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Places to visit in Shimla

Life is too short to stay at the same place all the time, so you should always plan a trip once a month or quarter to make memories and to live the best moments of life. One such nice destination to explore is “Shimla”, previously called as “Simla” bounded by the state of Uttarakhand. It is the capital city of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. British India declared it as its “Summer Capital” during the colonial period. Voyagers get magnetically attracted to its scenic beauty as there are oodles of places to visit in Shimla.

If you are a person who loves to get surrounded by lush green hills once in a while, then you should definitely visit Shimla because just like Seven Wonders of the World exist and people fantasize to visit them once in a lifetime, seven hills collectively formed Shimla. These are Prospect Hill, Elysium Hill, Observatory Hill, Inveram Hill, Summer Hill, Jakhoo Hill and Bantony Hill. There are various picturesque places to visit in Shimla such as The Mall, The Christ Church, Jakhoo, Tara Devi, Junga, Kufri and Rashtrapati Niwas to name a few.

When you are in Shimla, You need not worry about the media and communications as various programmes of mass interest are being broadcasted by All India Radio and Reliance through 95.0 Big FM. Furthermore, along with places to visit in Shimla, you will stay updated with the current activities going all over the world through widely circulated dailies such as Dainik Bhaskar, The Tribune, The Times of India. Also, the city is advanced enough to accommodate Himachal Abhi Abhi as its online news portal widely accepted and appreciated by a mass audience.

Interesting Facts about Shimla and various places to visit in Shimla

  • The city got its name from the Goddess- Shyamala Devi considered as an incarnation of “Maa Kali”, another Hindu Goddess.
  • The biggest mountain biking race in South East Asia got held in Shimla.
  • Shimla is the only city in entire South East Asia to witness the ice skating rink.
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  • Rashtrapati Niwas (President House) is located in Shimla.
  • The oldest Post office in northern India was constructed in 1882, and Shimla is a home for it. During yesteryears, it was famously known as ‘Conny Cottage.’
  • The statue of Lord Hanuman at the Jakhu Temple (one of the famous pilgrim places to visit in Shimla) has been regarded as the World’s tallest Statue and has surpassed the record of Christ the Redeemer situated at Rio De Janeiro.
  • The reason why we call Capsicum/Bell Pepper as “Shimla Mirch” is that it initially was grown in the hills of “Shimla” by British Colonists.
  • Apart from the places to visit in Shimla, various notable people like Anupam Kher, Preity Zinta, Saddiq Hussain Qureshi, Governor of Punjab, Pakistan, Ajaypal Singh Banga (CEO Mastercard) et al. were born in Shimla and are the pride of Shimla.

How to commute to visit various places in Shimla

Being a famous tourist spot, Shimla is very well connected with all major northern states through Road, Rail and Air transport and the transport infrastructure is expanding rapidly so as passengers can commute easily to various places to visit in Shimla as well as various adjoining places to visit near Shimla such as districts of Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur on the east side, Sirmaur on the south side and west side Solan.

Road Transport

National Highway plays a vital role in connecting Chandigarh (Nearest big city) with Shimla.

Rail Transport

To visit places in Shimla, you can explore the scenic beauty of Shimla through Kalka-Shimla Railway declared as “World Heritage Site” by an expert team of UNESCO n 8 July 2008 and is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

There are total three railway stations- City’s main station and other two stations are located at Summer Hill and Totu respectively.

Air Transport

The nearest airport to Shimla is located at Chandigarh which is almost 116 km away from the city while Shimla Airport is situated at Jubbarhatti which is almost 23 km from the city.

Places to visit in Shimla

Amazing Shimla tourist spot in and around the city comprise of:

The Mall

It is a famous tourist spot in Shimla. If you are fond of shopping, then The Mall is the best place for you as it is the main shopping street in Shimla. The movie lovers can watch movies at the Gaiety Theatre. The food lovers can also visit various restaurants, cafes, clubs and bars to enjoy the native food. The best time to visit the mall road is between March and June and the temperature lies between 15 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius. The evening time is advisable to enjoy the calm and peaceful environment. You can reach here by bus or by train.

Also, do not worry about the affordable accommodation as many popular hotels such as Shimla view home, Hotel Willow Banks, Clarkes Hotel, you can choose the ones which suit your taste.

The Ridge

Among oodles of places to visit in Shimla, the Ridge is the most interesting place to have a good time watching cultural activities in Shimla and for enjoying during the Summer Festival. Other famous places nearby The Ridge are Christ Church, The State Library and Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex.

Christ Church

You may not be familiar with the Christ Church but would have definitely seen it in movies like Black and 3 Idiots and you will obviously feel amazing visiting second oldest church in Northern India and that too during your trip to Shimla. Isn’t it awesome? Yeah, it definitely is!

It feels more marvellous if you get to know the real-life values like faith, fortitude, charity, hope, patience and humility all together inside stained glass windows at the church. There is no entry fee, and you can visit the church between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Jakhoo

Doesn’t it sounds interesting to reach 8,000 ft. in Shimla to get a glimpse of snow covered the Himalayas at the Jakhu Hill. Alongside, you can also seek blessings from Lord Hanuman at the Jakhu Temple. Jakhoo Hill is one of the highest peaks among various places to visit in Shimla. The Jakhu ropeway, first ropeway in Shimla connects Jakhu Temple to The Ridge ground.

The temple has a historical importance. It is being said that Lord Hanuman rested at this place during his search for Sanjivani Booti (a kind of medicinal herb). The sage whom he met here, made this temple. This temple is famous for Dussehra festival celebrations.

The temple is open seven days a week between 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and then 4:00 pm to 9:00.

Jutogh

It is a statutory body established in the year 1843, Cantonment Board and is one of the important suburbs among various places to visit in Shimla. It is located near Totu (foggiest place to visit in Shimla).

Indian Institute of Advanced Study

Among other picturesque places to visit in Shimla, A research-based institute set up by Ministry of education, Government of India being housed at Viceregal Lodge is the famous academic organizations of India.

Summer Hill

It is one of the hills among the seven-cluster Hill situated at a height of 6,500 ft, 5Km west to Shimla Ridge. One of the famous universities in Shimla i.e. Himachal Pradesh University is situated here and offers a diverse range of courses. It is the destination of students at the Kalka-Shimla railway line. Also Known as Potter’s Hill for being a frequently visited place by clay and potters in search of clay.

As it is a public location, so you need not spend a penny to enjoy the varied flora and fauna in this area. It is recommended to wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of trekking involved.

To get a perfect getaway from the heat of all the regions nearby the summer hill, it is advisable to visit during the summer season as the winters will be extremely cold.

Kufri

Isn’t it awesome to visit a hill station and then get a chance to visit the other one which is located at a distance of 20km from the former one (just like Buy 1 get 1 free offer)? If you are a hardcore travel love person, then you wouldn’t mind visiting Kufri, located at a height of 8,600 ft among various places to visit in Shimla.

Its was baptised against the word “Kufr” which means “Lake” in the English Language. During yesteryears, it was once a part of the kingdom of Nepal.

Chail

This place was built during the British Raj, and it is 44 km away from Shimla & 45 km away from Solan. The whole place is surrounded by virgin forests and the site is well known for amazing trekking destinations from Junga, Kufri and Ashwani Khad. It is advisable to visit Chail during summers because of pleasant weather during that time.

You can also visit Rashtriya Military School, the famous military schools of the country. Also, you cannot resist getting fascinated by the breathtaking view of “Kali Ka Tibba” situated at the top of the hill and is also known as “Kali Devi Temple.” Among places to visit in Shimla, “kali ka tibba” is an alluring one and very popular among tourists. The other pilgrim's place is Chail Gurudwara, built in Indo-western style in 1907.

You can commute to Chail by road, rail or air transport as per your convenience.

Mashobra

It is a popular tourist destination among other places to visit in Shimla. It is a part of Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary. The various kind of Flora and Fauna will be found here such as monkeys, langurs, Himalayan eagle, Chikor and the occasional leopard.

Annandale

It is famous for natural beauty, photography, adventure and golf. It is 4 km from The Ridge. Cricket and polo were being played here by the Britishers. Along with this, Racing was also conducted here. You can hike at The Glen and to the highest peak at the Annandale. You can also have a look at the cactus museum and the army museum. Please note that the army museum is usually closed on Monday and is open between 10:00 am to 02:00 pm and 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm on other weekdays.

Naldehra and Shaily Peak

Among the other places to visit in Shimla, It is situated at a 2044m altitude above sea level. Lord Curzon established a golf course here. You can hear a pleasant sound of the wind in its calm atmosphere. To go deep inside the forest area, you can do the horse riding which costs around INR 100 - INR 150 per head. It is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. The view of sunrise and sunset from Naldehra is breathtaking.

Arki Fort

If you are a history buff, do visit this beautiful fort. The 200 years old Kangra Paintings still look brand new. The Rajput and the Mughal architecture of the fort make it the best place to visit in Shimla.

Lutru Mahadev Temple and Shakhni Mahadev Temple are other popular places nearby Arki Fort among places to visit in Shimla.

Best Time to visit Shimla

You do not need a reason to plan for a holiday; you can simply travel to different places because we are not meant to be at the same place for a long time. To cope with the heat in Northern India during summers, Shimla is the best hill station for getting cool retreat. So, the best time to visit Shimla is between March-August and November-December to enjoy the snow-covered trees and mountains as the weather during that time is the coldest one in almost all places to visit in Shimla, thus not advisable to visit during winters.

The average annual temperature is 17 degree Celsius. Also, it is advised not to visit such areas during monsoon days as such places are prone to various natural disasters like hill slides, Tsunami et al. Please take extra care of your safety and security when you go out of the home.

Where to Stay While in Shimla

Along with places to visit in Shimla, you also need to plan your stay there but In this era of digitalization, you should not worry about where you will stay as lots of options are available to book hotels; feeling like ‘home’ guest house or flats online. You can choose any of these accommodation options available depending upon the budget in your mind. Normally, it costs between INR 2000 to INR 3000 per night to stay in the comfortable and affordable residence such as Clarkes Hotel, Shimla View Home, and Snow Valley Resorts et al.

However, if you are planning to visit between November-December (Christmas Season) or March-August which is a peak season, you should book your accommodation in advance to concentrate on exploring the places or doing shopping rather than looking for places to stay in Shimla. You just keep a note on the places to visit in Shimla.

OUR TIP

[Tip: Do not forget to carry some warm clothes to protect yourself from the uncertain weather in Shimla. Also, do carry an umbrella and comfortable shoes so as you can visit the entire famous voyager’s attraction during your visit to Shimla.]