Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)
History: Shimla (also spelt as 'Simla') derives its name from Goddess 'Shayamla Devi', another manifestation of Goddess Kali. The capital of Himachal Pradesh came into light when the British discovered it in 1819. Till then, it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. After Independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of. The hilly town is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, among them are the stately Viceregal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall, packed with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala's escapades, offers a view of distant snowclad peaks.
Shimla Quick facts
Shimla Geography and Climate
Geography : Shimla is located in the north-western ranges of the Himalayas. At an average altitude of 2397.59 meters (7866.10 feet) above mean sea level, The city stretches nearly 9.2 km from east to west. The highest point in Shimla, at 2454 meters (8051 feet), is the Jakhoo hill. Weak construction techniques and increasing population pose a serious threat to the already earthquake prone region.
Best time to visit Shimla
Best Time To Visit: April To August & December To January. The main season is between December and January because of snow fall which attracts many tourists and sometimes accommodation proves to be difficult. April, May and June are peak seasons for local tourists, when other parts of the country are very hot.
In 1864 Shimla was declared as the summer capital of India. It is famous for its snowcapped peaks, apples, and pine forest, flowers and gentle smiling people. Around Christmas or last week of December Shimla gets snow. The snowfall during this time attracts many tourists. Shimla is also home to Asia's only natural ice skating rink. State and national level competitions are often held at this venue.
Shimla Near Getaways
Solan is situated midway between Kalka and Shimla. the fine climate of this place round the year makes it an ideal destination for all seasons. The mountains near Solan offer interesting trekking possibilities. Solan district is covered by catchment areas of three important rivers, namely Satluj, Yamuna and Ghagar.
Location: Himachal Pradesh. Altitude: 2,159m. Shimla is located on the slopes of lower Himalayas. The altitude of Shimla from the sea level makes it a very cool place.
How to reach Shimla by Road
You can take a bus from Kalka to Shimla. Shimla is connected by road to Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Kalka, and t many other places as well.
How to reach Shimla by Rail
In 1903 a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla. Broad-gauge trains run till Kalka, from all the parts of the country. From Kalka onwards, a rail car on narrow gauge takes you to Shimla which offers some fantastic sights.
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How to reach Shimla by Air
The Jubbarhatti airport is 23-km from Shimla and major domestic airlines cater their services from here to Shimla. One can catch direct flights from Delhi. Chandigarh airport, 120 km away on the plains, has flights at more regular intervals. The flights to Shimla may be called off, during the winter months of December, January and February, so you will need to check them up in advance.
Shimla Festivals and culture
Fairs & Festivals - Shimla : Every year in the month of June, the Folk Dance festival, the "Mushaira",recitation of Urdu poetry by poets, the Red Cross Fair, Golf and the Flower Show are some of the events held in Shimla, to celebrate Summer Festival.
Culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society." It includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, norms of behaviour such as, law and morality, and systems of belief , etc,. Shimla has a multilingual, cosmopolitan character. People speak and understand both Hindi and English. Punjabi and Pahari languages are also spoken and understood in and around Shimla.
Shimla Religious Places
Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral: Built in 1846-1857, Christ Church is the second oldest church of Northern India. The stain-glass windows and 19th century organ are particularly impressive.
Rang Mahal Rang Mahal Palace : is situated in Chamba, which was built by Raja Umed Singh in the mid 18th century. An interesting mix of colonial and Sarcenic architecture , this palace is now counted among the heritage palace hotels of Himachal Pradesh. Exquisite examples of wall paintings in the Punjab Hills style, depicting the life and times of Lord Krishna embellish the walls of the palace. May be this is the reson why Rang Mahal is populalry known as The Painted Palace".
Shimla Entertainment and Night Life
Trekking (Chandra Bhaga triangle and Baralacha Pass) Himachal offers a virtual bonanza for trekkers. From moderate to strenuous treks ranging up to 11 days and the best season to trek over here is during the months of June to October. One of Himachal's classic routes is the Chandra Bhaga triangle and the Baralacha Pass at a height of 4,833m.
Shimla has many lounge bars in the city. Like a lot of the other cities in India, you'll find some of the best bars in the 5-star Shimla hotels.
Kidding around Shimla
Kufri Ski Resort: 16 kilometers from Shimla with striking views of the Himalayan mountain range, this ski resort is a popular Shimla attraction For entertaining the children and tourists, it also has a small zoo spread over 20 acres. It boasts over 140 species, including the endangered Tibetan wolf. Tattapani : It is situated on the banks of the Sutlej River and is about 43 kilometers from Shimla. It is a picnic spot, which is famous for its ambience and hot springs.
The State emporium on the Mall offers many handicrafts and handloom items, which are made by the artisans of Himachal. The famous Himachali hat comes in different rates and vivid colours.
Famous To Eat at Shimla
'Luchi-Poti': Shimla restaurants serve typical Himachali food. One of the most loved food item is the "Luchi-Poti", meaning lamb intestines. Though it sounds gross, it is a delicious dish and is very well cooked. Since Shimla is a city that has lots of international tourists, you will be able to find restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines. Restaurants in Shimla are cheap, comfortable, and offer good multi-cuisine food. The Devicos, 5 The Mall, +91 177 280-6335. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It Serves good South Indian vegetarian food, kebabs and snacks. The Lutyens Room, Springfields, Chhota Shimla (opposite Tibetan School), +91 177 222-1297, 222-1298. 11AM-10:30PM. It serves Continental and Indian food.
Shimla Museum and Hill Stations
Himachal State Museum & Library: The museum is located 2.5-km west of the scandal point and opens daily except on Mondays and public holidays. It has got a good collection of ancient historical sculptures, paintings, coins, photos and other items from all over the state as well as outside. It has also got a library, which houses many historical books and manuscripts.
Gardens and Parks at Shimla
Himalayan Aviary or Himalayan Bird Park: Close to the Viceregal lodge is the Himalayan Aviary or the Himalayan Bird Park. This park is a natural habitat of numerous species of birds found in Himachal such as Himalayan Monal, Pheasants, Peafowls and National Bird of India, the Peacock.
Lake at Shimla
Renuka Lake : It is situated in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh in India and it is 672 m above the sea level. It is the largest natural lake in Himachal Pradeh. This lake has been named after the Goddess Renuka. Near the lake's feet is another lake held sacred to her son, Parshurama. Both have temples built around them and the main temple to Renuka is regarded to have been built overnight in eighteenth century. The lake lies in a long valley and surrounding slopes are covered with thick woods. Boating facility is available at the lake.
Shimla tourist seasons basically can be divided into two major sub divisions. One is from April to August and the other is from December to January. The climate of Shimla being highly favorable, draws tourists in a large proportion from not only India but abroad too.
Shimla Travel Tips
It is better to book accommodation in advance during the months of December and January because of large number of tourists visit this place in these months on account of Snow fall.
Shimla Tourist Offices
Directorate The Director Tourism & Civil Avitaion SDA Complex, Block-28 Kasumpati, Shimla - 171009 Phones. 0177 - 225864, 225924 Fax. 0177 - 225864 Field Offices District Tourism Development Officer SDA Complex, Block-28 Kasumpati, Shimla - 171009 Phone. 0177 - 225926 Tourist Information Centres in Himachal Pradesh Victory Tunnel, Shimla Phone. 0177 - 254589
Axis Bank ATM Locations
Not to do at Shimla
Don't buy articles made from rare or endangered species or animals which are protected.