Once known as Shyamala, synonymous with Goddess Kali, Shimla has been a summer retreat long before India even gained independence. This famous hill station similarly has a lot of places and things to see untouched by time. For instance, take a vintage joy ride from Kalka station to Shimla in a charming toy train that will take you through towering Deodars, hills and villages. Shimla truly comes alive during winters when a blanket of snow covers it all over making every nook and corner gleam and glisten. One such place is the ice skating rink (natural ice) near Lakkar Bazaar that opens from November to December. More winter sports include skiing, which can be enjoyed 21 km from Shimla in Kufri. Adventure activities such as rafting at Tattapani or a trek to Shali Tibba and Pabbar Valley are also worthwhile experiences. If you are fond of haunted stories and interested in having your own spooky adventure, you'll love Shimla. A lot of people including the renowned Rudyard Kippling (in 'My Own True Ghost Story) have written various eerie stories set around Shimla. A place known most for giving many people the jeepers-creepers is the Charleville Mansion. Another time travelling portal is the antique bookstore, Marina Brothers, located on Mall Road, which is truly a reader and collector's paradise. There are many luxury and budget hotels here, meaning you'll never fall short of options. Popular places to eat include Wake & Bake, Ashiana, Cecil and Minchy's that serve commendable Indian and multi-cuisine dishes and delicious gourmet food.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Shimla is from March to June
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
The place is abuzz with activity all through the year and is the heart of the town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. While one may want to go shopping here, this place is home to some ver famous malls and shopping complexes like the Hong Kong Market. A number of restaurants and cafes dot the street and one can drop by any of them for a snack and drink. One is reminded of a carnival at The Mall, as the mood is full of fun, frolic, merry making and delicious food. A good thing here is that no vehicles are allowed to play here, so that one can stroll around peacefully without being honked at.
The capital of Himachal Pradesh is yet again a hilly town spread over a bunch of pictuesque hills which again are crowned with snow at winters. Unlike its rivals, Shimla has a toy train connectivity from the nearby village of Kalka which is about 100 kms apart. The train journey though slow offers a visual treat rich in different terrains and altitudes. Pines, steep slopes, snow, hilly terrains are all you can count on in shimla.
Found at the Ridge, this church was built sometime between 1846 and 1857and is the oldest church in all of North India. The church was designed by Colonel J.T Boileau and had a clock tower recently added in 1860. A new porch followed in 1873. This church stands to remind one of the developments brought about during the British Raj and is symbolic of the marvelous architectural feats of the era. The place is done up in a neo-Gothic style and one is sure to pay a visit here to spend some moments in prayer.
If you wish to worship the Hindu God Hamuman when in Shimal then please pay a visit to the Jakhu Temple that is just about 45 minutes away by foot from the famous Mall Road. A number of monkeys inhabit the place and one is warned about food being snatched away from ones hands by these curious inhabitants. Legend tells us that this temple has a mark or footprint of the Lord Hamunan. This shot the temple to instant popularity and it is now a famous tourist hot spot in Himachal Pradesh. Hold on to your children when you visit the temple
East Bourne Hotel Road
The Mall Road in Ludhiana is like a shopping district of the very urbanized city. There are a number of large shopping malls out here and a paradise for shopaholics. There are shops for everything and of every size. It is impossible that you do not get a stuff you want over here. The best part above all is that things are so reasonably priced here that bargaining is not much needed. Tha malls on the other hand are where you will get all top brands and latest fashion stuff. This street is also lined with the best restaurants and eateries of the whole city. All of these features make Mall Road a very important landmark of Ludhiana.
The Ridge: A great time to visit the Ridge is at night. The church, the national flag, are all lit up beautifully and one can easily capture the moving clouds in the light. Its pleasantly chilly and completely safe to sit here and enjoy the view of the mountains. Day 3: Green Valley, Water catchment sanctuary, Annadale
Wake and Bake
One of the newest entrants to Shimla's growing list of restaurants - Wake and Bake serves the best pancakes in Shimla (perhaps the only place that serves pancakes). Though, I am a vegetarian, I have heard that their bacon dishes are out-of-the-world. Do try their cold coffee and chocolate shake. Yum! It's on the mall road, opposite Gaiety Cultural Complex.
Cafe Simla Times
It is a new cafe, at the end of mall road (not far end). It has an open balcony with amazing views of the hills in front of it. Grab a beer, look at hills, think a lot of random thoughts and sit your day away. Even better if you have company. Cafe is one place where I don't prefer being alone. Long walks is where I love being alone. No images for it too, I was too engrossed in beer :P
If you take a small road that cuts between Christ Churchand State Library at The Ridge, you’ll come across an arrow-mark on the wall directing towards Jakhoo temple. You just have to follow the steep, ever ascending road. It’s easier than you imagine. It takes 20-25 minutes to reach the Temple.
Jakhoo Hill is just 2 kilometers away from Shimla which lies at an altitude of 8000 feet high above the sea level. It has the highest peak of the hill station which offers a magnificent view of Shimla and also the snow clad Himalayas. This place is also a home to the ancient temple of Lord Hanuman which is situated at the top of the hill and it is one of the most pious places in Shimla that attracts numerous travellers. At around 12 noon, we reached ‘Kamakhya Temple’ which was surrounded by agricultural fields like potato, cauliflower, rice fields, etc. It was a big surprise to all as such agricultural activity has been made successful at a high altitude by designing hills suitable for these corps.
We headed towards Jakhu temple . As we moved forward , road became steeper and steeper . There were long pine and oak trees on both sides of the road and deep valley . Finally we reached on the hill top where Jakhu temple was situated . View from the hill was mind boggling. It was foggy and snowy . After visiting the temple we spent some time playing with the snow .Please be aware of monkeys at this place . Don't carry anything in your hand/pockets if possible .
Annadale: One cannot praise this place too much, coz' its one of a kind. Annadale is basically an army museum. Its not just any another museum. It displays unique information of the army, like its uniforms, medals and awards. It also displays the original letter of surrender from Pakistan on Kashmir. Outside the museum, there's a small cafe overlooking a helipad. if you're lucky, you can get to see the landing of a helicopter, we did :). You can also see a varied species of indoor plants, cactuses, flowers displayed here. The cafe serves freshly made items from maggi to sandwich and cold coffee. All in all, a good place to spend some time. I am tempted to add in a lot of pictures of this place.. but I shall stick to one ....