Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is one of the top tourist destinations in India. The picturesque city is situated in the northwestern part of the Himalayan Mountain Range and the mean elevation of the city is 7,234 feet (2,205 metres). A Shimla location map shows the different highways, rail lines, railway stations, hospitals, hotels, educational institutions, religious places, water bodies, and other important places of interest in the city. The coordinates of Shimla are 31°6'12" North and 77°10'20" East. A location map of Shimla also highlights the Jakhoo Hill, the tallest point in the city.
The British empire may have ceased to exist, but its echoes linger on in Shimla (2130 m). As the summer capital' of the British in India, this was the country's focus for the better part of every year and now, it is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. Today, its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and numerous attractions make it one of India's most popular hill resorts. Places in the lower ranges of the Himalaya mountains, it is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Within the town are a host of splendid colonial edifices, quiant cottages and charming walks. Shimla holds a variety of shopping, sport and entertainment.
Lakhoo Hill is the highest point in Shimla and offers a panoramic view of the city. Glen forest is one of the most fascinating picnic spots in Shimla. Beautiful place in shimla,Best days spent vacation in hill stationSummer Hill has pleasant shady walks in quite surroundings. Chadwick Falls are situated amidst thick forest and gives a breathtaking view. Prospect Hill is a popular picnic spot that gives some beautiful views of the region. Institute of Advance Studies is a renaissance structure used initially as Vice-regal lodge. Sankat Mochan is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman while Taradevi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Tara Devi, the Hindu variant of Tibetan Goddess Drolma. Himachal State Museum has some interesting collection of objects from all over Himachal Pradesh.
This pleasant sprawling town set among the pine-clad hills presents the visitor with glimpses of fading colonial charm. The buildings, the Mall, the picnic spots tell you the story of the era when it was the summer capital of the British India. A visit to the Mall brings you to the centre of activity in the city. Move around the city and you get to see some of the fascinating sights of the landscape around.
The excursions around Shimla are equally interesting experience as they unveil to you the glory of the Raj era. You can take a trip to the oldest and highest golf course in India and to the world's highest cricket ground. For the religious minded, the ancient temples around the Shimla are worth a visit. Naldhera is a small but pleasant town, which houses the highest golf course in the country. Tattapani is known for its hot water springs. Wildflower Hall is the former residence of British Commander-in-Chief Kitchener, now run as a hotel. Mashobra is a small village surrounded by thick forests and offers pleasant walks. Craignano is a beautiful picnic spot with a rest house on the hilltop. Kufri is a great place to enjoy its sylvan atmosphere and go for some adventure sports like hiking and trekking. Chail is a lush green town formerly capital of the Maharaja of Patiala.
Shimla derives its name from Shyamala, which is another name for Goddess Kali. Shimla came into light when the Birtishers discovered it in 1819. Till then it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. Soon after the British came to this place many Europeans started making houses here. In 1864 Shimla was declared as the summer capital of India. After Independence Shimla was the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. In 1903 a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla. Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of it has got a scenic location, it is surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era creates an aura which is very different from other hill stations. Shimla has all the facilities required for tourists but they can be very expensive particularly during the peak season. Often it becomes difficult to find accommodation here during the peak season. And remember water is a perennial problem in Shimla. Shimla in itself is a very small town and is very well maintain and neatly kept city. In central part of the town is Mall which almost divides the city in two parts. In the center of the city is the famous scandal point which was immortalised by Rudyard Kipling. From Christ Church to the Scandal point is the Ridge area.
PLACES TO SEE:
Here are some beautiful places around Shimla. The roads, often laced with orchards, wind through undulating hills robed in pine and cedar forests, providing wonderful views of wide floored valleys and the magnificent Himalayas. You can hire a taxi or book conducted tours offered by Himachal tourism.
ADVENTURES IN SHIMLA:
The Himalayas offer some of the most thrilling and challenging mountaineering opportunities in the world. The Mountaineering Institute at Manali organises expeditious each year, and it has regional centres at Dharamsala, Bharmour and Jispa which offer adventure courses as well. Patalsu and Sitidhar are among the easier peaks in the Manali region while other popular climbs are to Deo Tibba, Moulkila, Hanuman Tibba, Centre Peak and Indresen.
The passes and the valleys cutting through the mountain ranges of Himachal offer a variety of trekking opportunities. The best terrain for trekking lies bwetween the gentle Shiwaliks and the tough upper reaches of the Greater Himalayas. Trekking is surely one of the best ways to explore Himachal. Some of the popular treks are from Manali to Beas Kund, from Manali to Brighu Lake and from Dalhousie to Khajjiar. The more intrepid can explore the pristine beauty of Chandratal, cross the Bara Lacha Pass to Keylong, the Rohtant Pass from Manali, or the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges to Lahaul and Kullu. July to September are ideal months for trekking in Lahaul and Bharmour, while in Narkanda, Manali and Kangra regions it is possible between April and November. Patalsu, Bharmour, and Manali offer good possibilities for rock-climbing enthusiasts.
The sport of river rafting has gained popularity in the last few years as enthusiasts have discovered the tremendous possibilities offered by the snow-fed rivers of the Himalayas. The season extends from October to late April, with a break in January when the water is too cold. The best rivers for this sport are the Beas, the Spiti, the Chandrabhaga and the Satluj which has spectacular rapids upto Tattapani.
In the winter months some of the snow-covered slopes of Himachal become ideal for skiing, and heli-skiing is becoming increasingly popular. The Mountaineering Institute of Manali orgainses skiing courses from January onwards, while the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation does so simultaneously at Narkanda.
At Solang, 10 km from Manali, the ski slopes are set against a backdrop of glaciers and majestic peaks. The slopes of Kufri and Narkanda, 16 km and 64 km respectively, from Shimla, are ideal for recreational skiing.
Angling, too, is fast gaining popularity. Trout is found in the Beas river near Manali, as well as the Pabbar river at Rohru, 120 km from Shimla, which is considered an angler's paradise. Mahseer is found around Dehra Gopipur, Nadaun and Pong reservoir. The tourist department in every district provides licences. Billing, in Kangra valley is said to be amongst the finest sites in the world for hang-gliding. It hosts India's only international hang-gliding festival. The ideal time for this sport, for which all equipment is provided, is during March and April and from mid-August to November. In Shimla, you can also enjoy Camping, Bungee Jumping, Cycling, Horse Riding, Para Gliding, Safaries, Skating, Trekking, Wild Life, Yak Riding and lot more.
HOW TO REACH:
The Jubbarhatti airport is 23 kms from Shimla. Major domestic airlines cater their services to Shimla. The flights are mainly form Delhi. Shimla has a narrow gauze railway line on which toy train runs from Kalka to Shimla. The train cruises its way through valleys and beautiful landscapes at a very slow pace making the journey very pleasant. From Kalka one can take trains to other parts of the country. The Toy train from Shimla is of two types. One is the normal multi coach train and the other is the single car train which has a glass roof giving an enthralling experience during the journey. Roads connect this capital city of Himachal with other places in the state as well as other major towns and cities. There is regular bus service from Delhi and Chandigarh. Ordinary, semi deluxe, deluxe and AC coaches are available for Shimla. One can also cross over to Leh and Ladakh via Rohtang pass from here. Local transportation is very good, with taxies and buses available for the nearby places.
By Air: Shimla is connected by daily Vayudoot flights from Delhi and Kullu. The airport, located at Jubbarhatti, is 23 km from Shimla. Indian Airlines too regularly maintains it flight to jubbarhatti which on regular season time increases its flight to six days a week.
By Road: Shimla is connected by road with Kalka, Chandigarh, Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu and with many towns in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Other destinations in the circuit, namely Kasauli, Solan, Barog, Chail, Narkanda, Rampur and Sarahan are also well served with all weather roads. Taxis, buses and coaches are available at Shimla, and other places for individual and group excursions. From Delhi, Manali and Chandigarh luxury buses and Taxi's ply to Shimla. State Tourism Development Corporation also runs regular Tourist Coaches from Delhi.
By Rail: Shimla is also connected with a broad gauge railway line upto Kalka and after that by a narrow line from where a small train usually called toy train. Kalka to Shimla is 95 km and though the journey takes about 6 hours, the train winds its way through 103 tunnels, and some picturesque scenery. Railcar take about 4 hours. Kalka has direct rail connections with Delhi, Calcutta and Amritsar.
MAP OF SHIMLA: