Shimla was once par of the
Nepalease king-dom and called Shyamla, another name for the goddess Kali, but
Shimla never gained any fame until it was 'discovered' by the British in 1819.
Three years later, the first 'British' house was erected, and in 1864 Shimla
became the summer capital of India. Shimla is the State Capital of
Himachal Pradesh, with its population around 1.6 lacs (Shimla town). It was the
Summer Capital of India under the British rule. Shimla has witnessed many
important historical events, such as the famous Shimla Pact between India &
Pakistan, which was signed here. The place is also famous for its natural
beauty, architectural buildings, wooden crafts and apples.
Shimla is magnificently robed in dense forests of
oak and pine, fur and rhododendron, and it is best to travel here on the slow
train from Kalka. Shimla also is a convenient base for variety of adventure
sports such as Skiing, Trekking, Fishing and Golfing etc.
How to reach there
The airport is at Jubbarhatti,
23km away. Shimla is connected to Kalka by an enchanting narrow gauge railway
line- where even a quaint rail-car plays.
By road, Chandigarh is 117 km Manali is 280km, chali is 45km and Delhi is at a
distance of 370km. From Delhi, the driving time is about eight hours from Delhi,
Manali and Chandigarh, luxury coaches and taxis ply to shimla.
Places to Interest in Shimla -
Himachal State Museum &
2.5km west of Scandal Point, the state museum has a good collection of statues,
miniatures, coins, photos and other items from around Himachal Pradesh and is
worth a visit. Entry to the museum is free and it's open daily 10 am to 5
pm (closed Monday and public holidays). Photography is strictly prohibited.
Dedicated to the monkey god, Hanuman, Jakhu Temple
is east of the town centre near the highest point of the Shimla ridge (2455m).
It offers a fine view over the surounding valleys out to the snow capped peaks,
and over Shimla itself. Appropriately, there are many monkeys around the
temple. It's a steep 45 minute walk from Scandal Point.
Viceregal Lodge & Botanical Gardens
The Viceregal Lodge, also known as Rashtrapati
Niwas, was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin, and is
where many decisions affecting the destiny of the subcontinent were made.
Incredibly, every brick of the six storey building was transported by mule (the
railway wasn't built at that stage). The lodge was eventually finished in
1888. There's magnificent lawns, botanical gardens and a small cafe; the lodge
also houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. The lodge is a pleasant 2km
walk west of the museum - 4.5km from Scandal Point. It's open 9 am to 8:30 pm
daily in summer, but closes a little earlier the rest of the year.
Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral
The second oldest church in northern India (the
oldest is in Ambala), Christ Church was built between 1846 and 1857. The
clocks were added three years later, but none of them now work. The church
is one of Shimla's major landmarks and is renowned for its stained glass
windows. You can discreetly have a look inside the church, or attend
English-language service every Sunday morning during the tourist season.
Excursions from Shimla
The excursions around Shimla are equally
interesting experience as they unveil to you the glory of the Raj era. You can
arrange a tour to the oldest and highest golf course in India and to the world's
highest cricket ground. For the religious minded, the ancient temples around the
Shimla are worth a visit. Naldhera is a small but pleasant town, which houses
the highest golf course in the country. Tattapani is known for its hot water
springs. Wildflower Hall is the former residence of British Commander-in-Chief
Kitchener, now run as a hotel.
Mashobra is a small village surrounded by thick
forests and offers pleasant walks. Craignano is a beautiful picnic spot with a
rest house on the hilltop. Kufri is a great place to enjoy its sylvan atmosphere
and go for some adventure sports like hiking and trekking. Chail is a lush green
town formerly capital of the Maharaja of Patiala.
East of Shimla - Chail & Kufri
Kufri (2510m) is a nondescript little
village, but the nearby countryside offers some good hiking, including a hike to
nearby Mahasu peak. Hrses can be hired for trips around the valleys and hills.
The Himalayan National Park has a collection of animals and birds unique to
Himachal Pradesh, but you won't seemuch unless youhave your own vehicle or
you're on a tour.
The region around
Shimla including Kufri was once a part of the Kingdom of Nepal. This region
remained obscure from the rest of the world until the British 'discovered' it in
1819. The British made Shimla their summer capital in 1864 and it remained so
until 1939. As Shimla gained importance, Kufri also began to be recognized as an
important place to visit near Shimla. An annual winter sports festival is
organized every year in the month of February in Kufri. Skiing enthusiasts and
adventure seekers participate in this festival.
lobely walks and trails that meander through the dense pine forests - the home
of barking deer, wild boar, pheasant and a variety of birds. Forest rest houses
make overnight halts possible. For those interested in sports, Chail has fine
tennis and squash courts and a putting green. There are excellent spots along
the River Gaura with opportunities for anglers to tangle with the Himalayan
mahaseer. Chail has also the highest cricket ground in the world - 2,250 m above
Nearby Travel Destinations, From Shimla - Himachal Pradesh
Take a trip on the toy
train to experience the decrepit grandeur of the the Raj in this
pleasant hill station. Shimla was once par of the Nepalease king-dom and
called Shyamla, another name for the goddess Kali, but Shimla never
gained any fame until it was 'discovered' by the British in 1819. Three
years later, the first 'British' house was erected, and in 1864 Shimla
became the summer capital of India.
Home of the Dalai Lama,
this is the place to head for Tibetan culture (and chocolate cake).
While Dharamshala is synonymous with the Tibetan Government in Exile,
the actual headquarters is about 4km above Dharamshala at.....
valley and adventure playground. Kullu was once known as Kullanthapitha
- the end of the habitable world. Beyond rose the forbidding heights of
the Greater Himalaya, and by the banks of the shining river Beas, lay
the fabled Silver Valley.
A beautiful town with
ancient Hindu temples hidden in winding backstreets. Situated in the
bosom of the middle Himalaya, Chamba has preserved its identity
inviolate through a period when the plains of India were ravaged by
fanatical hoarders from Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Manali situated in the
north Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at the Northern
end of the Kullu valley with its spectacular views of the snowcapped
peaks and wooded slopes, the Beas rushing along its rocky course amid
grassy wild flowered meadows, is ideal for honeymooners and adventure
The picturesque town
of Sarchu is located at the height of 4253 meters and 105 km from
keylong. This is the last point on the Himachal Pradesh - Ladakh border
that offers splendid views of snow capped mountains. The unspoiled
natural beauty of Sarchu offers a perfect ambience to spend some time
away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
"Tourist Places and Adventure in Himachal Pradesh"
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