Top 5 Places in Shimla, Temperature, Best Time to Visit, Hotels etc. – A Complete Guide
Shimla is the capital and the largest city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The city is significant for being the summer capital of British India. The colonial architecture, churches, temples and the natural environment of the city attract tourists from all over the world. Shimla is also famous for having South Asia’s largest natural ice-skating rink. The city is also an education hub having a number of colleges and research institutes.
Shimla is on the South-Western ranges of the Himalayas at an average elevation of 2206m above sea level. The city is built on top of seven hills – Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill.
How to Reach
By Road: Shimla is well connected with all the major cities in North India. NH5 connects Shimla to Chandigarh, located 120km from Shimla. Shimla is situated at a distance of 380km from New Delhi, the capital of India. State-run public buses are available from Delhi/Chandigarh. You could also drive or hire a private taxi from Delhi/Chandigarh.
By Rail: Kalka Shimla Railway, a narrow-gauge track listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, connects Shimla to the rest of Indian rail system. This 96km long ride offers a pleasant view of the Himalayas. Kalka has daily trains to most of the Indian cities.
By Air: Shimla Airport is located at Jubbarhatti, 23km from the city. Regular flights operate between Shimla and Delhi. The nearest major airport is Chandigarh Airport, located at a distance of 116km from the city.
The temperature ranges between 19℃ and 28℃ in summers, which can come down to -1℃ to 10℃ during winters. The place witnesses snowfall in the months of January and early February. The weather is cool in winters and moderately warm during winters. The city receives an annual rainfall of about 1500mm, which is much heavier than that in plains but significantly less than other hill stations.
Best Time to Visit
Although the weather is pleasant throughout the year, the winter season from December to February is the best time to visit Shimla to experience snowfall and explore ice sports like skiing and ice-skating. The immense scenic beauty makes it the perfect time to visit this beautiful place. March to June is also a great time to visit Shimla and get relief from the scorching heat of North India during this period. The weather is warm and you may need light woollens at night.
Heavy rainfall in the monsoon season accompanied by landslides might affect your vacation if planned in July-September. Make sure to properly check the weather forecast if planning a trip during the monsoon season.
Top 5 Places to Visit in Shimla
The Ridge – The Mall
The Ridge is a large open space, located at the centre of Shimla. It is the hub of all the cultural activities in the city. All the major tourist attractions of Shimla like Mall Road, Jakhu Temple, Annadale Ground etc. are connected through the Ridge.
Christ Church, the second oldest Church in North India, is located in the Ridge area. The area also has statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Y.S. Parmar.
The centre of social life in Shimla, The Mall is lined with numerous cafés, shops and food joints. The place is home to major government offices and prominent landmarks of the city. It is also a popular shopping location for tourists to buy souvenirs. The Mall Road is located adjacent to the Ridge. The entry of automobiles is strictly prohibited in the area. It is a perfect place for an evening stroll. Locals and tourists can be seen roaming on the street.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study/Viceregal Lodge
Set up by the Government of India in 1964, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study is a research institute based in Shimla. It was originally built as a home for Lord Dufferin, Viceroy of India from 1884-1888 and was known as Viceregal Lodge. It is located on Observatory Hill at a distance of 3.5km from the Ridge. It later housed all the subsequent Viceroys and Governors-General of British India. The structure was the first electrified building in Shimla. Initially, the estate spread over an area of 331 acres but is today reduced to 110 acres.
Jakhu Temple is an ancient temple in Shimla, dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is situated on the Jakhu Hill, the highest peak of Shimla, at an elevation of 2455m. According to Ramayana, Lord Hanuman rested at the place while searching for Sanjivini Booti to revive Lakshmana. A giant 108 feet high idol of Hanuman was unveiled at Jakhu Hanuman Temple in 2010. The temple can be reached by foot, horse, taxi or ropeway. It is located at a distance of 2.5km from the Ridge.
Annandale, also known as Annadale, is a flat valley bottom located in the suburb of the city of Shimla. The Shimla helipad and the golf course are located here. It is at an elevation of 1864m from sea level. The Durand Football Tournament started in 1888 at the Annandale ground. In 2005, the Army established a war museum on the periphery of the ground. It is located at a distance of about 3km from the Ridge.
Kali Bari Temple
Kali Bari Temple is a Hindu temple located on Bantony Hill. The temple is devoted to Goddess Shyamala, a reincarnation of Goddess Kali. Shimla city is believed to be named after Shyamala. The temple resembles the Dakshineswar Kali Temple of Kolkata. It is located at a distance of 800m from the Ridge. Being located around the centre of the city, the temple premise has a beautiful scenic charm.
Adventure Sports in Shimla
Apart from the above-written landmarks, Shimla is also a great destination for various adventure sports. A few activities that you can explore in Shimla are:-
Where to Stay
There are several hotels and resorts in Shimla. A few good options to book for your stay could be:-
Marigold Sarovar Portico
Nature Nest Eco Resort
Hope the above information helps you in finalizing your trip to Shimla. Do try to visit this beautiful place.