The Shimla Summer Festival is a celebration of the bounty of the harvest, and the festivities honour the advent of the summer. Spread out over five days; the festival is a gala of musical performances, cultural attractions, folk performances, local handicraft exhibitions, as well as with quirky activities like fashion shows, dog shows, stalls that sell artisanal ware and serve up local cuisine; it is an event that has something for everybody.
Shimla Summer Festival Schedule 2020 - Dates
The Shimla Summer Festival is scheduled to be held from 2 June 2020 until 7 June 2020, right at the break of the lovely summer Himachali months. Conducted annually since the 1960s the Shimla Summer Festival is a celebration of the bountiful harvest of the year, and always draws large crowds to the state capital.
The venue of Shimla Summer Festival
The festival is held every year at the Ridge in Shimla. The Ridge is a large, open space situated conveniently in the middle of the city that has ample area to play host to the festival. Located just along the main shopping centre of the town, it allows visitors to stroll through the festival at their leisure.
The Shimla summer festival is non-ticketed and does not charge any entry or cover fees. Stalls that sell artisanal wares, food, clothes, and other handicrafts of the Himachali people are set up for the visitors.
How is the Shimla Summer Festival celebrated?
The Shimla Summer festival, charmingly, kicks off with a half-marathon that signals the opening of the 5-day spectacle. Special importance is given to sport and activities as a multitude of sporting events, and tournaments are organised. Local schoolchildren are heavily involved in the festival as they showcase their talents through cultural performances. The flower show that bathes Shimla in its bright colours is always highly anticipated, and the summer festival is the perfect time to catch all this beautiful flora in full bloom.
The festival has a host of other events that celebrate the advent of the summer, including a fashion show that gives a platform for local designers to showcase their widely acclaimed work. Bevies of stalls serving a smorgasbord of Himachali cuisine dot the Ridge, offering the perfect source of nourishment for all attendees.
Live music performances provide all tourists with the perfect soundtrack to accompany them throughout these five days. The sheer variety of the Shimla Summer festival, from ice skating to folk dances, ensures that there is something for everyone. Events as diverse as photography and poster-making competitions, all constitute a vibrant celebration of Himachali culture and tradition.
The significance of the Shimla Summer Festival
Regularly conducted since the 1960s as a way to promote tourism to the state, it has flourished into one of the most anticipated events of the year. The plethora of cultural and folk activities immerse the attendee in the tradition of the Himachali people. Scenic vistas and views of the mountains reward everybody that attends the festival and reminds the tourist about the natural majesty of Shimla.
Where to stay?
Considered to be a vacationing hub since the time of the British Raj, Shimla has no dearth of accommodation options that cater to all wallets and budgets. Travellers that are visiting on a shoestring budget can find accommodation in one of the many hostels that are frequented by backpackers, whereas tourists that would like to indulge their families or themselves can opt for more upscale hotel options.
How to get there?
The most direct way to get to Shimla by air is to fly to Jubbarhatti Airport, Shimla. Daily flights from New Delhi and the flight lasts less than half an hour.
However, getting to Shimla by road from New Delhi is also very much doable, with the vast majority of the 7-hour drive spent on well-paved and smooth roads. Alternatively, the mode of transport that offers arguably the best views of Shimla and Himachal Pradesh is by rail. Regular trains ply the fare from New Delhi up until Kalka. From there on, the toy train, a train service unique to Shimla that snakes its way through the mighty mountains to offer panoramic views.
With the summer beckoning, there are plenty of reasons to look forward to heading to Shimla this June and the Shimla Summer Festival gives one the perfect excuse to head there.
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