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Best Places to Visit in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Best Places to Visit in Shimla

Shimla is one of the beautiful hill stations located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the best hill stations near Delhi, making it a popular weekend destination for delhites. It is surrounded by tall Himalayan mountain peaks, oak and pine trees.

Shimla is also known as the ‘Queen of Hills’ for its beautiful scenery. Shimla is situated at a height of 2205m above the ground level. It still retains its old history with beautiful colonial style buildings, especially in the Mall Road area, which is best for shopping for local items.

Some of the best places to visit in Shimla are The Ridge, Mall Road, Jakhoo Temple, Kamna Devi Temple, and scenic places like Jakhoo Hill and Chadwick Falls. Other attractions are the Viceregal Lodge and Christ Church to Kufri and Green Valley. These places offer opportunities for religious visits, trekking, and adventure activities.

The Ridge and Mall Road

The Ridge and Mall Road are Shimla’s most iconic and popular attractions for visitors.
Here’s what you need to know about them:

The Ridge is a large open space located in the middle of Shimla. It is a central gathering point and offers stunning views of the Himalayan ranges. Visitors can enjoy strolls, indulge in street food, or soak in the vibrant atmosphere. The Ridge is also home to several important landmarks, including the Christ Church and the Scandal Point.

On the other hand, Mall Road is Shimla’s main shopping hub. This pedestrian-friendly street is lined with Victorian-style buildings, restaurants, and shops selling everything from locally crafted souvenirs to traditional Himachali woolens. A stroll along Mall Road is a beautiful experience.

Key Highlights:

  • The Ridge
  • Central gathering point
  • Panoramic views of the Himalayas
  • Landmarks like Christ Church and Scandal Point

Mall Road

  • Pedestrian-friendly shopping street
  • Victorian-style architecture
  • Shops selling souvenirs, woolens, and local crafts
  • Restaurants and cafes

Both The Ridge and Mall Road are easily accessible and offer a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and local culture, making them must-visit destinations for anyone exploring Shimla.

Jakhoo Hill and Chadwick Falls

Jakhoo Hill, the highest point in Shimla, offers beautiful views of the Shivalik Ranges. You will also find tallest statue of Lord Hanuman here, and a temple where the deity is believed to have rested during the Ramayana. The Kalka-Shimla Toy Train, a UNESCO World Heritage narrow-gauge railway, provides a picturesque journey through the mountains.

Chadwick Falls is another popular attraction in Shimla. Here are some key highlights:

  • Entry is free and open from 6 AM to 6 PM daily.
  • Located about 7 km from the city center, it is best visited during the rainy season (June to September) when the water flow is higher.
  • Nearby places to visit include Shimla Glen, Summer Hill, and Luturu Mahadev Temple.
  • Visitors should explore the falls in groups and head back before sunset to avoid encountering leopards in the forest after dark.
  • It is advisable to carry food and beverages as no food stalls are nearby.
  • Chadwick Falls has an average rating of 4/5 stars based on 69 reviews.

Shimla Tourism offers various tour packages to visit Chadwick Falls and other attractions in the city, making it convenient for travelers to explore the region.

Viceregal Lodge and Christ Church

The Viceregal Lodge, also known as the Rashtrapati Niwas, is a tall colonial mansion that shows a blend of English Renaissance and Scottish Highland architectural styles. It served as the summer residence of the British Viceroy who governed the Indian subcontinent during the British Raj era from 1888 to 1946. Constructed in 1888 for Lord Dufferin, the lodge features a mock-tudor design with elaborate gardens. It’s located on Observatory Hill, the second-highest point in Shimla.

  • Advanced Technology: The lodge boasted advanced technology, including a complex piping system for hot and cold water, a steam generator for electricity, and possibly India’s first light switch.
  • Historical Significance: Many significant decisions concerning India were made at the Viceregal Lodge during the British Raj. It hosted important historical events, such as visits by Mahatma Gandhi in 1922 and 1931, the Shimla Conference in 1945 that proposed the Wavell Plan, and the 1947 partition discussions that led to the creation of India and Pakistan.

Christ Church, built by the British in 1857, is the most popular landmark and one of the oldest churches in North India. Known for its brilliant Neo-Gothic architecture and stained glass windows representing virtues like faith, hope, and charity, the church holds memorial tablets honoring those who built the British empire in India. Its pews were marked out for the Viceroy, the Commander-in-Chief, and the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, reflecting its historical significance.

Kufri and Green Valley

Kufri, a beautiful hill station, is renowned for its stunning snowy mountains and adventure activities. From October to March, it receives significant snowfall, transforming the landscape into a winter wonderland. Popular attractions in Kufri include

  • Himalayan Nature Park
  • Mahasu Peak
  • Kufri Fun World
  • Green Valley
  • Indira Tourist Park
  • Retreat Building
  • Chini Bangla
  • Tattapani Hot Springs

Green Valley, located near Kufri, is a beautiful tourist spot offering panoramic views of the Himalayas.
Here are some key highlights:

  • No entry fee, but a 50 INR charge for using binoculars
  • Open from 6 AM to 6 PM daily.
  • The best time to visit is from February to April and July to October.
  • Nearby attractions include Kufri Fun World (1.2 km), Reserve Forest Sanctuary (2.3 km), Jakhoo Hill (4.3 km), and The Mall in Shimla (4.8 km)

Both Kufri and Green Valley are well-connected by air (Shimla Airport), rail (Kalka-Shimla toy train), and road (cabs/buses). Accommodation options range from luxury hotels to budget homestays and cottages. Visitors can savor local Himachali delicacies like kheer puda, sabz chana, and sepu badi madra.