Shimla is amongst one of the most popular hill stations of India and is situated amidst snow capped high Himalayan ranges, encircled by tranquil lakes and lush green forests. The "Queen of Hill Stations" has been a fascinating destination for many travelers, adventure tourists, honeymoon couples, nature lovers and sightseers over the years.
Shimla, formerly known as Simla, is one of the top tourist hangouts of the country and is geographically located along the North-Western slopes of the Lower Himalayas. Shimla is situated at an approximate altitude of 2159 meters above the sea level and experiences a cold climate throughout the year. The Himachal Pradesh capital city of Shimla is well known for its pine, rhododendron and oak plantation. This city covers almost an area of 18 sq km and is famous for its picturesque beauty and architecture.
Shimla is one of the most picturesque cities in India. Several eye catching destinations of this city lure thousands of tourists every year.
The Ridge: Ridge is the most popular tourist destination of Shimla which offers a mesmerizing view of the snow capped Himalayan ranges. A large open space in the heart of the city offers a perpetual beauty and a chance to take a couple of snaps against the snow clad distant ranges.
State Museum and Library: Himachal state Museum has a huge collection of coins, paintings, photos, antique sculptures and a lot more things. The museum remains open every day other than Mondays and Government holidays. The state library is a store house of numerous manuscripts and historical books.
Viceregal Lodge: This is a splendid building which holds the legacy of English Renaissance. The stonework of this building and spacious carpeted lawn has something to attract the visitors. This building is now a study centre for Indian Institute of Advance Studies.
Summer Hill: Summer Hill is an elegant and peaceful hamlet which speaks about Mahatma Gandhiâ€™s historical retreat. The historical importance and charming view of this village attracts tourists to a great extent.
Chadwick Falls: Chadwick Falls, positioned 7 km away from city centre is another popular tourist destination. Situated amidst lush green sceneries and at an altitude of 1586 meters, Chadwick Falls allures hundreds of visitors every day to experience the stupendous beauty of the flowing waterfall.
Jakhoo Temple: The Jakhoo Temple of Shimla is known for being the oldest Hanuman temple and a pilgrimage for Hindu devotees. Apart from its religious significance the tourists can also enjoy a panoramic view of Shimla city standing at the majestic height at which the temple is situated.
Christ Church and St. Michael's Cathedral, Churdhar Sanctuary, Gurkha castles, Hatkoti, Shirigul temple, Glen, Oberoi clarkes, Koteswara temple, Mashobra, Junga, Charabara, Tattapani, Chail, Arki, are some of the best visiting spots of this small charming city.
Though this hilly region is surrounded by mighty Himalayan ranges but the city is well connected with major destinations of the country by all means of transport system.
By Air: Shimla has its own domestic airport called Jubbarhatti which is located only 23 kms away from the city. Flights are easily accessible from Kullu, Chandigarh and New Delhi airports. Jagson Airlines is the only airline that operates on a daily basis from Shimla airport.
By Rail: The nearest railhead for Shimla is Kalka which is located in the neighboring state. This rail track is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records for the steepest rising tracks with an altitude distance of 96 Km. It became a UNESCO Heritage Site as Mountain Railways of India in 2008.
By Road: National Highways connect Shimla with neighboring cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. It takes almost 8 hours on a by road to reach Shimla from the capital city of India. National Highway 22 connects Shimla to the broader plain land plying through Chandigarh, the nearest city. Tourist bus services are available to bring tourists from the adjoining places to this magnificent hills station of India.
Fishing in Shimla: One of the popular recreational sports in Shimla is fishing. There are many narrow streams located in different parts of the state which provides enough opportunity to the tourists to enjoy angling while in Shimla. Rohru, tikri, Dhamvari, Seema, Sandsu are some flourishing destinations for fishing sports.
Mountaineering: When it comes to pastime scopes, Shimla is good for adventure sports like mountaineering. The lofty Himalayan ranges offer the best scopes for mountaineering. The sky kissing pine trees, snow capped mountain peaks, green scenic beauty, pollution free cool air and the diverse range of flora and fauna are some of the added advantages for mountaineers.
Ice Skating: Ice skating is an irresistible experience for adventure sport lovers in Shimla. The only natural and largest ice skating ring of India is situated in this region. The season for skating starts in December and caters the attraction of many tourists. The skating festival is organized every winter followed by feasts and carnivals which attracts many visitors to enjoy this colorful event.
Golfing: Armed with a 9 whole gold course located 22 kms away from Shimla Naldehra is one of the oldest golf courses in the entire country. In Shimla golfing is one of the popular sports.
Skiing: Skiing is one of the most thrilling adventure sports of Shimla. Kufri, the winter sports capital of the city is a paradise for skiing during the peak winter days. Other popular spots for skiing are Mashobra and Narkanda.
Shimla Trekking: Shimla is one of the most sought after hill stations of India which is also famous for trekking. Mysterious lush green valleys and the beautiful mountain ranges are ideal for trekking.
Paragliding: Paragliding is one of the most exhilarating sports and has recently been introduced in Shimla.
Shimla Carnivals: Keeping in mind the popularity of this hill station Shimla Tourism Dept. has tried to incorporate the essence of Indian fairs and festivals under the same sky. Christmas is one of the popular festivals of Shimla which is unique in style and owes the presence of British in the pre-independent India. Baisakhi is celebrated on 13th April with all vigor to welcome the harvesting season. Rhyali, the festival of rainy season is also celebrated with all rituals and enthusiasm to ensure good harvesting. Contemporary events like exhibitions, fairs, folk dance festivals and other programs are also scheduled on a time to time basis.
Shopping: Shimla Mall is a fascinating destination for tourists. The mall offers everything that one can desire to buy. Lakkad Bazaar is a famous market from where one can buy a wide range of wooden items at comparatively reasonable prices. A number of shopping centers and bazaars can also be found in different roads and lanes which can meet every requirement of the tourists.
Shimla observes a diverse climatic condition and is extremely chilly during the peak winters. However there is nothing called a best or worse time to visit this most preferred tourist spot of India. If somebody wants to escape the scorching heat of the sun then summer is the best time to make a trip of Shimla. Or if someone wants to experience snowfall and wants to enjoy adventure sports then the winter is the right time to visit there. The roads may get slippery and there are possibilities of landslides which may make movements difficult. The usual tourist influx occurs from December to January during Christmas and New Year.
The city derived its name from the name of mythical goddess Shyamal Devi, believed to be a manifestation of Goddess Kali. Shimla remained part of the Nepalese kingdom till 1819 when it was brought to light by the colonial rulers. The queen of Indian hill stations, Shimla was also the summer capital of British India during 1864. Shimla was the capital of Punjab during the early post independence period and but later on in 1966 it became the capital city of Himachal Pradesh.
This place is best known for its favorable climate and moderate weather across the year. Due to its location Shimla witnesses an extreme climatic condition which observes abrupt rise or fall in temperature. The capital city of Himachal Pradesh experiences three seasons, summer, monsoon and winter. The weather here remains moderately warm during summers but Shimla is exceptionally cold in winters. Average temperature remains at nominal level and the mercury doesnâ€™t cross 27Â°C very often even in the hottest summers. June till September is the months of monsoon which brings heavy rainfall. The weather normally remains moderate during rains and the temperature ranges between 15°C to 25°C. Winter appears in November and lasts till the mid of February. The cold wind from the Himalayan ranges blows in winter along with snowfalls during the peak wintry period when the temperature can drop down to as low as -7°C.
Considered to be Indiaâ€™s grooviest tourist spot, Shimla has not only developed its tourism but also in its hotel business. The wide variety of hotels starting from budget hotels till star category hotels and resorts gives the tourists plenty of options to choose from, and have a perfect stay in Shimla.