Shimla At a Glance!

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About Shimla

Formerly, the summer capital of British India, and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has got a scenic Location; it is surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era creates an aura which is very different from other hill, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings. Among them are the stately Vice regal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo- Saxon names. The Mall, with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala’s escapades, offers a view of distant snow capped peaks. Shimla is ideally located, and though there is an air service to the town, it is best reached by road that takes in the charms of the Himalayan countryside at its best.

Tourist Attractions Type Interesting Facts
The Mall Road Leisure The mall is situated at a distance of about 2.5 km from the Railway station and 2.5 Km from the old bus stand, it is a main street of Shimla. Restricted to vehicles is Located at the heart of the town. Shopping in Mall Road is one of the top things to do in Shimla. It is located at the level below the Ridge.
It was built by the British during the colonial rule and was constructed in keeping in mind the traffic on this route. Earlier the entry of vehicles was banned only rickshaws were allowed. The mall road has various shops that sell clothing’s, items of handicrafts, books and restaurants etc. The mall road has various multi cuisines restaurants like Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese, Continental etc and even the local cuisine. There are also a number of Dhabas and fast food joints and variety of café’s.
Mall Road is very pleasant especially in the evening. In Mall the Gaiety Theatre is the place to go for cultural activities in Shimla.
Kali Bari Temple Pilgrimage The temple dedicated to Goddess Kali was constructed in 1845 by Ram Charan Bhramachari who was a Bengali Brahmin. It is one of the oldest temples in Shimla. The temple was initially located at the Jakhu Hill, later the British ruler relocate the temple near to the Mall Road, presently known as Kali Badi Road.
Goddess Kali who was locally known as ‘Shyamala’, the name Shimla is said to be named from ‘Shyamala’. The original temple belonged to Goddess Shyamla which converted into Kali Bari by some Bengali devotee.
The Temple shrine also provides accommodation to the Bengali tourists.
Jakhu Temple Pilgrimage It is an ancient temple dedicated to Hindu God Hanuman. The temple is located in Jakhu Hill situated at an altitude of 2455meter, which is the highest peak in Shimla. It is covered with the Alpine trees.
According to mythology, a deadly arrow injured Lord Rama's brother Lakshmana when he was fighting the battle with the demon king Ravana. In order to save his life, when lord Hanuman was moving towards Himalayas to get Sanjeevani herb. Upon reaching the Himalayas, Hanuman couldn't make out as to which herb was the Sanjeevani. So he dug up the entire mountain and flew back to where Lakshmana was lying injured.
After Lakshmana was cured, Hanuman went back to place the mountain in its original site. He rested on top of the Jakhu hill for some time. It is said that the top of the hill got flattened due to Hanuman's weight! The temple has been built around the place that is supposed to have the footprints of Hanuman. It is a highly revered religious place of Shimla and devotees throng in huge numbers to pray. A huge statue of Hanuman is built near Jakhu Temple which is considered to be the world’s tallest statue of 108 feet lies at the highest altitude of 8100 feet.
The temple have monkey in and around the temple so it is suggested to avoid carrying eatables, wallets, spectacles. It is always good to keep a stick handy to scare these monkeys.
Tara Devi Temple Pilgrimage Tara Devi Temple located in Shoghi village on Shimla-Kalka Highway is one of the most popular tourist attractions here. Origin of the temple can be traced way back to some 250 years. Even today, the temple stands in complete splendor at the top of the hill. It is believed that the Goddess Tara was brought here all the way from the West Bengal.
Hundreds of years ago a king from the Sen Dynasty visited this area. He was in the habit of carrying his personal family idol around the upper torso of his arm. While hunting in the dark and dense forests of Juggar, he forgot his path. Because of tiredness he fell asleep and dreamt that his family deity Ma Tara and her consorts Dwarpal Bhairav and Lord Hanuman requested him to unveil them before the people. The king donated 50 bighas of land and sponsored the construction of the Tara Devi temple. Inside the Temple a wooden idol of the Goddess was installed in accordance with Vaishnav traditions.
Later on Raja Balbir Sen of the same dynasty had a dream in which the Goddess expressed her desire to be installed on the hill top of Tarav Parvat. King Balbir Sen commissioned the 'Ashtdhatu' (mix of eight metals) deity enshrined here in 1825. The Sen Dynasty of the erstwhile Keonthal State till date is carrying on with the age old tradition of worshipping their family deity Maa Tara on Ashtami during Shardiya Navratras each year when a fair is also held in the same day in the temple complex. The wrestling is an age old tradition of this fair every year.
Kufri Adventure It is a small hill station in Shimla district, positioned at an elevation of 2,510 m on the National Highway 22. It is quite famous for the popular ski resort. It is one of the best places for skiing in Shimla and also one of the top adventure sites and skiing destinations in India.
Kufri derives its name from 'Kufr' which means lake. It is especially popular among trekkers and it is a popular place for adventure sports in Himachal Pradesh. The British discovered it in 1819. As Shimla gained importance, Kufri also began to be recognized as an important place to visit near Shimla.
Kufri is known for its pleasant climate and picturesque beauty. It is popular for its trekking and hiking trails. Kufri is also renowned for other adventures activities such as skiing, tobogganing (sliding downhill on a sled). It has the oldest skiing slopes in Himachal Pradesh. During winters, when snow spreads over the slopes of Kufri, lovers of skiing know that they will have an exciting time ahead. Ski courses for beginners are conducted every winter by Himachal Tourism. It also offers necessary equipments for skiing.
Kufri is also a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers as the Himalayan Nature Park is situated on the outskirts of the town. The Park is home to over 180 varieties of fauna. Here one can enjoy a Pony or a Yak Ride.
Christ church Heritage, Pligrimage The Christ church was designed in neo-gothic style in 1844 by J.T. Boileau but it was consecrated after 1857. The Christ Church is situated on The Ridge where is stands out as one of the prominent landmarks of Shimla. Colonel Dumbleton in 1860 donated the giant round clock that adorns the front facial of the church. The porch was added to the structure in 1873. It started as a shrine to serve the Anglican British community in Shimla and hence is considered as one of the most visited places of worship in the country's most celebrated hill town. It is governed under the diocese of Amritsar belonging to the Churches of North India.
The interior of the church is plain except for the five stained glass windows adorning the church on the east. Each window represents different Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility. The sanctum of the church is peaceful even with all the hullaballoo outside the Ridge.
The height of the Church tower is 90 ft and it has prominent round clock on it, a metal Cross, a brass bell and a series of six small bells. The tower was erected in the year 1900. The silhouette of Christ Church is visible for miles around the vicinity of Shimla city. Christ Church remains one of the enduring legacies of the British Raj.
Annadale Heritage Located in the deep wide valley in the sub urban village of Kaithu, Shimla West. It is located at a height of 1865 Meters above the sea level .The place was named by Captain Charles Pratt Kennedy. It is a scenic spot with picturesque view of Shimla city, surrounded by deodar trees, oak trees etc. it is a favorite sport for cricket and polo.
The Army Heritage Museum has some excellent collections that give an insight into the Indian Army history. It is dedicated to the soldiers of Indian army. The Green House has a wide range of plants. The parade ground behind the Army Museum is impressive. The field is also used as a Heliport in The City.
Shimla State Museum Heritage Also known as Himachal Pradesh Museum and Library was built in 26 January 1974 with the aim of preserving the state’s rich culture and archaeological and ethnological human works for ensuring access to the future generations. It is the residence of the Indian Officials.
The museum has a rich display of the culture, artistic and archaeological heritage of Himachal Pradesh. The various galleries in the museum are Pre-Historic Gallery, wood carving Archeology Gallery, wall painting Gallery, Coin gallery etc.
The lifestyle and culture of the people of the Himalayas are reflected in the paintings. Rajasthani and Mughal paintings are inspiring. Stone works of Bajaura and Masrur belonging to 8th century are seen here. The museum also features a doll gallery that showcases a collection of Himachali bride and tribal dolls while the collection which is worth a look. There is also a separate room dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, displaying his photos when he visited Shimla and his political cartoons that comment on his relations with the British. The museum houses a library, which has a wide range of collections of historical books. Various manuscripts are also found in the library. It is a perfect place for art lovers and people who want to know about the history and culture of Himachal Pradesh.
Chadwick Falls Leisure The falls is located at an altitude of 1596 Meters above sea level and the water fall down at a height of 86 Meters. We can reach the fall through Summer Hill. The vehicles can get close to the entry point of waterfall from where there is a walk of about 10 minutes through thick vegetation.
The place was originally famous as the ‘Chidku Jhaar’ where Jhaar stands for waterfall and ‘Chidku’ means the bird. It is so called because the waterfall is at such a height that only a bird can reach to the top. Britishers gave it the name ‘Chadwick Falls’.
Green Valley Leisure Green Valley is truly one of the most famous tourist destinations and photography points in Shimla. Seen as the popular shooting spot in different Bollywood movies, the Green Valley brings forth endless beauty. Noted for its elite beauty, Green Valley has been mentioned in number of articles and travel books. One can also spot some rare animals such as yaks.
Naldehra Leisure A beautiful station is situated at an elevation of 2044 Meters above the sea level. It is surrounded by Cedar and deodar trees are located at distance of 22 Km from Shimla. Naldehra has derived his name from two words ‘Nag’ and ‘Dehra’ which means ‘Abode of the king of snakes’. The Mahunag temple dedicated to the Serpent Lord is one of the most well known religious shrines of the region.
This hill station was discovered by Lord Curzon who was the Viceroy of British Raj. He was so amazed by its beautiful natural surroundings that he decided to make a Golf Course in the region.
The Golf Course is situated at an elevation of 2045 Meters. Initially a 9 holes course, it was expanded to 18 holes, which is maintained and run by Himachal Tourism.
One of the most famous fairs of Naldehra is Sipi fair held every year during the month of June. Also the annual Jotton Ka Mela (bull fight fest) in October is also held.
Bhima Kali Temple Pilgrimage The unique and attractive thing about the temple is the Style of architectural and wood Carvings. The temple is made in Hindu and Buddhist style. The temple is atleast 800 years old and is dedicated to Goddess Bhimakali. A new temple was made in the year 1927 inside the temple.
The unique and attractive thing about the temple is the style of architectural and wood carvings. The temple is surrounded by dense meadows of alpine which get snow covered during winters. Idol of Goddess Bhimakali represents the virgin and it lies at the top storey of the temple. Below that storey Goddess Parvati has been placed at the divine consort of Lord Shiva.
Another three temples in this comples are dedicated to Narsingh ji, Lord Raghunath Ji and Patal Bhairva Ji as the guardian deity. In the side complex is a temple of local deity Lankra Vir.
A small Museum showcases the items used by temple over years for prayers and festivals.
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies Heritage The Indian institute of advance study or Vice Regal Lodge is the famous and historically significant of Shimla. It was known to be the summer residence pf Indian Viceroy who was the British Raj leader between 1888- 1946. It is located on the observatory hill made with Victorian Style architecture. The place has witnessed many historic decisions including Shimla Conference 1945. After independence, the building was renamed as ‘Rashtrapti Niwas’ was used as summer retreat by the President of India.
It now has been converted into an educational institute which offers post doctoral courses.
Mashobra Leisure A beautiful town is situated at an elevation of 2146 Meters and is well connected to Shimla. It is a home to stunning natural landscape and cultural attractions. It is also notable for housing one of the two Presidential Retreats in India. It is visited by the President of India every year.
Mashobra is also known for the wide range of flora and fauna and apple orchards. The town is known for its old world charm and has grand houses which have been converted in to resorts. It is a perfect tourist destination for visitors to enjoy the vacations.
Chail Leisure It is situated at the elevation of 2250 Meters above the sea level. It is the former summer capital of the princely state of Patiala founded by Bhupinder Singh Maharaja of Patiala in 1891. The climate is pleasant throughout the year with Panoramic views of surrounding countryside also overlooking Kasauli and Shimla.
It houses the cricket ground that is situated at an altitude of 2444 Meters above the sea level that makes it the highest cricket ground in the world. The ground is surrounded by the beautiful forest and is used as the school playground by Chail Military School.
The palace was owned by Bhupinder Singh and was converted into a heritage hotel. Each room has antique furniture, period interior and wall to wall carpeting.
Tattapani Leisure Tattapani is located on the bank of river Satluj. It is around 51 km from Shimla and is famous for hot spring. This sulphur spring water is believed to have medicinal value. The sulphurous spring water is said to have curative powers that provide relief from ailments like joint pain, fatigue, stress relief, and poor blood circulation, and reduces fat and skin diseases.
Hot Spring Health Care center at Tattapani is famous for its well managed hot springs. Together with Ayurveda, Naturopathy, and Yoga, this place gives an ambience of a resort with its lake-view rooms and organic Indian restaurant. It also provides various types of adventurous activities such as white-water river rafting, speed boating, camping, and trekking.
Narkanda Adventure It is situated at the height of 2743 Meters above the sea level with extremely delighted natural beauty surrounded by the Shivalik Ranges. It is famous for skiing and winter sports during winter and adventure and trekking destination during summers.
The skiing was started here in 1980 and since then HPTDC is conducting skiing courses every year.
Places of Interest nearby : Hatu Peak : The peak is around 8 Kms from Narkanda. It is situated at an elevation of 2400 Meters above the sea level. There is a beautiful wooden carving temple dedicated to Goddess Mandodari, wife of Demon King Ravana.
Tanni Jubbar Lake : It is a small and quiet water body located near Thanedar. It is an unspoilt Lake with calm ambience attracts many. Activities :
o Skiing : It is organized in the month of December to March. There are different slopes here that are suited for beginners as well as experienced skiers. HPTDC conducts many courses of Skiing every year. There are qualified instructors trained by the institute of Mountaineering and allied sports.
Trekking to Hatu Peak : The trekking upto the Hatu peak through pine, oak, rhodendron, deodar, spruce etc. Walk via forest area consisting of oak trees takes you to the verdant meadows of Joh Bagh.
Nature walk : Every person benefits from getting out to the natural environment. Head out to the nature walk to the scenic view of Narkanda.
Hatu Peak Pilgrimage It is located at an altitude of 3400 Meters above the sea level and one of the highest peaks in Shimla Region. The peak is surrounded by Himalayan Ranges and can look around in all four directions.
Hatu peak was of great strategic importance because of its commanding position. The Gorkhas captured it in the early 19th century and established the fort at the top of Hatu Peak. Later it was dismissed by the British.
The Hatu peak is blessed with the Hatu Mata’s Temple where one can see the best wooden carvings being constructed. It is the temple of ‘Mandodari’ wife of Ravana. Hatu peak is very popular trekking spot and have to trek for 7 Kms from Narkanda. There is no private hotel at Hatu but many options are available in market of Narkanda. There is HPPWD guest house in Hatu which can be booked and one can also come with their own tents in the smooth ground near the Hatu peak.
Trek at Hatu Peak- the Hatu Trek is categorized as an easy trek which is mostly done at the beginning of summer. It can be covered at the day time, it takes approximately 7-8 Hours to cover 14 Kms( to and fro). On the way to the peak one may find the few flat roofed shepherds huts known as Gujjar Kothas, these are temporary shelters for shepherds who come to gaze their cows, sheeps etc.
About 4 Kms of trek the roads starts to disappear and becomes little steep and after few kms you will reach the peak and will experience the Paranomic view of the Himalayas, The Hatu Mata Temple is the worthy attraction.
Camping at Hatu :
One can also camp and spend a night under amidst dense forest as it is the best getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Tani Jubbar Lake Adventure It is a small artificial oval shaped shallow mass of water. The entire area around the lake is enclosed by a thick forest of Oak trees. There are open spaces near the lake where adventure travelers can pitch their tent and spend the night under the stars.
Tani Jubbar Lake is famous for the Nag Devta temple where the local offers prayer to the god. There is another local temple on the side of the lake which is open to only locals.
Daranghati Sanctuary Wild Life This Sanctuary lies in the Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges and is located in the upper area of Shimla District. The Sanctuary covers an area of around 168Kms. Previously it was the hunting reserve of the Rampur Bushahr royal family, it was notified as a Sanctuary in March 1962 and then was renotified on 27th March 1974. It is divided into two parts namely Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary 1( Manglab) towards the North and Sanctuary 2 (Nogli Gab) towards its South.
In the middle of the Sanctuary one can see a large number of wooden temples and have a scenic view of landscape from the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is the home to an incredible variety of animals and birds namely:-
Brown Bear, Flying fox, Barking Deer, Goral, Indian Hare, blue Sheep, Giant Flying Squirrel, yellow throated marten, Himalayan palm civet, jungle cat etc.
Jujurana namely 'the king of birds' can be sighted here easily. A vulnerable pheasant called ' Western Tragopan' is the main attraction of Daranghati Sanctuary.
Flora found in the Sanctuary is coniferous trees of spruce, blue pine and and silver fir.
The area is also ideal for those who love to trekk along the mountain heights. Adventure enthusiasts love to trek to Daranghati from Sarahan or along the old silk route, from Shimla to Daranghati through Nakranda, Baggi, Sungri, Taklech and Kareri.
For a peaceful vacation, Daranghati sanctuary is the place to be. The Himalayan landscape offers a perfect holiday retreat for the tourists. The sanctuary is located at an elevation of 3000 m above sea level. Pear, Plum, Almond, Cherry and Apricot are some of the fruit trees which can be found here.
Trekking is also the activity that can be done in Daranghati Sanctuary that is from Sarahan to the sanctuary.
Climate :
It is very cool during winters and moderately warm during summers. Shimla has winters from November to March and summers from May to Mid October with monsoon from June end to August.
Best time to Visit :
Throughout the year.