Shimla

Set high in the foothills of the Himalayas, Shimla is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, and is well known for its colonial heritage. Shimla served as the former summer retreat of the British Government during the time of the Raj, providing an escape from the heat and dust of Delhi. This famous hill station is the setting for much of ‘Kim’, Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale.

Nowhere else does the past meet the present with such an obvious flare. Grand mansions, white washed churches, cricket pitches and little antique steam trains sit alongside chaotic bazaars and brightly coloured iron rooftops.  With traffic banned from the city centre, there is the rare opportunity enjoy a pleasant amble, despite the hilly ascend, through the main road, the heart of the city, known as The Mall.   At the end of the Mall, the tourists convene at The Ridge, both for the market and for the spectacular views.

The best time to visit is just before the winter sets in between October and November when it is still warm. Spring is a little unpredictable but the flora and fauna are quite spectacular when in bloom.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Kalka-Shimla railway is synonymous with the town. This narrow gauge railway built by the British in 1903 continues to delight passengers today. The journey offers breathtaking views of the surrounding villages, foothills and forests, as it gently winds its way steeply upwards through the mountains.

Outside of the bustling hill station head to Mashrobra to stay at The Oberoi Wildflower Hall.  Here you can enjoy the glorious setting of the cedar forests set in the foothills of the Himalayas.  Shimla combines very nicely with Chandigarh and even Amritsar, both providing a fascinating insight into India’s rich and colourful history of cultures and religions.

Itineraries in Shimla

Family India – The Golden Triangle & Hill Stations Of The North

Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Shimla,

Mountains & Monasteries

Delhi, Amritsar, Dharamsala, Taragarh, Pragpur, Shimla

Hotels in Shimla

The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

greaves_oberoi_cecil

Wildflower Hall, Mashobra, Himachal Pradesh

Sunset from Wildflower Hall