It was nothing but a cozy hamlet up in the hills in the early 1800s. One fine day, Shimla was discovered by the Britishers during their rule in India and that, opened up the treasured land to the world. An erstwhile summer capital of the British, Shimla then went on to become the capital of Punjab before reaching its current form of being Himachal Pradesh’s largest and also its capital city. Despite being the economic and administrative center of the state, Shimla continues to be at heart, everything that it was traditionally—a beautiful mountain town offering a tryst with the mighty Himalayas to travelers from all parts of the world.
Traditional, British-style architecture is something that continues to exist in every nook and cranny of Shimla. The hill station is lined with massive churches, administrative buildings and houses that are reminiscent of what life in colonial Shimla must have been like. Shimla’s Ridge is home to the famous Christ Church, the second oldest church in Northern India. The massive church is built in classic Gothic style of architecture and is one of the most visited places in India. Barely a few steps down from the Church will get you to the Public Library, yet another popular tourist attraction in Shimla known for its signature wooden architecture, something very typical to British colonies up in the hills. Additionally, one can also visit Shimla’s Town Hall, yet another colonial architectural marvel that has almost become synonymous to the name Shimla.
Owing to its ever growing popularity, the last few years in Shimla have seen an upcoming backpacker culture springing up in this popular hill town. Shimla’s Mall Road is now lined with some quality cafes serving handpicked delicacies from around the world. So if you happen to be a foodie, a meal at the likes of Wake N Bake, Café Sol and Café Simla Times should be your idea of sightseeing in Shimla! Additionally, one can shop for some beautiful wooden souvenirs for their near ones at Shimla’s Lakkar Bazaar or Wood Market.
For travelers looking to add a spiritual touch to their trip to Shimla, the hill station also boasts of a number of temples which are considered to be one of the most important ones in the region. Climbing up the highest peak of the city, the Jakhoo Hill will get you to a massive 33-meter-tall statue of Lord Hanuman standing majestically at 8,500 feet above sea level. Pass through this gigantic structure to the ancient Jakhoo Temple, an important place to visit in Shimla for believers of Lord Hanuman. One can also offer their prayers at the Sankat Mochan Temple, a temple famous for solving problems of devotees who pay a visit here. If you are a religious traveler out sightseeing in Shimla, make sure you also head over to Tara Devi Temple, a small temple dedicated to the goddess of the stars that shine upon the hill.
End your Shimla adventures by completing a part of your journey back home in Shimla’s most iconic train and a pride of Shimla Tourism, the Kalka-Shimla railway. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ride in the heritage train is bound to leave you in absolute awe as you pass through long dark tunnels and lush green valleys.