Why you should not visit Shimla? confused! Then find out yourselves, why you should never ever visit Shilma. When you’ve lived in shambolic world, trust me, you beginning to long for serene beauty and clear air and open spaces.
Shimla is just lower the usual range of altitude sickness, but this doesn’t mean that meek effects won’t be experienced. On account of its northern latitude, Shimla receives pleasures(as if Aphrodite is touched by her lover) of cold snowy winters and this attracts many people yearning to escape the brutal heat of other Indian cities, beat the heat. Shimla the ‘summer capital of British India’ has now emerged into a tourist desired hill station in the north of the India.
Shimla is the capital of the beautiful Himachal Pradesh which is by the wide margin, the best tourist place in the country. Dilapidated wooden structures broken-down the mountainside, while magnificent colonial buildings stand proudly by—Shimla is a fascinating meddle of Colonial Europe and Himalayan pastoral.
How to reach Shimla
Shimla’s geographical location is responsible for its pleasant climatic conditions. In India, the location of Shimla is just perfect to go on an ideal vacation. It has its own charm in summers as well as winters. The city of Shimla is spread over an undulating altitude that averages at 2100 meters above sea level.
The high altitude has a fitting vegetation cover of evergreen pine trees. But what works for this magical hill station is the location of it. About 2 hour drive from Chandigarh and 6 hour drive from New Delhi sits this amazing hill station.
Best time to visit Shimla
March to June: This is a popular tourist season in Shimla as the weather is perfect and ideal for outdoor activities. The temperature is quite pleasant and usually varies between 15°C and 30°C. If you are into adventure sports then this is the ideal time to try paragliding, trekking, camping and rafting. Make sure you carry comfortable walking shoes for going around the Mall Road. Summers are mild and you might need light woolens, especially at night.
July to September: This is not peak season in Shimla because of heavy rainfall and occasional landslides. But monsoon brings out the lush cast of the hill station. Since very few people like to travel to the hill station at this time, hotel prices drop down and you can find great deals.
October to February: This is again a popular season for Shimla for people who are looking for snow, which typically falls between December and February. This is the time skiing and ice skating take off. The average temperature during this season is around 8°C and goes down to -2°C.
What to do in Shimla
- The Mall Road
This place is well worth a visit. The Road is very clean, thanks to no vehicle policy there. You can roam around on the mall road, visit the church, take a horse ride, get clicked in their traditional dress. A good place for photography and to spend nice quality time. You can also watch sunset from certain point. It is crowded colorful and like a maze but there is so much to see and experience. The old buildings are fascinating with some good renovations and there is lots of souvenirs and Indian good.
- vice regal Lodge
The Viceregal Lodge (also knows as Institute of Advanced Studies) is a quaint Victorian monument slightly away from Shimla center. The lawns are beautiful. The guided tour is excellent especially the central hall which is just breathtaking. Don’t miss the Viceroy’s chair from where the Indian Subcontinent was ruled for half the year. Also historic is the round table where the first draft of the partition proposal was discussed.
- Jhaku Temple
It is located at the highest point of shimla. The idol of the jakhu is too amazing to see also the way to jakhu by car is peaceful but before entering the shrine leave all your belongings in your vehicle or other otherwise you have leave them to the monkeys there.
- Shimla Christ Church
Christ Church belongs to the Church of North India, Amritsar Diocese. The Church closes at 5.30 pm. Its great place for evening leisure in the lap of nature.
- Green valley
It’s on the way to Kufri. Lush green valley! It is a very pleasing sight. Don’t miss Binocular sight seeing offered there costing 50 rupees. It’s special to see water reservoir build by British in 1903 and it’s working till today through Binocular along the green background.
Kufri is a picturesque hill station situated 20 km from Shimla. Founded in 1819 by the British, the popularity of the hill station as a tourist spot grew only in the last few decades. Kufri derives its name from ‘Kufr’ which means lake. Especially popular among trekkers, Kufri is the starting point of treks to Manali, Shimla, Rewalsar and Fagu among others. Kufri, Shimla and Chail form the Golden Triangle of Himachal Pradesh. The cool and pleasant climate, along with stunning natural beauty, makes Kufri a perfect summer getaway. Kufri is also the venue for annual winter sports festival held in February. Organized by the travel and tourism department of Himachal Pradesh, the festival is a major attraction with tourists. The skiing competition is the main event at the festival. It is also renowned for other adventures activities like tobogganing (sliding downhill on a sled). Kufri has the oldest skiing slopes in Himachal Pradesh. You can get your share of adrenaline rush by taking fast cuts and turns in the go-Karting circuit in Kufri.
- Lakkar Bazar
Walk past the Christ Church on the left side of the ridge you enter the lakkar bazaar. The market selling to number of wooden items. You can get wooden toys, pens, key chains and other souvenirs in the market Also, there are number of medical stores on the road as the Indira Gandhi Medical College is situated at the end of this road.
- Reserve forest sanctuary
image source – Abhinav Bhaskar
Located 11 km away from Shimla, close to NH-22, the Reserve Forest Sanctuary is an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Sprawling in an expanse of 951 hectares, this reserve has varying altitudes that range from 1900 m to 2620 m. This wildlife refuge is populated by vivid flora and fauna. The Himalayan deodar, pine, oak, rhododendron, horse chestnut and maple are most widely found trees. Exotic plants like weeping willows and silver oak also dot the area. During the monsoon season, cobra plant, wild strawberries and other berries grow in abundance. The rich wildlife of this sanctuary includes animals like kakkar (barking deer), jackal, leopard, and birds like Himalayan eagle, chikor, partridge and pheasant.
The answer to the ultimate question as to why you shouldn’t be visiting Shimla is
that you might not ever recover from the mindboggling experiences that you will witness there and you might leave your heart there, as I did.
Things I love The most
- it’s unbelievably clean
Shimla is unexpectedly pollution-free; the main town centre is completely pedestrianised and Smoking is prohibited throughout the city and can result in a 100R fine if you are caught doing so! Littering is also forbidden, with fines starting at 50R; accordingly, there are many dustbins seen around the city and hardly any garbage. Shimla is where you could actually smell fresh air and escape the hustle and bustle of typical Indian life. No wonder so many natives come here on holiday!
- Traffic-free Centre
Shimla is located along the top of a ridge and to reach the town centre you have to go by foot up a flight of unsteady wooden stairs. It is amazingly refreshing to walk around without the honking of cars, rickshaws and motorbikes that pestilence the rest of the country.
With no roads going to the main square, all goods are transported to the centre of the town the old-fashioned way by horse or manpower. It is fascinating to see what people carry strapped to their backs.
- Rudyard Kipling got inspiration for ‘The Jungle Book’ from Shimla
Kipling spent his early years in India and took his annual leave in Shimla throughout the 1880s. He wrote many stories about Shimla in the Gazette, the local Indian newspaper. Some argue that Kipling got the inspiration for The Jungle Book from his time in Shimla and the surrounding areas; seeing as the first edition of The Jungle Book was published in 1893, it’s definitely possible!
- Wildlife: Horses, Yaks & Monkey
Wildlife copiously in and around the town—monkeys roam freely along overhead cables, casually watching the shoppers below. Horses transport goods and dizzy children to the top of the ridge. Or you can make the 18km journey from Shimla to the Kufri pass for horse trekking when the ski season is over. Shimla’s closeness to the Tibetan border means that you are likely to spot a Himalayan Yak on the roadside. These are not wild Yak, but tamed animals that are used mainly for tourist pictures.
- ) The Kalka – Shimla Railway is a UNESCO world heritage site
The most popular amusement in Shimla is the ‘toy train’; the ‘Himalayan Queen’ offers beautiful views as she coils up through the mountains, under hundreds of bridges and through 102 tunnels. From Delhi, it takes around 4 hours by train to reach Kalka, a railway station at the foot of the mountains. The journey up to Shimla takes 5 hours and the train stopped numerous times en route, allowing you to get off and stretch our legs, buy some snacks and some massala chai. You can slide the windows open, meaning you can take some great photos of the breath-taking scenery.