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 Indian Hill Stations

 Shimla  

In the days before independence, Shimla was the most important British hill station, and was the summer capital of British India. The British in 1819 A.D first discovered Shimla, but it was not until 1822 A.D that the first permanent house was erected and not until many years later that Shimla became the summer capital. The name Shimla is derived from the Himalayan Goddess Shamla a synonym of Kali.


Library at Ridge

Situated in the North-west Himalayas, Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It was once famous as the Summer Capital of "The Raj". Though evocative of a bygone ere, it is today a thriving Capital of a State, famous for its snowcapped peaks, apples, and pine forest, flowers and gentle smiling people. Goddess Shyamala, an incarnation of Goddess Kali, the deity of power and wrath lends her name to the hill resort of Shimla. The natural beauty of the 2159 m high Shimla makes it one of the most popular hill resorts in the country. The terrific tranquility attracts thousands of tourists year after year.

Connectivity:

Air :
Shimla has an airport, 22 km away, from the main city with regular flights to Delhi. Chandigarh airport, 120 km away on the plains, has flights at more regular intervals. The flights to Shimla may be called off, during the winter months of December, January and February, so you will need to check them up in advance.

Train : Broad-gauge trains run till Kalka, from all the parts of the country. From Kalka onwards, a rail car on narrow gauge takes you to Shimla which offers some fantastic sights. You can also take a bus from Kalka to Shimla.

Bus : Shimla is connected by road to Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Kalka, and to many other places as well.

Main attractions:

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 building are worth seeing.

Lakkar Bazaar : Popular for its wood crafts and Souvenirs, this is just off the Ridge.

Jakoo Hill : (2.5 km), 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.

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.

State Museum : This houses a representative collection of Himachal Pradesh's rich heritage. Exhibits include archaeological artifacts, carvings,paintings and sculptures. Closed on Monday and holidays.

Indian Institute of Advanced Study : (4 km) : At 1983m, this magnificent 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.

Sankat Mochan : This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

Tara Devi : 2044m, A thickly wooded hill whose peak has a temple dedicated to Tara Devi.

Mashobra : At 2149m, this beautiful suburb is surrounded by a thick forests. From here, a track leads down to Sipur which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There are old temples on a side and a fair is held every April.

Kufri : At 2501m, this is famous for its wide views and ski slopes. An enjoyable walk leads up to the Mahasu Peak.

Shopping:

The beautiful hill resort offers a lot for those of you who would like to indulge in a shopping spree. You must check out the Mall for the best in garment and textile industry, here the State emporium offers the himachali (local) handicrafts and handloom items. The hats that are available in a wide range of charges and colors make the perfect souvenirs. For the dry fruits and natural herbs carrying medicinal properties you may check out any of the local shops whereas the Lakkar Bazaar is the one stop market for the wooden items of all shapes and sizes.

Adventure sports:

Besides being the ultimate summer retreat Shimla remains an ideal spot for adventure sports. You may take your pick from the various treks to the Kullu valley or indulge in trout fishing at the Pabbar River. The more adventurous of you may ski at the Narkanda and Kufri from January to mid-March. Of course the nine-hole golf course at Naldehra is a major draw for the tourists. 

 

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