Shimla - Nature and Culture Intertwined

The capital town of Himachal Pradesh, surrounded with serenity in the North-Western part of Himalayas, Shimla, is undoubtedly amongst the most beautiful and the most enchanting hill stations of India. Covered with the blanket of scented air and nature’s beauty at its best, Shimla, also spelled as Simla. Shimla expands over 2,250 meters (7,380 feet) of the area. It has a mesmerizing edge of European conditions to it: during the British Raj, the Europeans who could manage around back to England used to spend their time here to experience the exotic dimensions of this splendid Hill Station. A welcoming ambiance with attractive flowers, glorious valleys, architecturally rich temples, high mountain ranges, and crystal clear rivers: Shimla has everything to offer and that too in abundance.

Sight Seeing

This beautiful canopy of hills has something to offer everyone: from people inclined towards religion to those with an adventurous streak in their veins, the possible spots for sight-seeing are inexhaustible. Some of the most remarkable places to pay a visit are:

  • Chadwick Falls
  • Daranghati Sanctuary
  • Tattapani
  • Mashobra
  • Dorje Drag Monastery
  • Shimla State Museum
  • The Mall (Main street Shimla)
  • The Ridge
  • St. Mary Church
  • Seven Hills
  • Kafu
  • Jakhoo hill
  • The Summer hill (Potters’ hill)
  • Kufri

At a distance of around 162 km from Shimla, one can also visit Sirmaur, where the largest lake of the Himachal Pradesh state, Lake Renuka, flows.

Roll the Dice

With umpteen sports and festivities to offer, Shimla stands as one of the most exciting hill stations on the Indian canvas. Besides the most obvious option of camping and water sports, there are other thrilling alternatives, as well. Rock Climbing, Rope Walking, Rappelling, and Forest Treks are the most engaging activities amongst others. Besides, Ice Skating and Paragliding are also a sensory treat for enthusiasts.

Satisfy your Tummy

Popularly called the ‘Queen of the Hills,’ Shimla does not only offer visual treat; the mouth savoring cuisines available there at cheap prices also give it an edge over other tourist spots. Factually, Pahari or Himachali cuisines are universally enjoyed. The main reason for its widespread acknowledgment is its uniqueness and authenticity in terms of flavors and taste. Chan Madra, Chicken Anardana, Siddus, Auriya Kadoo, Sepu Badi Madra are the most delicious food items of Shimla that leave their rich spices in one’s tongue as well as the heart. The best food services could be availed from The Peterhoff, Ashiana & Goofa, and Hotel Holiday Home.

Festival Fun

Food and festivals go hand in hand. Shimla is a wonderful place to visit for the people who want to enjoy the vitality of life.

Festivals like Ice Skating, Rhyali Festival, Spring Festival, and summer festivals are the central attraction for the tourists.

Demonstrating the rich Indian heritage, multiple fairs like Bhoj Fair, Lavi Fair, Bharara Fair, and most significantly, Narwali Mela mesmerizes everyone. Moreover, night club like Shimla Club and movie theatre like Ritz Cinepie adds enthusiasm to the nightlife in this city.

Climate

Shimla has a subtropical highland climate. It is frigid in winters but soothingly warm in summers. The average temperature recorded in winters ranges between -1º C to 10º C, and in summers, it ranges between 19º C and 28º C.

One can enjoy a breath controlling view of the falling snow mostly in the months of December, January, and sometimes in February too!

Best Time to Visit

One can plan to visit this amazing hill station in summers to enjoy it to the fullest and beat the scorching heat. Though, tourists who want to witness the heavenly snowfall can visit it ideally from October to February anytime. For Budget-friendly travelers, family vacations in July or August could be a luring experiencing for the monsoon hills to reveal their magically pacifying facets during these months. Generally, from September to June, the vivacity of the Shimla never disappoints.

Where to Stay

Like every attractive tourist spot, Shimla provides ample alternatives for accommodation in pocket-friendly packages. The best hotels, however, are Clarke’s HotelHotel Amber, and The Oberoi, amongst a few others. Most of the hotels provide an expanded view of this beautiful city and also captures the essence of the Himachali culture in its ethnic form.

  • Snow King Retreat
  • Rock Heaven Hotel
  • Hotel White
  • Hotel Combermere
  • Clarkes Hotel
  • Shimla Havens Resort
  • Hotel Willow Banks
  • Radisson Hotel Shimla
  • Hotel Hot Spring Therme & Spa
  • Honeymoon Inn Shimla
  • Hotel Marina
  • Hotel CK International
  • The Apple Blossom
  • Toshali Royal View
  • Victory Hotel
  • Fairmount Hotel

Transport

To reach Shimla, one can easily opt for Air modes of transport or the Railways.

Airways: Jubbarhatti is the airport in Shimla to which regular domestic flights are available from major cities of India.

Railways: For those who intend to travel by Railways, Kalka is the nearest railway station that connects Shimla to various neighboring states. Conveniently enough, the train to Shimla from Kalka could be taken to reach in as less as 6 hours.

Roadways: Shimla has a good roadways network well-connected to many major towns. As well as Chandigarh, the famous big city is connected to Shimla through NH22. Distance between major towns and Shimla, by road:

  • Mumbai: 1742 km
  • Delhi: 380 km
  • Bathinda: 330 km
  • Ambala: 152 km
  • Kalka: 90 km
  • Srinagar: 787 km
  • Jaipur: 629 km
  • Jammu: 482 km
  • Dehradun: 227 km
  • Agra: 568 km
  • Haridwar: 278 km
  • Pithoragarh: 703 km
  • Chandigarh: 120 km
  • Patiala: 172 km
  • Amritsar: 342 km
  • Kolkata: 1460 km
  • Kanya Kumari: 2500 km

Economy

The tourism and hotel industry plays a principal role in developing the economy of Shimla. There are some government sectors too. The government tries to promote the IT and the technology sector as well.

Education

Though being a hill station, the city has many outstanding schools and colleges. There are some institutes for higher education, as well. Some schools from the British era also exist here. List of some education centers in the city are:

  • Mount Litera Zee School Arki Near Solan
  • S.V.M. Vikasnagar
  • St.Marry School Chakkar
  • S.P.M. Model School Sanjauli
  • Shimla Public School
  • Savitri Public School Talland
  • Sacred Heart School Tarahall
  • Loreto Convent, Tara Hall, Shimla
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya Jakhoo
  • H.P.University Model School Summerhill
  • Himalayan Public School Kaithu
  • Hainault Public School Shimla
  • GSSS Shimla
  • GSSS Portmore
  • GSSS Lakkar Bazar
  • GSSS Boileauganj
  • GHS Summerhill
  • GHS Khalini
  • GHS Jakhu
  • GHS Chaura-maidan
  • GHS Annandale
  • Dayanand Public School Shimla
  • D.A.V. Public School Totu
  • Convent Of Jesus & Mary
  • Blue Bells High School Dhalli
  • Bal Shiksha Niketan Chakkar
  • Arya Sr. Sec. School Shimla
  • Auckland School Shimla[1]
  • Bishop Cotton School (Shimla)
  • Chapslee Garden School Shimla
  • D.A.V. Public School Lakkar Bazar
  • D.A.V. Public School New Shimla
  • ECI Chalet Day School Shimla
  • GHS Bharari
  • GHS Dhalli
  • GHS Kaithu
  • GHS Krishananagar
  • GHS Tutikandi
  • GSSS Chhota Shimla
  • GSSS Phagli
  • GSSS Sanjauli
  • GSSS Totu
  • Happy Model Sanjauli
  • Himalayan International School, Chharabra
  • Jesus & Marry School Shimla
  • Laureate Public School Bharari
  • Monal Public Sanjauli
  • Sanjay Gandhi SSS New Shimla
  • S.D. SSS Shimla
  • Shishu Shiksha Niketan Totu
  • St.Edward's School Shimla
  • St.Thomas SSS Shimla
  • Tibetian SSS Shimla

Some names of the popular institutions for advanced studies in Shimla are:

  • Central Potato Research Institute, a member of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
  • National Academy of Audit and Accounts for training of officers of the Indian Audit and Accounts services (IA&AS)
  • The Himachal Pradesh University
  • Alakh Prakash Goyal Shimla University
  • Indian Institute of Advanced Study
  • University Institute of Information Technology, Himachal Pradesh University (UIIT)
# College Name Address
1 Government College Shimla Rohit Niwas, Near Ram Lila Ground, Seema / Tel - 91 1782 233021
2 Govind Ballabh Pant Memorial Government P. G. College Shimla Rampur, Bushehr
3 IITT College of Engineering Kala Amb, Distt. Seymour / Tel - 91 172 2560247 | 5048565, Fax - 91 172 2560247
4 Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla Rashtrapati Niwas / Tel - 91 177 2831390, Fax - 91 177 2831390
5 Indira Gandhi Medical College Tel - 91 177 2804251 | 2808011 | 2805502, Fax - 91 177 2658339
6 Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology & Nutrition Shimla Kufri / Tel - 91 177 2004022 | 2648197, Fax - 91 177 2648208
7 International Centre for Distance Education & Open Learning --
8 Kotshera College Chaura Maidan / Tel - 91 177 2831251, Fax - 91 177 2831251
9 Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya Tel - 91 177 2807959, Fax - 91 177 2807959
10 St. Bede's College --

With multiple natural, geographical, and historical temptations to offer, Shimla doubtlessly reigns as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations. Colorful and feisty vibes envelop Shimla throughout the year. Once in a lifetime, one must ideally plan a vacation to this ‘Queen of the Hills’ to delightfully experiencing the unique amalgamation of an eventful life and calm, restorative nature.

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