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