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Shimla

A beautiful hill city tucked in the lap of Himalayas, Shimla retains much of its old world charm and nostalgic influence of the British Raj when it was the designated “summer capital” of India.

Dwelling on a panoramic location, Shimla is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and known as the ‘queen of hills’. It was the summer capital of the British  who chose this cool hill town to beat the scorching heat of the northern plains. The tudor and neo-gothic architecture the colonial buildings built during this period adds a unique charm to this place. Shimla is spread over a 12km ridge with two main roads – The Mall which runs from the far west to the lower eastern side, and the Cart Road which circles the southern part of Shimla. The Ridge, north of the Mall, is a good place to view the the seven majestic hills of Shimla.
Annexed by British from Nepal in 1819 AD, Shimla got its first summer home in 1822 AD. It was built by a Scottish civil servant Charles P Kennedy.  It became a favourite haunt of the families of British officersand and became the most fashionable summer resort' in all of India..It still retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, constructed during British period - the majestic Viceregal Lodge, Gorton Castle, Auckland House, Peterhoff House and the Gaiety Theatre.
Visiting Shimla anytime during the year is invigorating, though spring and autumn when the hills are sprinkled with booming flowers its even more splendid. Winters too make it brilliant as soft snow covers the land in pristine white.

Heritage Walks
Walking around Shimla is a good way to unravel the aura of history and heritage that makes up the towns charm. Shimla  has one of the longest (7km) stretches of a 100% pedestrian road and shopping in India – the Mall - which houses the colonial structures that define Shimla. The Scandal point which gives a great view of the town overlooks the elegant Christ Church, famous for its stained glass windows.

Treks of various difficulty levels can be done in the surrounding mountains. Shimla is a crowded city today but its surrounding hills have many beautiful hamlets like Mashobra, Naldehra, Chail, Kufri and Fagu.

Kalka – Shimla railway (UNESCO Heritage)
The extremely scenic Kalka –Shimla railway, with its 806 bridges and 103 tunnels is a special treat for any train lover. A ride in this train is one of its kind, taking a traveller on a unforgettable ride.  It has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983. The serpentine tracks amidst the hills cross bridges and run through tunnels, pass trees with a splendid canopy of flowers and cute stations en-route - all these make this an enchanting journey.

 

The Mall and Ridge
The Mall: The main hub of activity in Shimla is The Mall. Located facing the beautiful green hills, it is a perfect place to enjoy the buzz of this hill town. Old colonial buildings, misty clouds and ever changing weather make it a unique experience to visit the mall. A quick way to check out The Mall road is on horse-back. The Ridge and the Scandal Point are two main visitors points at the mall. Scandal Point earns its name from the commotion caused when a British lady eloped with Maharaja of Patiala. The Gaiety Theatre, Kali Bari Temple and town hall are other attractions on the mall. Shops selling woollens, ice- creams, bakery items, local jams and preserves are located on the mall and one can spend a few hours at leisure here. The Ridge : This large open space in the centre of Shimla town offers sweeping views of the Himalayas.
Christ Church and St. Michael Cathedral:
Located on The Mall, this is the second oldest church in India. It is an imposing structure situated right on the Ridge. Its beauty is gained by its stained glass windows and an interesting architecture. A library built in 1910 by James Ransome has a great collection of old books.
Jakhu Hill
Jakhu hill has an altitude of 2400m. It is located 2 km. from Shimla and provides a magnificent view of the town and the Himalayas. It also has a famous Hanuman temple.
Viceregal Lodge
On top of Observatory Hill was once the summer headquarters for the British Raj. This impressive building was built between 1884 and 1888. It was the first government building in India Well manicured gardens add to the beauty of this old mansion today.
State Museum
This museum has an interesting collection of local handicrafts, textiles, jewellery and miniature paintings.
Summer Hilll
Surrounded by pine and oak trees is the beautiful suburb of Summer Hill. It is located 5 km from the Ridge and has many beautiful residences. It is a perfect place for shady walks under the trees.
Glen
This is an ideal picnic spot to spend the day. It has streams flowing through dense forests.
The five day International Shimla Summer Festival is held in peak summer season each year. It is marked by performances of renowned singers from around the country. The venue of this festival is the Ridge.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
SIMLA 19 Km 00H 18m
Shimla 1 Km 00H 02m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
15 Km 00H 19m
63 Km 01H 07m
70 Km 01H 15m
15 Km 00H 19m
The small towns of Kufri and Fagu are located near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. The verdant natural beauty of Himalayas defines these two locations. Kufri is also famous as a winter resort with snow covered slopes and dense forests surrounding it. It draws adventure and winter sport lovers from around the globe.
63 Km 01H 07m
Surrounded by the Shivalik Ranges of Himalaya, Narkanda is a place offering beautiful view of the snow capped Himalayan mountains and turns into a ski resort in the winter months. It also serves as a gateway to the apple bowl of Himachal Pradesh.
70 Km 01H 15m
119 Km 02H 00m
367 Km 06H 14m
India's capital Delhi is the hub of the country, a modern international metropolis. However the twin cities of Old and New Delhi represent two contrasting culture and aesthetics of Mughal and British sensibilities. Delhi is embedded with an astonishing array of forts, tombs, mosques and government buildings constructed over the past 1,000 years, three of those declared as UNESCO World Heritage Mounments, i.e. Qutub Minar, Humanyun's Tomb and Red Fort(Lal Quila).. For enthusiasts of architecture
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Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 15 °C 28 °C
Winter 0 °C 8 °C
Summer climate is mild ( April to June), when temperatures range between 28°C and a minimum of 15°C. Winter is from November to February, with temperatures between 8°C and a low of 0°C or even lower and Around Christmas, Shimla experiences snowfall.
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A beautiful hill city tucked in the lap of Himalayas, Shimla retains much of its old world charm and nostalgic influence of the British Raj when it was the designated “summer capital” of India.

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