Shimla, the popular summer capital of the British times is a proud capital city of the state of Himachal Pradesh and it still retains the glory of its historic splendours; racing, golf and cricket still prevail. While the must visit shopping area in Shimla, the Mall is filled with elegant shops, splendid hotels and bustling, cosmopolitan crowds that give the appearance of being on perpetual holiday.
Indeed, Shimla has got everything to please the heart of any traveler
throughout the year. Some must visit places to see over here include the
Wild Flower Hall, one time home of Lord Kitchner, Commander-in-Chief of the
British Army in India and lovely Craignano built by an Italian nobleman,
where one can relive Shimla's colonial past.
Leisure Walks In Shimla
Among the adventure travel activities that you can indulge at a leisurely
pace include heritage walks and hiking tours in and outside Shimla. First
major walk area is the Prospect Hill and to reach the temple dedicated to
Kamna Devi that?s situated on this hill you have to take up a 15-minute walk
from Boileauganj on Shimla-Bilaspur road. The hill is at an altitude of
2,155m and offers some spectacular views of the Shimla valley.
You can also enjoy walks from the Mall in Shimla, which is enhanced by some
of the oldest architectural building structures that were made by the
British. Some of the buildings worth checking out over here include Dalziel
House, one of the oldest structures of town; Fingask Estate, the birthplace
Lord Chelmsford and the Chelmsford Club; adjoining Fingask Estate is the
Catholic Club in Ensham Estate's old building; the one-time residence of the
famous write Rudyard Kipling, and the Sacred Art Convent Tat Tara Hall.
A sharp climb takes you to the Shimla estate Museum and a rich display of
Himachal's heritage. Some other independent walks include The Glen, which is
a Reserve Forest and is one of Shimla's oldest and most popular picnic
spots. The area also has several narrow forest inspection paths including
one that lies about the Glen and circles Summer Hill, but these paths should
be done with a guide. Annandale is another green walking paradise that's
surrounded by Deodar trees. The Old Carriage track also makes a good walk
through the woods and was used by the Viceroy?s to go to Annandale.
Climbing & Hiking Around Shimla
At 2455m, Jakhoo Hill towers over Shimla. Filled with history and
architectural charm, there are several houses along its steep.1.5km climb
that starts from the Ridge and a temple dedicated to Lord Hanauman crowns
the forested hill. Enjoy the most spectacular sunrises and sunset sights
from this spot, especially during the monsoons.
Another beautiful trail takes you to Sanjuali and between Holly Lodge and
Sanjauli, the distance is about 3-km. From Sanjauli, you can walk back via
the Government College to the Ridge - 2-km, or via St.Bede's College and
Ramchandra Chowka, 3-km. Alternatively, you can bus back from Sanjauli to
The Southern Tracks from Shimla
down to pine covered area of Tutikandi. Turn off towards the exquisite
little temple of a local deity, Dhanu Defta at Bihargaon. Climb back under
pine and cedar braches through the old cemetery, which dates back to the
middle of the 19th century. The ascent continues past Kanlog, the Potato
Research Centre and Bemloe to the Mall. You can reverse the route by
starting from the Potato Research Institute and cemetery, to which point you
can also opt to drive. The whole trip covers a distance 6 to 7-km.
The Northern Tracks from Shimla
A relatively unexplored area full of good walks along wide roads or narrow
paths is the Bharari Spur. Step from Local Bazaar, go past Auckland House
School and reach the long wood rise. Enclosing Stirling Castle, two roads
branch from here and just before Kelston, meet again. Continue your walk
down past the Police Lines Tobharari Bazaar. Return along the lower road to
Goodwood, which will bring you just below Lakkar Bazaar again. A round trip
from Lakkar Bazaar covers some 4-km.
Extended Treks from Shimla
From Bharari you can walk to the villages that lie to right of the Seismic
Recording Centre, or to the villages of Pabo and Kamiana. Longer treks can
be made to Kiar Koti and Tattapani, but for taking-up these treks you better
take a guide along.
There are quite a good number of trails that can be done in the suburbs.
Some are - a walk between the Catering Institute at Kufri and Wildflower
Hall; a walk to Mahasu Peak from Kufri through the Himalayan Nature Park and
a walk along the Bekhalty road from Mashobra and treks from Mashobra to
There are many soft to medium treks that can use Shimla as the trek base.
Some treks are to Shali Peak, to the Kullu Valley over the Jalori Pass or
the Bashleo Pass, Shimla to Chail, Shimla to Tattapani. Anglers can indulge
in angling for Trout on the river Pabbar, near Rohru.
Adventure Activities Around Shimla
Kufri is a popular ski resort and is at a distance of 16-kms rom Shimla.
With thick woods around, Kufri offers a panoramic view of 2,000 miles of the
great Himalayan ranges. Naldhera is another adventure area that is situated
at a distance of 23-kms from the hill station. Naldhera is blessed with a
thick cedar forest, attractive picnic spot and a 16-hole golf course. Fagu
is another spot from where one can check out very fine views and has a lot
of snow in winters for the delight of snow lovers and skiers.
Chabba is located on the road to Tattapani and is 53-kms away from Shimla.
There is the one of the oldest hydroelectric power project, which is
nowadays famous for river rafting. Situated 64-kms north of Shimla is
Narkanda, at an altitude of 2,700m, a ski resort and also a popular spot for
viewing the Himalayas particularly from the 3,300m high Hatu Peak.
Shimla Travel Tips
Some Cautions & Suggestions
Wear a comfortable pair of shoes. And if you are taking one of the more
rugged paths, then something with a good grip at the ankles is recommended.
You may encounter monkeys in certain areas like Jakhoo. They rarely attack
unless threatened, or if foodstuffs are visible. Do not tease them, look
them in the eye or panic.
Carry some water and a little snack. A folding or regular umbrella, or a
raincoat should also be carried -especially during the monsoons. Also be
prepared for little drop in temperature after sundown and wear or carry
suitable clothes. Sunscreen lotion, dark glasses and headgear are optional.
On the nature hikes do not leave the trail or spur, unless you are very
sure of where you are going - distances and directions can be deceptive. The
Shimla hills do not have poisonous snakes except the banded krait and these
are rarely, if ever, encountered. It is also suggested that for these
trails, the services of a guide be engaged.
The best time to do these walks is after breakfast. Some walks - especially
in the suburbs can be done with connections made by bus or car, which are
followed by the walk. You will be pleasantly surprised to find how helpful
the local people are. Do not hesitate in asking for directions or