Shimla, the summer capital of India, is a beautiful town with a lot to offer. Its location in the Himalayas makes it a great place for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. The city is also home to many historical sites, including the Kalka-Shimla Railway, which was built in the 19th century by the British. Shimla has several hotels, restaurants and cafes that cater to all kinds of tastes and budgets.
The city of Shimla lies at an altitude of 1,600 m above sea level in Himachal Pradesh. It was founded by Raja Man Singh I in 1792 AD. He named it after his kingdom ‘Shimla’ (meaning abode of snow) which was later changed to ‘Shimlas’. Shimla is popularly known as the ‘Summer Capital of India’ due to its pleasant climate throughout the year. It’s located in the middle of the Himalayas, thus making it cooler than many parts of India. It is situated at a distance of about 200 km northeast of Kullu town. The city has recently seen immense development with several commercial and residential buildings being constructed. Shimla is well connected by road, rail and air. There are regular flights connecting Shimla with major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jammu, Amritsar etc.
Climate of Shimla
Shimla experiences a temperate climate. Summers last from April to June while winters extend from November to February. Snowfall occurs mainly between December and February. The average annual rainfall is around 1200 mm. The rainy season lasts for almost six months from July to October. The coldest month is January with a mean maximum temperature of 5°C while the hottest month is May with a mean minimum of 24°C.
Shopping is a favourite activity among tourists. Visitors can buy local handicraft items, handlooms, wooden carvings, paintings, papier-mâché articles, clothing items, leather goods, brassware, pottery, woodcarving and stone carving. The best time to visit the markets is from 10 am till 2 pm.
Another attraction of Shimla is Mall Road. It offers a variety of shops selling clothes, jewellery, footwear, electronic gadgets, stationery, books, toys, musical instruments and traditional Indian arts and crafts. The market here is famous for its colourful bazaars. If you want to enjoy some shopping without any hassle, head to the Anand Vihar Market where you can find everything under one roof.
There are various sightseeing places in Shimla. One of them is the Ridge Walk, which takes one past the beautiful gardens and meadows on both sides of the ridge. Another place worth visiting is the Chail Ski Resort, which is about 28 km away from Shimla. A trip to the Chail Ski Resort is highly recommended if you love skiing. The resort has two world-class ski slopes namely the Blackdown and Broad Peak.
How to Reach?
By Air: The nearest airport to Shimla is Chandigarh Airport, which is located about 120 km from Shimla.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Shimla Railway Station. Other stations nearby are Solan, Pathankot, Chamba, Kalka, Baijnath and Rohru.
By Bus: Regular buses connect Shimla with major towns and cities of India. Major bus operators serving Shimla are Himachal Roadways, Shivalik Travels, Saini Tours & Travels, Laxmi Travels and Doon Valley Transport Corporation.