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May 03
11:12 2018

Most sought after picturesque hill station

The one-time summer capital of the British, Shimla is a gorgeous hill station in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Located at an average height of 2,200 meters, Shimla is unique with its unparalleled glittering beauty. Set in the midst of impressive hills and dense jungles this hill town has its own charm. Its elegant streets, plummeting torrents and salubrious climate make it a thriving hotspot for honeymooners. Shimla is also the kick off point for the rest of Himachal, with well-knit roads and tourists should also include Manali tour package when in Shimla.

This erstwhile Nepalese state Syamala gained prominence as the most sought after hill station under the auspices of the progressive British officers who had acquired its control in the year 1819. The snow-capped mountains, quaint surroundings and the mighty formations of Victorian style that dot the city, reverberates the colonial texture of the city.

It is not just the substantiation of some grand monuments and colonial architecture that Shimla offers, it is also home to the most pleasing meanders and panoramic views that attract adventure enthusiasts and honeymooners alike.

Like other Indian cities, fairs and festivals are the highlights of Shimla tourism. The awesome British populations of yesteryears made Christmas a fanfare of the valley. The most significant event in the valley is the Summer Festival organized by the Government in the month of June, which showcases the rich culture and tradition of the Himalayan state. This largest fun fare of the hilly state grabs people with the colorful performances of folk dancers and other activities based on the rich rustic tradition.

In Autumn, Shimla looks gorgeously beautiful and when the days are balmy and dazzling and the night’s crunchy and chilly. A typical hilly terrain with a picturesque countryside, wonderful climate and viable social standards, it is quite natural that this hill station has acquired the status of a preferred and much loved picnic spot in India.

Places to see

Christ Church: One of the oldest churches in North India, Christ Church was built by the British in 1857 to serve the large Anglican British community in the area. Built in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture, Christ Church is one of the long lasting legacies of British rule in India and is one of Shimla’s most recognized landmarks.
Jakhoo Temple: It is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Located on Jakhoo Hill, 2.5 km from the Ridge, the Jakhoo Temple offers beautiful views of the Shivalik Mountains and the nearby town of Sanjauli.

The Ridge: The Ridge of Shimla is a large open spacious platform from where you can have a panoramic view of the mountain peaks of Shimla. The snow capped mountain ranges engulfed in the beauty of the nature is a phenomenal view that the Ridge of Shimla offers to the crowd.

Shimla State Museum: The Shimla State Museum houses a huge collection of magnificent paintings, sculptures, coins, handicrafts, photos, etc of not only the state of Himachal Pradesh but outside too. The state museum is a major attraction of the Mall area of Shimla built in the style of colonial edifice with sprawling lawns all around. This museum was inaugurated in 1974.

Himachal State Museum: A colonial building laid out in a spacious lawn, this museum is located on the Mall Road and is home to an excellent collection of coins, photographs and local handicrafts.

The Mall: This is the main shopping area in Shimla and has many restaurants, shops, offices and post offices.

Tara Devi Temple: Tara Devi Temple is situated at a height of 1851 meters above sea level, 11 kilometers from Shimla. It is accessible by rail, bus and car.

Summer Hill: Located 5 km from the Ridge it is a beautiful little township. Sitting at an altitude of 5600 feet on the Shimla-Kalka railway line, this is where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay when he used to visit Shimla. This is also where the Himachal Pradesh University is situated.

Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex: One of the most historic places in Shimla, the Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex is 122 years old and has been recently been reopened to the public. The theatre is built in a Gothic Victorial style and is an important centre for various cultural and literary events.

Sankat Mochan: This temple is located 7 kilometers from Shimla at an altitude of 1851 meters. It is dedicated to Lord Hanuman- a god of the Hindu Pantheon.
Naldehra: Naldehra is 23 kilometers from Shimla. It has India’s oldest nine hole golf course laid out by Lord Curzon during the era of the British Raj.
Chail: Chail is situated at a distance of 45 kilometers from Shimla city. It has the unique distinction of having the highest cricket pitch in the world. The twinkling lights of Shimla from Chail is a memorable sight.

Kufri: Kufri is a winter sports capital at an altitude of 2622 meters. Skiing is the favorite sport here. It takes approximately one hour to drive to Kufri from Shimla city

Best time to visit

Shimla is beautiful throughout the year and can be visited in any month. However, September to June are the best months.

How to reach
By Train: Shimla has a meter gauge railway station. It connects to the nearest broad gauge station at Kalka, which is at a distance of 89 km from Shilmla. Kalka has good connectivity from Chandigarh, Ambala, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

By Air: Shimla’s Jubbarhatti Airport is nearly 25 km away from the heart of the city.

By Bus: HPRTC buses offer bus connectivity from all cities in Himachal Pradesh to Shimla. Frequent ordinary and deluxe bus services are available from Delhi to Shimla.

‘Heritage Walk’ introduced in Shimla

Shimla is gearing up to introduce ‘Heritage Walk’ to offer additional pleasure to tourists and also to boost tourism. Although the hill station is popular among tourists as ‘Queen of Hills,’ and there is no dearth of natural beauty, the region is trying to revive the nature trails so that visitors are able to make most of their trip.

To make this plan feasible, the Forest Department is making efforts to ensure the trail that leads to Glen Forest is cleared.

Speaking on this development, Chief Conservator of forests Nagesh Guleria said, “To add a delightful experience and charm for the tourists visiting the hill station, forest department is rejuvenating old forest trails. We are working to revive three nature trails and already two of the nature trails have been rejuvenated completely, while the remaining one is under restoration.”

He also mentioned that guides will be imparted basic training so that they are able to enrich the knowledge of tourists regarding the flora and fauna found in this region.

The visitors after enjoying the trail walk can spend some time relaxing in the lap of nature. There are benches on the way to Glen Forest on which tourists can sit and relax, and can also make use of the towers to click photographs.

As per reports, the ‘Heritage Walk’ can be experienced by a visitor at Rs 20, but if he is accompanied by a guide, he will have to shell out Rs 100-150. Guleria further informed that approximately Rs 80 lakh has been spent so far to revive this trail, i.e., by developing picnic spots, setting up benches, and constructing photography towers.




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