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Shimla

The Hill Stations of Colonial past, Victorian architecture and Mystical aura


Shimla

Travelling to Shimla is indeed a joy to behold. It offers the best recreation benefits as a honeymoon destination, hill station and even as a leisure destination. Thus, reasons can never sum up the exquisite experience of travelling to Shimla’s picture perfect beauty. After all, Shimla is everything from being a leisure escapade, hill station to a perfect honeymoon destination.


One can only imagine why even the British shifted the Capital from Calcutta to Shimla during the scorching summer months. This shifting of capitals was done by Viceroy John Lawrence, twice a year, despite of Shimla not even being very accessible during those times.


There must be some unseen beauty. Undoubtedly, its entire aura is that of a North England village, located peacefully away from the chitter-chatter of city life.


Don’t wait to find it. Book a leisure trip to Shimla right now.

Nestled in the beauteous hills and permeating the salubrious air, Shimla is famous at the very international levels. This capital town of Himachal Pradesh attracts innumerable local and foreign tourists every month. It is pleasantly surrounded with the lush green trees of Oak, Rhododendron and Pine, securely protecting the picturesque landscapes of Shimla.


The enticing colonial structures, romantic ambience and appealing panoramic views have further enhanced its charismatic appeal, especially for those looking for few moments of harmonious respite.
History reveals that Shimla was under the control of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Rajput King from Nepal. During that time, the Kali Bari Temple of Shimla with its strategic location used to draw in several religious tourists. It is dedicated to Goddess Shyamala Devi, a reincarnation of Goddess Kali, who is considered an epitome of bravery in the Hindu culture.


Later, with the advent of British Colonial Era, Shimla witnessed modernization and cultural changes within its set-up. As Shimla evolved as one of the administrative centers, the British started modifying this hill station through the construction of Auckland House, Kalka-Shimla Railway Line, Viceregal Lodge, Gorton Castle, the Gaiety Theatre and Christ Church. Later in the year of 1864, the British official announced Shimla as the Summer Capital of India.  After independence, Shimla was designated as the capital of Punjab and later it became the capital of Himachal Pradesh in 1971.


Rashtrapati Niwas Shimla

Currently, it has been stated that there are around 19 hills in Shimla. The important ones are Jakhu, Elysium Hill, Observatory Hill, Summer Hill, Bhaji and Koti, Madhan, Rawingarh and others. The snow capped peaks and lush green pastures have always added an enthralling appeal to the beauty of Shimla. Grand old buildings, alluring iron lamp posts and interesting Anglo-Saxon names continue to captivate the abstract sense of curiosity in the tourists.


Following are the main attractions of Shimla


Rashtrapati Niwas: Also known as the Viceregal Lodge, it is located in the Observatory Hills of Shimla. It used to be the former residence of the British viceroys during the colonial era. It is known for the rare collection of historic photographs dealing with India’s colonial past. Currently, it has been developed into the Indian Institute of Advance Study by Dr. Radhakrishnan, the former president of India. While travelling outside the Viceregal Lodge, one can see a stretch of exquisitely designed wooden houses. These are called as yarrows and it is believed that Mohammad Ali Jinnah once lived there. One can also visit the helipad in Shimla which is also called as Annandale. This helipad area is surrounded by lush green deodar trees and is also utilized for playing golf.


The Mall Road: Known for its highly energetic, colorful and lively local markets, the mall road is definitely the life of Shimla. The Gaiety Theatre present here is the cultural crux of Shimla’s lifestyle. One can buy exquisite handicrafts items from the Himachal Emporium.


Jakhoo Hill: Located 2 km away from Shimla, it’s the highest peak in the hill station. Tourists normally trek the Jakhoo hill to reach the Hanuman Temple which is situated on the top. The walk towards the Temple is embraced by the Deodar trees.


Shimla State Museum: Located around three km away from Shimla, it is known for preserving the historic sculptures and paintings of Himachal Pradesh. It was opened in 1974. Currently, it has around 9000 precious items flawlessly preserved in its domain.


Annandale: It is famously called as the playground of Shimla. It is located 4 km away from the Ridge. Over the years, this flat terrain has developed for playing golf and polo.


Christ Church: This majestic Church has been flawless in keeping intact its virgin Indian culture, the cloak of modernity that had yet started enveloping Shimla. One can also discern the traces of Tudor and Gothic revival architecture in Shimla.


Shimla is also known for the legendary mountain bike racing competitions. In fact, this event is one of the most sought after adventurous competitions in South Asia.

The train route from Kalka to Shimla passes through 103 tunnels and 806 bridges.  It was constructed in 1906. In fact, it is described by UNESCO as one of the ‘most authentic mountain railways in the World.’ It was also called as the ‘British Jewel of the Orient.’



Excursions from Shimla
Nearby areas to Shimla include Wild Flower Hall (13 km), Mashobra (10 km), Kufri (13.5 km), Naldehra (25 km), Tattapani (51 km) and Chail. (45km)


Christ Church Shimla

Shopping in Shimla
It can be done mainly at the local markets like the Lakkar Bazaar, Mall Road, Dockers San Francisco, Lower Bazaar and Himachal Emporium. Handicrafts, handmade artifacts, woolen shawls, colourful gloves, socks along with exquisite embroidery are usually bought by the tourists.


When to Reach
Shimla can be reached throughout the year as it always has a pleasant climate. Though, the winters are known for snowfalls and it thus, attracts thousands of visitors every year. Winter sports and ice-skating is also carried out during the colder months. In summers, Shimla offers the best respite from the scorching summer months.


How to Reach
Shimla is one of the most easily accessible hill stations in India. It can be reached in the following manner.
Air: It is closely linked to the Jubbarhatti airport, Chandigarh and Delhi Airport.
Rail: The nearest railway station to Shimla is Kalka. From there, one can either take private cabs or delve into the toy rides to reach Shimla.
Road: Easily accessibly roadways connect Shimla with Kalka, Delhi, Dehradun and Chandigarh.



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