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Shimla Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-4 days

Best Time: October to June Read More

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"The Hill-Station with Rich Colonial History"

Shimla Tourism

Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and a popular hill-station among Indian families and honeymooners. Situated at the height of 2200m, it was the summer capital of British India. The hill station still retains its old-world charm with beautiful colonial architecture, pedestrian-friendly Mall Road and the ridge lined up with multiple shops, cafes and restaurants.

Shimla is well connected with many cities and is just 4 hours from the nearby city of Chandigarh. The city has an airport as well; however, there aren't many daily flights from here. The railway station connects Shimla with the plans and is famous for the Kalka-Shimla train route; a UNESCO listed World Heritage site.

Shimla is often covered along with nearby towns of Kufri, a hill-station almost always covered by snow and Chail, famous for a huge palace and the highest cricket ground in the world. Tourists also visit the famous Jakhu Temple and engage in sightseeing at various viewpoints during their trip to Shimla.

The weather is pleasant for most of the months with tourists flocking especially during the summer months. The winters are cold with some days of snow from mid-December till February end.

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Must Know Before You Travel to Shimla

  • Vehicles are not allowed on the Mall Road, however there's a car parking facility at a walkable distance. 
  • From the lower mall road to the upper mall road, there's a lift facility at INR 10 per head. The lift operates from 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM.
  • It is preferable to hire an experienced driver to drive in steep hilly regions of Shimla.
  • Photography is strictly not allowed in most temples, however, feel free to enquire before clicking pictures. 
  • Some of the attractions like Kali Bari Temple, Green Valley are over hill tops hence they require tourists to go on foot. It's best to be precautious if you have physical ailments. 
  • Attractions like Jakhu Temple have a ropeway/cable car to reach the top which can be availed with a ticket. It's mostly free for children below the age of 3. 

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The Religious Trail at Shimla

Shimla is home to many temples and holy shrines. The most famous of these happen to be the Jakhu temple, located on the top of the hill by the same name. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and is characterised by a strong presence of monkeys in the vicinity of the temple. The statue overlooks the Mall Road and the statue can be seen from many parts of the city.

A little farther from the city of Shimla, right on the outskirts is the Tara Devi temple. Legend has it that Goddess Tara Devi watches over the whole town and has a protective gaze, with the statement location of the temple on top of a hill. The location also gives out a feeling of serenity and peace.

Shimla also happens to have its own Kali Bari! With the Kali Bari being older than 150 years, this abode of Goddess Kali is a popular tourist attraction and a spiritual hub both for locals and travellers. Talking about Goddess Kali, there is another temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali in Shimla, called the Shoolini Temple, that is dedicated to Maa Shoolini, who is considered an incarnation of Goddess Kali.

The last week of June of every year witnesses the Shoolini Utsav that lasts for a good three days and is the highlight of people's visit during this time of the year.

However, the oldest temple in the city remains the Laxminarayan Temple. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Maa Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and is flocked by lakhs of people every year.

Heritage Walk in Shimla

Shimla is a heritage city and had been the British's favourite destination to spend the summer, all thanks to the chilled weather of this place back then, that attracted the British from the hot and humid areas. And so, you can find a lot of British touch to everything here; from the buildings to the overall construction of the city, to even the food. There is an old world charm attached to this place.

The most popular heritage building here being the Viceregal Lodge, also known as the Rashtrapati Niwas was the residence of the Viceroy of India, during the British rule; the last person to live here being the Mountbattens and houses the infamous Partition Table.

The Shimla Heritage Museum is also an attraction for tourists looking for all historical insight into the city and the state of Himachal in general. The Heritage Walk will make you see the British architecture that had a strong Scottish influence, definitely visible at the Church on the Mall Road. Also, a walk through the ridge will make you see the beauty of the hills!

History of Shimla

Back in the 18th century, Shimla was mostly all forest and trees. The only inhabitation was a temple and a few scattered huts. The establishment was called ‘Shimla’, after a Hindu goddess, Shyamala Devi. The British took over the territory as per the Sugauli Treaty after Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal who ruled then. In 1863, the Viceroy of India, John Lawrence, shifted the summer capital of British Raj to Shimla as a means to cope up with the Indian tropical heat. Later, Shimla became the capital of undivided Punjab in 1871. After the formation of Himachal Pradesh in 1971, Shimla became a part and was announced as the state capital.

Restaurants and Local Food in Shimla

With tourism at the heart of this hill-station, Shimla is no less than brimming with option for food. There are a number of eateries here from Dhabas, Bakeries, Local eating joints, Restaurants as well as fine dining restaurants. Shimla has a range of restaurants which serve different cuisines like North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Continental etc. Surprisingly one may not find a lot of places in Shimla which serve the local Pahari food, since the cuisine has somewhat shifted to meet he needs of the town's countless visitors.
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Suggested Itinerary for Shimla

Day 1- Reach Shimla by noon and unwind a little in the hotel room. Head out to Mall Road by walking to enjoy the crisp air in the evening. Soak in the aura of the place and dine at local restaurants on the Mall Road.
Day 2- You should consider visiting the Jaakhu temple, without which your trip to Shimla is not justified. If it's the winters, you could take a cab for half an hour to Kufri and enjoy the snow there with your loved ones. A perfect activity for the whole day. Or you could visit the Viceregal Lodge and lose yourself in the way the British indulged. Call it a day at the Church on the Ridge.
Day 3- Wake up early, take a hike to the nearest hilltop and watch the sunrise. Walk into any bakery at the Mall Road for a continental breakfast; the British way. Head on for some local shopping at the Mall Road and the Lakkar Bazaar (also visit the Chota Bazaar for cheap overcoats, jackets, and blazers), to get little trinkets and curios. Head to the hotel by evening and call it a day, early.

Best Time to Visit Shimla

Shimla Photos

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Institute of Advanced Studies
Toy Train to Kalka

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FAQs on Shimla

What is famous about Shimla?

The weather. It snows in winters and the landscape becomes all beautiful. One of the few hill stations to have an airport. One of the most developed hill stations.

What is not so good about Shimla?

The climate has started to become warmer with extreme colonization. The greenery has started to go away a little bit. One of the most congested hill stations.

Who should visit Shimla?

Perfect for people who want to have a short holiday and enjoy the weather as the winters approach. Extremely popular among students, couples, and adrenaline junkies. A stopping point to nearby hill stations.

What is the best time to visit Shimla?

March to June is the best time to visit Shimla when the weather during daytime is pleasant. The weather during winters (November to February) is suitable for experiencing the snowfall, snow-activities and exploring the snow-covered surroundings. Tourism thrives in Shimla in all the seasons other than the monsoons which begin in July and last till September.
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What is the local food in Shimla?

With tourism at the heart of this hill-station, Shimla is no less than brimming with option for food. There are a number of eateries here from Dhabas, Bakeries, Local eating joints, Restaurants as well as fine dining restaurants. Shimla has a range of restaurants which serve different cuisines like North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Continental etc. Surprisingly one may not find a lot of places in Shimla which serve the local Pahari food, since the cuisine has somewhat shifted to meet he needs of the town's countless visitors.
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What is the best way to reach Shimla?

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.
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How much does a package cost for Shimla?

The packages for Shimla start at INR 7000 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Shimla?

There are 482 in Shimla which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Shimla are Chapslee Hotel, Karam Vidhata Resorts, Hill-View 2BHK in Mashobra-Naldera, Premium Home Studio in Bharari, Hotel Kaithli Hills Shimla, Elegant 2BHK House in Bharari. You can see all the hotels in Shimla here

What are the things to do in Shimla?

The top things to do in Shimla are The Ridge, Kufri, Chail, Kalka Shimla Toy Train, Tattapani, Mall Road, Shimla. You can see all the places to visit in Shimla here

What are the places near Shimla?

The top places near to Shimla are Kasauli which is 30 km from Shimla, Manali which is located 126 km from Shimla, Mcleodganj which is located 152 km from Shimla, Narkanda which is located 32 km from Shimla, Chail which is located 15 km from Shimla

Have a Question on Shimla?

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Popular Questions And Answers on Shimla

Q. Please suggest a place to visit in February where snow / snowfall can be experienced?

Kovid Kapoor

3 years ago
Shimla is a very good place to go in the month of February to experience snowfall. Most of Himachal and Kashmir Valley experience good amount of snowfall in the month of January & February. So you ca (Read More)n also consider Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam, Manali, Dharamshala and Dalhousie in the month of February.
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Q. I will go shimla in November Temperature what degree.

Jatin Tatka

4 years ago
Zero to 20 C with snow fall.
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Shimla Reviews

Your rating

Ritesh Gautam

4 years ago
Really best price for the places to visit in Shimla The description has given in a good manner. one can understand easily.

Dhiman Kuldeep

4 years ago
Shimla is the famous hill station in Himachal Pradesh, also the capital of Himachal Pradesh located at an altitude of 2276m. Shimla was the summer capital of Himachal Pradesh during British era. The (Read More)official language of Shimla is Hindi. Shimla faces heavy snowfall every year in Winters and sometime in summers. Like other major cities in Himachal, Shimla also has a number of tourist destinations that are worth of time. i have visited Shimla more than 5 times.

Rohit Shroff

on Mall Road 5 years ago
Pretty cool area to just walk, shop, eat and chill. The views are nice and there is this obvious colonial feel all over. The restaurants and the cafes are nice. There's lot of local crowd as well as (Read More)tourists. If you don't want to walk uphill, you can take the lift to reach here for 10 bucks. Do go to the point till Ridge.
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