shimla includes:
Heritage Walk through Shimla - Shimla has a lot of stories to tell, some legends and more heritage, but all equally exciting. Begins at the appropriately named ‘Scandal Point’. Pass Christ Church on the ridge that was built back in 1857 with its tower clock and fresco designed by Rudyard Kipling’s father. Take a break at The Town Hall’s steps before you move on to the ancient Kali Bari Temple. Stop for a breather at the neo-Gothic Gorton Castle set in the midst of gigantic Deodars.
Pay a visit to Kufri and Chail - Lush green hills mark summer in Kufri– a stark contrast to the fantastic snow slopes that make tobogganing ‘the’ thing to do at the end of the year. If you’re visiting in January, try your hand at the ‘National Snow Statue Competition’ here in Kufri. A short walk around would take you past colonial-esque statues at Chini Bungalow to the Himalayan nature park.
Kipling’s home and Viceregal Lodge - Beneath the Kali Bari temple, at the North Bank, lays an ordinary house where there once lived an extraordinary writer, Rudyard Kipling. This Nobel laureate spent most of his summer vacations here where memories of Jungle Book still linger on. Move on to the Viceregal Lodge. This was originally built as a home and summer residence of subsequent viceroys and governor-generals of India.
Jakhu Temple Hike - Heritage and reverence have co-existed in the hill town of Shimla for a long time now. Hike up from the east end of the ridge of Shimla, towards the revered Jakhu temple.
Toy Train Ride - This UNESCO heritage train chugs slowly up the mountains, seemingly playing an interesting game of hide and seek with tunnels. Gradual ascents on winding tracks, flanked by age-old trees on either side, seem straight out of a storybook.
What is the best area in Shimla to go shopping?
There are three locations (very close to each other) where you will get to shop a wide variety of products:
The Mall Road - It is an open space where several showrooms are lined up along the road. You can get almost everything here ranging from Branded Clothing to Books to Gift Items. However, if you want to buy Grocery, The Mall Road is not the exact place to be in. Mall Road is very close to 'The Ridge'.
Lower Bazaar - Lower Bazaar is situated just a couple of meters downside to The Mall Road. It is a typical bazaar I would say and you will find shops here that sells everything such as Utensils, Grocery, Clothes, Books & Stationary, Health Supplements, Medicines, etc.
Tibetan (Tibeti) Market - This is a dedicated market for clothing and it is also adjacent to The Mall Road and is located on the slopes towards the Lakkar Bazaar Bus Stand. If you love fancy clothes with reasonable price tags, this is the best market in Shimla that you should explore. There are at least 30–40 shops lined up together and you will hardly run out of choices here.
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