A quaint little hill train chugs up into the Shivalik foothills, over dramatic loops and high arched bridges to the hill resort of Shimla (2130 m) - the capital of the mountain state of Himachal.
Shimla was one a string of hill stations that the British established to escape from the scorching heat of the plains. The 12 km, crescent shaped ridge on which it is located was first occupied by the British troops, in the early part of the 19th century, during the Anglo-Gurkha War.
The little village of Shymala, a retreat for British officers, soon grew to become the glamorous summer capital of the British, in India.
Shimla's salubrious climate, easy accessibility and numerous attractions have made it one of the most popular hill stations in northern India. The splendid views of the show-clad ranges of the Himalayas, fine walks through oak and flowering rhododendron, enchanting resorts within easy reach, golf Naldehra and skiing at Kufri and Narkanda make Shimala an attractive destination throughout the year.
THE RIDGE: The large open space in the heart of town presents excellent view of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks-the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new-Tudor library building are worth seeing.
THE MALL: Main shopping centre of shimla with restaurants. the Gaiety Theatre, which is a reproduction of an old British theatre is a center of cultural activities. A passenger lift of HPTDC can be taken from the Cart Road and the Mall. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is popular for its wood crafts and souvenirs.
KALI BARI TEMPLE: Few yards from scandal Point towards General Post Office. It is believed that the idol of Goddess Shayamla is enshrined there.
JAKHOO TEMPLE (2.5 Km) 2455 m: Shimla's highest peak offers a panoramic view of the town. An ancient "Lord Hanuman" temple. Way from Ridge near Church (on foot) One can also hire pony or taxi to visit the temple.
STATE MEUSEUM (3 Km): Ancient Historical Sculptors and paintings of Himachal Pradesh. Visiting hours 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed on Monday and gazetted holidays.
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES (4 Km) 1983 m: This magnificent English renaissance structure was the former Viceregal Lodge. Its lawns and woodland are added attractions. Entry by ticket.
PROSPECT HILL (5 Km) 2155 m: Crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi 15 minutes walk from Boileauganj on shimla Bilaspur road. the hill offers a spectacular views of the area.
SUMMER HILL (7 Km) 1983 m: A picturesque superb on Shimla-Kalka Railway line. Offers shady walks in quiet surroundings. The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur. HP University is situated here.
CHADWICK FALLS (7 Km) 1586 m: Surrounded by thick forests. About 45 minutes walk from Summer Hill Chowk.
SANKAT MOCHAN (7 Km) 1975 m: On Shimla-Kalka road (NH-22) is famous "Lord Hanuman" temple. It commands an excellent view of Shimla town. The place can be visited by Bus/Taxi.
TARA DEVI (11 Km) 1851 m: On Shimla - Kalka road (NH-22) this holy place is accessible by Rail, bus and car. From the station/road-one can visit the temple either on foot or by taxi / jeep.
FAGU (22 Km) 2450 m: On Hindustan-Tibet Road. It has enchanting views. Himachal Tourism runs the Hotel peach Blossom.
NARKANDA (60 Km) 2708 m: On the Hindustan Tibet road, Narkanda offers spectacular views of snow ranges. An uphill trek through Deodar woods leads to Hatu Peak (8 Km). Ancient temple of Hatu Mata is alive with skiers. HPTDC runs Hotel Hatu and in winters short skiing courses are organised.
KOTGARH (82 Km) 1830 m: Motorable, bifurcation from Narkanda (18 Km) Land of apples and apricots.
SARAHAN (176 Km) 1950 m: On Hindustan Tibet Road from Jeori Sarahan is (17 Km) with spectacular view of Srikhand range. Sarahan has the majestic Bhimkali Temple. Himachal Tourism runs Hotel Shrikhand. Saharan is the gateway to Kinnaur. A Pheasant Breading Centre and stadium are worth visiting.
KHARAPATHHAR (85 Km) 2673 m: Motorable on Shimla-Rohru road. A famous religious shrine Giriganga is 7 Km on foot or by jeep. HPTDC Tourist complex Giriganga Resort under construction.
JUBBAL (90 Km) 1892 m: Headquarters of the erstwhile Princely State, Jubbal has a superbly maintained Palace which was designed by a French architect in the 1930 and is remarkable mix of European and indigenous styles.
HATKOTI (104 Km) 1400 m: Motorable on shimla-Rohru highway. Famous for ancient temple of Mata Hateswari in the midst of paddy fields on the right bank of the Pabber river. HPTDC runs Hotel Pabber here.
MASHOBRA (12 Km) 2148 m: Motorable on Shimla-Naldehra road. Surrounded by thick forests and offers ideal walks. Goddess Durga temple is worth seeing.
CRAIGNANO (18 Km) 2149 m: Motorable on Shimla-Naldhera road, Ideal picnic spot with lawns and garden.
NALDEHRA (22 Km) 2044 m: Motorable On Shimla Tattapani road. this is a nine hole golf course. It was designed by the British viceroy, Lord Curzon who was so enchanted by this place that he gave his daughter Alexandra, Naldehra as her second name. Ancient Nag temple is also situated here. Himachal Tourism runs Hotel Golf Glade here.
TATTAPANI (65 Km) 680 m: Motorable on Shimla-Mandi Highway via Naldehra. Tattapani has hot water springs having sulpher contents, also Hindu temples and Shiv Goofa at Saraur (4 Km) are worth seeing places
CHINDI (94 Km) 2010 m: Motorable on Shimla-Mandi highway via Tattapani - A beautiful place in Karsog Valley. Himachal tourism's tourist Resort is opening shortly. One can also visit famous mahunag Temple (18 Km). Mamleshwar mahadev Temple (13 Km) Kamaksha Devi temple (19 Km) Pangna Killa/temple (8 Km) and Shikari Devi Temple (18 Km).
Mashobra (2,149 m) Noted for its apple orchards and thick woods of oak and pine. Mashobra is a sylvan retreat with pretty walks and picnic spots. A little track leads down to Sipur a grassy glade with a stream wandering through it. Excursions are possible to Shali Peak - the highest point in the area or to Craignano (3 km) with its elegant guest house set in a delightful flower-filled garden. (9.6 km)
Kufri (2,622 m) Kufri is a noted summer and winter resort with its glorious views of forested slopes and tall ranges iced in a covering of perpetual snow. A fine ski resort, Kufri has a winter season that extends from January to March. A sparkling winter sports festival is held each year in February. (16 km)
Fagu (2,509 m) Just 6 km from Kufri, Fagu is a vantage point with panoramic views of the ranges and valleys. Picturesquely located amid forests and orchards, Fagu has a rest house and tourist bungalow overlooking the Giri Valley.
Naldehra The scenic, nine hole golf course with its springy turf and crown of deodar was laid out at the instance of the Viceroy, Lord Curzon. So enamored was he by the beauty of the spot, that he named his youngest daughter Alexandra Naldera. (23 km)
Tattapani Tattapani is just 28 km from Naldehra, along a road winding through the scenic country side. The hot sulphur springs here, are hoted for their invigorating and curative powers. (51 km)
Narkanda (2,708 m) A hill road with superb views links Narkanda with Shimla Narkanda, located amidst fragrant pine forests is a ski resort in winter. It has a choice of slopes ranging from a beginners run and a slalom slope, to sharper descents for the experienced skier. (64 km)
Hattu Peak (3,300 m) Rising above forests of spruce, the Hattu Peak is a vantage point with spectacular views. (8 km). The pretty orchard country of Thanedar and Kotgarh - beautiful in spring - are not far away. Khadrala and Beghi with their dense forests and Kumarsain with an interesting wooden palace are also within easy reach of Narkanda.
Hatkati (1,100 m) In the picturesque valley of the River Pabbar, about 104 km from Shimla, is noted for its historic temple dedicated to Durga. Enroute to Hatkoti is the village of Kotkhai, splendidly located among apple orchards - a village with fine traditional architecture. Jabbal, once the capital of a princely state with its impressive palace is also on the way.
Beyond Hatkoti, 11 km away, is Rohru (1,149 m) on the River Pabbar - an excellent spot for angling, with fishing pools teeming with trout. The trout hatchery at Chirgaon, (15 km) upstream, ensures a well stocked river.
Rampur Rampur was once the capital of the princely state of Bushair and a major centre on the old trade route into Tibet. The annual Lavi Fair, held in the second week of November, is still an important event for the inhabitants of the region. They gather to buy, sell and barter their produce - homespun blankets, shawls, wool and dry fruits - and to celebrate the event with music and dance.
Rampur, on the banks of the Sutlej is on the N.H. 22 - the old Hindustan-Tibet Road that goes from Shimla into Kinnaur. The scenic village of Sarahan with its fascinating Bhimkali Temple is on this road beyound Rampur. (140 km).
Getting There & Away
Linked by air to Delhi, Chandigarh, Kangra and Kullu. The airport at Jubbarhati is 23 km from Shimla.
It is linked by a narrow gauge line to Kalka which is connected to Delhi, Calcutta and Amritsar by broad gauge. Kalka-Shimla in 96 km and 6 hours by train but only 4 hours by a quaint rail car.
Shimla is well connected by road to most towns within the state and to all major towns in Punjab and Haryana. It is linked by bus and coach to Delhi and Chandigarh as well. Delhi is 370 km away, Chandigarh 117 km, Kalka 90 km and Ambala 166 km. Within the state, Narakanda is 64 km away, Mandi 156 km, Kullu 240 km, Manali 280 km and Dharmashala 280 km.
HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) has coaches to all major towns in the area besides Chandigarh and Delhi. General Information
Altitude : 2,130 m above sea level
Temperature : Between sub zero in winters and 30 C in summer. Through out the year.
Best Season : (Summer/Winter)
Clothing : Light Woolens/Heavy Woolens STD code : 017