Shimla is the capital of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. British declared this city as their summer capital in 1864. Presently, it is a sought after tourist destination and dubbed as the Queen of Hills. Situated in the north western part of the Himalayan Mountains, Shimla has an elevation of 2,205 meters above sea level. Surrounded by pine and oak forests and the snow capped peaks in winter, Shimla is a popular retreat for the honeymoon couples and international visitors. The colonial buildings in this city reflect the neo-Gothic architecture. Shimla is home to a number of natural, historical and religious sites drawing tourists throughout the year. The Shimla Summer Festival brings in large tourist crowd. There are also local hang out areas, markets for shopping and restaurants making your vacation to Shimla an experience of a lifetime. Shimla also has numerous temples that bring in devotees on different occasions. There are also several entertainment options here. This city is home to Asia’s largest natural ice skating ring.
Top Shimla Attractions
This picturesque town is host to a number of attractions such as the following:
Shimla Mall –
The shopping hub of Shimla, Shimla Mall is the ultimate hangout zone in this town. It has a number of restaurants, cafes, government offices and cinema complexes. The Gaiety Theatre is an important attraction on Shimla Mall road. Built by the British, it is host to several cultural activities now. The Mall road runs parallel to the Ridge and bends at the Lakkar Bazaar, the famous market for wood crafts and furniture.
The Ridge –
Situated in the heart of Shimla, The Ridge is an open space running alongside Shimla Mall. The Shimla Summer Festival takes place here and New Year witnesses a grand celebration. On its eastern end is a large reservoir that acts as the main water supply for the town.
Himachal State Museum and Library –
Also known as the Shimla State Museum, ancient sculptures and paintings form the largest collection here. Inaugurated in 1974, this museum also houses a gallery of miniature Pahari style of painting, wood carvings, jewelry and costumes. It gives tourists a glimpse of the cultural wealth of Himachal Pradesh.
Christ Church, Shimla –
It is the second oldest Christian house of worship in North India. Located on the Ridge, it was constructed in 1857, soon after the Sepoy Mutiny. It is another structure in the town built in the neo-Gothic style. Lockwood Kipling designed the chancel window of the central hall. In 1860, a clock was added on the church tower.
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies –
Started in the year 1888, this institution is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. The beautiful lawns and the garden are added features. The beautifully lined pine trees add to the serenity of the place.
Summer Hill –
A 5 km drive from The Ridge will take you the township called the Summer Hill, situated at an elevation of 6,500 feet. The University of Himachal Pradesh is situated here and Mahatma Gandhi is believed to have stayed here during his visits to the state. It is also among the popular honeymoon locales in the city.
Kali Bari Temple –
This temple in Shimla has Goddess Shyamala Devi as the principal deity. Shimla derives its name from this goddess.
Tara Devi Temple –
This Hindu shrine in Shimla is located on the Shimla-Kalka road and around 11 km away from the Shimla bus terminal. This temple is dedicated to the Goddess of the heavenly stars. The hilltop offers stunning views of the city.