Shimla, the ‘Queen of Hills’, had been the summer capital of India during the colonial rule, and hence gives a glimpse of a lot of British architecture. At a height of 2276 meters, Shimla is now the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is surrounded by dense Pine, Deodar and Oak forests set against a backdrop of the Himalayas. It makes Shimla a picture-perfect spot.
Shimla can be visited throughout the year.
Summer– Relief from the heat.
Winter – Experience snow.
Monsoon – This is when Shimla is in full grandeur with rich greenery and clouds over the city.
However, there is a danger of avalanches and landslides, so be careful.
Shimla is accessible via road, rail and air. Remember to walk wherever possible, as Shimla is best explored on foot.
1. Kalka –Shimla heritage train –
If you are taking a train to Shimla, book it only up to Kalka and reach Shimla by a toy train. It is
called a toy train because it is like in the fairy tales. The train moves very slowly and stops on
various spots to allow you to capture the photogenic landscapes. It moves through the pine
forests, bridges and tunnels, there are mountains all around.
2. The Mall-
Mall Road or simply The Mall is a shopping destination. You can find antique shops, Tibetan
market, bakeries, cafes and restaurants, and handicrafts stores. Scandal point is on this road, where the king of Patiala is said to have kidnapped the Viceroy’s daughter. A nice place for the evenings.
3. The Ridge-
Located a level above the Mall, the Ridge is another spot for the evenings in Shimla. The Ridge is an art and culture hub.
Christ Church – this Elizabethan architecture can be seen from afar.
Gaiety Theater- The only Gothic theater in the Asian subcontinent. You can enjoy the
plays and also visit an art gallery nearby. In summer, Gaiety Theater is a proud host of
Shimla Film Festival. If you are traveling in summer, do not miss out on this one.
4. Jakhoo Hill –
5. Chadwick Falls –
7kms from Shimla, this small waterfall provides one serene walking trail. It is a photographer’s
paradise. This waterfall is beautiful right after the rainy season.
6. Kufri –
Kufri in the local language means ‘Lake’. It is a small hill station in the outskirts of Shimla, 13 km
away on NH.22. One can indulge in all sorts of adventure sports on the top of this hill. Do not
hire ponies to go uphill. It is hardly 3-4 km. Enjoy the mountains as you walk. In winter, try
7. Indian Institute of Advanced Studies –
Earlier Viceregal Lodge, now an institute has been home to the viceroy and then to the
President of India. It looks like a castle as it is built in Scottish baronial style with a green carpet of
lawn on all sides. Tourists are allowed to visit some places here and the rest of it restricted.
8. Picnic spots around Shimla –
Green Valley is a picnic spot just before Kufri. 7kms from the city, it is covered in luxuriant green
and stay options are available in Naldhera. Naldhera is also famous for its golf courses. Try out
golf here. Other scenic picnic spots are Glen Park and Annandale.
If Shimla happens to be the next destination in your bucket list, I hope, this guide made you ready to
make the most of it. Take a break from work and book your tickets to Shimla. Happy Journey!