The former summer capital of the British in India,
and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla has been
blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has got
a scenic location, it is surrounded by green hills with snow capped
peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made
during the colonial era creates an aura which is very different from
Bulging at its seams with unprecedented expansion, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, among them are the stately Viceregal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall,
packed with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala's escapades, offers a view of distant
snow clad peaks.
Shimla is ideally located, and though there is an air
service to the town, it is best reached by road that takes in the charms
of the HIMALAYAN countryside at its best. There is a sense of nostalgia
with its old
bungalows and their gabled roofs and beautiful
Also Known As: The Summer Refuge
Altitude: 2202.00 Meters
Main Languages: Himachali (Pahari), Hindi and
STD Code: 0177
During the Year
are cold and chilly winds from the upper Himalayas makes the place
really cold. Around Christmas or last week of December Shimla gets
snowfall. Temperature varies from 15 ~27o C in Summers and in
winters its in the range 0~17 o C.
Best Season :.
Shimla can be visited throughout the year, as each season has its charm.
The snowfall during the winters attract many tourists and
accommodation can prove to be difficult. In the summers one can
escape from the scorching heats of the plains and can enjoy the cool
breeze at Shimla and in its vicinity. In summer, Shimla has
the attraction of excellent walks and treks against the backdrop of the
scenic beauty of wooded ravines, flowers and pines. Mall of Shimla
becomes alive once again with tourists strolling and shops tastefully
decorated and various exhibitions, craft fair etc. organised at
locations on the mall.
In winters, it is
home to winter-sports and an ice-skating carnival. Today, Shimla is the
capital of Himachal Pradesh and a favorite for filmmakers who wish to
incorporate its scenic romanticism in their movies. Shimla is a stark
example of the diversity that India offers to tourists.
What to Wear :
Being Hill station the weather is almost cool at Shimla. Warm
clothes are required throughout the year. The summers are marked by
rainfalls. The nights of summers are cool and light warm clothes are
required during this time. In the Winters Pullovers along with
Warm Jacket is necessity. One has to take good care of shoes as most of
the places are visited on foot, and slopes of Shimla are very steep. In
the winters and mainly during snowfall shoes of firm grip are required ,
so that walking on snow becomes easy.
To Visit: April To August & December To January
and Stay at Shimla
to Stay : Shimla is full of
Hotels and Restaurants and there are around 500 hotels in and around
Shimla, which includes One Five star hotel (Cecil Hotel) and many
three star hotels. There are many Govt. Guest Houses and private
Guest Houses. So accommodation is no problem in Shimla but to be on
safer side one should book accommodation in advance for stay in Shimla,
especially during the peak seasons of summer and Christmas.
complete Hotel Directory of Himachal Pradesh along with tariff
Online Hotel Reservation in HPTDC Hotels (Click
Purchase : The best shopping area in Shimla
are The Mall, Lower Bazaar , Tibetan Bazaar and Lakkar Bazaar. There is
an enormous range of goods that Shimla has to offer. This includes
handicrafts, wood, and metalwork, shawls, pullovers, local tweeds,
Wooden articles and Toys, caps, Tibetan carpets and pickles, jams and
squashes. The Lakkar Bazaar is famous for its Wooden Crafts and Articles
can be purchased from this area. There are many Emporium's and Showrooms
on the Mall from where one can buy Himachali Shawls, Pahari Cap,
Pullovers handicrafts and toys etc. The day today items can be purchased
from the shops in the lower bazaar. The Tibetan Market is famous for
imported goods mainly electronics goods and fancy items.
Eat : Mall has many good restaurants serving
Punjabi,South Indian,Chinese and Continental Foods. One can find good
Punjabi Dhabas and Vaishnav Dhabas near the mall and lower bazaar having
reasonable rates. There are many Fast Food Centers on the Mall, where
Burgers, Pizzas, Patties etc are available.
the District : Shimla is famous for its
Scenic Beauty , Apples & Wooden Craft . Among special dishes Sidku
or Sidu is very famous in upper Shimla hills. It is a thick
fermented Roti of wheat flour with paste of opium seeds ( afimdana)
mixed with either gur or salt added to it which makes it very delicious.
It is always taken with home made pure ghee. Patandey are made of very
thin paste of wheat flour and are eaten with dal and ghee or kheer.(made
of rice and milk).
Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral
: Built in 1846-1857, Christ Church is the second oldest
church of Northern India. The Church overlooks the ridge and is one
of the landmarks of Shimla. The clocks on Christ Church were added
later but none of them are functional now. The Church's exquisite
beauty comes with the stained glasses that are fitted on its windows . You
can discreetly have a look inside the church, or attend
services every Sunday during the tourist season . The town's other
important churches are St. Michael's Cathedral and Roman Catholic
Cathedral, which is just off the Mall
Jakhu Temple :
Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple is at an altitude
of 8048 feet above sea level near the highest point of Shimla
ridge. It offers a panoramic view over the surrounding valleys ,
out to the snowcapped peaks, and over the town itself. The temple
is a 45-minute walk from the Ridge, one can also hire pony or taxi to
visit temple.. Jakhu is a vantage point for witnessing the changing
skyline as the sun rises or sets.
Sankat Mochan : On
Shimla-Kalka road at a distance of around 5 KMs is the famous
"Lord Hanuman" temple. Situated at an altitude of 1,975m,
it commands an excellent view of Shimla town. Temple has
beautiful campus and Langar is held every Sunday.
Tara Devi : On
Shimla-Kalka road this holy place is accessible by rail, bus and
car (11-km). From the station / road - one can visit the temple on
foot around 5 km walk among dense forests. Temple is accessible through
motorable road also and its around 20 KMs journey from the town.
Situated on top of a hill that faces Shimla, the temple offers
panoramic views of Shimla town and surrounding hills. A thick forest of
oak and rhododendron surrounds it. It is famous picnic spot.
The temple is situated
near to The Mall and its 5 minutes walk from The Mall.The temple is dedicated to Shyamala Devi (Shimla is named after this
goddess), an incarnation of Goddess Kali. Temple faces heavy rush
during Diwali and Durga Puja as many Bengalis visit this temple.
Museum & Library : The museum is located 2.5-km
west of the scandal point and opens daily except on Mondays and
public holidays. It has got a good collection of ancient historical
sculptures, paintings, coins, photos and other items from all over
the state as well as outside it. It has also got a library, which
houses many historical books and manuscripts. Visiting hours
are from 10 AM to 5 PM and it is closed on Monday and gazetted holidays.
Viceregal Lodge & Botanical Gardens :
On the Observatory Hills is located Viceregal Lodge, which is also
known as "Rashtrapati Niwas". This magnificent building
was the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin. This lodge was completed in 1888 and it is said that every
brick for the building was carried by mules. This is a six-story
building and is surrounded by well-maintained gardens and lawns.
The lodge has now been
converted into Institute of Advanced Study and is further 2-km from
Indian Institute Of Advanced Studies :
Housed in the former Viceregal Lodge, it was built in 1888. The style
of architecture is English Renaissance, the masonry of the walling is
light blue limestone and the wrought stonework is done in sandstone in a
beautiful light gray tint. It has magnificent lawns. The entry in
the institute is by ticket and only on Sundays the grounds are open
for the public.
The Ridge : The large open space in the heart of town
presents excellent view of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks -
the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new - Tudor Library
building is worth seeing.
The Mall : Most of Shimla's
landmarks are located here. The Mall further joins the Ridge at the ‘Scandal
Point' of Kipling's Shimla, where a statue of the nationalist leader Lala
Lajpat Rai has been erected.This is the main shopping centre of Shimla
with restaurants. This is especially pleasant in the evenings
when the views and lights are wonderful. The Gaiety Theatre,
which is a reproduction of an old British theatre is a center of
cultural activities. A passenger lift of HPTDC can be taken from the
Cart Road and the Mall. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is
popular for its wood-crafts and souvenirs.
Prospect Hill :
Crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi 15-minutes walk from
Boileauganj on Shimla-Bilaspur road. The hill at an altitude
of 2,155m offers a spectacular view of the area.
Summer Hill :
At an altitude of 1,283m, 1 KM from boilaeuganj.Summer Hill is
a picturesque spot on Shimla-Kalka Railway line offering shady walks
in quiet surroundings. The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during
his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari
Amrit Kaur located here. HP University is also situated over
Potter Hill :
Situated at a distance of 1 Km from Summer Hill is very
beautiful Picnic spot with all the natural beauty. Ecological Park is
Its about 4 km walk from the Ridge through dense Forests, a sprightly stream flows
through the Glen forests at an altitude of 1830 meters.It is a secluded picnic spot.
Beyond the Glen is Annandale, another picnic spot.
It is covered with deodar forests and was once the playgrounds of
Shimla, where racing, polo and cricket entertained the Britishers.Surrounded
by deodar trees, this glade has an ancient temple on the
Elysium Hill :
On the road leading through Lakkar Bazaar, houses the famous Auckland
House, the former residence of Viceroy Lord Auckland. It is a well-known
girls’ school now. Nearby is the Stirling Castle, now an orphanage for
the Tibetan children and a center for the Tibetan exiles who have settled
three cinema halls, near to Mall and Hindi movies are played
mostly. One can visit the Roller Skating hall on the left side of the
Lakkar Bazaar (open for all) and can do roller skating on melodious
music. Mall has few Billiard Rooms. There are shops offering variety of
Video Games. In the Tourist Season various entertainment programs are
organised such as Summer Festival in June, Ice skating in Dec-Jan and
Winter Carnival. Most of the time one or the other exhibition or craft
fare is held around mall area.
On the Hindustan Tibet Road. Once the capital of the Princely State of
Bushahr, the town is situated on the banks of Satluj river. The whole area
is a maze of lanes, shops and temples. In the month of November, the Lavi
Fair is organized here. Dumgir Buddhist Temple, Padam Palace,
Raghunath Temple, Ayodhya temple and Narsingh Temple, are worth
visiting. Himachal Tourism runs a tourist Complex and air conditioned
Hall (13KM) :
On the Mahasu range, at Charabra, 13 km from Shimla, is the Wild Flower
Hall situated at an altitude of 2,498 m. Nestling among picturesque sylvan
surroundings, the Wild Flower Hall commands a breathtaking view of the
snows. A major fire damaged it in 1993. Serving as a hotel today, it
attracts many tourists who wish to revisit the grandeur of a bygone
Situated on Shimla-Naldehra road at a height of 2149 mt. . A place of
unique beauty, Mashobra is an ideal interlude beneath the oaks and the
pines. Featuring beautiful gardens spattered with the daffodils,
hyacinths, asphodels and celandines, it is a popular weekend resort,
dotted with delightful villas and innumerable picnic spots. Goddess Durga
temple is worth seeing From here, a track leads down to Sipur, which is an
exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. A fair is held here
every April/May. About 3 km from Mashobra is the lovely resort of
Kufri (16KM) :
Kufri, at distance of 16 km from Shimla and at an altitude of 2510 m above
sea level, is a site offering some famous hikes and wonderful snow for
skiing in winters. An enjoyable walk leads up to the Mahasu Peak. The
Himalayan Nature Park here has a good collection of animals and birds
found in the region.
: Narkanda, offers wonderful slopes for skiing. At an elevation of 2708 m,
it has dense pine forests. Hatu peak, 8 km from Narkanda, provides a
striking panorama of the plains below. Narkanda offers spectacular views
of snow ranges. Ancient temple of Hatu Mata is alive with skiers.
HPTDC runs Hotel Hatu and in winters short skiing courses are organised.
Fagu (22KM) :
Fagu Situated on Hindustan-Tibet Road (22-km), at a
height of 2,450m Fagu is gifted with some enchanting views. Himachal Tourism runs the Hotel peach Blossom.
(43KM) : Chail is a
lush green setting and was the former capital of the Patiala State. It
has the world’s highest cricket ground at a height of 2250 m, built in
1893. It is also a hiker’s paradise and there is a wildlife sanctuary
at a distance of 3 km from here. Himachal Tourism runs the Palace Hotel
(Earlier the Palace of Maharaja Of Patiala)
Hindustan Tibet Road beyond Rampur is a small village worth visiting. It
provides a spectacular view of Shrikhand Mahadev (5227 m) and hiking
opportunities to the nearby villages such as Ranwin and Bashal Peak. The
Bhimakali temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, is the finest example of
Indo-Tibetan architecture. As per legend, this is where goddess Shakti
destroyed the mythical demon king, Bhasmasur. It is a highly revered
place of pilgrimage. Saharan is the gateway to Kinnaur. A Pheasant
Breading Centre and stadium are worth visiting. The area is a rich bowl
of quality apples and other varieties of delicious fruits.
51 km from Shimla, is a spot well known for hot sulfurous springs. Shiv
Goofa at Saraur (4 Km) is also worth visiting. One can enjoy fishing.
Naldehra, at an altitude of 2050
m and 23 km from Shimla on Shimla- Tattapani road, houses the oldest and
the highest golf course in India. In the middle of the course is a
temple, Mahunag Mandir. It was a favorite pastime spot of Lord Curzon.
Kotgarh It lies 82 kms from
Shimla and is the apple heartland of Himachal. It was here that
Satyanand Stokes, an American missionary, first sowed the apple
seed brought from back home and pioneered the apple cultivation
revolution in Himachal. Today Kotgarh continues to be one of the
most intensive apple growing areas in the country with acres of
orchards lining the slopes of this untouched dreamland. .The
beautiful house with all modern amenities that one can
think of takes one by surprise. Situated in the midst of
countless acres of rolling orchards, The River View Cottage offers
twin bedded luxury accommodation in the lap of solitude. The view of
the Sutlej River during the day and the enchanting lights of this
beautiful valley at night are a photographer's delight.The house
also has a library to offer where one can read the Stokes family
history, it being closely associated with the history of Himachal
itself. In the evening one can explore Mr. Singha's impressive wine
collection and savour some interesting apple wines too ! The meals
offered also include tasting some unique Pahari cuisine specially
prepared under Mrs. Singha's expertise. If the explorer's instinct
overtakes you, there are various options of fascinating one-day
excursions and soft-treks around Kotgarh.
Hatkoti : KOTI
(104 Km) 1400 m: Motorable on Shimla-Rohru highway. Famous for ancient
temple of Mata Hateswari in the midst of paddy fields on the right bank
of the Pabber river. HPTDC runs Hotel Pabber here.
There are very few places in the world
endowed as Himachal Pradesh with its geographical diversity. Shimla is
situated in the Shivalik range of Himalayas with combination of low
lying hills to gigantic mountains. Shimla district is full of thickly
populated pine trees and small rivulets, rivers
in deep gorges and placid mountains lakes, mountain sides draped in snow, and green alpine meadows, all form a
part of this immense spectrum. And the possibilities for a wide range of
adventure activities is enormous. There are day-hikes by the thousand, and
trek routes follow trails that last couple of days or can even extend over
few weeks. These vary from gentle walks over easy terrain, to grueling
expeditions. There is skiing, heliskiing and ice-skating. there is the
thrill of paragliding and the test of stamina with mountain-cycling. You
can go camping and fishing and play golf or take a safari by car, jeep or
on motorcycle. All you
have to do is make up your mind and select your own activity. No special
training is required for most things, age is no consideration and all you
need is reasonable level of fitness. Equipment, training and instructors
are available. And then, all this comes at a fraction of what it would
cost elsewhere in the world.
Shimla to Kullu over the
Jalori Pass (3300 m)
Shimla to Kullu via Bashleo Pass (3250 m)
Shimla- Rohroo- Sangla
Sarahan to Sangla.
to the Shalipeak,
Shimla to Churdhar
Shimla to Chail,
Shimla to Junga
Shimla to Tattapani
more trek routes of Himachal Pradesh (Click
as the best sport fish in the world, both Brown and Rainbow Trout are
found in the Upstreams of Pabbar river in Rohru, 110Kms from
Shimla. There are
several spots ideal for fishing. Chirgaon has a trout hatchery and other
sites are - Seema, Mandil, Sandsu, Tikri and Dhamvari all are within 5
to 25 km of Rohru ..
Mahseer Fishing is available at Tattapani 46 km from Shimla. The
licenses for fishing at Pabbar can be had from the Officer
of Fisheries stationed at Chirgaon.
fishing is allowed during the following seasons:
: 1st June to 31st July (General water)
Trout water :1st November to 31 January.
Skiing : Skiing is possible at Narkanda and Kufri (January–mid-March).
HPTDC organises ski courses of 7 days and 15 days
duration at Narkanda. One can get himself registered with the HPTDC for
the course and all the facilities of equipment, lodging and boarding are
At Naldera, 23 km. from beyond Shimla is one of the
oldest golf courses in India. The course, whose topography is absolutely
natural, was originally placed by the British Viceroy of India,
Lord Curzon, at the turn of the centuary. He was so enchanted by the spot
that he named one of his daughters 'Naldera' after the spot. This is a
par 68, nine hole course which is regarded as one of the most
challenging in the country. In the repeat nine, the yardage some - what
increases. The links are maintained by Himachal Tourism and accommodation
is available at Hotel Golf Glade. There are other hotels in the private
sector near Naldera.
Ice Skating :
Shimla ice-skating rink has the largest open-air area with
naturally frozen ice in this part of the world. The Ice Skating Club has
already celebrated its Diamond Jubilee.
normally begins in early December and carries on to February. Clear
skies and low
temperatures provide series of uninterrupted sessions. There are two
sessions every day, in the morning and in the evening depending upon the
frozen ice on the ground . The hanging balloon on the Municipal Building
adjacent to scandal point works as signal , wheather the skating
is going to held on that day or not.
is available for the season as well as for shorter terms and even for
single sessions. Skates are available at the rink.
dress carnivals, 'gymkhanas' ice-hockey and dances enliven every season.
best way of enjoying a tour to Himachal Pradesh
is setting up a camp to explore the vast beauty of nature. you can put
up your own tent or take shelter under the roof offered by any of
several camps that are situated in various parts of Himachal Pradesh.
These camps offer accommodation, catering and lot of other
activities.Most of these camps offer best quality services.
Himachal Tourism has camps in Distt. Shimla at Mashobra
and Baldian near Shimla.
on Adventure Tourism at HP tourism site
Tourist Information Centre
On just entering Shimla one will find the Tourist Information
Centre recently built in Himachali Architecture Style. This centre will provide
proper guidance to the tourists visiting Shimla. The other Tourist Information
Centre is located adjacent to the Scandal Point on the mall. The Addresses
of Tourist Information Centre are :
Himachal Pradesh Tourism
Marketing Office, The Mall, Shimla - 171001
Phone :0177-2652561,2658302 Fax :- 0177-2652557
Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation,
Government of Himachal Pradesh,
Block 28, SDA Complex, Kasumpti, Shimla - 171009.
Tel :- (0177)-2625864 / 2625924 / 2625926.
H.P Tourism Development Corporation (marketing Office),
Ritz Annexe, Shimla-171001.
Tel :- (0177)-2658880, Fax :- 2652206