In a nutshell
Summer capital of British India, centre of Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architecture, home of Mountain biking race of Himalaya , house of the "British Jewel of Orient"- Kalka-Shimla Railway line, the tourism hub of Indian Himalayas and an unmatchable scenic beauty is all that is Shimla about.
Nested in the Himachal region of the Himalayas, Shimla forms the capital of Himachal Pradesh and is rated among the top 10 entrepreneurial locations of India. The town is named after an incarnation of goddess Kali-Shyamala Devi. The place has a very interesting history as it has the traces of the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars and Kirats tribes of the pre-historic era. The town was actually formed when the Gurkha Wars came to an end,in the 19th century. History, nature, wildlife, religion, adventure, entertainment and a friendly atmosphere combine to make up this worth visiting town called Shimla.
How to Reach:
Air: Shimla has its own airport,which is about , 23 km away from the main town; so, one can easily reach Shimla by taking flights from Delhi (370 km from Shimla).
Rail: One can conveniently reach Shimla by taking the trains of the Kalka-Shimla railway line or else you can make it to Kalka and from there the toy train can be taken which covers a distance of 96 km between the two stations within six hours.
Road: One can easily reach Shimla by making use of private vehicles or buses as the roads are well-maintained between Shimla and other places like Delhi (370 km from Shimla) and Chandigarh (119 km from Shimla).
Built in the neo-Gothic style in 1857, was designed by Colonel J. T. Boileau in 1844 to serve the largely Anglican British community in what was formerly called Simla. Christ Church is situated on The Ridge where is stands out as one of the prominent landmarks of Shimla. Christ Church is visible for miles around the vicinity of Shimla city. Christ Church remains one of the enduring legacies of the British Raj.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Located on the Observatory Hill, the building that houses the institute was originally built as a home for Lord Dufferin, Viceroy of India from 1884-1888 and was called the Viceregal Lodge. It housed all the subsequent viceroys and governors general of India.
Many historic decisions have been taken in the building during the Indian Independence Movement. The Simla Conference was held here in 1945. The decision to carve out Pakistan and East Pakistan from India was also taken here in 1947. The building was designed by Henry Irwin, an architect in the Public Works Department. The Viceregal Lodge had electricity as early as 1888, much before the rest of the town of Shimla. The building also was equipped with a sophisticated firefighting mechanism through wax-tipped water ducts.
After India gained independence, the building was renamed Rashtrapati Niwas and was used as a summer retreat for the president of India.
However, due to its neglect, Dr. S Radhakrishnan decided to turn it into a centre of higher learning. The institute was formally inaugurated by Prof. S. Radhakrishnanon 20 October 1965.
The mighty Manorville Mansion is located near the University of Himachal Pradesh (one can take a cab). Popular for having served as a residence to Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardal Patel and Maulana Azad during talks regarding India’s independence in the year 1945.
Once the property of India’s first women cabinet member and daughter of Raja Harnam Sing, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the mansion, today serves as a guest house. The main attraction here is the preserved room where Mahatma Gandhi stayed.
Former home of Allan Octavian Hume, a noted civil servant of British Empire in India, one of the founders of Indian National Congress and the ‘Father of Indian Ornithology'.
Rothney Castle, today has been converted into a heritage hotel, was used as a museum for showcasing collection of birds once by Mr. Hume. Located on Jhaku Hill, the castle is not so often visited for being lesser known and because of the undulating route one has to take to reach there.
Best Time to Visit
- One must shop from The Mall.
- One must take a walk at the Bharari Spur.
- A trip without a ride on the historic Toy-Train is a trip not complete.
- One must visit the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, erstwhile Vicergal Lodge.
- One must check out the architecture of buildings in Shimla. Visit the Gaeity Theatre please.
- Do try our favourite, Kukrez, from "Krishna Bakery" right on the mall. If you aren't diabetic, you'd love Gulab-Jamuns at Baljees!
Trekking in the Mountains surrounding Shimla and picnics are the main activities in Shimla.One Can Also go for Ice and Roller Skating in Shimla.
If you love Shopping, then Lakkad Mandi Bazaar is just for you.
- Jakhu Hill(2 km from Shimla)-Its gives a beautiful view of the town.
- Junga(26 km from Shimla)
- Anand Vilas(Midway between Shimla and Junga)-It is the temple of all religions.
- Mashobra(13 km from Shimla)- It is the site of the annual Sipi fair in June.
- Kufri(16 km from Shimla)- It is the local winter sports centre.
- Naldehra(22 km from Shimla)-It is a golf club