• Helpline No(24X7) :
  • (011)-25261058

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)


Destination Info


Over View    |        Too See      |        To Do

Understand Shimla

Shimla or Simla is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is a very popular holiday-retreat during the summer months and is well-known for its Victorian architecture, which is reflected in certain areas of the Mall and The Ridge. It is also a famous holiday spot for honeymoon. There are quite a few theories regarding the origin of the word Shimla. Locals insist that the name originates from Shyamali Devi, a re-incarnation of the fearsome Goddess Kali. Shimla has a population of around 145,000. Most of the residents are from the Pahadi community (the natives of Himachal Pradesh), but there is also a sizable minority from Punjab and Sindh, who moved to Shimla during the partition. As a result, the languages spoken in Shimla include Hindi, Punjabi, Pahadi and English which serves as a lingua-franca.


The Mall


The Mall is the main shopping centre of Shimla. This shopping centre has a good number of banks, restaurants, post offices, clubs, bars and tourists offices. There is a famous theatre of Shimla called Gaiety Theatre. The Mall is also the main meeting place for the people of Shimla.

Jakhu Temple


Jakhu Hill. Open every day. Offers spectacular views of the mountains from its location above the town. According to the epic Ramayana, the monkey god Hanuman rested here during his journey to the Himalayan mountains. The climb up is a physically demanding one-hour walk. However, you can drive up the hill - a 4WD is recommended. The temple and hill side is populated with very aggressive and cunning monkeys. Be extremely careful with your camera, glasses, bag and (especially) food. Entry free, donations welcome (Sticks for warding off the monkeys can be rented at the entrance to the temple for Rs 5).


Chadwick Falls


7 km away from Shimla, the inviting spot of Chadwick Falls is a premier travel destination. A trip to the Chadwick Falls during the monsoons will be an unforgettable experience. Located in an incredible landscape, the place is home to some old shrines that are sites of immense significance for pilgrims.


Jakhoo Hill


Located at an altitude of 2,445m, Jakhoo Hill, Shimla's highest point, is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Shimla. From the peak of the hill, one can have a panoramic view of the Shimla town and its surroundings. The landscape all around is a feast to one's eyes. At the top is an old Hanuman temple.

Dorje Drag Monastery


Sarasvati Garden Estate, Kusmuti. A monastery in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Thubten Evam Dorje Drag. Entry free, donations welcome.

The Ridge


Jakhu Hill (North of The Mall). Built at the top of the town at 2230m, The Ridge is the center of Shimla's cultural and social life - an excellent place to view the surrounding mountains.

Christ Church


The Ridge (Near Municipal Library). Open every day, services Su 8AM-11AM. Constructed in 1846, this is the second oldest church of the North India. The stain-glass windows,representing charity, faith, patience, hope, fortitude and humility, and 19th century organ are particularly impressive. The fresco that surrounds the chapel window was designed by Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's father. Entry free, donations welcome.

Lower Bazaar


The Mall (Below Central Section). Shops Open Mo-Sa. The Lower Bazaar is home to the city's less expensive hotels, cheaper restaurants and stores, and a congested wholesale vegetable market. Although less opulent than its upper neighbor, the Lower Bazaar retains an old worldly charm and is an excellent place to try some Shimla specialty dishes, like Uradh Dal with rice or Shepard's Pie. It also sells clothes and household items.

Viceregal Lodge


The Mall (Atop Observatory Hill), +91 177 283-1375. Open every day (Only the entrance hall and gardens are open to the public). This lodge is now part of the Institute of Advanced Studies. An imposing British-raj mansion built under the guidance of Lord Dufferin in 1888. Manicured British style gardens surround the mansion on three sides, while the fourth side is a place to relax and watch the sun dip below the Himalayan foothills. The teak-paneled interior is impressive, and well worth a viewing. Entry Rs 20 per adult. Both still and video cameras are allowed for a fee of Rs. 10. A guided tour is conducted in a very professional manner and explains the historical importance of the building - worth capturing if you have a video camera. There is a small book shop and a cafe in the premises. This lodge is a 1 hour walk from the end of the mall, near the Oberoi hotel.

Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary


A unique, well preserved mixed himalayan forest with predominantly Himalayan Cedar trees. Permits are required for entry Rs 50 per person and Rs 200 per car. Monday closed. Though not mandatory its best to hire naturalists to take you into the sanctuary. Trained naturalists are available at Mountain Guides India ph. +91 9736438061. The forest is home to the barking deer, goral, flying squirrel, pine marten, porcupine and leopard. There are also a great number of birds; in fact there is the highest density of koklass pheasant in this forest. There is a man-made reservoir in the center of the forest that provides drinking water to Shimla town. The reservoir was completed in 1901 and to the water supply scheme from the sanctuary is Shimla's only gravity feed water supply scheme. The sanctuary is under the charge of the Forest Department (Wildlife).

Hip Hip Hurray Amusement


(9000 ft)Kufri (NH-22, 16 Kms. from Shimla), ? 01776450993,. Nagsons Amusement Park,HIP HIP HURRAY, Kufri, is the only amusement park located at 8500 ft. above sea level offering adventure activities like Burma Bridge Crossing, Flying Fox, Commando Net, Rock Climbing etc and also activities like Boating, Bump'em Cars, Rides, Indoor Golf and a number of virtual reality,redemption and video games. Other attractions include Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Shopping, Telescopic View etc. The food at the restaurant is excellent.

Kufri Fun World


(9000ft)Mahasu Peak, Kufri, Shimla (Take slip road on right after crossing Kufri),10 AM - 6PM. Rs.100 Onwards.


To Do


Take a leisurely walk at the Mall - this 7km thoroughfare is famous for its Victorian Architecture, and retains much of its Raj-era charm. To get there, take the lifts from Cart Road, an ingenious system designed to save pedestrians from walking. Rs 7 per trip. The central area of The Mall is composed of half-timbered buildings and is the place to rub shoulders and clash knives and forks with Shimla's elite. A statue of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai is located at Scandal Point, the highest point on The Mall. Further along is the very pleasant Clarke's Hotel, which is an excellent place to take a break and relax over a coffee. Visit the zoo at Kufri (tel:+91 177 265-2911) - home to native species such as the great Himalayan Snow Leopard, and varieties of Musk Deer. Open daily, Rs 15 per person. Special free passes are available during weekends. Ice skating is possible in Shimla from November to March, though Kufri and Chail on the outskirts of town offer better options


Trek in the local mountains. Walk along the meandering roads to the meadows at Annadale, 5 kms out of town. The Glen, further west, is a favorite picnic-spot with locals. Head north and visit Wildflower Hall, the former retreat of Lord Kitchner. Furthur on along the Hindustan-Tibet Road lies the quaint village of Mashobra. A gravel-road indicates the entry to the Seog Wildlife Sanctuary. The annual Sipi Fair is held in a little steep pathway off Mashobra. Tee off at the Naldehra Golf Course, on the northern outskirts of the town, at a distance of about 25 kilometres from Shimla. The 9-hole golf-course, set amidst sloping meadows at an elevation of 2,050 metres above sea level, was designed by Lord Curzon in the 19th century. The flora is impressive, ranging from alpine grass to pine and deodar. But the tourists are not permitted to enter the golf course and they can only have a distant view of the golf-course. There are two separate entries, one for walking and the other for horses, which lead to a vast ground surrounded by pine trees and golf-course. It is better go up by own instead of taking horses and enjoy the serenity. Kinnaur Kailash Parikrma Trek: Kinnaur is one of the most beautiful places but very less known district of Himachal Pradesh. This place is surrounded by Tibet, Garhwal Himalayan, spitti valley and Kullu. Sutlej River also flows from the Kinnaur valley. Tourists can experience a Buddhism life style, due to its proximity to Tibet.