Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Himachal Pradesh     Shimla    


Place : Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Significance : The Queen of Hills
Altitude : 2213 meters above sea level.
Temperature : Max 18°C, Min 8.65°C.
Best Time to Visit : March to October
Write Comments | Read comments | Tour Packages

The Queen of Hills, as Shimla was fondly called by the British, is one of the famous hill station in the Himalayan foothills. The capital town of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla was 'discovered' by the British in 1817. It is situated at 2213 meters above sea level.

Shimla derives its name from Goddess Shyamala, an incarnation of Goddess Kali. Its commanding position on the crest of a ridge, cool air and lust countryside quickly made it a favourite summer resort. By 1864, when it was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India, the 'Queen of Hill Stations' had become the epitome of everything British. The town is busy, lively and nostalgically 'English', with quaint Raj-era hotels and buildings. Sprawling over seven hills by dense forest and mountains, Shimla is also the starting point on the journey to the untouched parts of Himachal like Naldehra, Narkanda, Kufri and Chadwick Falls. Around 50,000 tourists reach Shimla and its nearby areas on an average weekend. For those looking adventure and beauty, Shimla is the central confluence of roads leading west to the Kangra Valley; north to Kullu, Lahaul and Ladakh; and east into the valleys of Kinnaur and Spiti. The hill station offers many pleasant walks through Himalayan mountains thick with oak, deodar cedar, and pine trees.

Shimla has a pleasant climate throughout the year.

Places to see in Shimla

Christ Church
It is the second oldest church in India. Famous for its are five exquisite stained glass windows, Christ Church was designed by Col JT Boileau. Later, the church consecrated in 1857 and extended with the addition of a clock (1860) and a porch (1873). The design of the original chancel window was done by Rudyard Kipling's father the Lockwood Kipling. A Library (1910) designed by James Ransome in the Elizabethan style is at next door to the church. Opens Daily.

The Town Hall and General Post Office
Located near Scandal Point at the Mall, the town hall (1910) is the reminiscent of the 'Arts and Crafts style, as well as the timbered General Post Office (1866).

State Museum
This museum has a collection of Himachal Pradesh's rich heritage. It also boasts good collection of archaeological artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. The ground floor has a gallery with fine Pahari miniatures, a style developed under the auspices of the Kangra rulers. Closed on Monday and holidays.

Viceregal Lodge
Located on the Observatory Hills, Viceregal Lodge was build for British Viceroy Lord Dufferin who played a prominent part in its planning and building. Also known as Rashtrapati Niwas, it was formerly the residence of Lord Dufferin. The designers Henry Irwin (who was the designer of famous Madras High Court and Mysore's Ambar Vilas Palace) and Capt HH Cole designed it in the Elizabethan style. It includes a indoor tennis court and electric lights. The lodge also has a botanical garden and a cafe. Towards the rear is a stone terrace with a view of some major Himalayan peaks. There are streams running down from top of the hill, flowing into the Sutlej, Yamuna and Ganga. The magnificent reception hall and corridors are lined from floor to ceiling with heavy teak panelling. The gate house, a chapel and the meticulously polished brass fire hydrants imported from Manchester, U.K. still remind us of its British origin.

Now it houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS). Research scholars from different parts of the country and abroad meets here for debates and discussions.

Open 1000 - 1630. Entry fee: Rs 10/-. Only the entrance hall and gardens are open to the public.

Jakhu Temple

Dedicated to Hanuman, the monkey god, Jakhu Temple is situated at the highest peak of Jakhu hill. Surrounded by monkeys it is 2 Km from The Ridge near Christ Church. Situated at an altitude of 2455 mtr, the from here one can get the excellent views of sunrise, sunset and the surrounding areas. Jakhu hill is also famous for its trekking options.

Kamna Devi Temple
Also known as Creeda Devi Temple, this temple is 5 Km from Shimla. A 15 - 20 minutes walk from Boileauganj and build at Prosoect Hill, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Surrounded by tall deodar trees, the temple offers a spectacular view of the surrounding hills. One can also see the toy trains running to and from Tara Devi. It is an ideal place for trekkers and bird watchers also.

Tara Devi Temple
Situated at a distance of around 11 kilometers from Shimla, the temple locates at a very peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. One can get a grand view of the southern side of Shimla, the undulating hills and valleys of southern Himachal and beyond to the plains of Punjab in the distance.