Shimla got its name from the local deity Goddess Shamla and its glory from the British, who made it their Summer Capital in India. Now the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is becoming increasingly crowded and losing its charm of the quaint quiet place it used be. However, gorgeous views of the great Himalayas, the salubrious air with its restorative powers, and infrastructure still lend an irresistible charm to Shimla.
Places to See
The main tourist attraction, activity hub and shopping center of Shimla is The Mall. The Gaiety Theatre, The Ridge, and the Scandal point are some of the chief meeting points at the Mall. At Shimla, you must also see:
- Christ Church
- Jakhu Hill
- Shimla State Museum
- Indian Institute of Advanced Studies
- Summer Hill
- Tara Devi Temple
- Sankat Mochan Temple
- Naldehra Golf Course
- Hot Springs of Tattapani
- Hotel Wildflower Hall
- Fruit Research Station
- Indira Holiday Home
Walking sticks and colorful hand-woven woolens from Kullu and Manali are some of the traditional items that you can buy at Shimala. Embroidered Chamba Rumaals, miniature paintings from Kangra, and Tibetan-style Buddhist thangkas also make excellent gifts and keepsakes. Besides local arts and crafts, handcrafted Chines shoes, and apple and plum wines are also popular buys here.
Where to Stay
Elegant settings and ambience in the luxury hotels at Shimla add to the enjoyable experience to the city. However, you can also find several budget and mid-range hotels to suit all types of tourists. You can try:
How to Reach Shimla
Shimla has its own airport, narrow gauge railway station and is connected to National Highways. However, it does not have its own broad gauge railway station.
National highways and regular bus services connect Shimla to major cities nearby such as Delhi
and Chandigarh. Traveling to Shimla by road from Delhi takes about eight hours.
The nearest broad gauge railway station to Shimla is at Kalka, 96 km from the city. Shimla does have a meter gauge railway station from where at least four toy trains run to and from Kalka on a daily basis. So, you can take a train to Kalka from Delhi (a route with many tunnels, the longest being 1.2 km) and then, board the toy train to Shimla from there.
Shimla’s airport is situated 23 km from the city center, at a place called Jubbarhatti. It has regular flights to and from New Delhi, Chandigarh and Kullu. Jagson Airlines is the main flight operator on these routes.