The majestic snow clad mountains, stunningly rich greenery and the beautiful lakes in the land of Shimla greet you to enjoy their timeless beauty. Certain places on earth do boast of places that equal or even surpass the beauty of Shimla. However, Shimla which is one of the most visited tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh holds magic in the air, which is beyond comparison. No wonder it is called the Queen of Hill Stations.
The land so captivated the minds of the British when they ruled India that it was made their summer capital. The influence of British presence is glaringly evident in its buildings. One of the best features of Shimla is that you could visit it any season during a year. Here are some leading attractions of Shimla, which necessarily find a place in any tourist’s itinerary.
At the center of the town is The Shimla Ridge, which offers spectacular views of the mountain peaks of the land. The Ridge is a spacious open space that runs from east to west along the Mall, which is yet another famous tourist destination. It connects to the Scandal point on the west. If you love the view of mountains, this is your dream destination. The marvelous view of snow-clad mountain ranges spellbinds you.
Situated 2 km from Shimla, Jakhoo Hill is the highest peak in the entire hill station offers scenic view of the city and snow capped Himalayan Mountains. The 8000 ft Jakhoo Hill is a famous tourist attraction that is visited by nature lovers and pilgrims as well. It is home to the ancient Jakhoo Temple, which has a large statue of Hanuman, its chief deity. Located at an altitude of 8500 feet above sea level, the 108 feet tall statue has sensors to drive away the birds.
Pay a visit to the Wax Museum.
Visit the ancient Jakhoo Temple.
3. Mall Road
Famous for: Shopping, Cuisine, Photography, Tourist spots, History.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days.
Duration: Upto 4 hoursbut depends on the visitors pace.
Located below The Ridge, Mall Road offers a glimpse of Shimla in a nutshell. It is filled with many shops, cafes, restaurants, book shops and many tourist attractions. Take a stroll on Mall Road and get surprised at every turn by the things this place has to offer. The scenic beauty of Shimla can also be seen through here.
Sample some mouthwatering cuisines.
Shop for indigenous products of Himachal Pradesh.
Get astound by the history of Gaiety Theater and Town Hall.
Visit the attractions here like Scandal point and Kali Bari temple.
4. Kalka–Shimla Railway
Famous for: Nature, Photography, Railway, History.
Kalka- Shimla Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Mountain Railways of India. It was built in the year 1898 to connect Shimla with other railway lines of India by British. It runs from Kalka (a town in Haryana) to Shimla. It stops through many tourist places like Summer Hill, Solan and many more. A rail trip through this line will give the viewers some breathtaking views and the journey through many tunnels and bridges would make up for an unforgettable experience.
5. Christ Church
Famous for: Religion, Photography, Architecture, History.
A exquisite example of neo-gothic architecture, Christ Church has been an irreplaceable part of Shimla's scenery. Located on The Ridge, it was built in the year 1857 and it took almost 3 years to complete this architectural marvel. The stained glass windows, the clock tower and the frescos are some of the attractions of this church. It also houses the largest pipe organ in India and has been a part of many Bollywood Films like Black and 3 Idiots.
The Indian Institute of Advanced Study or Rashtrapati Niwas is housed in the famous Viceregal Lodge situated on top of the Observatory Hill. The building was constructed between 1880 and 1888 during British reign. The year 1965 saw the establishment of Indian Institute of Advanced Study here by Dr. Radhakrishnan.
A quaint town located on the outskirts of Shimla, Summer Hill is also called as Potter’s Hill. In the past, this was where potters used to gather clay to make pots. At a height of 1283 meter above sea level, Summer Hill offers spectacular views of the valley and the greenery around. It is 5 km from the famous Ridge, which is frequented by tourists in great numbers. The hill is a part of a cluster of seven hills, which form Shimla and hence you are sure to have breathtaking sights from the top.
Get astounded by Chadwick Falls.
Pay a visit to the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.
View many famous residences like Amrita Shergill's.
Take a ride to Shimla through the Kalka-Shimla Railway.
Kufri is located 17 kms away from Shimla. At an altitude of 2510 meters and in the Himalayan foothills, the hill station delights nature lovers and adventurers alike. Kufri along with some places around Shimla once belonged to the Nepal kingdom. This place is must visit for everyone visiting Shimla because of the stunning views it offers and also because of its status as an adventure hub.
Enjoy the scenic views.
Adventure sports like skiing.
Kufri Fun World, an amusement park.
Pay a visit to the Himalayan wild life zoo if there is time.
Annandale, also referred to as Annadale, is one of the star attractions of Shimla. It is around 4 kms from the Ridge. This flat terrain was once the playground for the British, who played cricket and polo here. Racing was also a popular sport conducted here. Now, the racecourse is converted into a small golf course, which is also used as a heli-pad.
The Shimla State Museum is situated at the top of Mount Pleasant. Also known as Himachal State Museum and Library, it was built in the year 1974. It was constructed to preserve the cultural richness of the state and to record its rich past. The colonial style building amidst marvelous lawns in itself is an inspiring sight. It gives you an in depth view of the city’s glorious past. It has a stunning collection of various objects relating to art, cultural anthropology and archaeology. The sculptures, paintings, handicrafts and coins are some of the classic collections found here.
Chail is a quaint hill station and was founded by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. As the story goes, Bhupinder Singh eloped with the daughter of the then Viceroy of India from a place now known as Scandal Point. This incurred the wrath of of Lord Kitchener who then banished the couple from Shimla. This place has the world's highest cricket ground and is perfect for people looking for a laid back holiday.
Located 150 kms from Shimla, Daranghati Sanctuary spread over 167.40 km, is one of the most important tourist attractions. It is in the upper area of Shimla. It was a hunting reserve in the past for Rampur Bushahr royal family. This forest area rich in wildlife was notified in the year 1962 as a sanctuary.
Built in an amalgamation of both Rajput and Mughal architecture, Arki Fort is a must visit for all history buffs. It was the built in the year 1660 AD and has been through many rulers in the past. This fort is perhaps best known for Kangra paintings which adorn this fort. These paintings are expected to be nearly 200 years old but still retain their beauty.
Get amazed by the architecture of Durga Devi temple.
Visit Lutru Mahadev Temple, and Shakhni Mahadev Temple.
Some of the other attractions in Shimla include Chadwick Falls, The Glen, Scandal Point, Kali Bari Temple, Tattapani hot springs, Himalayan Bird Park, Mashobra and Naldehra Golf Park. Stretch Out And Relax
This is not all about Shimla but only an earnest attempt to highlight the top 15 tourist places in Shimla. When you find a land, which has endless natural beauty, writing about its leading attractions is as difficult as covering the entire place in one go. Shimla is a place that needs many visits before you could claim that you have indeed seen Shimla. I would be glad if you could come up other important places to visit in Shimla, so that I would make a note to visit them the next time I am there.