Shimla

Why To Go

Shimla’s unique personality and place in history owed much to its position as the British Raj’s summer capital in 1864. Being the capital and the largest city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is nestled at a height of around 2200 metres amid charming nature and hills. With soothing and pleasant climate all round the year and covered with snow, Shimla is one of the lovable destinations for travellers. Starting from the central ridge, it developed on seven nearby hills and now spills over into a Chhota Shimla and a new Shimla as well. As you approach the city, it spreads across a long ridge, the tower of Christ Church to the east, and the dramatic buildings of the Oberoi Cecil poking out to the west.

Travel Tips

Though the climate is pleasant all year across, The best time to visit Shimla is during the summer time, that is between March to June. If you wish to enjoy snowfall and snow adventures make a trip during winter (November-February); however, monsoon time from July to September is not recommended.

Things To Do

If you are planning to make a trip to Shimla, make sure that you schedule it carefully otherwise, there is every possibility that you will run out of time before you run out of places to visit. Shimla is known for its natural beauty and presents some of the most picturesque locales in the country. One of the most popular in the region is the Choor Chandni Peak. The peak is surrounded by pine trees and offers a great view of the surrounding area. Fagu is another place of interest. Apart from the scenic beauty, it also has one of the famous local temples, Banthia Devi Temple. If you are interested in wildlife, make a trip to the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary. The dense forest here is also the shelter of some of rare varieties of animals. Also close by is the Himalayan Avian Sanctuary. The bird sanctuary is famous as the habitat of many rare types of birds. Arki Fort is one of the significant historical sites. The fort is the site of many struggles between the local rulers and the British during the 19th century. Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex is a 122 year old monument and has a vast collection of artifacts from various periods. Also, do not forget to visit the Kuthar Fort, which is said to be the oldest structure in the region, being around 800 years old. Manorville Mansion another place to stay. It is famous for hosting personals like Mahatma Gandhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Getting Around

The city of Shimla is quite well developed, and getting around is relatively straightforward. The public transport system is quite good. There are plenty of buses. You can also move about by renting a car which are available aplenty. The nearest broad gauge railway station from Shimla is in Kalka which is 89 km away. One can either take a taxi, local bus or the toy train to Shimla. Shimla is easily accessible via road too and Chandigarh-Shimla highway is in a good condition and it only takes around 3 and a half hours to reach here from Chandigarh. Chandigarh is the nearest major airport from Shimla and is around 113 km away. The nearest airport is Jubbarhatti Airport which is 25 km away from the heart of Shimla, however, this airport is only occasionally functional.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The nearest airport is Jubbarhatti Airport (being operational for the last 4 years), just around 23 km from Shimla. You can take private cars or hired taxi from there to reach the town. Another major airport is Chandigarh which is around 113 km from Shimla. From there, you may hire rented cars, taxis etc to reach Shimla and it is a journey of app. 3 and ½ hours. You may also take a flight to Delhi and reach Shimla via hired taxi or cars.

TRAIN

The nearest important railway station is at Kalka which is app. 89 km from Shimla. The rail station at Kalka is connected to the station in Delhi, Chandigarh and the other stations across the state.

ROAD

The city of Shimla is quite well connected by road. There are direct bus routes between Delhi and Shimla. You can get up on a bus from any of the important towns or cities and take a bus which will take you directly to Shimla. Alternatively, you can also rent a taxi or a car for the trip. Buses are of various types, from luxury AC ones to non-AC ones.

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Surrounding Attractions

The Majathal Sanctuary is well worth a visit. The vast space of the sanctuary is known for playing host to several rare birds and animals. If you want to do some river rafting, you can go to Chabba. The Mahakali Temple is also relatively nearby, upon the hillock behind the State Bank building is more than 150 year old. Mother goddess here is Shyamala, the presiding deity of Shimla. Christ Church- The silhouette of Christ Church and its cream-coloured spires can be seen from miles as you approach Shimla. Its stained glass windows are incredibly rich and intricate, one depicts all the seven virtues. Jakhoo Hill – Jakhoo is the tallest of Shimla’s hills and towers over the Ridge. It’s crowned by the famous Jakhoo Hanuman Temple and an extravagantly gigantic statue of God. Lakkar Bazaar – Its name comes from the wooden artifacts, but bustling Lakkar Bazaar is a medley of woolens, toys, and household item shops as well.
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