Sightseeing in Shimla

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    Jul 24, 2014
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Sightseeing in Shimla Photo by John Mune

Once the summer capital of the British Raj, Shimla draws hordes of travellers. The cedars, peaks, greenery, colonial structures and religious places all ensure that the hill town has something to offer to everyone. Talk about shopping, and you have the famous Mall Road, one of the biggest shopping streets in the country. There is also the Lakkar Bazaar, adjoining the Ridge, where you can pick up wooden souvenirs. When a couple of friends and I visited Shimla, we realized that there were so many things to do on our bucketlist that we needed a rather long break to tick away all the boxes! If you love taking long walks, there are many trails you could take. One among the trails you could take is the forest trail in the Glen and routes near Summer Hill, where you can enjoy bird watching.

Colonial architecture and history

We love history and all things related to our colonial past, so during our visit to Shimla, we made it a point to just walk around and enjoy the splendid colonial architecture. Make a trip to the Viceregal Lodge which was built as the official home for British viceroys in 1888. Today, the lodge is home to the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. You can take a tour of the buildings in the vicinity. If you want to visit other examples of historic structures, there’s the Town Hall, the majestic neo-Gothic Gorton Castle, which now houses the Offices of the Accountant General. Then there is the Rothney Castle, which was the home of A O Hume, who was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, at one point. If you are in Shimla, you can’t possibly miss an experience aboard the Kalka-Shimla Railway; the route has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s list.

Picnic spots

If you are a nature lover, you could picnic at the Annadale, which is near the Ridge. It was a playground for many games like cricket and polo for the British. Today, it is a beautiful spot to picnic. The Glen is another picnic spot near Shimla, just four km away. The Chadwick Falls, a very popular tourist attraction, is surrounded by forests and hills, and is an absolutely stunning place to visit.

Religious spots

If you get a sense of calm and peace by visiting the many religious places in Shimla, the Kamna Devi Temple, about six km away from Shimla, the Tara Devi Temple, which is 15 km away, and Jakhu Temple, which is 2.5 km away from the Ridge in Shimla are all spots you must visit. Also, there’s the Christ Church, St. Andrew’s Church, and Dorje Drag Monastery you could pay a visit to.

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Summer is the best time to visit Shimla, and May-June is the peak season. The period between summer and autumn is good to visit. In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of hotels in Shimla to suit various budgets and needs.

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