Shimla, sits perched high up in the Himalayas. This charming hill station is a perfect mix of history and culture, bazaars and quaint lodges and conifer tress covered with snow. Its beautiful allies and colonial charms makes it a picturesque setting for a romantic holiday. The toy train ride from Kalka to Shimla is a memorable one and enjoyed by children and adults alike. Honeymooners come here in December to frolic in the snow. The city is resplendent with natural beauty, architectural churches, wooden handicrafts and apple orchards. Stay amidst the dazzle of Himalayas in the city which allows one to experience the charm of an ageing queen. The climate of Shimla is enjoyable all the year round. Winters (October to February) are ideal for enjoying snowfall, skiing and ice skating. Average temperature during winter is 8°C and can dip as low as -7°C. Summers (March to June) are the suitable time to enjoy the scenic beauty. Temperature ranges between 15°C to 30°C and is ideal for indulging in paragliding, trekking, camping and rafting.
Category : Hill Station
Time Zone: UTC + 5:30 Hours
STD Code: 177
Info Website: himachaltourism.gov.in/post/Shimla.aspx
Best Time to Visit: September – June.
Shimla dates back to the year 1819. Before that Shimla was under the rule of the Gurkhas. It was after the Gurkha War that the British soldiers founded a dense forest near the temple of Goddess Shyamala and gave it the name Shimla. But some historians contradict it saying that Shimla is derived from the word “Shyamalaya” meaning the blue house based on a house built by blue slate by a fakir. Shimla would not have been there if the Britishers had not discovered it. It was only in 1819, that the then Assistant Political Agent of Hill States, Lt. Ross built the first British residence- a wooden one.
Places to VisitAdd
How to ReachEdit
By Air : Shimla has its own airport at a place called Jubbarhatti, which is located at a distance of 23 kilometers from the main city center. Flights from New Delhi, Chandigarh and Kullu (another hill station) operate on a daily basis. Jagson Airlines is the flight that operates from these places on a regular basis. Taxi is available from airport to City and fare is around Rs 450. Jubbarhatti Ariport,Shimla – 0177 273 6835.
By Train : The nearest railway station that connects Shimla to neighboring states is at Kalka. This place is located at a distance of 96 kilometers from Shimla. From Kalka, it takes around 6 hours to reach Shimla. The frequency of trains that ply from Kalka to Shimla is pretty good, with atleast 4 trains plying to and fro from Shimla.
By BUS : HPRTC buses offer bus connectivity from all cities in Himachal Pradesh to Shimla. Frequent ordinary and deluxe bus services are available from Delhi to Shimla. Overnight buses are available from Delhi (360 km, 9 hours, Rs 900 ) and Chandigarh (120 km, 4 hours and Rs 500).
By Taxi : Shimla is well connected by a road network and national highways- 87. The tourist can reach to Shimla by taxi. The normal Indian taxi charges of Rupees 8 to 20 will be charged for each km.
By Other : N.A.
Budget – Up to Rs. 800
- Hotel Amar Villa Shimla ; Kuthiala Estate, Cart Road Near HPTDC Lift, Shimla. ; Ph – 9971714720 , 8802114710. ; Facilities – 24-hour front desk, Laundry, 24-Hour Security, Doctor on call.
Deluxe – Up to Rs. 801 to Rs. 1200
- Hotel Moon International ; Near Secretariat,East Shimla, Shimla 171002. ; Ph – 91 981 603 4444, 91 177 262 0286. ; Facilities – Travel Desk, 24-hour front desk, Laundry, Disco, Non-smoking rooms, 24-Hour Security, Game Room, Video Game Player, Doctor on call , Dry cleaning/laundry.
Luxury – Rs. 2501 and above
- Clarkes Hotel ; The Mall Shimla, Shimla 171001. ; Ph – 91-177-2651010-15, 91-11-23890508. ; Facilities – Shopping, Travel Desk, 24-hour front desk, Air conditioning, Conference facilities, Elevators, Laundry, Nightclub, Parking, Disco, Beauty salon, 24-Hour Security, Catering Services, Gift Shop, Jacuzzi, Lounge, Massage Services, Sauna, Steam Bath, Wedding Services, Banquet facilities, Doctor on call.
- A One Restaurant ; Dhalli,Shimla, HP. ; M – 094 18 080808 ; Food Serve : Multi-Cuisine.
- Alacarte Restaurant & Bar ; 3rd Floor, Bell Villa, Opp Tibitian Market, The Mall Shimla. ; M – 098 17 350175 ; Food Serve : Multi-Cuisine.
- Loveena Restaurant ; Ridge, The Mall,Shimla, HP. ; M – 094 18 259595 ; Food Serve : Continental, Indian.
- Choice Chinese Resturant ; Stairs, Lower Bazar,Shimla. ; M – 094 18 259595 ; Food Serve : Chinese.
Must Eat FoodAdd
- Fruits – Rajesh Karol & Co. ; Karol Brothers Shop No.60 New Subzi Mandi, Dhalli (Shimla). ; Ph/M – 098 16 077396 ; Cost – N.A. ; Famous for – Litchi, Strawberry, Guava.
Must Do ActivitiesAdd
- Trekking ; The Mall, Shimla, HP 171001. ; Cost – N.A. ; Visiting Time – N.A. ; Closed Time : N.A.
- Paragliading ; Rupankush, Jakhu, Shimla, HP 171001. ; Cost – N.A. ; Visiting Time – 9:00 am ; Closed Time : 5:00 PM.
- Camping ; Set 3, 2nd Floor, Rinkview Building, Near Lakkar Bazar Bus Station, Shimla. ; Cost – N.A. ; Visiting Time – 9:30 AM ; Closed Time : 7:30 PM.
- Tibetian carpets, Kullu shawls. ; Himachal Emporium, ; The Mall Road, Shimla, HP. ; Ph/M: 91 177 280-1234.
- Jams, Pickles, Squashes. ; Minchys ; N.H.-22, Shoghi, Distt. Shimla-173219. ; Ph/M: 91 177 286-0203, 2655036, 2652513.
Nightlife (Pub / Disc / BAR)Add
- DJ Raman ; Ridge, Ritz Cineplex, Shimla, 171001.; Ph/M: 91 9817115016 ; Cost: Singles Rs.200 /Couples Rs.300. ; Food Serve : N.A.
- Rendezvous Bar & Restaurant ; Scandal Point, The Mall, Shimla Ho, Shimla, 171001. ; Ph/M: 0177 2657 120 ; Cost: Rs. 500 (approx). ; Food Serve : N.A.
- Cozy Nook Bar ; Whispering Pines Gables , Mashobra, Shimla. ; Ph/M: 17862740170 ; Cost: N.A. ; Food Serve : N.A.
- The Cedar Grand ; Near Winter Field, Cart Road, Shimla. ; Ph/M – 0177 281 3300 ; Cost: N.A. ; Services – Foot Facial , Pedicure , Foot Massage , Head Massage ,Head Wash , Blow Dryswedish Massage , Balinese Massage.
- Holistic spa and salon academy ; Ashiana regency, near secretariat, Chotta Shimla to Kusumpti Rd, Chotta Shimla, Shimla, HP ; Ph/M – 91 99105 16254, 91 89798 32673 ; Cost: N.A. ; Services – Swedish Massage , Balinese Massagebody Wrap , Ayurvedic Lape , Body Polishing , Deep Tissue , Aromatherapy , Signature Massage.
Bharara Fair ; Venue: N.A. ; Period : May ; Details: This fair is held in village Bharara near Kumharsain and people of all castes and creed participate. The fair is held on the 1st of Jaistha(May), It is being celebrated from ancient times. Devta Koteshwar is brought in the fair and goats are sacrificed in its honour as a mark of respect. The fair is cultural and recreational and ‘Natti’ dances are performed. People also enjoy ‘Hindola’ ride.
Summer Festival ; Venue: N.A. ; Period : June ; Details: It is held every year in the month of May at Shimla. It is variety cultural function with performance of local folks, cultural program by school children and daily performance by some famous personality. It is held on the famous ridge ground.
Winter sports festival ; Venue: N.A. ; Period : December ; Details: Ice-skating in Shimla is a big attraction for the sports-lovers during winter. Shimla is the only place in Asia which has the privilege of having a natural Ice-skating rink of the kind and offers a popular pastime to the participants and on lookers alike. Ice-skating normally begins in early December and carries on to February. Clear skies and low temperatures provide series of uninterrupted sessions. There are two sessions every day, in the morning and in the evening depending upon the frozen ice on the ground. The hanging baloon on the Municipal Building adjacent to scandal point works as signal, whether the skating is going to be held on that day or not. Membership is available for the season as well as for shorter terms and even for single sessions. Skates are available at the rink. Fancy dress carnivals, ‘gymkhanas’ ice-hockey and dances enliven every season.
Bhoj Fair ; Venue: N.A. ; Period : November ; Details: This fair is held in village Guman in Rohru tehsil in the month of November. for three days in honour of Devta Bansor, Parshu Ram and Kilbaru. Devta Bansor is the presiding deity. Beside paying homage to the deities ‘Natti’ dances are performed by the people. The fair attracts a huge crowd.
Safety / WarningEdit
- Beware of pickpockets as Shimla is a major tourist city in India.
- Beware of fake items. Better to buy from reputable shops even though you have to pay more.
- Ambulance : 102
- Fire Brigade : 101
- Police : 100
10:00 am – Kalka – Shimla Railway ;Approx. time spent : 3 hrs
1:00 pm – Viceregal Lodge ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
3:00 pm – Christ Church ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
4:00 pm – Mall Rd ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
6:00 pm – Jakhu Temple ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
10:00 am – Himalayan Bird Park;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
12:00 pm – Himachal Emporium ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
1:00 pm – Chail Wildlife Sanctuary ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
3:00 pm – Ridge ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
5:00 pm – Ellerslie ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
6:00 pm – Town Hall ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
10:00 am – Annandale ;Approx. time spent : 3 hrs
1:00 pm – Sankat Mochan Temple ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
2:00 pm – Gorton Castle ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
4:00 pm – Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
5:00 pm – Palace of Maharaja Patiala ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs