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Swathed by cedar, rhododendron, fir and Himalayan oak trees, the state capital of Himachal Pradesh is one of the most popular hill stations of India. Basking in the grandeur of the British era with apparent influences in its architecture, Shimla did charm the British colonisers of the 19th century so much that they elevated the small township into the summer capital of an empire sprawling the sub-continent.

In its heyday Shimla attracted princes, merchants, diplomats and political leaders from Afghanistan, Tibet, China, Myanmar and other countries. Several heritage buildings in the city are witness to historical moments that have shaped the history of south Asia.

Leaders of the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, C. Rajagopalachari and others frequently visited Shimla in their struggle to gain independence from British rule. Hard contested deliberations over the partition of India and Pakistan at Viceregal Lodge, now the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, between the resident Viceroy and leaders of the freedom struggle finally won the country its Independence on 15th August, 1947.

An engineering marvel, the Kalka-Shimla railway line with 102 tunnels constructed between 1898 to 1903 has been recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage mountain railway site. The Ridge and The Mall are still popular landmarks just as they were in the pre-Independence era. The imperial Viceregal Lodge, the graceful Christ Church, Gaiety Theatre, Gorton Castle, Barnes Court and several buildings are part of the colonial architectural heritage of the town.


English and Hindi are the dominant languages spoken in Shimla. A sizeable minority does speak Punjabi. In addition to these several native dialects of Pahari language are also spoken by the residents of the area.

Clothing Essentials

Bearing a temperate climate, cotton clothes with light woolens are worn from April to October. Heavy woollends and jackets are required for the winter which starts to set in from November and lasts upto March. In spring and autumn thin sweaters and hoodies are needed to beat the morning and evening chills.



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How to Reach

By Air There are daily flights from Delhi to Shimla Airport at Jubbarhatti, at a distance of 23 kms from the city.
By Rail The Kalka-Shimla rail line with 102 tunnels offers breathtaking view of the terrain as the journey chugs into higher ground. Regular trains ply between Delhi and Kalka from where you can board the Kalka-Shimla train on this UNESCO heritage mountain rail track.
By Road Shimla has good road connectivity. Ordinary and luxury coaches regularly ply between Delhi, Chandigarh and the city. Within the state, private and public transport services are available for Kullu-Manali, Dharamshala and all other small and big towns of the state. Taxi services in the city is available on demand.
Parking: ISBT Shimla, Tutikandi crossing, Lift Parking, Railway Station, Old Bus stand parking, Chhota Shimla Parking, Sanjauli Parking.


Places to visit Distances from Shimla (Km)
Chadwick Falls 7
Chindi 94
Craignano 16
Fagu 22
Hatkoti 109
Indian Institute of Advanced Study 4
Jakhoo Temple 2.5 Km via Ridge and 6 Km via Circular Road.
Kharapathhar 85
Kotgarh 82
Mashobra 12
Naldehra 23
Narkanda 65
Prospect Hill 5
Rampur 130
Recong Peo 228
Sankat Mochan 7
Sarahan 171
State Museum 3
Summer Hill 5
Tara Devi 11
Tattapani 53
Nature Park, Mashobra
Nature Park, Kufri
Fun World, Kufri
Shali Tibba
Hatu Peak, Narkanda
Bhimakali Temple
Hatkoti Temple


Weather in Shimla is cold in winters, moderate in spring and autumn and mildly warm in summers. The hill station is a year round destination with many visiting the place in winters from December-February to experience magical snowfalls and in summer from April to June for its cool climes. Spring in March and the fall months of September to November have a charm of their own. The rising of curling mists during the rainy season of July and August give the hills a very romantic setting.