Shimla is a popular tourist destination located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Known for its beautiful scenery, colonial architecture, and pleasant weather, Shimla is a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers. Here is a detailed article/blog on Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.
History of Shimla
Shimla was originally a small village called Shyamala, named after the Hindu goddess Kali. It was later discovered by the British during the colonial era and became the summer capital of British India in 1864. The British influence is still visible today in the city’s architecture and culture.
Things to see and do in Shimla
There are plenty of things to see and do in Shimla, making it a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers. Here are some of the top attractions and activities in Shimla:
The Ridge: This is a popular open space in the heart of Shimla, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and architecture. It is a great place to relax, take in the scenery, and enjoy the cool breeze. The Ridge is also a great place to shop for souvenirs and local handicrafts.
Mall Road: This is the main street of Shimla, lined with shops, restaurants, and colonial-style buildings. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beautiful views of the city. The street is closed to traffic, making it a pedestrian-friendly area.
Christ Church: This is one of the most famous landmarks in Shimla, known for its beautiful stained glass windows and Gothic architecture. It was built in 1857 and is one of the oldest churches in North India. Visitors can attend Sunday mass or simply admire the beauty of the church.
Shimla State Museum: This museum showcases the history and culture of the Himachal Pradesh region, with exhibits on art, archaeology, and traditional crafts. Visitors can learn about the history of Shimla and the local culture through the museum’s interactive exhibits.
Kufri: This is a popular hill station located just outside of Shimla, known for its scenic views and adventure activities such as skiing and hiking. Visitors can take a pony ride or go trekking in the beautiful surroundings.
Jakhoo Temple: This is a famous Hindu temple located on Jakhoo Hill, the highest point in Shimla. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and is known for its 108-feet-tall statue of the deity. Visitors can take a scenic trek up the hill to reach the temple and enjoy the panoramic views of the city.
Viceregal Lodge: This is a historic building that was once the summer residence of the British Viceroy of India. It is now a museum and research center and showcases the history of the British rule in India.
Himalayan Bird Park: This is a must-visit destination for bird lovers, featuring a wide variety of Himalayan birds such as the Himalayan Monal, pheasants, and eagles. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the different species of birds found in the Himalayas.
Annandale: This is a popular picnic spot located near Shimla, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Visitors can enjoy a picnic with friends and family and take in the beautiful scenery.
Toy Train Ride: The Kalka-Shimla railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a scenic train ride through the picturesque hills and valleys of Shimla. Visitors can take a ride on the toy train and enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
Shimla is a beautiful destination that offers a unique blend of colonial architecture, natural beauty, and rich culture. There are plenty of things to see and do in Shimla, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Himachal Pradesh or North India.
Food and drink in Shimla
Shimla is known for its traditional Himachali cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Tibetan and Punjabi flavors. Shimla offers a variety of delicious food and drink options that are sure to satisfy any traveler’s taste buds. Here are some of the must-try food and drink items in Shimla:
Chana Madra: This is a traditional Himachali dish made with chickpeas and yogurt. It has a creamy texture and is often served with rice or roti.
Siddu: Siddu is a steamed bread made with wheat flour and stuffed with either potatoes, paneer, or lentils. It is usually served with ghee or butter and is a popular breakfast item in Shimla.
Babru: Babru is a deep-fried snack made with a mixture of lentils and spices. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and is often served with tamarind chutney.
Apple Juice: Shimla is known for its delicious apples, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is in the form of fresh apple juice. You can find several juice stalls throughout the city that serve fresh and tasty apple juice.
Himachali Thali: A Himachali Thali is a traditional meal that includes a variety of dishes such as chana madra, kadi, rajma, and achar. It is a great way to sample the different flavors and spices of Himachali cuisine.
Tibetan food: Shimla also has a significant Tibetan population, and you can find several Tibetan restaurants that serve delicious momos, thukpa, and other Tibetan delicacies.
Apricot Jam: Shimla is also known for its delicious apricots, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is in the form of apricot jam. You can find several shops that sell fresh and tasty apricot jam.
In addition to these food and drink items, Shimla also has several restaurants that serve international cuisine such as Chinese, Italian, and continental. Overall, Shimla is a great destination for food lovers and offers a wide variety of delicious dishes and drinks to try.
Getting to Shimla
Shimla is located in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and is well-connected to major cities in India. Here are some of the ways to get to Shimla:
By Air: The nearest airport to Shimla is the Jubbarhatti Airport, which is located around 22 kilometers away from the city. However, this airport has limited connectivity and is only serviced by a few airlines. The nearest major airport is the Chandigarh Airport, which is located around 117 kilometers away from Shimla. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Shimla.
By Train: The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a narrow-gauge railway that connects Shimla to Kalka, which is located around 96 kilometers away from the city. The journey on this railway is a scenic one, passing through several tunnels and over bridges. The railway station in Shimla is located in the city center, and from there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach your destination.
By Road: Shimla is well-connected to major cities in North India by road. Several state-run and private buses operate between Shimla and cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh, and Manali. You can also drive to Shimla from nearby cities, but keep in mind that the roads are narrow and winding, so it can be a challenging drive.
Shimla is a beautiful destination that offers a unique blend of colonial architecture, natural beauty, and rich culture. It is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Himachal Pradesh or North India.