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Himachal Guide - Shimla

MapGeneral Info

The British Empire may have ceased to exist, but its echoes linger on in Shimla (2130m) 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. Placed in the tower ranges of the Himalaya Mountains, it is surrounded by pine deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Towards the north lie the snow covered high-ranges, while the valleys broad whispering streams and swaying fields. Within the town are a host of splendid colonial edifices, quaint cottages and charming walks. Shimla tours hold a variety of shopping, sport and entertainment options.

Altitude: Varies from 300 meters to 6,000 meters.
Temperature: Summer - Max.27°C, Min.14°C & Winter - Max.16.5°C, Min.5.2°C.
Clothings: Summer - Light woollens, Winter - Heavy woollens.
Best Season: April to Mid-July, Mid-September to Mid-November.
Languages Spoken: Pahari (Local Dialect), Hindi, English.
STD Code: 0177.

Air :
Vayudoot services connect Jubbor-Hatti (23 kms from Shimla) with Kullu, Chandigarh and Delhi. Delhi is in turn connected with Culcutta by Indian Airlines flights. Jagson Airlines has also flights from Delhi to Shimla.
Rail: Shimla is connected by a narrow guage railway line with Kalka (90 kms) which in turn is connected with the major cities in India.
Road: Regular bus services connect Shimla with Chandigarh 117 kms, Kullu 220 kms, Manali 260 kms, Delhi 343 kms, Mandi 150 kms, Pathankot 380 kms, Ambala 151 kms, Chail 43 kms, Dehradun 240 kms etc.

Manali 260 km., Mandi 150 km., Palampur 235 km., Dharamshala ( via Hamirpur ) 235 km., Dalhousie 336 km., Sarahan 175 km., Sangla 230 km., Kalpa 244 km., Tabo 374 km., Kaza 421 km., Keylong ( via Kunzum Pass ) 610 km., Hatkoti 109 km., Chigaon 137 km., Kssauli 75 km., Renuka 165 km., Delhi 370 km., Pathankot 295 km., Chandigarh 117 km.

Like any other destination, Shimla has its own specialty to offer, representative of Himachal's unique culture, craft and tradition. You can buy handicrafts, wood and metalwork shawls, pullovers, local tweeds, caps, Tibetan carpets and pickle, jams and squashes.
The Himachal Emporium: People interested in genuine local handicrafts must visit this place located on the (western) Mall.
The Tibetan Refugee Handloom Shop: Located on the (Eastern) Mall, it showcases local development projects apart from selling carpets, clothes and other Tibetan crafts. Besides, there are a number of private shops and showrooms selling object art and crafts.

Shimla has a number of good restaurants and eating joints. Being a tourist destination for world over all types of food is available in Shimla, but finding a restaurant serving anything traditional is difficult to find. In general most hotels  have restaurants serving varied cuisine. Mall the main tourist attraction has a most number of popular restaurants and eating joints. Devicos is a multi-cuisine restaurant, serving north Indian, south Indian, Chinese and Continental. Baljees is ideal for breakfast or a quick lunch while shopping at the Mall.

  • New Plaza Restaurant
  • Popular bakeries
  • Embassy Restaurant
  • The Devicos Restaurant
  • Goofa Aashiana
  • Himanis Restaurant
  • Aroma Restaurant
  • Ashoka Restaurant
  • Automatic Bakery
  • Baljees Restaurant
  • Beekays 11
  • Bhasoli Restaurant
  • Cafe Coffee Day
  • Daffodil Food Hut
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Tripti Restaurant
  • Baljees Restaurant

Shimla tourism is an ideal for those who plan to get away from the scorching heat of the plains and enjoy in the midst of the land of snow and clouds. Shimla is referred to as the 'Queen of Hills' because of its enormous scenic and natural beauty. Holidaying in Shimla is matter of heavy delight and fun. This hill resort is a perfect tourist destination. Shimla is situated at an elevation of 2159 meters above the sea level. 

Some great Hiking, some skiing, some beautiful scenes and a cool environment that's what Kufri is all about. It is famous for its trekking and hiking trails. Adventure-seeking travelers throng Kufri in winters to enjoy skiing and tobogganing along its snow-covered slopes. The Skiing season spreads between November to February and the tourist inflow is at its peak during winters. 
Kufri is a tiny hill station located 19-kms from Shimla on the National Highway No.22. It has a Himalayan Nature park and close by is the Indira Tourist Park. Indira Park provides some great views of the nearby places. Here one can enjoy a Pony or a Yak Ride.

Indira Tourist Park:
The Indira Tourist Park is near the Himalayan Nature Park and provides panoramic view of the locations around.

Wild Flower Hall: 
Wild flower hall is situated at an altitude of 2,498 m and 13 km from Shimla on Hindustan-Tibet Road. Nestling among thick flora and fauna, the Wild Flower Hall commands a breathtaking view of the snows.

State Museum: 
The museum showcases a large collection of Pahari miniatures, stone sculpture, local handicrafts, textiles and embroidery. 

Indian Institute of Advanced Studies:
This magnificent English renaissance structure was the former Viceregal Lodge which was built in 1884-88 during the British times. Its lawns and woodland are added attractions. Entry by ticket. It has spacious gardens and is ringed by beautiful pine trees. All is calm and serene just the right atmosphere for a student of literature or politics.

The Mall:
It is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Shimla. Dotted with colorful shops and swanky commercial plazas, this is the perfect place to hang out.

Shimla Ridge:
Located in the heart of Shimla is the famous tourist attraction known as The Ridge. The Ridge is the hub of all cultural activities of Shimla. It is situated along the Mall Road, which is the famous shopping center of Shimla. Most major places of Shimla like Lakkar Bazaar, Mall, Scandal Point, Jakhoo hill, etc. are connected through the Ridge.

Jakhu Hill:
2 km. from town. This is the highest peak of Shimla and offers panoramic view of the town and the mountains. 'Hanuman Temple of Jakhu' is very famous. According to legend, Hanumanji took some rest here when he was carrying a hill of 'Sanjiwani Booti' ( a herb to save the life of Lakshmana, the younger brother of Lord Rama ).

Distance 4km. This is one of the most beautiful picnic spots of Shimla with flowing streams through dense forest. Approach is near ‘Cecil Hotel’ and ‘Kennedy House’..

Situated 45 km. from Shimla.. This was the ‘Summer Capital’ of the erstwhile Patiala State. The small town is located amid thick woods and has fine walks. It has the highest cricket ground in the world. The dense forests around are alive with many species of birds and animals but it is best known for its ‘Scottish red Deer' which were introduced by the Maharaja.

The scenic nine hole naldehra golf course, with its springy turf and crown of deodar was laid out at the instance of Viceroy , Lord Curzon .So enamoured was he by the beauty of the spot , that he named his youngest daughter Alexandra Naldehra .(23 kms) . The rolling greens of Naldehra in Himachal Pradesh are par for the oldest golf course in India. This is an unusual course, perched at a height of 2044 metres, strewn with boulders, trees and little hillocks.

A place of unique beauty is the oak and pine retreat of Mashobra, 9.6km from gaiety at an altitude of 2,149 metres (7,700 ft.), it is unbeatable for an ideal interlude beneath oak and pine. To dream the night away and enjoy the sylvan surroundings, is the equally beautiful rest house of Craignano and the Circuit House of Fair Lawns. On the top of the hill, for the naturalists, it is considered to be among the most beautiful rest houses in Shimla Hills.

22 km. Fagu's idyllic surroundings area for those looking for tranquillity and solitude. A slamm hamlet overlooking prosperous apple orchards and with a fine view of the Himalayan Panorma. Fagu is also a popular trekking stage.