Thursday, January 27, 2011

Simla : A dream Destination for Every Indian

Simla :: One of the most famous tourist destinations of India, Simla located in Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill station. Also known as Simla, your travel to this place will be one event of your life that you shall never forget. This beautiful hill station derives its name from "Goddess Shyamla", who is supposed to be an avatar of Goddess Kali. This lovely hill station was 'discovered' by the British who immediately fell in love with this place. In fact, they went to the extent of declaring Simla as their summer capital. Read about Simla tourism and know more about Simla travel. Simla abounds in natural bounty and looks picture perfect. The small hill station amidst the lofty snow-clad Himalayan ranges, surrounded by lakes and lush green pastures look as though an artist has painted them. The unique thing about Simla is that it still retains its colonial charm and this creates an ambience that is not found anywhere else in India. Simla is one tourist destination that can be visited any time during the year. Summers are warm with cool and pleasant evenings while winters are bone chilling and the temperatures can fall below zero. But this difference is what makes Simla all the more special!

History of Simla :: Hi Way back in 1817, a small village tucked away in the Himalayas was discovered by British surveyors and pronounced an ideal retreat for the homesick colonizers. Named after Shyamla Devi, an incarnation of the fierce goddess Kali, stories of Simla’s salubrious climate and invigorating surroundings made it grow in popularity. In 1830, the land around was bought from the local ruler and Simla turned into a resort for British army officers. Soldiers recuperating from the Gurkha war came up to the hill resort to heal their wounds, while the memsahibs favoured its cooler climate to the hot, humid and mosquito-infested plains. Soon it began to look like an English village as cottages with gardens, tree-lined walks, churches and cricket pitches came up around town. Finally, in 1864, the town was formally declared the summer capital of the Imperial Government. Every summer, tons of files and baggage were transported all the way from Calcutta and later Delhi, to this hill town.

Simla came alive with gentlemen and ladies spending their days at garden parties, games of bridge, grand dinners and balls. The main pedestrian walkway, known as the Mall, was popular for evening promenades. Several British landmarks, including the Christ Church, the Cecil Hotel and the Gaiety Theatre came up along the Ridge. In 1903, the Kalka - Simla railway link was begun making the hitherto arduous journey up much simpler. Even today, the quaint toy train connecting Kalka to Simla chugs up steep hill slopes carrying hordes of eager tourists.

Due to its secluded location and relaxed surroundings, Simla was useful as a meeting point for national leaders. In the days just before India’s independence in 1947, the architects of modern India and the leaders of the Muslim League met here to discuss the modalities of the transfer of power. Later, in 1972 the landmark Simla Accord was signed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the premiers of India and Pakistan. The Simla Accord was an effort at diffusing tension between the two nations that had remained hostile after independence and partition.  

Location: Himachal Pradesh
Also Known As: The Summer Refuge
Altitude: 2,159m.
Places of Interest: The Mall, Christ Church, Kufri, Narkanda
Best Time To Visit: April To August & December To January

Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral: Built in 1846-1857, Christ
Church is the second oldest church of Northern India. The Church
overlooks the ridge and is one of the landmarks of Shimla.
The clocks on Christ Church were added later but none of them are functional now.
The Church's exquisite beauty comes with the stained glasses that are fitted on
its windows. The town's other important churches are St. Michael's
Cathedral and Roman Catholic Cathedral, which is just off the Mall.
Himachal State Museum & Library: The museum is located 2.5-km west
of the scandal point and opens daily except on Mondays and public holidays.
It has got a good collection of ancient historical sculptures, paintings, coins,
photos and other items from all over the state as well as outside it. It has
also got a library, which houses many historical books and manuscripts.

Viceregal Lodge & Botanical Gardens: On the Observatory Hills is located
Viceregal Lodge, which is also known as "Rashtrapati Niwas".
This magnificent building was the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin.
This lodge was completed in 1888 and it is said that every brick for the building was
carried by mules. This is a six-storey building and is surrounded by well-maintained
gardens and lawns. The lodge has now been converted into Institute of
Advanced Study and is further 2-km from State Museum.

The Mall: This is the main shopping centre of Shimla with restaurants. The Gaiety
Theatre, which is a reproduction of an old British theatre is a center of cultural
activities. A passenger lift of HPTDC can be taken from the Cart Road and the
Mall. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is popular for its wood-crafts and souvenirs.

Prospect Hill: Crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi 15-minutes
walk from Boileauganj on Shimla-Bilaspur road.
The hill at an altitude of 2,155m offers a spectacular view of the area.

The Ridge: The large open space in the heart of town presents excellent view of
the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the Neo-Gothic structure of
Christ Church and the new - Tudor Library building is worth seeing.

Jakhu Temple: Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple is at an altitude of 2,455m
near the highest point of Shimla ridge. It offers a fine view over the surrounding valleys,
out to the snowcapped peaks, and over the town itself. The temple is a
45-minute walk from the Mall. Jakhu is a vantage point for
witnessing the changing skyline as the sun rises or sets.
Sankat Mochan: On Shimla-Kalka road is the famous "Lord Hanuman" temple.
Situated at an altitude of 1,975m, it commands an excellent view of Shimla town.

Tara Devi: On Shimla-Kalka road this holy place is accessible by rail, bus and car
(11-km). From the station / road - one can visit the temple either on foot or by taxi / jeep.

Chadwick Falls: Surrounded by thick forests, one can reach these falls by
taking about 45-minutes (7-km) walk from Summer Hill Chowk.   more...

Fagu (22-Km) 2,450m: Situated on Hindustan-Tibet Road (22-km),
at a height of 2,450m Fagu is gifted with some enchanting views.

Bharari Spur: It is a less explored area within the town. From here, one can take a long haul
by foot through the thick cedar forest to the Hot-springs of Tattapani, or to the ruins of Kiar Koti.

Institute Of Advanced Studies: Housed in the former Viceregal Lodge, it was built in 1888.
A spectacular English Renaissance grey stone structure. The entry in the institute is
by ticket and only on Sundays the grounds are open for the public.

Annadale: Surrounded by deodar trees, this glade has an ancient temple on the edge.

Summer Hill: At an altitude of 1,283m, Summer Hill is a picturesque spot on
Shimla-Kalka Railway line offering shady walks in quiet surroundings.
The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in
the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur located here.
HP University is also situated over here.

Himalayan Aviary: Close to the Viceregal lodge is the Himalayan Aviary or the Himalayan
Bird Park. This park is a natural habitat of numerous species of birds found in Himachal
such as Himalayan Monal, Pheasants, Peafowls and National Bird of India, the Peacock 


  1. incredible picture parimal karmakar

  2. Shimla in one of the beautiful tourist place in all over the world and i love Shimla. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures,
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  3. Hello,

    I've read a few things on this blog and I really do think that it has helped tremendously. There's still a heap I need to learn thus can continue learning and can keep coming back. Thanks.


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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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