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A Complete Tourist guide to Shimla : The Queen of Hills

Shimla is a beautiful city located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is also the capital of this state. Shimla is situated in the midst of beautiful mountains and hence is rightfully called the “Queen of hills”. Formed during the 18th century, It became popular when it was named as the summer capital of British India.

It is a very popular tourist destination, known all over the world. The snow covered mountains during the winters and the beautiful sun-laden hills during summers make this a great getaway destination.  The beautiful monuments, the blended cultures and the jaw dropping scenery offers various kinds of delights for everyone. It is also a very popular honeymoon destination. With so much to offer, it is no wonder that Shimla is crowded with tourists all year long.

How to Get There

Having such a popular stature, Shimla has great connectivity from various parts of India. Travelling by air is difficult owing to the altitude. Hence, the best way to travel to this pristine location is by train or road. The train journey to Shimla from Kalki has been certified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It truly is a spectacle as the train travels through an amazing 103 tunnels. However, it still is tiresome which makes a road trip a great option. It is located at optimum distances from many major cities like Chandigarh (120 kilometers), Delhi (370 kilometers) and so on. The drive itself is serene, which is bound to leave you and your friends or family with beautiful memories.

Best time to Enjoy Shimla

An interesting fact about This place is that it can be visited all throughout the year. Be it the cool summers or the snowy chilly winters, it continues to attract people with its magical charm. However, if one is too critical, Shimla could be avoided during monsoons as it is prone to dangerous landslides. Clothes and other necessities should be kept according to the preferred time of visit. Thus, it can easily be said that the peak season here is anytime during the year!

What to Do

Shimla is a very gorgeous city. Its infrastructure and layout design make it unique. The Victorian architecture from the British era provides some great buildings. Also, the natural beauty offers some excellent sights to please the eye. While there is so much to do, a few highlights are listed below.

1. The Mall Road – This is the most popular street in Shimla. It is a famous shopping center having lines of shops selling all types of goods. Mall Road also has many offices, banks and important buildings. All this makes it the busiest place in Shimla all-day long. It is the most common meeting place for the people of Shimla. The Road also has many famous spots like Scandal point and Gaiety Theater.

2. The Ridge – It is a large open space in the heart of the city of Shimla. It is the most recognized part of this hill station. It has the Christ Church in the background along with a few other beautiful buildings. Most of the large scale events and functions are held in this area. It also has water tanks below it which supply water to the entire town. Thus, there is no surprise why it is known as the Ridge.

3. Jakhu Temple – The Jakhu Temple is located on the Jakhu Hill at 8500 feet, which is the highest point of Shimla. Devoted to Lord Hanuman, this temple attracts tons of visitors all throughout the year. It houses a 103 feet idol of Lord Hanuman which leaves the devotees astounded. This place offers a great sense of calm and peace to the mind.

4. Christ Church – This is the second oldest church in all of North India. Built in 1857, it is located on The Ridge itself. The Christ Church served as the focal point for religious proceedings during the British tenure. This Church has a magnificent architecture and can be easily seen from miles away. It is a must visit for one and all.

5. Explore more – While Shimla is a complete location for a vacation on its own, it is surrounded by places that cannot be missed. Out of a long list of places, those that cannot be missed out are Manali (250 kms), Kasauli (75 kms), Dharamsala (230 kms). To make the most out of one’s holidays, planning a road trip covering all these places is a great option.

Shimla Specialties

1. Shopping – Shimla is very famous for the variety of products that it offers. These range from food items to decorative masterpieces. The most popular food items are jams and squashes as the area is rich in fruits. Other items are the world-renowned Kullu Shawls and the wooden handicrafts like toys and walking sticks.

2. Eating –Due to the continuous tourist influx, the traditional food of Shimla is on the decline. However, Himachali food dishes like Patore, Khoru and Murg Anardana still showcase the regional food. The large variety of fruits is widely loved by one and all. The drink of choice is the many types of tea.

3. Festivals – Shimla celebrates all the festivals with great joy. However, festivals like Baisakhi and Diwali are enjoyed elaborately. The snowy backdrop makes Christmas very special in Shimla. Lots of people travel during winters for this very reason. On the local front, Lavi Fair is a popular festival in which is celebrated to mark the trade treaty with Tibet. The Summer Festival in May and June, and the Ice skating festival during January and February are other great attractions.

Thus, Shimla is the perfect mixture of beautiful scenery, marvelous architecture and diverse cultures. It offers so much that one trip often does not prove enough to quench one’s appetite. Be it the cool summers or the snowy winters, Shimla is truly the ‘Queen of Hills’.


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A Complete Tourist guide to Shimla : The Queen of Hills


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