Reminiscent of colonial times, Shimla is a lovely hill station with its Victorian structures, ancient temples, stone churches and the ever so busy Mall Road. All of this, surrounded by the snow peaked Himalayas.
Established as the British summer capital in the year 1817, Shimla was a favourite with the Sahebs from the time of the Raj. You will find symbols of this era scattered all through the town in places like Annadale, the Viceregal Lodge and the glorious Georgian houses. Make a visit to The Gaiety Theatre that still holds performances or the state museum that displays ‘Company Paintings’ to really understand what we are talking about.
The Mall Road is the hub of all activity with a vibrant line up of shops and restaurants. Head to Lakkar Bazaar for a quintessential mountain bazaar experience.
If you find the main area a tad too commercialized, walk off just a little and you will be pleasantly surprised with charming little stone churches, gothic turrets and spires and beautiful wooden cottages. If you really want to get away from all chatter then Shimla also offers serene trekking routes and getaways at close distance such as Kasauli, Chail or Naldera.
Shimla offers awesome views of the snow topped mountains and on a clear day, you can spend hours staring at the peaks, changing colour as the day ends.
HOW TO REACH
Jubarhati, which is about 23 kilometres from the town, is the nearest airport. There are regular flights going from Jubbarhatti to Chandigarh and Delhi. You can easily get a taxi from the airport to get to Shimla or you can ask your hotel to arrange for an airport transfer.
There are several bus services including Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses as well as private operators connecting Shimla to the major cities in North India. Chandigarh is at a distance of 117 kilometres, Manali at 260 kilometres and Delhi at 343 kilometres. If you are going from Delhi, you can take an overnight air conditioned luxury bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses go in the morning or later at night - timings can vary from season to season, you can check them online before making a reservation.
The small railway station in Shimla is just 1 kilometre away from the centre of the town and is connected to Kalka by a narrow gauge rail track. The famous toy train of Shimla goes between Kalka and Shimla, covering a distance of 96 kilometres in about 7 hours. Kalka in turn is the nearest rail head, which is connected to Chandigarh and Delhi by regular trains. You can take the Kalka Shatabdi, which goes from New Delhi Railway Station to Kalka Railway Station via Chandigarh.
Best attractions and tourist places to visit in Shimla:
There are many attractions and tourist places to visit nearby Shimla that provides stunning views of the majestic mountains and hills covered with snow and Deodar plantation. Kamna Devi Temple, Tattapani, Naldhera, Hatkoti, Kharapathar, Sankat Mochan, Kali Bari Temple, etc. are some places that one must visit during his or her stay in the ever-charming Shimla.
Shopping in Shimla
One wouldn't be stuck with the question of what to buy in Shimla as the place has numerous markets that offers everything from clothes to books to toys to handicrafts to handmade artifacts to spices to electronics, and more. The Mall Road is one of the most popular places to go for shopping in Shimla along with Lakkar Bazaar, Tibetan Bazaar, and Lower Bazaar. These markets offer wood, metalwork, shawls, woolens, carpets, pickles, jams, etc. at a very reasonable price. Also, there are many emporiums and showrooms on the Mall Road that sells Himachali Shawls, Pahari Caps, Pullovers, Handicrafts, Souvenirs, and Toys that are famous for their traditional touch and design.
Best Place to Eat in Shimla
Looking forward to gorge on wholesome delicacies during your holiday in Shimla? Well, you can savour your favorite food in Shimla, as the place has plenty of restaurants, stalls, local shacks, and coffee joints that offer a variety of cuisines to satiate your cravings. One can enjoy the rich taste of tangy fruit chaats, delectable pastries, saucy Chole Bhature, flavorsome Bun Muska, Exotic Ice Sundae, and luscious Tibetan delicacies in a charming setting in Shimla. Here are some of the popular places that offer a delightful culinary experience to the visitors.
Sita Ram and Sons
Embassy Ice Creams
Kewal Ka Dhaba
Bihari Lal Sharma Stall
Alfa Restaurant (The Mall)
Ashiana Goofa Restaurant (The Ridge)
Baljees (The Mall)
Devicos (The Mall)
Fascination Restaurant (The Mall)
India Coffee House (The Mall)
Lutyen's Room (Springfield)
Climate in Shimla
The cool and pleasant climate of Shimla makes it a most preferred destination of tourist across India. The city never loses its charm, be it in winter or summer and that's why tourist escape from the scorching heats of the plains and visit Shimla to enjoy its cool breeze and fantastic weather. The temperature in Shimla varies from 15-27°C in summer and 0°C to 17°C in winter and it gets snowfall around the time of Christmas or in the last week of December.
Best Time to Visit Shimla
Shimla can be visited throughout the year, as each season has its own charm. But, if you are keen on experiencing the chill and wish to see a snowfall, then winter is the best time to visit Shimla. Some of the major highlights of winter include winter-sports and ice-skating carnival. So, if you are visiting Shimla with your family and friends, plan your trip somewhere close to winters to make it an unforgettable journey in the lap of Mother Nature.
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