Shimla - Popular Hill Resort
Shimla was the most important
British hill resort, prior to India's independence. It is named
after its patron goddess, Shamla Devi, a manifestation of Kali. Simla,
located at an
altitude of 7,267 feet, is inhabited around a crescent - shaped
ridge, which is blessed with perennially cool air and amazing views.
It provides superb
panoramic sights of the valleys, and the lofty peaks of the
great Himalaya range, on both sides. The colourful local bazaars of Shimla
are sprawled over
the southern slopes of the ridge.
This was the country's focus for the
better part of every year and now, it is the state capital
of Himachal Pradesh. Today, its well developed facilities, easy accessibility
attractions make it one of India's most popular hill resorts.
Placed in the tower ranges of the Himalaya mountains, it is surrounded
by pine deodar, oak
and rhododendron forests. Towards the north lie the snow covered
high-ranges, while the valleys broad whispering streams and swaying fields.
Within the town
are a host of splendid colonial edifices,quaint cottages and
charming walks. Shimla holds a variety of shopping, sport and entertainment.
Place to Visit
The Ridge : This large open space in the heart of town presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks the neo Gothic structure of
Christ Church and the Neo Tudor Library library building are here.
Chadwick Falls : Are only really worth visiting
during or just after the monsoons (July to October). The falls are 7 km from
Shimla and can be reached via Summer Hill.
Jakhoo Hill/Temple : Dedicated to the monkey god, Lord
Hanuman. At 2455m, this is the town's highest peak and a vantage point
for Shimla's famous views. The
summit is crowned with a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
The hill is full of paths and narrow roads which are enjoyable walks.
Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral : This
dressed - stone church with fine stained glass has a cruciform design. It is
located just off the Mall, below the District Courts. This is the second oldest
church in northern India (the oldest is in Ambala), Christ Church was build
between 1846 and 1857. The church is one of the Shimla's major landmarks and is
renowned for its stained glass windows. You can have a look inside the church
or attend English-language services every Sunday morning during the tourist
Indian Institute of Advanced Study :
At 1983 m, this magnificent English renaissance structure was the former
Viceregal Lodge. Its lawns and woodland are added attractions. Entry by ticket
(nominal charge). A portion of the interior is also open to the public, except
on Sundays and holidays.
The Glen : At 1830m, this is a thickly wooded ravine through which a stream flows. It is a
popular picnic spot.
Annandale : Surrounded by a thick deodar forest, this large glade has an ancient temple on an
Shopping : Like any other
destination, Shimla has its own specialty to offer, representative of
Himachal's unique culture, craft and tradition. You can buy handicrafts, wood
and metalwork shawls, pullovers, local tweeds, caps, Tibetan carpets and
pickle, jams and squashes.
The Himachal Emporium : People interested in genuine local handicrafts must visit
this place located on the (western) Mall.
The Tibetan Refugee Handloom Shop : Located on the (Eastern) Mall, it
showcases local development projects apart from selling carpets, clothes and
other Tibetan crafts. Besides, there are a number of private shops and
showrooms selling object art and crafts.
Solan : Famous for a Brewery Unit in 1835 and still
running. It is said to be the gateway to the most beautiful parts of Himachal
Kalka : Known more because of it's
all important toy train that runs to and from Shimla.