Overview of Shimla
Shimla, the current capital of Himachal Pradesh and the old summer capital of the British in India, is endowed with every imaginable kind of natural bounty. It is in a beautiful setting, surrounded by lush hills and snow-capped peaks. The colonial-era buildings combined with the breath-taking cold hills create an atmosphere that is unlike any other hill. With majestic ancient buildings, lovely iron lampposts, and Anglo-Saxon names, Shimla, which is bursting at the seams with unparalleled development, maintains its colonial legacy. The Mall, which is crammed with stores and restaurants, is the town’s primary draw, while Scandal Point, known for the misadventures of the former Maharaja of Patiala, provides a view of distant mountains covered with snow. Although there is air connection to Shimla, it is better to travel by car to see the finest of the Himalayan countryside. Shimla is at a prime location. With its vintage bungalows and their gabled roofs, Shimla evokes a sense of nostalgia. Experience a history tour through Shimla’s Victorian-era buildings, maze-like bazaars, and extensive pedestrian mall. Keep in mind that Shimla was a retreat location for Mahatma Gandhi, who frequently visited a Georgian estate in Shimla’s outskirts from the mid-1930s to the 1940s.
Some Interesting Facts About Shimla
The only location in the nation with a natural ice-skating rink is Shimla. It was established in 1920, under the British Empire.
The General Post Office of Shimla is considered to be the oldest in all of North India, having been founded in the year 1882 in a little complex called Conny Cottage.
The first capsicum plantation in India was established by the British in Shimla. Shimla Mirch therefore emerged.
History of Shimla
Shimla was established in the 19th century by the British in 1819 during the Gorkha War. It was particularly well-known during that time for the shrine to the Hindu goddess Shyamala Devi. Charles Pratt Kennedy, a Scottish civil officer, built the first summer residence in Great Britain in 1822. During the latter part of the 19th century, Shimla developed as the summer capital of the British Raj, and British army men, merchants, and civil workers frequented this location to escape the oppressive heat of the plain. Shimla has witnessed a number of significant historical occurrences, including the signing of the renowned Shimla Pact between India and Pakistan. The region is renowned for its apple production as well as its architectural structures, buildings, and natural beauty.
British colonialists introduced the first European apples to India in the 1800s, but Samuel Evan Stokes is recognized for planting the first apple trees in Shimla. At Kotgarh village located in Thanedar, Shimla, he planted red and golden tasty trees and began selling them to the general public in 1926. Since then, apple farming in the Shimla region has flourished, and the fruit is now sold in specialised markets across India.
Geography of Shimla
Shimla is tucked away in the southern peaks of the Himalaya. Surprising to many, Shimla is situated on seven hills, including Elysium Hill, Observatory Hill, Jakhu Hill, Bantony Hill, and Summer Hill. From west to east, the city is about 9.2 kilometres (Km) long. The settlement is located in an 18 square Km hilly area that is 2,397 metres (m) above sea level. Shimla’s highest point is the summit of Jakhoo hill, which rises 2,454 m above sea level. At this point, the city’s climate is considered to have a subtropical highland climate. The Sutlej River, located 21 Km from the city, is the closest body of water. Oak, Rhododendron, Pine and Deodar make up the majority of the woods in and surrounding Shimla.
Summer (April to June)
Shimla experiences an average of 37°C high to 9°C low during summer. Shimla is gradually warmed by the sun’s beams throughout the summer. Before changing into summer, the season almost starts off like Spring.
Monsoon (July to September)
Shimla experiences an average of 32°C high to 17°C low during the monsoon season. The hill station is indeed well cleaned by heavy rain, which also makes the plants and mountainous slopes lush and brilliant.
Winter (October to March)
Shimla experiencing an average of -5°C to 8°C during winters. The hill station is lovely at this time of year. The wintertime weather in Shimla is a major contributing factor. The temperature ranges from as low as -7°C to an average of roughly 8°C.
Some Top Places to Visit in Shimla
The highest summit in the entire hill station, Jakhoo Hill, is located 2 Km from Shimla and offers picturesque views of both the city and the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains. A well-known tourist destination that is frequented by both pilgrims and nature enthusiasts is the 2,438 m Jakhoo Hill.
The Shimla Ridge, located in the town’s heart, provides breathtaking views of the region’s Himalayan ranges.
The Mall Road
Mall Road, which is found below The Ridge, provides a brief overview of Shimla. Numerous stores, cafés, restaurants, book stores, and tourist attractions are all present.
Along with the Indian Mountain Railways, the Kalka- Shimla Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The British constructed it in 1898 to link Shimla with other Indian railway lines. It makes many stops at popular tourist destinations, including Summer Hill and Solan.
Christ Church, a magnificent specimen of neo-gothic architecture. It was constructed in the year 1857 and took about 3 years to finish. It is situated on The Ridge.
About Indian Institute of Advanced Study
On top of Observatory Hill, in the renowned Viceregal Lodge, is where the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, also known as Rashtrapati Niwas. During the British Empire’s rule, the building was built between 1880 and 1888.
A quaint town located on the outskirts of Shimla; Summer Hill is also called as Potter’s Hill. In the past, this was where potters used to gather clay to make pots.
Shimla State Museum
At the summit of Mount Pleasant stands the Shimla State Museum. It was constructed in 1974 and is also known as the Himachal State Museum and Library.
Kali Bari Temple
On Bantony Hill in Shimla, there is a Hindu shrine called Kali Bari Mandir. The temple is devoted to the ferocious Shyamala manifestation of Goddess Kali, after whom the city of Shimla is named.
Some Nearby Places to Shimla
Kufri is located 17 Km away from Shimla. At an altitude of 2,510 m and in the Himalayan foothills, the hill station delights nature lovers and adventurers alike.
One of Shimla’s top attractions is Annandale, commonly known as Annadale. The distance to the Ridge is around 4 Km. The British used to use this level area as their playground to play polo and cricket.
Chail (43 Km)
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala established the charming hill town of Chail. The Chail Cricket Ground was constructed in 1893. It is 2,444 m above sea level, has been recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Solan (48 Km away)
Solan is a place that will never cease to amaze you. It is renowned as the “Mushroom City of India” and the “City of Red Gold” for its production of mushrooms and tomatoes. The Pandavas, who resided here during their exile, can be linked to its history.
Naldhera (24 Km)
At 2,044 m above sea level, Naldehra is a charming hill town. Lord Curzon built a golf course here because to the region’s enticing natural beauty.
Accommodation/Hotels in Shimla
The Hosteller, Clarkes Hotel, The Oberoi Cecil, Larisa Shimla, Snow Valley Resort
How to Reach
By Air: Chandigarh Airport, located around 120 Km from Shimla, is the closest airport to Shimla. Road travel is an option for getting from Chandigarh to Shimla. In addition, Shimla has a minor airport at Jubbarhatti, 23 Km outside the city, although it only occasionally operates depending on the time of year and the weather.
By Train: Shimla is connected to Kalka by train (96 Km away), which takes around 6 hours to complete. Three to four trains run daily between Kalka and Shimla and back again. On this route, the premium Deluxe Train Shivalik Express has fewer stops and has a pantry.
By Road: From New Delhi, NH 1 and NH 22 go to Shimla. Depending on traffic, passengers can board luxurious buses at ISBT Kashmiri Gate, which is around eight hours distant. Just 100 Km away from Chandigarh bus stand.
Some Other Keypoints About Shimla
Why is Shimla so Famous?
The village is renowned for offering enjoyable hillside walks surrounded by pine and oak woodlands. The Mall, Ridge, and Toy Train are among well-known landmarks in this Himachal Pradesh capital city. The town features buildings in the colonial style, which give it a unique appearance.
What period is ideal for Shimla?
The finest months to visit Shimla are from May to June and from December to January, when the city is at its most romantic and beautiful season.
When does Shimla have snowfall?
Oct. to Feb. Snow, which normally falls between December and February, is once again a major attraction in Shimla during this time of year.
Is snowfall in Kufri?
Kufri is one of the best places to enjoy the paradisiacal snowfall in Himachal Pradesh.
How far is Manali from Shimla?
Why is Kufri well-known?
A little hill town in Himachal Pradesh named Kufri is well known for its climbing and trekking paths. Adventure-seeking tourists flock to Kufri throughout the winter to go skiing and sledding down hills blanketed with snow.
Can I carry luggage in toy train?
Under the seat, the toy train has very little storage. Two chairs may fit within one big bag. Two backpacks will just about fit in the overhead storage area.
How many days are enough to cover Shimla?
To see all the main sites in Shimla, you need two days. Shimla is a small destination and you can explore Kufri on second day.
How much does Shimla trip cost?
Total Cost INR 4,900/-
Cost for 2 Nights Stay (per person)- Starting Point Delhi
Transport- INR 1,700/- including return (on road public transport)
Hotel- INR 1,000/-
Food- INR 1,200/-
Other Things- INR 1,000/-
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