Shimla, one of India's most famous hill stations, derives its name from Goddess Shyamala, an incarnation of Goddess Kali, the deity of power and wrath. However, unlike its name, Shimla is a perfect heaven for the ones in search of tranquility. Nature has blessed this capital city with innumerable gifts and man has used them to make Shimla one of India's best locales. Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travelers paradise -lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time.
The hub of Shimla is the Mall, which runs along the Ridge and is crowded with tourists. It is the city's most famous shopping center, with shops selling all items, from clothes to junk food. The Ridge is a large open space in the heart of the town and presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Most of Shimla's landmarks are located here.
The best time to visit is between April to mid-July and mid-September to the end of October, which is the peak season. November to February are months for the skiers in Shimla. Avoid the monsoon months, from mid-July to mid-September, when the roads get slick and the highway slippery.
Tattapani: This small village is famous for the hot water sulphur springs. Unlike the springs in Manikaran and Manali, these springs are not so eye-catching at first, but their setting is very beautiful. The village is very relaxed and peaceful.
Kufri : Great hiking, skiing, some beautiful scenes and a cool environment that's what Kufri is all about. In the winters Kufri attracts ski-lovers from all across the world.
Chail: Chail is hiker's paradise. Chail was the summer capital of Maharaja of Patiala, the area is spread over three hills. One has the village of Chail, the other has the Snow View mansion and the third one has the Palace cum hotel of Chail.
Narkanda : Narkanda is basically a transit point between Shimla and Rampur. This place is famous for Hiking and Skiing but only during the season.
View of Shimla
Chadwick falls, Shimla
Kasauli: In recent times Kasauli has developed as an alternate accommodation for Shimla. It is 12-km from Shimla on the way to Kalka. Kasauli has been coming up as a side trip from Shimla. It has some great walks. The walk to Sanawar is very pleasing and full of natural beauty. Sansar has the potential to become another hill station in the area as nature has provided abundance of beauty and scenery to this place.
Solan: Solan is the district headquarters and is the home to Meakin Brewery. Solan is 48-km from Shimla and is at an altitude of 1,342m. It is also the bifurcation point for Rajgarh with it's orchards and enchanting villages.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Shimla
State Museum : This houses a representative collection of Himachal Pradesh's rich heritage exhibits inculde archeological artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures.
Bhargaon : It is about 4 km from Shimla. Approached either past the cemetery below St. Edward's School, or through Tutikandi, this village ha splendid examples of traditional Himachal architecture.
Prospect Hill and Kamna Devi : About 6 km from Shimla, it is situated at 2125 and crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi, the Hill offers spectacular views of the area.
Sankat Mochan : Sankat Mochal is about 7 km from Shimla. This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
Chadwick Falls : At 1586 m and about 8 km from Shimla these rain-fed falls are approached through Summerhill. These falls are worth seeing.
Tara Devi : A thickly wooded hill whose peak has a temple dedicated to Tara Devi.
Mashobra : Mashobra is about 12 km from Shimla. At 2149 m, this beautiful subrub is surrounded by a thick forest. From here, a track leads down to Sipur which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There are old temples on a side and a fair is held every April.
Other attractions at Shimla are Jakhu Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Summer Hill, and Windflower Hall. Kufri, a well - known ski resort in Himachal Pradesh is 16 kms from Shimla.
How to Reach Shimla
Road: The nearest large city is Chandigarh , 115 kilometres on National Highway no 22. New Delhi is 365 kilometers. There are Volvo (Super-Deluxe) buses, operated by State owned roadways, that run between Delhi and Shimla via Chandigarh. It takes about 7-8 hours to complete the journey in these buses.
Railway: The narrow gauge Kalka Shimla Railway connects Shimla to the main railway network at Kalka . Travel by rail is slow but the scenery and 103 tunnels en route make it a tourist attraction. Shivalik Express (deluxe train with facilities like Shatabdi Express ) runs daily on this route. Air
Air: There is a small airport about 25km from the city at Jubbalhatti. A private airline operates weekly flights to Delhi.