Shimla was formerly known as Simla. It is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. The height of the city ranges from 300 to 2200 metres. Shimla was announced as the summer capital of British India in 1864. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and later it was named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. The name of the city has been derived from the goddess Shyamala Devi. As it is a large and growing city, Shimla is home to many recognized colleges and research institutions in India. The people of Shimla are informally called Shimlaites. It has huge cosmopolitan crowds and a variety of festivals are celebrated here. The Shimla Summer Festival held every year during the peak tourist season lasting 3 to 4 days. The focus of this event includes performances by famous singers from all over the country. The city has a large number of palaces and temples. Shimla is also renowned for its buildings styled in neo-Gothic architecture and Tudorbethan since the colonial era. Most of the heritage buildings in Shimla are conserved in their unique 'Tudorbethan' architecture. The temples of Shimla show the great stonework of the architects. The sculptors have proved their courage in maintaining the art of Shimla.

Shimla has a Number of Places to Visit

The Mall: It is the main shopping place of Shimla.

Christ Church: It is situated on The Ridge. Christ Church is the second oldest church in Northern India.

Jakhu Hill: There is an old temple of Lord Hanuman at the top of the Hill.

Jutogh: It is located 8 km away from the city centre. It is army cantonment and near Totu, a significant community of the city.

Shimla State Museum: The Museum has made an attempt to save the cultural wealth of the state. There is a collection of paintings, bronzes wood-carvings, sculptures, textiles and jewellery of the region.

Summer Hill: It is situated at a distance of 5 km from The Ridge. It is the township of Summer Hill, situated at a height of 6,500 ft on the railway line of Shimla-Kalka.

Shimla Cuisine

Shimla has no scarcity of food stores. The extensive variety of restaurants, fast food shops, dhabas, bakeries etc are found in the market areas of the city. You will find a number of road side food stalls, dhabas and small eateries. You can also visit one of the many cafes situated on the Mall Road. People who love Confectionery can find a bakery in all the important shopping centres in Shimla. However, it is little difficult to find places that serve local Himachali cuisine. Authentic Himachali food may be available at Himachal Pradesh Tourism’s Hotels and Holiday Home.

Where and What to Shop in Shimla

Your trip to Shimla would remain incomplete without shopping. The beautiful hill station has a lot to offer to its guests. The Mall Road which has many shops selling wonderful woollen clothes, incredible local handicrafts, local tweeds, aromatic fruit squashes and jams, Tibetan carpets etc. If you want to shop for wooden handicrafts in Shimla, go to The Lakkar Bazaar. Travel around the Tibetan Market for imported goods, electronic goods and especially fancy items.

If you are shopping in Shimla, try to visit The Cottage industries Emporium. It has a variety of carpets, traditional blankets, shawls, handmade paper, delicately engraved wooden table etc that portray the art of the Himachal craft persons. Try out the Himachali hat which comes in different designs and colours.

Lakkar Bazaar is another place where you must visit especially if you are looking for wooden works and antiques from this region.

Climate and Best Time to Visit Shimla

Shimla can be visited in any month as the city is beautiful throughout the year. However, September to June is considered as the best months for travelling to Shimla.

Winter (October to February) is ideal for enjoying snowfall, ice skating and skiing. During winter the average temperature is 8°C and can drop to as low as -2°C.

Summer (March to June) is the perfect time to enjoy the scenic beauty. Temperature ranges between 15°C to 30°C. This time is ideal for trekking, rafting, camping etc.

Monsoon (July to mid September) is not the best time to visit because of the extreme rain which can result even in land slides. However, the natural beauty is at its maximum during monsoons.

How to Reach

By Air

Shimla can be reached by air easily. Shimla has its own airport called Jubbarhatti. It is located at a distance of 23 kilometres from the main city centre. Flights from New Delhi, Kullu and Chandigarh conduct regularly. The flight that conducts from these places on a daily basis is Jagson Airlines.

By Rail/Train

Kalka is the nearest railway station that connects Shimla to its neighbouring states. Kalka is located 96  Kilometres away from Shimla. It takes approximately 6 hours to arrive at Shimla from Kalka.

By Road

Through national highways, Shimla is well connected to New Delhi and Chandigarh. The travel from Delhi to Shimla by road takes approximately 8 hours. There are many tourist buses that ply from the neighbouring places to this hill station.

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