Shimla, the beautiful capital of Himachal Pradesh is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country. Especially during the summer months, this marvellous location stays jam-packed with visitors. There are a number of tourist places in Shimla that can be visited on a vacation. It is quite a popular destination for its Victorian architecture, which can be witnessed in a certain section of the Ridge and the Mall. Shimla is also known as one of the ideal places of interest for the honeymooners. The cool and pleasant climate of Shimla makes it a renowned summer retreat. It is nestled at an elevation of around twenty-two hundred meters above sea level. The region of Shimla is a beautiful hilly terrain covered with lush greenery all around. Although this place is mostly visited during the summers there are also a number of vacationers who prefer visiting Shimla in the autumn months owing to the less amount of crowd and the mesmerizing views.
Famous Places Around Shimla :
Jakhu Hill : ( 2,455 meters ) 2 km. from town. This is the highest peak of Shimla and offers panoramic view of the town and the mountains. 'Hanuman Temple of Jakhu' is very famous. According to legend, Hanumanji took some rest here when he was carrying a hill of 'Sanjiwani Booti' ( a herb to save the life of Lakshmana, the younger brother of Lord Rama ). Jakhu is one of the most famous places around Shimla.
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies : The institute in Shimla is housed in the erstwhile Viceregal Lodge which was built in 1884-88 during the period of Lord Dufferin. It is a commanding building in Summer Hill. The gardens of the Institute are really beautiful and fascinating. It was designed by Henry Twain.
Glen : ( 1,830 meters ) Distance 4km. This is one of the most beautiful picnic spots of Shimla with flowing streams through dense forest. Approach is near Cecil Hotel and Kennedy House. It is sure one of the very famous places around Shimla.
Chail : ( 2,250 meters ) Situated 45 km. from Shimla.. This was the Summer Capital of the erstwhile Patiala State. The small town is located amid thick woods and has fine walks. It has the highest cricket ground in the world. The dense forests around are alive with many species of birds and animals but it is best known for its Scottish red Deer which were introduced by the Maharaja.
Kufri : ( 2,633 meters ) 16km. from Shimla. Kufri has won a name on the sports and tourist map of India due to its Ski-runs, Seed Potato Farm of the Central Potato Research Institute and Food Craft Institute. It is the winter sports capital. Kufri in Shimla is the most favourable place for winter sports activities. Excellent view of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Pirpanjal Range and Shiwalik Range from a height.
Summer Hill : ( 2,123 meters ) 5 km. A picturesque suburb of Shimla, which offers shady walks in quiet surroundings. Himachal Pradesh University is located here.
Kamna Devi : ( 2,145 meters ) 5 km. This place is located near Boileauganj. Kamna Devi is the most popular picnic spot in Shimla which commands a unique view of Shimla, Jutogh, Summer hill and Tara Devi. The hill is famous by name of Prospect Hill.
Tara Devi : ( 2,100 meters ) 8 km. Tara Devi in Shimla is another beautiful place in Shimla. There is a famous temple on the top of the hill.
Christ Church : The imposing Church stand majestically on the ridge, is the second oldest Church in North India. It has a very majestic appearance and inside there are stained glass windows which represent faith, hope, charity, patience and humanity. It was built in 1857. In fact it has become synonymous with Shimla and no picture of two town is complete without it.
Tattapani : ( 2655 meters ) 51 km. A dip at the hot sulphur springs at Tattapani not only relaxes the body but also has therapeutic effects. There is a tourist bungalow at Tattapani to accommodate 20 persons.
Mashobra : ( 2,150 meters ) 13 km. This is a popular picnic spot in Shimla which offers ideal walks amidst forest of oak and pine. The area adjoining to Mashobra is famous for apples orchards. Nearby is the site of annual 'Sipi Fair' held in June.
Naldera : ( 3,044 meters ) 22 km. Naldera offers one of the oldest and most sporting golf courses in India set in the midst of thick forests. The country around Naldera is also famous for its temples which are representative of the typical hill architecture of the area. Naldera in Shimla is known for its 'nine hole golf course'. Naldera course was laid by Lord Curzon in 1903.
Fagu : ( 2,510 meters ) 22 km. Fagu's idyllic surroundings area for those looking for tranquillity and solitude. A slamm hamlet overlooking prosperous apple orchards and with a fine view of the Himalayan Panorma. Fagu in Shimla is also a popular trekking stage.
Narkanda : ( 2,708 meters ) 64 km. Narkanda in Shimla commands a unique view of the eternal snow line and the dense forest. A quaint sleepy hamlet. From here, you get breathtaking view of the snow clad Himalayas. 'Hatu Peak' at an altitude of 3,143 meters above sea level ai 8 km. from Narkanda. In winter, there are exciting ski slopes to Ski on.
The State Museum Shimla : Shimla museum has endeavoured to project hill art and the cultural wealth of the state showing their link with the national artistic scene. There is a collection of minitature paintings, costumes, textiles and jewellery of the region. A leisurely winding walk from the Mall, past the Gortan Castle and the Cecil leads to a colonial mansion perched atop a hill. It houses the state museum. A visit to Shimla is incomplete without seeing this museum, which offers a peep into Himachal's grand past.
Kali Bari Temple : Few yards from scandal Point towards General Post Office. It is believed that the idol of Goddess Shayamla is enshrined there.
Best Time to Visit
Shimla is the most famous hill station in north India. Temperature and scenic beauty of Shimla makes it a year round destination for tourists from India as well as from abroad. Best time to visit Shimla is the winter season. The awesome experience of the snowfall in Shimla in the months of December, January and February when the temperature drops down to zero and below allures many to come here every year. While Shimla is great tourist hub in summers too during the months of April, May and June when tourists from plains run towards hill stations.
Snow Experience in Shimla : The ambience of Shimla becomes totally romantic at the time of Christmas and New Year. Young couples come here for honeymoon, Christmas celebrations and New Year Celebrations. They cherish those beautiful moments in each others arms with snow capped mountains in background. Shimla, the winter destination of India, gets snow anytime after third week of December. Tourists from Delhi and nearby areas rush towards Shimla to experience the sheer snow in the lap of Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. Shimla and its nearby hamlets Kufri and Chail also get flooded by tourists during the snow season at the time of Christmas and New Year.
The scenario at Shimla, Chail and Kufri during snow season consists of snow capped mountains and resorts, and people having fun in skiing and throwing snow balls at one another. Kufri slopes become a full fledge skiing destination for all. Children become busy in making snow-man and parents take a good advantage of that.
How to Reach Shimla ?
By Air - Jubbarhatti is the airport in Shimla to which regular domestic flights are available from major cities of India.
By Rail - Kalka, 96 Km away, is the nearest railway station connecting Shimla to various neighboring states. Then train to Shimla from Kalka could be taken to reach in as less as 6 hours time.
By Road - Chandigarh and New Delhi are connected by National highways that lure the road hitters more than anything for starters of this tremendous journey to Shimla.