Scenic Shimla, the biggest hill station of the world and the capital of Himachal Pradesh are settled at a height of 2100 meters. The stunning beauty and charm of Shimla was first discovered by a British officer, Lt. Rose, during the Gorkha war and was named after the temple of Goddess Shamla which was situated here amidst the thickly wooded forest. Shimla became the favorite hill resort of the British and also the summer capital of India during the British Raj. There are many places of interest in Shimla as well as around the town.
The Ridge, large open space in the heart of the town is a major attraction of Shimla. Tourists converge here while taking leisurely walks through the Mall and Lakkar Bazaar and enjoy the scenic beauty and charm of Shimla.
Christ Church is the second oldest church in northern India was built between 1846 and 1857 is one of the major landmarks of the town. It is set on the edge of the Ridge and noted for its Neo-Gothic architecture and immense historical value.
The Mall Road, the main shopping area of Shimla is also dotted with fine eating out places. The Gaiety theatre here is a replica of an old British Theatre and it is the cultural hub of Shimla. Also, no vehicular traffic is allowed on the Ridge, Mall Road, and Lakkar Bazaar.
Lakkar Bazaar lies near the Ridge and is popular for wood articles and souvenirs. The roller skating Rink here is also visited by the tourist.
Kali Bari Temple lies near the scandal point towards the general post office. The idol of Goddess Shamla is enshrined here.
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies is the prestigious institute established in 1964 is housed in the old viceregal lodge, one of the finest British colonial buildings. The structure was built in 1888 and it is a fine blend of Scottish Baronial and English Renaissance architecture styles. Its interiors are noted for excellent woodwork and are the first building with electric light in Shimla town. The Viceregal Lodge was the summer seat of the British government till the 1940s.
Chail (43 kms.)
The tiny hill resort amidst verdant forests was established by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, after he was banned to enter Shimla by Lord Kitchener in 1891. Chail sprawls over three hills- atop the Rajgarh Hill is the Palace; Old Residency ‘Snow View’ on the Pandava Hill and Siddh Tibba is known for the temple of baba Sidhnath.
The Palace: The magnificent green-roofed palace amidst thick deodar trees was built in 1891. It has been converted into a premium Heritage Hotel.
Cricket Ground: It was built atop a hill in 1893 at an elevation of 2444 meters and is the highest cricket and polo ground in the world.
Chail Wildlife Sanctuary: Key fauna – ghoral, barking deer, sambar, red jungle fowl, Khalid and cheer pheasants.
The tiny picturesque hamlet is very popular among tourists. During winters a large number of winter sports enthusiasts flock to this fine skiing resort. There is also a small zoo. The Himalayan Nature Park here provides eco-treks and camping sites. Fagu (22 kms.) The scenic site lies on the Hindustan-Tibet Road.
Mashobra (12 kms.)
It is surrounded by thick forests and is known for the Goddess Durga temple.
Naldehra (22 kms.)
Naldehra, the abode of Lord Nal is known for the thick cedar forest and world’s highest nine-hole par 68 golf course. An ancient Nag temple is also located here.
Tattapani (65 kms.)
This small village 25 kms. from Naldehra is known for hot water springs and temples.
Narkanda (60 kms.)
The charming skiing resort affords breathtaking views. The Hatu Peak (8 kms.) and the ancient shrine of Hatu Mata are worth visiting for spectacular views.
Kasauli (75 kms.)
Captivating Kasauli, nestled at a height of 1927 meters is noted for its colonial charm, lush tranquil surroundings full of deodar and pine trees, scenic views, and cleanliness. It was founded by the British forces in 1841 and developed as a cantonment sanatorium. The Pasture Institute established here in 1900, is the oldest of its kind in the country. Kasauli lies in Solan district and is 12 kms. from Dharampur, located on the Kalka Shimla highway.