once upon a time the most important British hill resort, is now a lovely
Nestled in spectacular, cool hills it has a quaint
old word charm about it that is particularly endearing. Named after it's
patron goddess, Shamla Devi, it is located at an altitude of 7267, feet
around a crescent-shaped ridge.
Visitors here can enjoy superb
sights of the valleys and lofty peaks of the great Himalayan range while
being caressed by the cool air. One can also enjoy the colourful local
bazaars of Shimla, spread over the ridge. Shimla also is
a convenient base for variety of adventure sports such as Skiing, Trekking,
Fishing and Golfing etc.
Shimla becomes a frost glistening silent
city. A gathering of dark clouds tells us of the approach of snow generally
a slight fall first, followed by a heavier one when the snowflakes sweep
down through the fine-needles bending long branches to the ground. The
following morning sees the town as a fantastic fairyland of white beauty.
Prime Attractions of
Shimla » The Mall
The Mall is the main
shopping centre of Shimla. It also has many restaurants, clubs, banks, bars,
Post Offices and tourist offices. The Gaiety Theatre is also situated there.
People walk up and down the Mall slowly, stopping to gossip, as it is the
main meeting place for everyone. The Ridge and Scandal point are the two
main meeting points at the Mall. » Chadwick
Two km beyond the Summer Hill and seven km from Shimla are
the Chadwick Falls which was once the site of a 67 metre aquatic spectacle.
Today there is a silent gorge which is flocked by many picnickers. It is
really worth visiting during or just after the monsoons - from July to
October. » Christ Church
on the Ridge is Christ Church, which is the second oldest church in Northern
India. It has a very majestic appearance and inside there are stained glass
windows which represent faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and
humility. Christ Church is a place all visitors should spend some time in.
» The Glen
About four km west of Scandal
Corner, a sprightly stream flows through the Glen forests at an altitude of
1830 metres. The Glen is a delightful secluded spot for picnics over the
weekend. » Annadale
Beyond the Glen
is a small patch of table land about a quarter of a mile in circumfrence
known as the Annadale. Once the playgrounds of Shimla, where racing, polo
and cricket entertained the 'sahibs and memsahibs' of the Empire, Annadale
still attracts picinickers and occasional visitors. This was the site of a
famous racecourse, where cricket and polo are still played.
» Prospect Hill
About five km west of Shimla
and a 15 minute climb from Boileauganj is Prospect Hill, a popular picnic
spot with fine views over the surrounding country.
» The Ridge
The large open space in the heart
of town presents excellent view of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks -
the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new - Tudor Library
building is worth seeing. » Kamna Devi,
Tara Devi & Shyamla Devi Temples
Among the three principal
temples of Goddess Kali in Shimla, one is the temple of Kamna Devi. The
other one is the Devi temple, 3 km from Shimla. While the third one is
situated just below the Grand Hotel, a popular place of worship. The temple
is adorned by seven metal bells which are rung at irregular intervals. It's
about three km up a path from the Tara Devi station on the Shimla to Kalka
railway. » Sankatmochan
About 7 km.
from Shimla on the road to Chadigarh is the famous Hanuman Temple,
Sankatmochan which is a very popular picnic spot over the weekend. The place
commands a lovely view of Shimla. »
A serene location with delightful walks, Sanjauli located 3
km away from the city is ideal for a tranquil weekend. There are fine vistas
and the lights of Shimla and Chail can be seen twinkling at night. On the
other side, Mashobra and Naldehra are visible.Places
to Stay in Shimla
Accommodation in Shimla is expensive, during the period April
to September. Off season discounts are available. The Mall offers the best
view, and is placed right at the heart of the city. The range of
accommodation available is wide, from lower budget YMCA rooms, to the more
expensive Woodville Palace Resort, Oberoi Clarkes Hotel, East Bourne and
Himland Hotel Shopping in Shimla
The famous Himachali hat comes in different rates and vivid
colors. Lakkar Bazaar is famous for items made from wood. These decorative
wooden items are made from the softwood found in the hilly region. Further,
dry fruits and natural herbs, which have many medicinal properties, are also
easily available in the shops.
How to get there
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.
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. » Road
is connected by road to Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Kalka, and to many
other places as well.