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Shimla

4.2 / 5 382 votes

Weather:

Ideal duration: 2-4 days

Best time: Oct-Jun (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Chandigarh (Check Flights)

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"The Hill-Station with Rich Colonial History"

Shimla Tourism

Situated at a height of 2200m, Shimla is the capital and the largest city of Himachal Pradesh in India. Set amidst beautiful hills and mystical woods, Shimla has been a very popular hill-station among Indian families and honeymooners since the last 50 years.

British loved this city so much that they made Shimla their summer capital in 1864 and used to rule the sub-continent from here whenever the temperature rose in the nearby plains. Shimla still retains its old world charm with beautiful colonial architecture, pedestrian-friendly Mall Road and beautiful churches.

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. Tourists flock to the centrally located Mall Road and the Ridge, a walking only area which is lined up with multiple shops, cafes and restaurants.

Shimla has been the host to some of the most important meetings in the Indian history, including the Simla Conference of 1945 and the Simla Agreement of 1972 between India and Pakistan. The Old Viceroy Hall now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and is a popular tourist attraction.

Shimla is often covered 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

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.

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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.

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!

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.

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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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.

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Shimla Reviews

5 months ago by Manya Kapoor

I visited Shimla in the month of June, which is the time when Shimla is bustling with tourists. I chose this season to escape the scorching heat and found out that it indeed was an ideal option for a weekend getaway. The weather was pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities like trekking, camping, rafting and even paragliding. I had a great time walking through the famous Mall Road and indulging myself in delicious and pocket friendly roadside snacks. The local handicrafts shops are a must visit for all those who wish to take a memory of the place back home. A small piece of advise to all those visiting Shimla is to carry comfortable walking shoes and light winter clothing for the night time!

7 months ago by rohit shroff

- Beware of the monkeys on the streets. Don't tease them or offer them anything. They might try to grab more things from you.

7 months ago by Ishita Solanki

We were visiting a family member in Shimla around June 20th (bang in the middle of the summer vacations). We went there from Delhi by car. It seemed that entire Delhi was headed to Shimla for the weekend! There was a huge volume of traffic. That was the first time I witnessed a traffic jam on the curved roads of mountains, which was a huge bummer. Sadly, the city has been violated by overcrowding and pollution. Yet, the weather and vibe were fairly pleasant. We went to the Jakhoo Temple and enjoyed the trek; but the attraction there were the monkeys. Beware of them: they'll steal your glasses/dupatta/water bottle and will only return them for a packet of biscuits. We also visited the mall road which was very crowded, but managed to retain its charm.

7 months ago by Yuvraj Singh Lohchab

This place is wonderful but yes if you have some more time then please visit bearby places too. They also provide you with immense natural beauty and also a wonderful experience. Overall nice place to spend your vacation!

7 months ago by Kirti Dass

My school excursion included a trip to Camp Peach Valley, Shimla. It is, by far, my best travel experience. I took part in many fun-filled activities such as trekking, rope walking, camping and sightseeing. We also had bonfires on two consecutive nights which were truly amazing. The weather is perfect for a summer holiday. Also, we were to do rappelling which somehow got cancelled. I think this is the best place to vacation with your friends.



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Holidify's Opinion

  What's Great?

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's not so Great?

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.

For Whom

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.

Hotels in Shimla

Top Hotels in Shimla

  • Wildflower Hall, An Oberoi Resort, Shimla

    INR 14,500 /night onwards

  • The Oberoi Cecil

    INR 10,000 /night onwards

  • Clarkes Hotel

    INR 7,500 /night onwards


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How 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 C... (Read More)

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