The North of India consists of some pleasing holiday destinations that are great traveler hubs of the nation, one of which is Shimla. Considered as “Queen of the Hills”, Shimla is a wintertime wonderland that has been a regular attribute in all our lives. Shimla is one of the most favorite tourist destinations in India but have you ever well thought off that there’s a lot more to see other than the renowned Mall road? Here is a list of all the impressive places Shimla has to offer apart from the obvious.
1.Kalka Shimla Mail:
A Shimla trip is incomplete without a ride on the Kalka Shimla Mail. It has now been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can decide from a number of toy trains, including luxury trains which slowly travel their way up from Kalka up till the main town of Shimla through the dense mountainous forests and passes through the maximum number of tunnels in comparison with any other train trip. The view from the toy train is glorious and it provides a wide view of Shimla as it steadily rolls into the town.
The Ridge is a big clearing that is centrally located in Shimla. The Ridge is considered as the heart of Shimla and is the centre of all cultural activities in the town. The Ridge is bound by the Mall road on one side and The Lakkar Bazaar on the other side (which is a leading wood crafts market). The ridge area is a reflection of Colonial era architecture that has continued through the ravages of time and now stands as a striking landmark in the capital of Himachal Pradesh. The ridge also provides awesome views of the surrounding verdant mountains and the valleys below which are dotted with small cottages accompanied by bush trees. The Ridge is also where Shimla’s festivals, fairs and functions are held.
A outstanding feature in every tourist’s travel guidebook is the Jakhoo Temple that is an ancient structure that is devoted to God Hanuman. This temple is also the venue for one of the largest celebrations of the festival of Dussehra because legend has said that Lord Ram took a break at this location while searching for Sanjeevni Booti. Jakhoo houses the huge statue of lord Hanuman that stands tall at 108 ft. above the ground. The temple is situated on Jakhoo Hill that is the tallest peak of Shimla, feast your eyes on splendid views of the Shivalik mountain range and the local town of Sanjauli. You could walk up to the temple via the Ridge, or take a horse ride up till you reach the temple.
The Christ Church is the second oldest Church in all of North India. The tower of the church is in sight from miles away because of its impressive neon-Gothic style of architecture and has become a major landmark of Shimla. The architecture isn’t the only reason why you should visit the church, but also because it contains large number of books and a large variety of carving as well. The church has 5 major stain glass carving displaying different Christian virtues such as hope, faith and pride. The Christ Church is one of the only major landmarks in Shimla that has not undergone the quirk of time and has maintained its clean and well maintained condition. The best time to visit is at night when you can enjoy the elegant beauty of the church when it’s lit up.
5.The Rashtrapati Niwas:
Also known as the Vieregal Lodge, the Rashtrapati Nivas is located on one of the Observatory hills of Shimla that provide wide views of the hills. It previously used to be the residence of the Viceroy of India, so the the Viceregal lodge is nothing short of an architectural wonder. Built in 1888 in Jacobethan Style of construction, the Viceregal Lodge now functions as the location of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study along with the High Court of Himachal Pradesh. The Himachal Pradesh University and the CPWD. The Viceregal Lodge, much like its name, flaunts of royalty and beauty through its well pruned lawns and rich glass-house. Do visit if you’re curious to see some of the oldest articles and photographs dating back to the British Rule in India.
The name is declarative of its nature as a famous tourist destination that is crowded by visitors throughout the year. It’s a part of the famous seven hill bunch that provides bird’s-eye views of the pine and deodar laden hills that are dotted by quaint and pleasing little residences. The Summer Hill is also a popular destination because of its locality to the Observatory Hill nearby which is the location of The Rashtrapati Nivas. The Summer Hill now function as the headquarters of Himachal Pradesh University and is at a walking distance from the famous Mall Road of Shimla. Summer hill also lies in the root of the Kalka-Shimla Railway line.
7.The Shimla Glen:
If you’re looking for a fun day out in sun and enjoy the best picnic ever, then the Glen is the best place for you. Surrounded by lush green forests of Pine and Deodar, the glen is a popular tourist hub since old times. The rolling slopes, the vast sweep of land and the green environs make it a sought after tourist destination by people from all over the world. Those in the mood for activities can engage in the jungle walk that starts from the market office to the main town of Shimla. Get ready to relax and soak in the healthy climate and the peace of the forests around you.
8.The Mall Road:
Undoubtedly the most popular destination in Shimla for tourists, the Mall road is vibrant centre of activity comprising of shops selling varied goods and services. For those who are in the feeling for some serious shopping, Mall road is the place to be. You can enjoy Shimla classics such as the softy ice-cream and popcorn while making your way through many different stores and showrooms that provide local specialty and otherwise as well. The Mall road is a construction from the British era and is a reflection of its former beauty. It is strictly meant for walker who want to enjoy a relaxed walk and observe the denizens of Shimla whilst feasting of warm coffee or hopping for themselves. The Mall road is also located close to Gaiety Theatre, The Kali Bari temple, The Town Hall and The Sandal point that provides one of the best views from Shimla.
How to get There: Chandigarh, at a distance of 115 kilometres, is the next nearest airport to Shimla. Shimla is easily accessible by road and makes for a great drive from nearby Delhi via NH5. The toy train from Kalka to Shimla is a pleasing way to get to the hill station. The Kalka Shatabdi Express from New Delhi Railway Station to Kalka Railway Station takes 4 hours 10 minutes and is the fastest train plying the route.
Where to Stay: As a major tourist hub, Shimla consist of some of the best hotels that the country has to offer. We suggest the Radisson Hotel , Oberoi Cecil – Shimla & Hotel Willow Banks which are all hotels known for excellence in delivering customer satisfaction.
Shimla has a lot to offer in terms of tourist attractions, so these time don’t just visit Shimla, explore the beauty of Shimla!