Ensconced in a verdant cedar forest, commanding spectacular views of mist-covered mountains, colonial time buildings, bustling markets, Shimla is the erstwhile summer capital of India. Britishers created a beautiful English village that attracted many visitors looking for some peace, quiet, and respite from the hustle and bustle of cities. Today, Shimla tourism is flourishing and attracts people from all over the country and abroad to enjoy magnificent views of its unique English gardens and spectacular colonial architecture. Nestled amid the magnificent mountains, Shimla is situated at a great height of 2200. There is no denying the fact that Shimla makes it to the top of every novice traveller’s travel bucket list.
The mystical charm and the incredible natural beauty make Shimla the go-to destination in summers. We can get the idea of its popularity by considering the fact that for the last 50 years or so it has been the favourite travel Destination of families and couples alike. This is perhaps due to the fact that Shimla still retains its old charm and vibrant spirit.
Best Time to Visit Shimla
If you are planning to visit Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, the months from March to June would be the best. The overall weather during these months is very pleasant and great for exploring the city around. It is also the perfect time to engage in various outdoor activities. The temperature in these months is very comfortable and ranges between 15-30 degrees C. However, if you love snowfall, then you should make a visit in the winter months, from late December to February. But it is best to avoid the monsoon season. Shimla Art Festival in April is also the best time to visit the city.
History Of Shimla
This town is steeped in history. A stroll through its charming lanes and bylanes on foot takes you through stunning colonial times’ architecture and bump into authors, painters, poets, and retirees. Shimla has been named after a Hindu Goddess Shyamala Devi and since the 18th century, this place was nothing but a conglomeration of forest and some scattered huts. Then in the 19th century, in 1863 to be precise, the British Viceroy of India, John Lawrence purposely made Shimla the summer capital of India. He had done so to escape the scorching summer heat of the plains. Following this, in 1871, Shimla became the capital of Punjab. However, after the formation of Himachal Pradesh in 1971, this beautiful city was merged with it. The age-old magnificent builds like Bishop Cotton School to Christ Church speaks volumes about this historically rich and significant town.
The Period of Anglo-Gurkha War
Another important historical aspect of Shimla is the Anglo-Gurkha war which started at the very beginning of the 19th century. It is believed that the Gurkha community had suffered a very severe defeat from Sikhs at Kangra. This was a lesson to the Gurkha people and soon, as a damage control measure, many forts were built by them. After which, following the next line of orders, they started capturing and ravaging the nearby hill regions which included Shimla. It is said that by 1808, the Gurkha invaders had conquered all the fortified posts between the river Jamuna and Sutlej. Concerned with this political scenario, the hill people didn’t have any other option left but to appeal to the Britishers for help. Soon, a small force was deployed under Major General Sir David Ochterlony and was sent to liberate the hill people from the Gurkhas. All the hill chieftains and forces helped the Britishers and a ferocious battle followed in which the Britishers came out as winners.
Top 10 Major Attractions of Shimla
The enigmatic glory of this enchanting town beckons tourists from far and wide areas. Rolling meadows, beautiful valleys, emerald green forests, stunning lakes, pleasant weather, and breathtaking colonial architecture make Shimla one of the most endearing hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. The town has a lot to offer to discerning travellers. Have a look at the top 10 Shimla Tourist Places worth visiting and exploring.
1. Mall Road
Mall Road is one of the best places to visit if you love shopping. Here, you can find shawls, handicrafts, woolens and so much more to take away with yourself as a souvenir. Mall Road is definitely one of the busiest shopping areas which at the same time also depicts the jovial spirit of a hill station. Anyone who visits Shimla will definitely visit the Mall road. It is considered one of the best places to visit in Shimla.
2. The Ridge
It is fundamentally a very wide open street located sideways of Shimla Mall Road. Here you will find everything from artifacts to the spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains. Yes, this place is a delightful combination of a lot of things like that and also happens to be the most photographed part of the hill station.
Located at a mere distance of (approx) 13 km from Shimla, Kufri is again one of the best destinations to visit with your loved ones. The scenic views of this place are more or less amazing which is the precise reason why people choose Kufri as their holidaying spot. One of the highlighting features of Kufri is its zoo where you can find a wide variety of animals like antelopes, felines, bears, and birds which include the Himalayan Monal aka the state bird of Himachal Pradesh as well.
Nestled amid the Shivalik hill range, Jakhoo Temple is a quaint attraction for tourists and devotees alike. Mainly dedicated to the monkey God, Lord Hanuman, this temple is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Shimla. The statue of the lord is so big that one can witness it from most parts of Shimla. For any spiritual seeker, the temple is a must-visit.
5. Kalka- Shimla Railway
The high point of Shimla tourism, a ride in Kalla-Shimla train gives you mesmerising views of nature as the train travels on a winding path crisscrossing through mountainous and scenic routes. This narrow-gauge railway also enjoys the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The train stops at several tourist attractions like Dharampur, Solan, Salogra, Summer Hill, Barog, Taradevi, etc.
6. Christ Church
One of the most important landmarks in Shimla, the Christ Church stands tall on the Ridge. Its unique neo-Gothic architectural style showcases the enduring legacy of the erstwhile colonial rulers. This imposing edifice is visible from far away distances. Its arresting towers, brass bell, stained glass windows, and majestic facade create an enchanting sight, especially when it is illuminated in the night.
7. Indian Institute of Advanced Study
It is a stunning historic location that occupies a major place in our Independence-related decisions. A visit to this place will give you a glimpse into the British Era when the decision to take Pakistan and East Pakistan from independent India was taken. This impressive edifice surrounded by verdant landscape looks majestic and truly awe-inspiring. Initially, it was built as Lord Dufferin’s residence and was known as the Viceregal Lodge. Later, it served as the summer retreat of the Indian President.
Located close to Shimla, Mashobra is a perfect place for thrill-seekers. This quaint town turns into a paradise when winter tourists start dropping in to enjoy a variety of adrenaline-pumping activities. The verdant landscape gets covered by a blanket of white snow. One of the major things to do in Shimla during winters is enjoy skiing.
9. Chadwick Falls
One of the most delightful sights, Chadwick Falls in Shimla attracts a lot of tourists to enjoy watching cascading water from a height into a gorge. A blanket of greenery consisting of pine and deodar trees surrounds the area, adding indescribable charm to the area. June to September is the best time to visit this attraction when the waterfall is heavily laden with rainwater adding to the force of gushing waters falling in the gorge.
10. Kali Bari Temple
Known for its immense religious and historical significance, the Kali Bari Temple in Shimla attracts a lot of devotees. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, this temple is also known for its unique architectural splendour. Constructed in 1845, the temple displays a magnificent idol of Goddess Kali.
How To Reach Shimla
Shimla, the land of breathtaking lakes, snow-covered mountain peaks, stunning greenery and a lovely climate attracts many tourists all through the year. Plan a trip to this hill city and enjoy its endearing beauty. To reach this serene destination, you can use the nearest airport, railway station, and bus services. Here are the details of how to access this destination using diverse modes of transportation.
By Air. Deboard at Chandigarh Airport and from there you can take a private bus or a taxi to reach Shimla which is 112 km away. Flights from all parts of the country arrive at this airport hence planning a trip via airways can be a comfortable, convenient, and faster option. State-run and private buses are also available to ferry passengers to Shimla.
By Train. There is good connectivity of train routes from Kalka to Shimla from all parts of the country. From Shimla Railway Station, tourists can take a cab or just a walk to the centre of the town.
By Road. Depending on your geographical location, you can consider traveling to Shimla by road as well. The overall road network which includes national highways is well-maintained and easily accessible. As per your convenience, you can choose to travel by state-run buses, cabs, or by your personal vehicles as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shimla
Ques 1. What makes Shimla famous?
Ans 1. Shimla is famous for its stunning natural beauty, colonial architecture, and old-world charm. There are many places that command picturesque views of the sun rising or setting amidst the hill range at the horizon.
Ques 2. What is the best time to visit Shimla?
Ans 2. The months from March to June would be the best time to visit Shimla. The overall weather during these months is very pleasant and great for exploring the city around. It is also the perfect time to engage in various outdoor activities.
Ques 3. Which is the closest airport to Shimla?
Ans 3. Shimla has its own airport but presently, there are no scheduled flights from this airport. The passengers can use Chandigarh airport to arrive at Shimla, which is 123.9 km away.
Ques 4. When does it snow in Shimla?
Ans 4. Shimla experiences snowfall from late December to February. This is also the perfect time to engage in several winter sports.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.
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