Located amidst the placidity of nature’s wealth, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most celebrated hill resorts of India. Perched atop a height of 2421 m above sea level, the rutted landscape of the place is encompassed by undulating pine and deodar trees. Its verdant valleys extend beyond vision and embrace the majesty of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Apart from the generosity of nature that overwhelms Shimla, the place is also dotted with striking Victorian architectural relics that underpins its beauty. Explore the various places to see in Shimla and learn about tourist attractions that are included in its sightseeing tours.
Shimla Tourist Attractions
Known as ‘the Heart of Shimla’, the Mall is the main shopping centre of the place. It is teemed with colorful shops that sell various curios and trinkets to tourists. For gourmands, the place is next to heaven with a huge array of exotic cuisines and local delights. No vehicles except the emergent ones (like fire brigades and ambulances) are allowed inside the mall which makes it a pedestrian’s delight.
Situated on the Ridge, the Christ Church is believed to be the second oldest church in North India. This pale yellow edifice dominates the skyline of the Mall and soars to a great height. On gloomy days, its apex seems to be kissing the floating clouds in the sky. The exquisite beauty of the structure gets highlighted with the stained glasses that are fitted on its large windows.
The Jakhu Hill is located 2 km from Shimla and is cuddled at a height of 8000 ft. It is the highest peak of Shimla, from where you can soak up the entire beauty of its landscape. It is especially famous for an old Hanuman temple that it houses. The place is therefore frequented by religious tourists who visit it to pay their obeisance to the Divinity. But, beware of impish monkeys on your trip to this hill.
Shimla State Museum
This museum that resembles a Victorian bungalow was opened in 1974 and acts as a repository of various relics related to art, archeology and cultural anthropology. Today, the museum has a collection of 9000 objects that highlight the cultural wealth of Himachal Pradesh. The museum has different galleries that showcase artwork pertaining to different patterns and periods.
These falls cascade from a height of 67 m and streams down from the Summer Hill. They are set amidst a thicket of deodar trees at a height of 1586m. You can simply enjoy the bracing environs of the place when you visit these falls, or go trekking in the nearby forested areas. There are also some temples scattered near the place that makes it popular amongst tourists.
Viceregal Lodge is situated atop the Observatory hills and is also known as the ‘Rashtrapati Niwas’. The place served as the residence of erstwhile British Viceroy, Lord Dufferein. This staggering Scottish edifice after independence was also used as the summer retreat of the President of India. The place now acts as the quarters of the Institute of Advanced Study.
Apart from whiling away your time in appreciating the beauty of Shimla, there are many fun things that can be included in your to-do list while visiting this hill station. You can simply visit the exotic locale of ‘The Glen’. It is a lush valley at a high altitude that serves as a popular picnic spot for the tourists and locales. Another picnic spot that promises fun is ‘Annandale’. For the gourmands, a must-do thing includes sampling some of the authentic Tibetan and Thai delicacies of the place. On the other hand, the Café Coffee Day in the Mall is a very good option for people who love cozy conversations. Another activity is shopping either at the colorful local bazaars or the various brand outlets of the place.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are various things to take into account while you plan a trip to Shimla. In case, you are planning a visit during the summers, carry some light daywear and adequate woolens for the night. Though the days are not numbing, yet the nights can sometimes be spine-chilling during this season. And if your vacation falls during the winters, don’t forget to carry layers of woolens with you. Woolen mittens or gloves; skull caps; and heavy woolen sweaters and jackets are necessary items to be carried. If you visit Shimla during the snowfall and plan to indulge in skiing; don’t forget to pack adequate skiing clothes (waterproof and breathable fabrics with venting zippers and insulating stretch components).
Shimla, being a very popular holiday destination amongst Indians & foreigners, does not leave scope for complaint in context of accommodation. Right from the luxury travelers to the budget ones, no one will find the hill station lacking in accommodation options. Hotels in Shimla cater to every need and budget. The luxury ones provide world-class amenities and excellent hospitality, while the budget ones make sure to never ever put a strain on your budget. Some of the most popular hotels in Shimla are Wildflower Hall, Oberoi Cecil, Radisson, Shilon Resort, Hotel Asia The Dawn, East Bourne Resort, Chapslee Palace, Woodville Palace Resorts, etc.
How to Reach
Being an important holidaying recluse, Shimla is well-connected by airways, railways and roadways. If you opt to travel to Shimla by air, you have to disembark at the ‘Jubber Bhatti’ airport, located 28 km from Shimla. You can easily hire a tourist bus or taxi to reach Shimla from the airport. For tourists traveling by rail; the narrow gauge train is the only option. You can board this miniature train from Kalka, located 96 km from Shimla. Kalka on the other hand is easily linked to some of the most important cities in India by train. You can also reach Shimla by boarding a public vehicle or whiz through its smooth roads in your own car. The National Highway 22 connects Shimla to other major places and facilitates road travel to the place.