Think of a place where whirling clouds flirt with the wind, and spectacularly abundant greenery uplifts your soul. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Shimla was called the summer capital of British India in 1864 – and today it holds the title of one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. No wonder it is called the queen of hills.
The capital city of the state, Himachal Pradesh, India, is home to majestic snow-clad mountains and quaint architecture that greet you to relish in its enduring beauty.
Shimla offers a free invitation to relax in the lap of nature with cedar-scented air as fresh as a rose.
Built-in the town’s heart is the Ridge, which will not only offer you an exquisite view of the splendid mountain ranges around the city but also introduces you to the shops that sell unique artifacts discovered in Shimla.
The hill station, is referred to a town in the mountains of the Indian subcontinent, known for tourism, bestrides a 13 kilometer ridge, extending from east to west of the Mall Road, connecting to the Scandal Point on the west and the Lakkar Bazaar on the east.
The Scandal Point is the town’s central meeting point, whose fascinating view is a piece of evidence to the sterling reputation of the city. This point is a food lover’s haven because the renowned eateries of the town surround it.
Lakkar Bazaar, however, is the prominent wooden crafts market. It is a well-known street shopping arcade for buying decorative wooden paraphernalia such as your name written on a piece of timber, pine or cedar wood.
The Mall Road is the main shopping street of the town bordered by hotels, restaurants, cafes, bookstores and shops. In hill stations, mall roads are a stretch of any road that entitles you to meander like wind enjoying the panoramic beauty of nature while sipping your favourite drink.
If you are an ice cream lover and you visit the queen of hills, make sure you taste the mouthwatering strawberry ice cream while opting for a horse ride available on the Ridge.
Apart from all the famous tourist destinations, Shimla Christ Church is the most popular landmark of the town. It is the second oldest church in North India. It is a perfect and irreplaceable example of neo-gothic architecture that continually reminds people of the British colonization of India. The iconic-glass windows, the clock tower, and the friezes represent various virtues of Christianity.
Lockwood Kipling, the father of the famous author Rudyard Kipling, designed the fresco around the chapel windows.
While you are in Shimla, do not miss the stunning view of the church during the night when the aureate lights illuminate the stately building. It shines with grace and beauty and is a fantastic sight to see.
The ride on the Kalka Shimla, toy train should be on your to-do-list while planning a trip to the capital city. A 96 km narrow-gauge railway was built in 1898 and runs from Kalka, a small town in the state of Haryana, India, to Shimla.
The magnificent piece of engineering is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rail trip never fails to mesmerize a person with outstanding views of deodar and pine-covered hills and surrounding villages.
The train is meant to take you back to an entirely different era of history where you come across 103 tunnels, 800 bridges and 900 twisting curves. It is a historical and an unforgettable experience.
The clinking of bells at the top of the town guides you towards Jakhoo hill, the highest peak in Shimla. It is not only regarded as one of the most talked-about tourist destinations in Shimla but also is residence to the ancient Jakhoo Temple. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu monkey deity- Hanuman. You will be thrilled to see the gigantic 108-ft. high idol of Lord Hanuman, which is the largest Hanuman statue in the world.
According to the Himachal Pradesh Tourism website, “It surpasses the statue of Christ the Redeemer, which measures at 98 ft., in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”
You will see the stupendous statue from far away distances.
Situated in abundant greenery of captivating deodar and alpine trees, the Jakhoo temple is an adobe for countless skittish monkeys, who are an apt homage for the monkey god. Your visit to Shimla is considered incomplete if you miss the chance of going to the Jakhoo temple.
Shimla, the Himalayan town has a subtropical climate. If you plan to visit the hill station, the best time to spend your vacation there is from April to June because the average temperature remains between 22 C and 28 C.
During the monsoon months of July and August, the weather in Shimla stays calm and pleasant, but carry a raincoat as the chances of unexpected downpours increase. However, the queen of hills stays an attraction for snow lovers even in the winters.