17 June

10 Places to Visit in Shimla - The Queen Of Hills

ALICE HINES 15 Comments

10 Best Places to Visit in Shimla

Came into the existence in the 1960s this hill state has come a long way from being a remote and isolated place to a major tourist destination in India. The state has so much to offer with varied landscapes, lush green fields in the Plains, broad low altitude valleys like Kangra to high altitude alpine forests and some of the most remote and exotic locations in the world.

 Nestled in the Lower Himalayas, Shimla (Simla) also known as “Queen of Hills” is one of the biggest hill stations in the world, the former “Summer Capital” of British India. One of the reasons why Shimla was chosen to be the Summer Capital of India during the British rule apart from its proximity to places like Delhi and Ludhiana etc. was the climatic conditions of Shimla and London are very similar and it made British Feel like home.

Usually, people take 2 nights destination but, to explore the town properly one may need at least one week in Shimla. To have the real experience you need to take walks around Shimla. These walks include the famous Mall Road, Forest Road, and Mall Road to Vice Regal Lodge and further to Chadwick Falls, Glenn, Annadale walk, and Jakhu temple hike.

Shimla has a number of places for travelers and tourists. Here is a quick run through all the famous tourist spots in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh:

1.    Kufri: Kufri is a hill station near Shimla and is the highest point in the vicinity with an altitude of 2290 meters.  It is usually a lot cooler than Shimla. This place is famous for skiing in winters and it houses a zoo comprising of rare Himalayan Antelopes, felines, and birds. This place has a fun world with a go-carting track on top. Also, this is the point from where the famous Himalayan apple belt begins.

2.    Naldehra: A golf club which is about 26 km away from Shimla was created by Lord Curzon when he was Viceroy of India. The gold course was then named after his daughter Alexandra Naldehra. The golf course is surrounded by thick pine forest and the walks around the golf course are mesmerizing and peaceful, on the other side it offers beautiful views of Shimla and valleys below.

3.    Tattapani: Once famous for hot water springs and river rafting is now a host to an artificial lake due to the construction of Kol Dam. The rafting activities have been shifted further up the river which provides a better experience to the adventurers. The place also is an alternate route to Kullu and Mandi. A hike from Tattapani to Shimla also starts from this point.

4.    Chail: A small town 45 Km’s away from Shimla was created by Maharaja of Patiala Maharaja Bhupinder Singh as a result of his ban on entry to Shimla, the Maharaja then decided to build his own summer retreat and hence Chail became famous, it has a polo ground and highest cricket ground in the work (2250 meters AMSL) the place offers many hikes and is a good get away from the bustling life of Shimla.

5. Vice Regal Lodge: Now known as Indian Institute of Advanced Study, it is a neo-gothic structure from the Victorian times built in 1984 by Sir Henry Irwin is the most spectacular building in Shimla. This used to be the residence of the Viceroy of India and is surrounded by pine forest. The place has to offer beautiful views of the Himalayas and lush green gardens. The building amazingly had first of many modern facilities consisting of concealed electrical wiring, its own steam-powered electricity generator and water sprinklers in case of fire.

6.    Annadale: It’s a table of land which was later developed by the British in the late 1800s.The place was 1st discovered by one of the early explorer Capt. Charles Pratt Kennedy and he named this beautiful valley after his boyhood sweetheart Anna and combined it with dale to Anna’s Dale which eventually became Annadale. The place was a popular spot among the British for organizing Fairs and Fetes. It also had a polo ground and race ground. When you plan a trip to Shimla, army museum is a must visit spot.

7. Glenn: Glen, a famous spot for picnicking, is located at a distance of 4 km from the Scandal Point, Shimla. The Glen is surrounded by pine and deodar. The valley area surrounded by woods, greens, and rolling slopes makes it an amazing tourist spot. The scenic beauty of the area attracts tourists from all over the country and abroad. Shimla Glen is really a perfect choice for relaxation. So, all those who are visiting Shimla, do visit this beautiful picnic spot and feel the romance of the place. 

8.    Chadwick Falls:  Located in Glen Forest it’s one of the most beautiful places in Shimla.  Located at 7 Kms away from Shimla, it is a great getaway from the daily run-around in Shimla. The falls are surrounded by dense deodar forest which makes it beautiful and mysterious at the same time.

9.    Shimla Town:  The town of Shimla in itself is a beautiful place to visit.  The main attraction and centre of town, the famous Mall Road has been the centre of all trade in Shimla since British time. Well, Shimla has come a long way since then but the Road still is the main attraction of the town and as the name says, it’s a Mall along the Road. All the famous brands have their showrooms. The Mall Road is connected to the famous Ridge of Shimla which actually is a huge water tank and is still used for supplying water to the main town. Adjoining areas are Lakkar Bazaar famous for wooden handicrafts. The ice skating club too is in the vicinity and is one of the kinds in South East Asia.

10.    Catchment Area: This, without doubt, is a paradise for hikers, bikers and you can even drive in the forest from here. One has to 1st get a permit as it’s a reserved forest and entry without prior permission is prohibited. It’s part of Hassan Valley, the densest pine forest in Asia. The place is full of flora and fauna with rarest species of plants and animals found here. If one is lucky you may even spot leopards and barking deer here. The forest is peaceful and even has a guest house but at 5 PM it has to be vacated as overnight stays are not allowed. If you wish one may take a few hours hike from here to the NH 22 to a small village called Chharabra.

 

So, if you are planning a trip to the British Summer Capital, keep in mind that it has more to offer than what meets the eye. We are assuming that with the given information you will be planning a longer trip to Simla next time when you pay a visit to “Queen Of Hills”.