Shimla: Queen of Hill Stations
The British called Shimla the “Queen of Hill Stations.” located in the north-West Himalayas, Shimla the summer capital of India before independence is now the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla derives its name from “Shyamala”;- the deity Kali, whose temple existed in the dense forest that covered Jakhu Hill in the early nineteenth century. English named it Simla. Shimla is well connected by air, road and rail with all parts of Himachal Pradesh, and the neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashimir and the Union territory of Chandigarh. Covering the area of eighteen sq. km. at a height of 7,238 ft. Shimla is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and shrub forests. It’s well developed facilities, easy accessibility and various attractions make it one among Indian’s most well-liked and largest hill-stations.
A narrow-railway links Kalka with Shimla. This important rail-link was in-built 1924 and its “toy trains” still ply between the 2 stations, passing through one hundred and five tunnels and beautiful rail-road stations. Half-way through the journey, after solan, the lights of Shimla flow in the distance, looking like glimmering jewels studding the dark green of the mountains. The train takes six hours, and at every stop on the journey are smiling faces giving a heat welcome.
Situated in the North-West Himalayas, the climate of Shimla varies from a maximum of 10-11 degrees in winter to a maximum of 25-26 degreesShimla in summers. Shimla ne’er permits the gods to boost the temperature higher than that limit and the gods always oblige. Shimla changes its moods with the seasons. In spring we see flowers of every kind, both wild and cultivated, smiling in each garden. During the monsoon, we see some of the best sunsets in the world.
Winter in Shimla is known because the season of “Long moon-night.” It becomes a frost glistening silent town. A gathering of dark clouds tells us of the approach of snow usually a slight fall 1st, followed by a heavier one when the snowflakes sweep down through the fine-needles bending long branches to the bottom. The following morning sees the city as an amazing fairyland of white beauty.
Places of Interest in and Around Shimla
The Mall: The Mall is the main shopping center of Shimla. It conjointly has several restaurants, clubs, banks, bars, Post Offices and tourer offices. The Gaiety Theatre is additionally located there. People walk up and down the Mall slowly, stopping to gossip, as it is the main meeting place for everybody. The Ridge and Scandal point are the 2 main meeting points at the Mall.
Christ Church, Ridge Shimla, and Christ Church: located on the Ridge is Christ Church that is the second oldest church in Northern India. It’s a awfully majestic look and inside there are glass windows that represent faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility. Christ Church is a place all guests ought to pay a while in.
Jakhu Hill: two kms from Shimla, at a height of 8000 ft, Jakhu Hill is the highest peak and offers a stunning view of the city and of the snow-clad Himalayas. At the highest of the Hill, is an old temple of Hanuman, which is also the house of uncounted elvish monkeys waiting to be fed by all guests.
Shimla State museum: The Museum that was opened in 1974 has tried to project hill-out and the cultural wealth of the state. There’s a group of miniature Pahari paintings, sculptures, bronzes wood-carvings and additionally costumes, textiles and jewelry of the region.
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies: This institute is housed in the viceregal Lodge that was inbuilt 1884-88 during British times. It spacious gardens and is ringed by lovely pine trees. All is calm and serene simply the proper atmosphere for a student of literature or politics.
Summer Hill: located at a distance of five kms from the Ridge is the pretty town of Summer Hill at a height of 6,500 ft. on the Shimla-Kalka railway line. Mahatma Gandhi lived in these quiet surroundings during his visits to Shimla. Himachal Pradesh University is located here.
Annandale: Developed as the playground of Shimla, Annandale is 2-4 kms from the Ridge at a height of 6,117 ft. it’s a favorite spot for cricket, picnics and also the princely game of polo.
Tara Devi: 11kms from the Shimla bus-stand. Tara Devi features a temple dedicated to the deity of stars on top of the Hill. There’s a military dairy city here also as the headquarters of Bharat Scouts and Guides. At a height of 6,070 ft. Tara Devi is a perfect place for an individual wanting peace and some rest.
Sankat Mochan: a preferred Hanuman temple is located here. We get a wonderful view of Shimla from the temple. It will be reached by automotive or on foot.
Mashobra: thirteen kms away from Shimla, Mashobra has many wonderful picnic spots. Mashobra is the site of the annual Sipi fair in June. The closest rest house is at Craignano which is three kms from Mashobra, and is a stunning resort.
Ski Slopes at Kufri: sixteen kms from Shimla at a height of 8600 ft. Kufri is that the winter sports capital. Throughout winter, guests have the power for sport. The sport season is at its best throughout Jan and Feb. instrumentality for sking is out there from HPTDC winter sports club at Kufri except for sport, Kufri could be a beautiful picnic spot with a good looking read of the hills around and therefore the snowy peaks
Naldehra: twenty two kms from Shimla and enclosed by stunning true cedar trees. Naldehra encompasses a well unbroken nine-hole golf-course. It’s a beautiful, well-liked picnic spot. The annual Sipi honest in June is control in Naldehra.
Chail: Chail could be a very little mountainous heaven forty five kms from Shimla. It absolutely was the summer capital of the maharajah of Patiala before Independence. The forests close to Chail have several species of birds and ruminant. Chail is thought for its cricket pitch that is that the highest cricket ground within the world.
Shimla is that the best marketplace for the handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh. Woollen and pashmina shawls, ornamental things, handwoven shoes, dolls, woollen caps, graven wood sticks, toys and different things created type wood are created in Shimla itself and are on sale within the Lakkar Bazar. Tibetan jewelry and trinkets are found within the tiny Tibetan retailers close to the Ridge.
Shimla has the sole natural ice rink in India. An Ice-skating Carnival is organized per annum by the Ice-skating Club throughout January throughout this festival; members show their ability on ice and participate in a very masquerade costume competition.
The summer pageant in Shimla offers the simplest diversion of the year. Artists are invited from all components of Himachal Pradesh and from different components of the country to entertain guests with song, dance and music each Indian and Western.
Besides the summer festival, regular cultural programmes are organised in Shimla throughout the traveler season.