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Shimla Tourism And Travel Guide
4.2° C / 39.6° F
March to June
3 to 4 Days
Jubbarhatti Airport (23 kms)
Kalka Railway Station (90 kms)
Covered by the rich Himalayan Forests of Pine and Deodar and standing on seven different hills, Shimla is a destination to experience the magnanimity nature has to offer. Shimla, once only inhabited by a handful people, soon turned into the summer capital of British India. Relics from the British era can be found all around the city - the Neo-Gothic architecture, the engineering genius of the Hindustan-Tibet road and the Kalka-Shimla Railway give a sense of Shimla’s rich history and beckon tourism in Shimla. Here is a travel guide to Shimla to help you plan your next trip.
How To Reach
Being one of the most visited eco-tourist spots in the country, Shimla is well connected to all the major cities in North-India.
Shimla is connected to almost all the major cities in North-India via road. The NH22, once known as the Hindustan-Tibet Road, connects Shimla to Chandigarh. The NH22, a 500 kilometre stretch that passes through half-tunnelled ever-winding roads, is an adventure all by itself. Shimla is about 380 kilometres from the National Capital Delhi and has frequent bus services to Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar, etc.
The Shimla Airport is located in Jubbarhatti, about 23 kilometres from the main city. There are a number of flights to Delhi from here. The closest major airport near Shimla is the one in Chandigarh, about 116 kilometres away. You can rent a taxi or hop on a bus from there.
The narrow-gauge Kalka-Shimla Railway, built by the British Raj, is now an UNESCO world heritage site. It also holds the record for the steepest rise in altitude over a distance of around 96 kms. Kalka is well connected and has trains to almost all parts of the country making Shimla easily accessible. The route offers breath-taking views and is sure to remain an unforgettable experience.
Best Time To Visit
Summer (March to June):
Summer is the popular tourist season in Shimla. The weather around this time of the year is really pleasant allowing tourists to engage in a variety of outdoor activities.
Monsoon (July to September):
For those who want a quiet vacation, the recommended time to visit is during the monsoon. There aren’t a lot of people around this time because of the heavy rainfall. Besides, this is the perfect time to see Shimla in its lush green hues. Also plenty of good deals and discounts during this time of the year.
Winter (December to February):
A fairy-land experience is assured with the blankets of snow and the merry in the air. The spectacular snowfall and the frequent bonfires on every corner make Shimla quite cozy and celebratory. This is the perfect time for those who love adventure and winter sports (think skiing and ice-skating).
Things To Do
This Victorian era relic was the Viceroy’s residence during the British rule. The architecture is detailed, intricate and complex with the buildings surrounded by vast well-maintained gardens. The Viceroy’s Lodge is nothing short of an architectural wonder.
Situated on The Ridge, the church is visible for miles around the city. It stands out as one of the most popular landmarks in Shimla. The church, built in the Neo-Gothic style has a lovely porch, a clock adorning the front, five huge fine stained glass windows that are a sight. The sound of the oldest pipe-organ in the sub-continent brings a sense of calm and divinity to all those who enter.
As legend goes, Lord Hanuman rested here in his search for the ‘Sanjivni Booti’ to revive Lord Ram’s brother Laxman in the epic Ramayana. The temple is located on the Jakhoo hill, the highest point in Shimla standing at about 8,100 feet above sea level. The 108 ft high Hanuman Statue in the temple is one of the major attractions in the city.
Shimla Skating Rink:
Shimla is home to one of the biggest natural ice-skating rinks in South Asia. For people with a liking for adventure, ice-skating can be a lot of fun. The Shimla Ice Skating Club offers two sessions a day and you can rent your equippment at the location.The cool weather and the clear skies make this the perfect place to enjoy an evening full of laughter and excitement.
The Mall road is lined with numerous restaurants and eateries. So dig in to mouth-watering street food and spicy Garhwali cuisine. Quite a few fine dining options are available too for those who are looking for something special. There are a quite a few interesting cafes to chill at too.
The markets of Shimla offer a variety of things to buy, ranging from the famous Himachali caps to wooden handicrafts and souvenirs.
The Mall Road: The Mall Road is lined with shops that sell pretty much anything you can think of. You can buy artifacts and handicrafts here. Lots of interesting jewelry to browse through too.
Lower Bazaar: Shimla is very famous for its woollen shawls, sweaters and caps. One can find shawls with mirror work, beautiful designs weaved onto them, floral patterns and so on. Hand woven sweaters and caps too are available.
Lakkar Bazaar: The bazaar gets its name from the word ‘lakkad’ meaning wood. Like the name suggests, it’s quite famous for wooden handicrafts, jewelry and souvenirs. Handicrafts made out of deodar are one of its kind.