Shimla abounds in natural bounty and looks picture perfect. The small hill station amidst the lofty snow-clad Himalayan ranges, surrounded by lakes and lush green pastures look as though an artist has painted them. The unique thing about Shimla is that it still retains its colonial charm and this creates an ambience that is not found anywhere else in India. Shimla is one tourist destination that can be visited any time during the year. Summers are warm with cool and pleasant evenings while winters are bone chilling and the temperatures can fall below zero. But this difference is what makes Shimla all the more special!
Shimla is ideally located, and though there is an air service to the town, it is best reached by road that takes in the charms of the HIMALAYAN countryside at its best. There is a sense of nostalgia about SHIMLA, with its old bungalows and their gabled roofs and beautiful gardens.
The Shimla back to the 19th century when it was founded by the British in the year 1819 after the Gorkha war. During that period, it was most popular for the temple of Hindu Goddess Shyamala Devi. In 1822, the first British summer home was constructed by Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt Kennedy. Shimla became the summer capital of the British Raj during the latter half of the 19th century and the soldiers of the British army, merchants and civil servants dropped in here to get relief from the scorching heat of the plains. Presently, it is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, with its population around 1.6 lacs (Shimla town only) having Altitude 2202.00 meters above sea level, Languages Pahari, Hindi and English, Best time to visit October to November & April to June and STD Code is 0177. Shimla has seen many important historical events such as the famous Shimla Pact between India & Pakistan which was signed here. The place is also famous for its natural beauty, architectural buildings, wooden crafts and apples.
A remarkable event took place in the history of Shimla when the Kalka-Shimla railway line was constructed in the year 1906 that significantly added to its quick accessibility and it gained immense popularity. Apart from this, Shimla was declared as capital of the undivided state of Punjab in the year 1871 and remained so until Chandigarh (the present-day capital of Punjab) was given the status of the region’s capital. Himachal Pradesh got separated from undivided Punjab in the year 1971 with Shimla becoming its capital. You will come across several British structures in Shimla such as the Viceregal lodge, Auckland House, Gorton Castle, Peterhoff house, and Gaiety Theatre that are the reminders of the colonial times. Some of the most prominent things to watch in Shimla are the Himachal State Museum & Library, Viceregal Lodge, Botanical Gardens, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, The Ridge, The Mall, Summer Hill, Glenn and Taradevi Temple. Everything in this quaint town has a unique appeal and never fails to impress even the most demanding tourists.