(Picture Courtesy: himviewholiday.in)
Shimla or Simla is considered to be one of India’s beautiful hill stations. Very few are aware that Shimla once used to be the summer capital of the British empire in India. Currently, it serves as the capital of Himachal Pradesh. This city is a favorite tourist spot for tourists especially during the winter season Shimla has got the name from Goddess Shyamala, an incarnation of Goddess Kali, the representation of power and wrath. In contrast, Simla is a perfect choice to be heaven for the ones looking for peace.
The refreshing wind and picturesque views of the Himalayas along with the structures created during the British rule depicts a picture that is entirely in contrast besides many hill stations.
This capital city is bestowed, naturally,with umpteen gifts which people use to represent Shimla as one of India’s most sought after tourist spots. Reinvent the Queen of Hill stations on foot as that’s frankly the preferred option. The walking paths are excellent with long pines and superb deodar besides marvelous sightings of the ancient Himalayas.
Earlier than the Britishers identified it in 1819 AD, Shimla was a remote hamlet which was inclusive of the Nepalese kingdom. In 1830 AD, the regional king was requested to give away the area by the British and the region formed to be inseparable part of India’s best known summer spot. Shimla was accredited with the status of the summer capital of India in 1864 AD. Later, when India attained independence, Shimla was restricted as a capital to Punjab alone till 1966 AD during which it came under Himachal Pradesh.
The climatic conditions are not very extreme and the highest temperature seldom exceeds 25°C during summer season.Winters are chilling as the cool breezes from the Himalayas. During Christmas periods, Simla receives much snowfall.
Tour Shimla all through the year, it is enchanting as always. However, it definitely receives an additional brightness with the onset of rains when the hills become green.
Simla possesses the only natural ice-skating ring in India. Annually, an Ice-skating festival is arranged every year by the Ice-skating Club during January. This festival showcases the local talent of the members who expose their proficiency on ice and take part in a fancy dress competition.
Christ Church & St. Michael’s Cathedral : This celebrity location church of Simla was constructed for a mammoth 11 years (1846-1857) and is regarded as the second oldest church of North India. The finesse of the church is extended by the stained glass in its window panes. Besides, this church, Church of St.Michael’s Cathedral is the other church that is prominent in Shimla.
Jakhoo Temple : This sacred sanctorium is built as a tribute to Lord Hanuman. Built at an altitude of 8048 feet above sea level, it is the highest point of Simla. This temple provides a panoramic view of the adjacent valley.
Sankat Mochan : The noted ‘Lord Hanuman’ temple is located on the Ambala Shimla highway, which isat a distance of 5 Kms from Shimla. It represents a superb view of Simla town.This temple has an adorable campus and Langar is held every Sunday.
Kali Bari: This temple is located around the Mall, which is dedicated to Shyamala Devi (Shimla is named after this goddess), an incarnation of Goddess Kali.
TaraDevi : Situated on Tara Parvat is the temple of Tara Devi, almost 15kilometers away Shimla. The scene from the temple is very pretty. The densely covered hills with forests near provide much peace to the region. A road is available up hill along the pine forest.
Himachal State Museum & Library: Almost 2.5 kms from Scandal Point is Himachal State Museum and Library. This museum represents a series of ancient valuable depictions, paintings, coins and photos belonging to the earlier times of the entire state. A number of Mughal and Rajasthani miniature paintings are also on display. The museum is open for public view daily excluding Mondays and public holidays.
Viceregal Lodge & Botanical Gardens: Situated on the Observatory Hills is Viceregal Lodge. This glorious structure was home to the British Viceroy, Lord Dufferin. The lodge currently houses Indian Institute of Advanced Studies which is another two km away from State Museum.
The Ridge:The enormous open space in the center of the town presents a grand view of the mountain ranges. Shimla’s landmarks which are the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church as well as Tudor library building are interesting to watch.
The Mall :The Mall is the central location of Simla that is situated alongside the Ridge and is frequented with visitors. Many of Shimla’s landmarks are situated here.The Mall additionally reaches the Ridge at the ‘Scandal Point’ , where a statue of Lala Lajpat Rai has been for display. This is the principal shopping center of Shimla with hotels.
Annandale : Annandale is regarded as one of the best picnic spots. The huge spacious ground seldom located in the hilly areas that is dense with deodar forest regions.
Chadwick Falls :Falling from a height of 67 meters, these water falls come gushing down from the Summer Hill. The falls are in the thick forest at a height of 1586 m.
Seven hills in Shimla
Shimla is encircled with seven scenic hills that are the major attractions of city tours, which are:
1. Jakhoo Hill
2. Bantony Hill in central Shimla that has the Grand Hotel
3. Prospect Hill, home to Kamna Devi temple
4. Summer Hill, where Himachal Pradesh University campus is located
5. Observatory Hill housing Indian Institute of Advanced Study
6. Invererarm Hill possessing the State Museum and TV broadcast tower
7. Elysium Hill that holds The Auckland House and Long wood that reaches to Bharari
Ways to Reach Shimla :
Air : The airport is at Jubbarhati, which is the closest and 23 km from Shimla. It is extended towards Chandigarh, Kullu and Delhi.
Road : Shimla is with well laid roads to Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun and Kalka.
Rail : Rail services are available till Kalka from the major cities of India. Starting from Kalka, a rail car on narrow gauge leads one to Shimla that provides few splendid views.