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Places to see in Shimla

Discussion in 'Himachal Pradesh' started by RagaRi, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. RagaRi

    RagaRi New Member

    I have joined this forum in the hope to get some details about the places to see in Shimla. Our family has never been to Himachal Pradesh and don't know what to expect. We have only heard things about Shimla that it's a beautiful place and has beautiful views. We would like to do more and actually, go and see places in Shimla.

    Please provide a list of places to see in Shimla, so we know what not to miss out on and can then decide how many days we need to be there for.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    Shimla, designated the Queen of the Hills, was a favourite summer destination of the British during their rule in the country. It's not difficult to realise why though because of its pleasant climate all-year round and beautiful hill sceneries. Now, the hill station is popular amongst Indians and foreigners alike. It's also not unusual to see colonial style architecture in the different buildings in the hill station. Along with this, the presence of little shops and local houses add to the charm of the hill station. Here are some of the best attractions in Shimla:

    • Viceregal Lodge - At the end of the 18th century, the construction for the Viceregal Lodge was started under Lord Dufferin. It is located at the peak of the Observatory Hill. Once the home of the British viceroys, it was transformed into the Presidential Home or Rashtrapati Nilayam after the independence. The design of the building has been maintained though and it is still a great example of British architecture. Now though, the building is being used as an educational centre for the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Not all of the rooms inside the lodge can be visited since many classes are being held here. Entry fee is very minimal though at Rs. 20 per person.
    • Annandale - For just a relaxing afternoon or morning, Annandale is the perfect place for that. This used to be a cricket and polo ground for the British soldiers. Now, it has well-maintained lawns and gardens which attract locals and tourists alike. Named after Anna, the childhood sweetheart of a British soldier, he combined the name with dale which means valley. The beauty of the valley mesmerised many soldiers and even now, this is the location for many sporting and entertainment events in the city. It is now maintained by the Indian Army and there's even an Army Heritage Museum here that you can visit.
    • Kuthar Fort - About an hour away from Shimla, you'd find the 800-year old Kuthar Fort. The exterior facade of the fort is still in good condition but most of the inner structures are already in ruins. The gardens are also not that well-maintained although renovation works are on the way. You can also find fresh water springs inside the fort which somehow add to the elegance of the place. The views from the fort are quite stunning though as you can see the surrounding hills from it. There are also numerous birds and butterflies residing in the fort.
    • Tara Devi Temple - The very simple facade of the Tara Devi Temple, with its white exterior and surrounding small flags, is sure to entice any visitor. Right from the outside, the temple exudes serenity and peacefulness. The temple was built after Raja Bhupendra Sen had a vision of the Goddess Tara in his dream. The temple is built on a hillock named Tarav Parvat and gives a commanding view of the city of Shimla. Initially, the idol of Goddess Tara here was built out of wood. The later generations of the dynasty improved the temple and it was Raja Balbir Sen who installed the present idol we see today.
    • Kali Bari Temple - Situated right at The Mall area, the Kali Bari Temple is not that grand but still attracts a number of devotees everyday. Its exterior is brightly coloured, with a combination of yellow and red with accents of white. The temple was built around the middle of the 18th century and is dedicated to Goddess Kali, locally known as Shyamala. During the rule of the British though, the temple was moved from its original location in Jakhoo Hill to The Mall.
    • Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple - This temple is located about five kilometres away from Shimla. Originally commissioned to be built by Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj, it is now one of the most popular temples in the region. It was inaugurated and opened to the public in the year of 1966. The Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple has bright orange roof and a bricked exterior. It is mainly dedicated to the Lord Hanuman although there are also shrines dedicated for Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva. Being a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, it's also not unusual to see monkeys hanging around the place.
    • Kamna Devi Temple - This temple is located about three kilometres away from the Shimla Railway Station. Reaching the temple by foot can be quite challenging though but very rewarding. Many devotees go to the temple as it is believed to grant the wishes of the visitors. The temple is very simple and small with a sloping roof and white facade with red accents. You can find it at the peak of the Prospect Hill and also has stunning bird's eye view of the surroundings. It's a must visit for the devotees of Goddess Durga.
    • Jakhoo Temple - This temple is about two kilometres away from The Ridge. The temple is located at the peak of the Jakhoo Hill, thereby giving it its name. The temple has a bricked facade with paintings of Hanuman. Its roof is a bright red and on the outside, the huge Hanuman statue is very visible. It is supposed to be the biggest Hanuman statue in the world although it was only recently built. Outside the temple as well, there are some playgrounds and well-manicured lawns. Inside the temple is another statue of the Lord Hanuman which devotees pay their respects to.
    • Shimla Christ Church - Right at The Ridge, the Shimla Christ Church can be found. It was built over 13 years and was finally opened to the public in 1857. The exterior of the church is a sandy yellow and it has an imposing large tower with a clock. Inside the church, you can find simple accents like hanging lights and stained glass windows. But these simple features only make the church stand out more. It was Boileau who designed the church but the clock was given by Dumbleton. The church looks even more beautiful at night time when it is lit and glows in the darkness of the area.
    • Chadwick Waterfalls - This is accessible from Summer Hill, about a 30-minute trek from it. The trek to reach the waterfalls takes you around the most beautiful sceneries, from rural homes, to forests and even grazing animals. The water of the falls drops at a height of about 100 metres. It's certainly not high but given its proximity to the city, it's a welcome to most tourists and even locals. Originally, the name of the waterfalls is Chidku Jhaar. Chidku means sparrow (as reference to the height of it that only sparrows or birds can reach) and jhaar means waterfall. Over time, the name became Chadwick. It's certainly a nice retreat especially for those who are tired from the bustle of the city life.-
    • Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary - This is located in Dhalli, a town in Shimla. You need a permit before you can enter the sanctuary, which can be obtained easily from the Forest Department. The only ways of exploring the sanctuary are either by foot or by bike. Vehicle entry is permitted only up to Seog. One of the main attractions of the sanctuary is its water catchment facility, built during the rule of the British. Of course, encountering wildlife animals like gorals, leopards, snakes, rhesus macaques and many more also add to the thrill of exploring the sanctuary. The sanctuary can be covered with about 3 hours of walking or 2 hours of biking.
    • Himachal State Museum - Located at the Inverarm Hill, this museum houses the important artefacts of the region. The building where the museum is located used to be the residence of important British officials and even Indian officials. It has different exhibits showcasing collections of ancient coins, paintings, sculptures and weaponries. They also have collections of rare miniature paintings and handwritten manuscripts. It's truly worth a visit especially for the history lovers.
    • Shimla Heritage Museum - Take a time travel back to the colonial era with a visit to the Shimla Heritage Museum. You'll find original sketches of colonial buildings in this museum. There are also different paintings and photographs here giving you a glimpse of the bygone era. There are over 50 sketches and paintings to explore here like the Viceregal Lodge, Gaiety Theatre and Post Office.
    • Shaily Peak - At about 20 kilometres away from Shimla, the Shaily Peak is a great excursion for adventure lovers. The peak can only be reached by foot though. From Khatnol though, about 44 kilometres from Shimla, there's a road leading to the peak which will take you closer to it. Then, you only need to trek for about 8 kilometres to reach it. The trek can be quite challenging so you need to bring some water to hydrate you. You also need snacks as there are no food stalls nearby. The view from the peak is very rewarding as you would be able to see the Himalayan mountains very clearly.
    • The Mall - The Mall is the city centre of Shimla. Here you can find various hotels, restaurants and shops. Vehicles are not allowed here though so you'd find a lot of locals and tourists walking the entire stretch. You can also find various colonial structures within the entire area. At the end of the road, there's the Scandal Point, the highest point here. Its name was derived from the supposed scandal when Bhupinder Singh eloped with the daughter of the British viceroy.
    • The Ridge - The Ridge is connected to The Mall via the Scandal Point. Just like The Mall, this area has an assortment of restaurants and shops as well as colonial era buildings. The Ridge though has wider roads and it's not unusual to see locals playing sports around the area. It is also usually the base for reaching other attractions like the Jakhoo Temple and the Shimla Christ Church.
    There you go, I hope this helps you!:)
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  3. Prits

    Prits Member

    Shimla is a picturesque hill station in Himachal Pradesh, offering a range of attractions and activities for visitors. Here's a list of places to visit and things to do in Shimla:

    1. The Ridge: This is the heart of Shimla and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. It's a great place to take a leisurely stroll.

    2. Mall Road: The main street in Shimla, where you can shop for local handicrafts, souvenirs, and enjoy delicious Himachali cuisine.

    3. Jakhu Temple: Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, it's located atop Jakhu Hill and offers panoramic views of Shimla.

    4. Christ Church: The second oldest church in North India, it's known for its neo-Gothic architecture.

    5. Kufri: A charming hill station just 16 km from Shimla, known for its trekking and hiking trails. It's also famous for the Himalayan Wildlife Zoo.

    6. Green Valley: A beautiful spot surrounded by thick forests and lush green hills.

    7. Tara Devi Temple: A serene temple with a rich history, located on a hilltop.

    8. Shimla State Museum: A great place to explore the cultural and artistic heritage of Himachal Pradesh.

    9. Annandale: A historical playground surrounded by deodar trees. It's now an army golf course but offers lovely views.

    10. Chail: A short drive from Shimla, it's known for the Chail Palace and the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary.

    11. Kali Bari Temple: A temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, known for its religious significance.

    12. Indian Institute of Advanced Study: Formerly the Viceregal Lodge, it's an architectural marvel in the midst of beautiful gardens.

    13. Shimla Heritage Museum: A small private museum displaying a unique collection of ancient Indian memorabilia.

    14. Trekking: Shimla offers various trekking opportunities, with treks like the Glen Forest Trek and Shali Tibba Trek being popular.

    15. Ice Skating: If you visit in winter, you can enjoy ice skating at the natural ice-skating rink.

    16. Toy Train Ride: Take a ride on the Kalka-Shimla Toy Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for stunning views of the Himalayas.

    17. Adventure Activities: For adventure enthusiasts, Shimla offers opportunities for paragliding, river rafting, and more.
    The number of days you need depends on your interests. A 2-3 day trip can cover the main attractions, but if you wish to explore more and enjoy some relaxation, consider a longer stay of 4-5 days. Shimla's pleasant weather makes it a popular year-round destination, with snowfall in winter adding to its charm.