Shimla is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Surrounded by snow-clad Himalayan ranges and offering eye-pleasing views of lush green valleys, Shimla is situated at an elevation of 2,276 m. Named after goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Kali, Shimla served as the summer capital of British India from 1864 to 1939. Hence, there are lots of buildings and churches in Shimla that are built in the Tudorbethan and Victorian Gothic architecture style dating back from the colonial era.
Shimla is an ideal weekend holiday destination for people from Chandigarh (3.30 hours driving distance) and Delhi (7.30 hours driving distance). However, you should never come to Shimla and its surrounding places without any prior preparation especially in winters. A well done planning and packing before leaving to Shimla is a vital key for a fun and memorable trip.
Here is a list of few things you should remember while travelling to Shimla.
1. ID proofs: Always carry your Driving license along with your ID and address proof. Don’t ever forget your vehicle papers (if you are travelling in your personal car).
2. Check weather conditions: With hi-tech smartphones and Google at our finger tips, it is relatively easy to check weather before leaving for a trip. So, do a little research because you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere due to heavy rainfall, landslides or huge snowfall.
3. Book hotel/campsites prior to your trip: I have seen lots of tourists some of which were unable to find rooms and some had to pay a huge amount of rent a room in hotel just because they did not book hotel prior to their trip to Himachal Pradesh. Especially during New Year, Christmas and long weekends as most of the hotel and resorts get booked months back for these dates. So, always book rooms (directly through a renowned hotel or a good travel agency like ours) before leaving for the trip if you don’t want to ruin your vacation.
4. Ask permissions and follow instructions: Always remember to take permissions while visiting religious temples and historical places. Ask before taking photographs and recording videos. Many temples don’t allow shoes and leather belts in the premises, so please remember to follow the instructions.
5. Health tips and emergency numbers: Remember to carry a first-aid box packed with your essentials medicines. Also, keep a list of emergency numbers and share it with fellow travelling members.
6. Safety precautions: If you have plans to go to Mandi or Manali, do keep in mind not to get too close to rivers as water currents in rivers here are too strong. Also, don’t stand on cliffs or park your car in land sliding zones.
7. Carry your essentials: Always pack a separate pouch for your essentials such as Chargers, power banks and torches. Moreover, when you are going for a trekking or camping expedition these gadgets can be very helpful.
8. Clothing and Footwear: Pack your clothes depending on the season and the place you are travelling to the mountains. Never forget to pack woolen clothes along with socks and caps if you are visiting in winters. Furthermore, for trekking and camping adventures, carry a good quality rain cheater and a high angle trekking shoe (good grip rubber-soled).
9. Don’t drink and drive: You might have heard this hundreds of times and most people don’t take it seriously but this is a very critical issue. So, please be a responsible traveler and don’t risk your life along with others on the road. Value your life; Remember loved ones are waiting at home.
10. Do not litter: Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Keeping it clean is moral responsibility of every citizen that lives or travel here. Always keep a separate bag for garbage and trash and put them in garbage bins only. Plastic bags are banned in Himachal Pradesh so don’t bring any with yourself. Instead you can get jute bags for carrying your food items. Teach your kids not to litter as well. Help keeping Himachal clean and green.