Shimla was the summer capital of India under British rule. Presently, it is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, with its population around 1.6 lacks (Shimla town only). Shimla has seen many important historical events such as the famous Shimla Pact between India & Pakistan which was signed here. The place is also famous for its natural beauty, architectural buildings, wooden crafts and apples.
Shimla was one a string of hill stations that the British established to escape from the scorching heat of the plains. The 12 km, crescent shaped ridge on which it is located was first occupied by the British troops, in the early part of the 19th century, during the Anglo-Gurkha War.
Shimla’s salubrious climate, easy accessibility and numerous attractions have made it one of the most popular hill stations in northern India. The splendid views of the show-clad ranges of the Himalayas, fine walks through oak and flowering rhododendron, enchanting resorts within easy reach, golf Naldehra and skiing at Kufri and Narkanda make Shimla an attractive destination throughout the year.
Best Season: (Summer/Winter)
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport to Shimla is Jubbal Hatti. It is 23 Km from Shimla
By Train: The narrow gauge railway line connects Shimla to Kalka.
By Road: Shimla is connected by excellent roadways. Chandigarh (117 Kms), Manali (280 Km), and Delhi (370 Km) is connected to Shimla by luxury coaches, taxis and private buses
The Mall: All visitors to Shimla inevitably walk down the Mall, the main promenade that runs along the top of the ridge-a busy shopping area with old colonial buildings, souvenir shops and restaurants. At the top end of the Mall is Scandal Point, a large open square with a view of the town-a favourite rendezvous for visitors and the local people. Overlooking it is the elegant ChristChurch with its fine stained glass windows. The labyrinth of Shimla’s bazaars spill over the edge of the Mall.
Viceregal lodge: Housed in the Gothic splendour of the Viceregal Lodge is the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, India’s premier academy for higher research.
Himachal StateMuseum: Very close to the Institute, in a colonial building set in spacious lawns, is the museum. It has collections of Pahariminiatures, stone sculpture, local handicrafts, textiles and embroidery.
Jakhoo Hill: Hill, Shimla’s highest point, is rewarding for there are superb views of the town and its surroundings. At the top is an old Hanuman temple. (2 Km).
Annandale: Hill, Shimla’s highest point, is rewarding for there are superb views of the town and its surroundings. At the top is an old Hanuman temple. (2 Km).
Summer Hill: The quiett and lovely suburb of summer Hill has secluded, shady walks and charming views. It was here that Gandhiji stayed on his visits to Shimla, in the elegant Georgian mansion that belonged to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. Summer Hill is located on the Shimla – Kalka railway line.(5 Km).
Chadwick Falls: Just beyond Summer Hill is the 67 m waterfall, cascading into a deep gorge. The Falls are best seen after the monsoon. (7 Km).
Prospect Hill: A 15 minute climb from Boileauganj, Prospect Hill is another favourite walk and vantage point with breath taking views. There is a little temple to Kamna Devi on the top of the hill. (5 Km).
Temples: Among the little temples dotted around Shimla is the ancient temple of Bihargaon – a splendid example of traditional Himachal architecture. Just short of Shimla are the temples of Tara Devi and Sankat Mochanb. (8 Km)
Daranghati Sanctuary: This sanctuary located in the upper area of the Shimla district has an undisturbed forest area with plenty of wildlife-monal, tragopan, koklas and khalij pheaseants and musk deer, ghoral and thar. There is a network of bridle paths in the sanctuary. Visitors are advised to seek assistance from the forest staff posted at Dofda and Sarahan. The area is ideal for those who love to trek.