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Places To Visit In Shimla

Imagine Snow-covered Mountains, heritage sites, architecture-clad buildings, breathtaking lakes, pleasant climate, and alluring greener. Shimla offers everything one can ask for in a destination. The locations in and around Shimla continue to amaze with their charming beauty. This magic in the air makes everyone fall in love with Shimla. It is a romantic and peaceful getaway for a weekend in the lap of nature.

A varied range of attractions, natural splendors, and fresh air makes Shimla a perfect holiday destination. Set amidst stunning hills and mystical woods, Shimla is a very popular hill-station in India. British loved Shimla so much that they made it their summer capital and used it whenever the temperature rose. The weather is pleasant in Shimla for most of the summer months. The winters are cold with snow from December to February.


Jakhoo Hill

Jakhoo Hill

Jhakoo hill is situated just 2 km away from the city center and offers a panoramic view of valleys and snow hills. This hill holds the highest elevation point in Shimla and is famous for its Hanuman temple. The Hanuman Idol stands at 108 ft making it the tallest statue. Alpine trees surround it and the most popular tourist spot on this hill is Jakhoo temple. This destination holds a dear place in Indian Mythology as Hanuman is known to have rested here while flying to bring Sanjeevani for Lord Lakshman during the war in Lanka.

Tourists often take a break here from bustling downtown to enjoy the cool weather it offers. One can see the beautiful Shivalik mountain ranges from here. Besides it being a devotional place, mountaineering and trekking are the adventure activities pursued by tourists. It is open for visiting from 7 am to 8 pm every day.


Shimla Ridge

Shimla Ridge

You can easily call the ridge of Shimla as the hotspot where the entire buzz happens. This tourist attraction is located in the heart of Shimla and is a hub for various cultural activities. It connects other popular destinations like Scandal Point, Mall Road, and Lakkar Baazar. The summer festival which happens every year in April or May is very famous and brings down throngs of tourists.

Festivals and other fairs are held at Ridge as it has a large open space. It provides an excellent view of snow-clad mountains with the scent of pine forests. Tourists can easily spend 3-4 hours shopping, visiting restaurants and enjoying the nightlife. It lies approximately 2 km from the Shimla bus stop and is open on all days. The best time to visit Shimla ridge is during winters for snowfall and natural beauty.


Mall Road

Mall road

As the name suggests, the road is laced with shops, restaurants and other commercial spaces on either side. This is the main street of Shimla famous for shopping during the day and a delightful place to enjoy the sceneries in the evening. It is connected to Ridge and Scandal point with various attractions along the way. It lies at a distance of 6 km away from Shimla bus stop. With numerous shops and eateries on this road, it is a popular place to shop, eat and hangout.

Couples usually spend their evening walking on the Mall road and enjoying scenic views. It is a perfect place for couples to enjoy the company of each other and for families to shop to their heart’s content. The best point of Mall road is that it is closed for vehicles and strolling can be done without concern for motor traffic.


Green Valley

Green valley

Green Valley is a breathtaking mountain range that lies near Kufri, Shimla. This spectacular valley is considered as a god’s gift to Shimla. It is surrounded by verdant Pine Hills on all sides. It is a must-visit destination for photographers and nature lovers. It is one of the serene mesmerizing destinations for the tourists visiting Shimla and many movies use this pristine beauty as a destination for shooting songs.

It is located at a distance of 8 km from the Shimla bus stand. It is a natural gorge filled with trees like pine and deodar. It is very common to see animals like Yak grazing and wandering in the Valley. The visiting timings are from 6 am to 6 pm all year round. The fresh smell of trees and pure air make it an unforgettable holiday for all.


Kalka Shimla Train Ride

Kalka-Shimla train ride

Shimla tourism recommends Kalka-Shimla-Kalka toy train ride in its tourism. It is one of the amazing train experiences you can ever enjoy in India. The Kalka-Shimla toy train ride is not a destination by itself but it gives splendid sights of beautiful landscapes in Shimla. It is listed in UNESCO’s world heritage sites in the year 1903. The train ride takes you through 102 tunnels, 900 odd curves and 870 bridges amidst spectacular valleys and hills.

It is called a toy train ride as the train runs on the narrow gauge which is a rare sight. There are a total of 20 stations in the 96km run ride. It is recommended to book tickets in advance to get reserved seats. Some of the tunnels during the ride are 1 km long. The ticket fare varies from train to train with express being costliest than passenger train.


Shaily Peak

Shaily Peak

Shaily peak which is located in Naldehra hill station is a famous sunrise and sunset point. Trekking is required to reach the peak. It is formed by Himalayan ranges and lush green forests. The peak has a steep slope. Though trekking is a bit hard, the destination makes it a fun and adventurous activity. Pony rides are available for a small fee to experience the beautiful landscape it offers. The interesting trek comes with motorbike tours. Tourists can hire motorbikes to reach their peak.

The peak is about 22 km away from Shimla. A golf course located nearby will compel you to visit the hill. It is best to start your trek in the morning and pack a small lunch to eat on the way.


Shimla State Museum

Shimla state museum

Built-in colonial style, the Shimla state museum was once the home for Lord William Beresford. It is housed in a vintage Victorian mansion and is located on the famous mall road in Shimla. It lies just 3 km away from Scandal point in Shimla. The museum is open to Indian and foreign tourists. It opens at 10 am and closes by 5 pm. The museum contains a nice collection of historical sculptures, jewelry, coins, paintings, and artifacts that are collected from all over the country. The museum is open on all days except Mondays and public holidays.

There is a library in the museum which has books and journals that show the diversity of Indian culture and heritage. It is a must-visit place for history buffs to collect new information.


Viceregal Lodge

Viceregal Lodge

One of the most structurally remarkable and historically significant buildings in Shimla is the Viceregal Lodge. It was the former dwelling for British viceroys from 1888 to 1946 and the summer capital of British India. History and architecture enthusiasts will love the building. The glory of the place is well-maintained with manicured lawns and gardens. Though the building is handed over to the Indian Institute of advanced studies, all the heritage paintings and pictures are well preserved inside. It lies on the top of an observatory hill and offers stunning views of landscapes around it.

The Viceregal Lodge was also called as Rashtrapathi Bhavan (as it served as president’s home). The timings for visiting are from 10.30 amto5 pm. It is closed for tourist visits on Monday.


Kali Bari Temple

Kali bari temple

This holy shrine is located just 1.5 km away from Shimla railway station. The temple was strategically built and dedicated to goddess Shyamala who is the fearless incarnation of Goddess Kali. The name of Shimla is supposedly derived from goddess Shyamala (also known as goddess Kali). It is a popular tourist location built amidst the scenic beauty of Shimla. The temple was built in the year 1845. It lies approximately 5 km away from Shimla bus stand. The temple is open on all days in a week from 7 am till 6 pm.

The temple is popular for its architecture, religious and historical significance. The temple is maintained well and is clean. Visit during the month of Dushera to witness the goddess in her full glory.


Kufri

Kufri

Tourists probably hear the word mini Switzerland when they ask about Kufri. It is a little hill station in Shimla that is famous for hiking trails and trekking. The lush green hill station is popular as the home of annual winter sports that are held in January or February. Some fun activities visitors can do in Kufri are skiing, tobogganing, nature walk to Mahasu peak. The month of January is interesting to visit as you can witness the national snow statue competition.

It is situated 16kmaway from Shimla and it takes 30-40mins to reach this hill station. Some other winter sports to indulge are hiking in the snow, horse riding, and heli-skiing. It is fun to visit with families as it has a small zoo and yak riding facilities. There are some good slopes in Kufri which makes skiing even more interesting.


Chail

Chail

If you find Shimla to be too crowded with tourists for your peaceful holiday, pack your bags and travel to the quiet hill station of Chail. It is a mere 2-hour ride from Shimla and perfect for weekend getaways. The quaint and beautiful hill station of Chail is the former summer capital during the olden days. It served as a capital for the then princely state Patiala. Get mesmerized with the stunning views of the countryside nature and a pleasant climate that is persistent throughout the year.

It was set up as a summer retreat for maharajas during those times to escape the summer heat. It boasts of a cricket ground with the highest altitude in the world. The cricket ground, dining at Lake Restaurant, wildlife sanctuary, and the Palace hotel is not to be missed tourist spots. The best time to visit Chail is the summer months to beat the Indian heat.


Summer Hill

Summer Hill

Of the seven hills in Shimla, summer hill is the most popular destination to connect with nature. It offers a pleasant atmosphere at lofty heights and greenery is omnipresent in every direction. It gives a cool spot in hot summers to de-stress and unwind from a chaotic life. Situated about 5km from the Ridge center, it is visited to see Manorville mansion. It is a photography haven and tourists come to enjoy the scenery and serenity it offers. Tourists that visit summer hill enjoy horseback riding through thick forests.

Warm clothing is preferred to keep the body cozy from chill winds. Trekking in the lush forests is a great way to enjoy nature at its best. Winters are extremely cold and harsh here. The best time to visit summer hill is the months of April to June with perfect climate and ambiance.


Kiala Forest

Kiala Forest

Situated in the valley of Kotkhai, the Kiala forest is an interesting destination for tourists to visit. It attracts wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts with lush vegetation and indigenous fauna. Tourists come from different places to visit and to bask in the natural splendor. Tourists can opt for resorts facing the lake and forest to enjoy a perfect holiday. Tourists are recommended to explore the forest on foot with necessities like snacks and water to enjoy the best views. Wild animals can be spotted in their natural territory during your tour.

Be sure to carry cameras as the landscapes and wild animals are captured beautifully in the lens. The months between March to October are good for visiting. Avoid trips during monsoons as it will be difficult to explore the forest in the muddy path.


Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church is one of the heritage monuments of India and the second oldest church in northern India. It was built during the British rule and it served as the residence for several British people. It is an architectural marvel with exemplary neo-gothic style and has a lot of historical significance dated back to 1860s. The majestic church attracts tourists for its majestic looks during the day and stunning illumination at night.

Serenity and ambiance are major attractions for tourists that come to see the church apart from its architectural wonder. This matchless beauty is a must-visit destination during the Shimla tour. The visiting hours start at 8 am and end at 6 pm daily. This monument is a perfect example of hope, humanity, and religion in its character portrayal. It lies at a distance of 6km away from the Shimla bus stand.


Chadwick Waterfalls

Chadwick waterfalls

Situated deep inside the Glen forests, this waterfall provides calmness away from the city’s hustle. It is located about 7 km away from Shimla. The place is a delight for nature lovers that enjoy peaceful moments, photography fanatics, and adventure seekers. The waterfall is rather short with water falling from 100 meters of height but gears up its grandeur from the surrounding landscape. Deodar and pine trees with chill air around will lift your senses. The breezy climate makes the waterfalls a refreshing place to rejuvenate.

The waterfall looks full of force during monsoon season with abundant water. It feels extremely refreshing to take a dip in the cold water as the chills reach deep to the bone. Splash around and enjoy a picnic near waterfalls.


Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex

Gaiety heritage cultural complex

This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Shimla located on the mall road. it lies at a distance of 1 km away from Shimla bus stop. It is a gothic Victorian-style theatre built by Henry Irwin, the renowned architect. This popular monument stands proudly on the busy street of Mall road. The heritage complex houses an art gallery, multi-purpose theater, city museum, conference hall, and amphitheater. Various artists from all over the world performed at this theatre in the olden days.

The visiting hours are from 9 in the morning to 5 pm. It requires a good duration of 2 hours to visit it completely. The building is a century-old structure yet attracts visitors with its style.


Tara Devi Temple

Tara Devi temple

The Tara Devi temple is situated 12 km away from Shimla and can be visited by road if you are traveling on Kalka Shimla Highway. The temple was built by Raja Bhupendra Sen after he had a vision of goddess Tara wishing to be available for the common people to seek her blessings. The king installed the idol of Tara Devi that was made from 8 different elements.

The temple is surrounded by scented pine trees and lush meadows. The temple is located on top of the hill (Tara Parvat) offering a panoramic view of the forest below. This 250-year-old temple is legendary for its historic importance. It is said to be built for one of the 9 sisters of goddess Durga named Sharada. Take a break on your journey to enjoy the fresh mountain air. The timings to visit the temple are from 7 am to 6.30 pm every day.


Kuthar Fort

Kuthar fort

The 800-year-old architectural wonder known as Kuthar fort was once the residence of the Kuthar royal family. It is a perfect destination for serenity and history buffs to learn a dash of historic importance. The fort is a spectacular heritage site and is just an hour's drive away from Shimla. It is now converted into a royal resort with an area of 53 square km. The fort features, well-kept gardens, ancient temples and fresh-water springs inside its premises. Rajasthan artistry is flaunted well in the fort architecture.

Architects can take inspiration from its pillars and arches. There are a lot of wood carvings and paintings integrated into the architecture. The resort lies within the fort premises and tourists can now utilize the luxury of booking their royal suite for a grand stay.


Manjathal Sanctuary

Manjathal sanctuary

Nestling in the lap of terrains of Himalayas rests Manjathal sanctuary. It is one of the most diverse wildlife sanctuaries in Shimla. It is recommended for trekkers and leisure backpackers to explore this destination. Tourists cannot expect hotels or restaurants around this destination to rest. Tourists can set up camping or families can go on a picnic on a cool day. Visitors are allowed to click photographs of the flora and fauna without disturbing them. It is a calm place to spend a weekend with family.

It is ideal for bird watching too. You can spend 2 hours to look around flora and fauna before heading back. It is open forvistorsfrom9amto 6 pm on all days. Avoid visiting the sanctuary during monsoons as the chance of visitors being stuck because of landslides is possible.


Mashobra

Mashobra

Mashobra is tucked between green landscapes and surrounded by apple orchards. Mashobra rests in the picturesque valleys of Shimla with pine and oak jungles. This hamlet is the most idyllic retreat with much-needed seclusion and privacy. There are a lot of attractions in Mashobra for tourists to spend a day and visit each of them. A visit to reserve forest sanctuary is a must if you love bird watching. It is quite common to spot pheasants, eagles, and partridges here. There is an entry fee for visitors and visiting hours are from 9ma to 6 pm.

Camping is the most sort-out recreation for tourists visiting Mashobra. Thrill-seekers find Mashobra perfect for biking, trekking, paragliding, rappelling, and rock climbing. Bird watching, river rafting, and skiing are the most popular activities to indulge in. The presidential retreat also happens to be located on the hilltop of Mashobra.


Indian Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Advanced Studies is a popular research center but it is also a well-known tourist spot in Shimla. Before it was turned into the Indian Institute of Advanced studies center, it was the summer retreat for president. It worked as Rashtrpathi Niwas where the important decision of creating Pakistan out of India took place. It is an iconic historic monument with great significance. The monument is also an architectural treat to visitors. One can see Victorian-style majesty and grandeur in its walls.

The monument is open for visitors every day except Mondays. The timings are from 9 am to 5 pm from July to April. The Summer Months of May to June, the timings are extended till 7 pm. It is around 3 km away from Shimla bus stop.


Annadale

Annadale

Are you in a mood to play sports? Annadale is the playground for Shimla city with flat terrain. This destination served as a playground to the British from pre-Independence. It is a go-to destination for playing cricket, polo, racing, and golf. It is located near Ridge of Shimla which is 3 km away from the Shimla bus stop. It is located on the western side of Shimla surrounded by deodar and oak trees. The terrain is splendidly beautiful and serves as a good spot for a picnic. The best time to visit is in November where the breeze is cool.

The popular attractions of this destination are the Army Heritage Museum and the cactus museum. The playground is huge enough to organize festivals, parades, sports, etc. the Army museum is an interesting visit that should not be missed.


Johnnie’s Wax museum

Johnnie’s Wax museum

This is the recent addition to Shimla’s tourism. It was established in2016 and became quite popular as the first wax museum of Himachal Pradesh. Wax statues of movie actors and other important people in India are displayed here. It is a fun outing for tourists and families in Shimla. Important personalities and fictional characters like Steve Jobs, Harry Potter and James Bond from various parts of the world are also included to attract tourists. It opens at 10 am and closes at 10 pm. It is just about 1.5 km away from the Shimla bus stop and easily accessed.

It is located on the Mall road and the entry fee is free for children below 5 years of age. Photography is allowed inside and visitors can click pictures with their favorite personalities wax statues.


Himalayan Bird Park

Himalayan Bird Park

Located next to the Viceregal Lodge building is the Himalayan bird park. The best time to visit the park in the summer months of April to July. It is also called as Himalayan Aviary. Tourists and bird lovers should not miss this destination in their Shimla tour. The Himalayan Bird park lies at an altitude of 2200 meters. The natural vegetation is so dense. The climate allows various floras to grow there and acts as home to indigenous and exotic birds. Pheasants, peacocks, and Himalayan Monals can be sighted here.

The Park is open every day except Monday. The timings are from 10 am to 6 pm. The winter season covers all the vegetation with snow and hence it is not recommended to visit in colder months.


Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan temple

As you enter Shimla, if you take a short downhill tour from the Tara Devi temple near Highway you will come across Sankat Mochan temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. People living in Shimla worship Lord Hanuman as he is a problem solver. A sadhu or a religious figure named Baba Neeb Karori Maharaj found a place that was peaceful for meditation and decided to build a temple here in 1950. With the help of devotees, the temple took its form finally in 1966. The present temple complex is a three-storied building with a Prasad hall and marriage hall included in it.

This spiritual destination is quite popular among the tourists for its lush green surroundings and deities. In this temple rests the deities, Lord Shiva and Lord Ram along with Lord Hanuman. It is approximately 5 km away from the Shimla railway station and easily accessible to tourists.


Dorje Drak Monastery

Dorje Drak Monastery

Dorje Drak is the Buddhist monastery situated 7km away from the Shimla bus stand. This beautiful monastery is a beautiful example of the prevalence of Tibetan culture in Shimla. It is quite a sight to observe the monks meditating in the monastery. The monastery is rectangular and boasts of Buddhist architecture in Himalayan ranges. People visit it for its calm ambiance and spiritual holiness. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days.

If you visit Shimla in May, visit Dorje Drak Monastery to the celebration of Hemis Pageant to honor the guru Padmasambhava. Stay for an hour or two inside the monastery to rejuvenate and draw your inner energy.


Tattapani

Tattapani

The heartbeat of Shimla lies in the hot water springs of Tattapani. The natural hot water springs bring respite to the bone-chilling cold weather. Tattapani lies at a distance of 45 km away from Shimla on the banks of River Sutlej. Enjoy a peaceful vacation in Tattapani by taking a dip in the therapeutic waters. The hot water springs are sulfur springs like Manikaran that can heal joint pains and skin problems. Pilgrims take a dip in this hot water springs to get absolved from sins as per their Hindu belief.

The other tourist attraction near Tattapani is Shiva caves. It can be reached by climbing 400 odd stairs or a 10 min ride to Saraur. The cave formations are tourist attractions as they are made from Stalactite and stalagmite. Other adventure activities to explore in Tattapani and Sutlej River are rafting, fishing, camping, trekking and mountain biking.


Naldhera

Naldhera

The name Naldhera is synonymous with golf. It has the oldest 9-hole golf course in the country. It is situated at a distance of 20 km away from Shimla. The climate is cooler compared to other parts and woolen clothes are needed to stay warm. Entranced by the beauty of Naldhera, the then governor and viceroy of India, Lord Curzon (19th century) gave this name to one of his daughters as a second name. There is a beautiful temple dedicated to Nag devta in the gold course. The name Naldhera derives from this temple. The place is surrounded by imposing cedar trees.

It is an off-beat destination and a paradise for backpackers and travelers. It is a quiet home away from home with misty clouds and spectacular views. Tourists can practice golf from 7 am to 6 pm. Take long walks to enjoy nature at its best.


Theog

Theog

Few places stand proud away from the chaotic city atmosphere is Theog. This is an underrated destination where tourists can get lost in the tranquil nature. If you ever want to escape the city buzz, visit Theog. It is 32 km away from Shimla and a beautiful weekend getaway. Enjoy your holiday in the lap of nature and camping is the most fun activity in Theog. The best time to visit Thog is October and November. The winter months after November are usually very cold and covered with snow.

There are buses and taxis to reach Theog. A most affordable option is shared jeep to travel in and around this serene destination. Folk music and summer festival are not to be missed if you visit Shimla in summer.


Lakkar Bazar

Lakkar Bazar

Are you a shopaholic? If so, Lakkar bazar should not be missed in your Shimla tour. This Bazar is located adjacent to Ridge of Shimla. Next to it is a roller skating rink if you like to do ice skating. The most famous items in Lakkar Bazar are wooden toys. It is also a good place to buy authentic wood walking sticks. There are a lot of local delicacies like Momos which is street food here. Keep walking around the Bazar to find pretty wooden things and fill your belly with scrumptious street food. The weather in Shimla is nice to have a perfect evening stroll in the bazaar.


Fagu

Fagu

Fagu is a serene hamlet Situated at an elevation of 2500 meters. It is nestled in the majestic Himalayan Range in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This destination is a perfect place to get away from the hustle of the city. This seems like a magical place as it is always enveloped in snow and fog. The clouds are so close that you feel like you are walking on clouds. The trees, snow-clad mountains and green fields make it a must-visit place to relax and unwind.

Located at such a high altitude this place is always surrounded by fog, and hence it was named Fagu. It is enveloped by lush green pine and cedar trees. Apple orchards are a common sight here. Animals such as snow leopards and yaks can be sighted in Fagu. The Fagu valley is a splendid place that is unaffected by modernization making it abode of nature.


Bantony Castle

Bantony castle

The Bantony Castle is a two-storey building that has towers, sloping roofs, and a chalet. The building portrays Tudor Revival architecture. The castle area is being renovated as Heritage Museum and will showcase artifacts belonging to the colonial era.

The Bantony Estate is a legacy site built during the British era. it is located on Bantony Hill of Shimla. The estate comprises of the Bantony Castle and the Bantony Cottage. The estate is now under the Heritage Zone of Shimla. Tourists can find it in a part of the Shimla Heritage walk. The beautiful wooden architecture of the building and its iron gates and railing amidst the sprawling lawns is a site worth exploring.

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