Height: Most of the town lies between 2,100 m and 2,300 m
Languages spoken: Hindi. Also English, Punjabi and Pahari.
Religion: Mostly Hindu. Also Sikh, Muslim and Christian
Medical Facilities: Good
Telecommunications: Worldwide links by the net, telephone and fax, code: 0177
With all its intricacies, history seems to have been the mortar for every brick and stone that has built Shimla. As the summer capital of British India for well over a century it was the seat of one of the most powerful governments in the world. From its cedar-shaded heights, one fifth of the human race was ruled and the decisions made those decades ago affect our lives to the present day.
Map of tourist spots around Shimla
Plan Your Sightseeing
If you are fond of walking, Shimla will unfold parts that remain hidden to vehicles. Combinations by car and then on foot are possible in several areas. It is suggested that you take a direction for the day and cover the places of interest.
The area around the Institute of Advanced Study has several walks. Combine these with visit to the State Museum and expand if you will towards Kamna Devi.
Tara Devi and Sankat Mochan can be linked with a short train ride to Tara Devi station. The Himalayan Queen that leaves Shimla at 10.15 am is recommended.
Jakhoo can be combined with a stroll and shopping on the Mall and in Lakkar Bazaar. The Lower Bazaar that runs parallel to the Mall at a lower level has the flavour of a typical Indian market place. Trinkets that can be purchased here include silver jewellery. You can also walk towards Chotta Shimla and Raj Bhavan the residence of the state Governor. The recently created rooms of Himachal Darshan offer a glimpse of the various district in the state. Jakhoo has several paths that criss-cross the hill a good walk is along the old Five Benches Road near the microwaves link tower. The Bharari spur also has many walks that can be done in a few hours or carried over the day
Some routes offer a greater variety of Shimla trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns. If you are lucky some bird species can also be sighted. Some suggested places are:
The Glen, and the narrow forest trail that runs above it and loops around Summer Hill. The Bharari spur. Towards the villages of Kamina and Pabo. Trek route down from Kamina to Tattapani.
Most of Shimla has diverse colonial forms culled from all over Europe.
English Renaissance: With a castle-like appearance is the former Viceregal Lodge which is now the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. This is surrounded by assorted cottages.
English Home Counties Marketplace: The Mall
Neo-Gothic: Gorton Castle now the office of the Accountant General and formerly the Imperial Civil Secretariat; the Secretariat of the Himachal Government at Ellerslie; and the Gaiety Theatre on the Mall
Norman- Baronial: District Courts.
Swiss- Bavarian chalets: The Chalet Day School and Cedar Lodge (Punjab Government Rest House).
Tudor: The Library on the Ridge and Barnes Court
Churches: Christ Church, St. Andrew and the deconsecrated churches of St. Andrew’s (now, the Evening College) All Saints Chapel 9nearthe gates of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study).
Cemeteries: Adjoining Oakover, the residence of the Chief Minister of Himachal has the oldest one. The largest ‘old-one’ is below St. Edward’s school and is approached via the Potato Research Station. The one at Sanjauli also dates back to colonial times and is still in use.
Others: Yarrows, various schools and college and cottages all over town.
Handicrafts. Shawls and tweeds. Fruit juice and jams. Honey. Quality woollens. Silver jewellery. Rare books and etchings. Contemporary pahari miniature paintings. Metalware. Rugs and carpets. Handmade footwear. Wooden items like walking sticks.
Planning a Week in the Shimla Sector
A week’s time will give you a healthy sampler of Shimla. Dividing your time between the town and suburbs is suggested. You can also divide your stay between the town and the peripheral region. A good time to do the walks are the mornings. A visit to the Mall is the ideal plan for the evenings. When visiting the suburbs plan for most of the day. In season, an appropriate activity like activity – like ice-skating can be pursued. Let your hotel or an approved travel agent help you plan your itinerary – those few minutes will add a great deal to your stay.