Shimla: The White Winter Queen

     

Want to just pack your bags and escape from the everyday madness of Delhi but can’t decide which direction to take? Well, let just point you to Shimla. From soaring snow-capped peaks, to the ravishing alpine scenery, quaint villages oozing storybook charm and emerald valleys and what not! Shimla has always captivated millions of people from different biological positions of the globe. The capital of Himachal Pradesh is one of the most famous hill stations in India. The mountains and forests of Shimla have an appeal of their own. Shimla has a number of monasteries, small villages, and an excellent base for multiple trek trails set to one of the most picturesque backdrops you could imagine. The beautiful amalgamation of nature and landscape gives a wonderful opportunity for travelers with absolute freedom and flexibility to roam around and enjoy to the heart content.

Things to do in Shimla

A. Camping at Mashobra

Shimla: The White Winter Queen-1 If you wish to connect with nature at the deeper level, Mashobra is the perfect place to loose your shoes. This place offers typical camping experience in jungle and excursions to nearby villages with a bonfire and other adventurous activities. If you want a short, inexpensive and adventurous trip, this is all rolled into one.

B. Walk around Mall Road

Shimla: The White Winter Queen-2 Nestled into the mountain that cluster at the foot of Shimla, Mall road is one of the best places any hill station can boast of. It is the main attraction of Shimla offering a variety of things to buy, ranging from the famous Himachali caps to wooden handicrafts and souvenirs.

C. Tara Devi Temple

Shimla: The White Winter Queen-3 Nestled at an elevation of over 6,500 ft, Tara Devi temple is dedicated to the fearsome form of the Devi known as Tara. This temple itself is not particularly notable but obviously worthwhile to devotees. This place is extremely beautiful and as it's on the top, you'll be above clouds. The beauty of this place is its calmness, cleanliness, serenity and divinity.

D. Christ Church

Shimla: The White Winter Queen-4 Located at a very accessible location, The Christ Church is one of the major landmarks of Shimla. It has its own charm and just roaming and walking here fills one person with happiness and enthusiasm. The beautiful cream-white building is well preserved and still raises delight at everyone who comes to the city. It is built in beautiful European style. The interior of the church is made of the wood and it accounts for the beautiful tinted glasses and pale yellow exterior.

E. Jakhu Temple

Shimla: The White Winter Queen-5 Located at the top of a mountain and visible from mall road, this temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman with a huge statue of the God erected here. It is believed that God Hanuman took rest here during his travel to the Himalayas during his search of the Sanjivani Booti for injured Lakshman. It is situated on the highest peak in Shimla and gives shelter to countless playful monkeys which can be found waiting to be fed by visitors. This temple deserves a visit.

F. Viceregal Lodge

Shimla: The White Winter Queen-6 A must visit place to get a taste of history. Viceregal Lodge is a British era structure which was built when Shimla was used as the summer capital of British India but now it is a tourist attraction. The garden outside the building is well maintained. A tour of the building inside is worthy as one gets to see rare photos of pre-independence Shimla and also of some historical events that took place in the building. Being there seems as if one is in Europe.

G. Shimla State Museum

Shimla: The White Winter Queen-7 Nestled at the Maidan Hill of Shimla, the State Museum is one of the brilliant spots for tourist where they can step in to identify many things related to universal facts. The state museum is housed in the colonial building and to reach here, one has to hike up the distance of around 1.5 km to witness prosperous collections of Anthropological items. The state museum is a major attraction of Mall road area and a colonial edifice reflects the influence of British culture. The museum and it's surrounding is dominated by sprawling lawns beside that magnificence of its architecture would take your breath away.

How to reach Shimla?

Route from Delhi: During your journey to Shimla you will be driven on NH 1 and NH 22.

By Bus: There are several comfortable Volvo buses that ply on the Delhi to Shimla or Chandigarh to Shimla route. These are run by Himachal Road transport as well as private operators. Distance from Delhi to Shimla by road is 343 km. Buses ply in the day as well. It is a convenient option to take an overnight air-conditioned luxury bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Most buses stop en-route for dinner. The bus leaves at 9-10pm from Delhi and reaches Shimla by around 6-7am in the morning. Bus timings vary season to season.

By Train: There are no direct trains from Delhi to Shimla. From Delhi one needs to travel to Kalka and then change over to the mountain toy train which runs on narrow gauge.

By Car: Find the right company and drive off for a 550 km ride while playing your favorite playlist and taking halts wherever you want.

Advice: For a convenient traveling, take turns for driving so that one person doesn’t get exhausted driving for too long.

By Flight: The nearest airport, Jubbarhatti, is located 23 km from the main city. The other nearby airports are Chandigarh and New Delhi.

Approximate return bus fare (Delhi-Shimla-Delhi):

Non-AC: INR 1600

AC: INR 2000

Places To Eat In Shimla

1. Combermere's Cafe:

The only place in Shimla to enjoy authentic American, Mexican and Italian cuisines, the café is right next to the lift on Mall Road. It also has the best cake selection in Shimla, plus espresso.

Cost: Meal for two costs under Rs 1000

2. Cafe Shimla Times You should check out this relatively new place called Cafe Simla Times, that has some of the best food in Shimla and an amazing ambience. The location of this restaurant is excellent. It has open as well as outdoor seething arrangements. The interior of the restaurant is amazing, all the walls and the ceiling are decorated with good sketches describing favorite destinations of Shimla. Variety of food choices are available and you can enjoy it with love music.

Cost: Meal for two costs under Rs 700

3. Hide-Out Cafe, Mall Road The ideal place to cool off and relax in the evenings. This cafe is a tucked away gem with a lot of delicious pasta along with honey ginger lemon tea and if you drink in cold Ginger ale is perfect to order. Good food, paired with soothing music and a gorgeous view are what makes this place a must visit for travelers.

Cost: Meal for two costs under Rs 500

4. Himachal Rasoi, Shimla Located in Shimla, Himachal Rasoi is a place where you can eat and satisfy the child in you. This small quaint place is a must visit on your trip to Shimla. Located at just 5 minutes walking distance from the Heart of Mall Road Shimla, this place deserves at least one of your meals at Shimla. This place has a good vibe and offer himachali food. Strongly recommended to everyone who values local cuisines.

Cost: Meal for two costs under Rs.400

Where to stay in Shimla?

1. Kamna Hill Resort Nestled amidst the arresting hills and majestic mountains of Shimla, the Kamna Hill Resort is the most scenic hotel in town, speaking volumes of nature's beauty and holding a chronicle of Shimla in it. The beautiful execution of colonial architecture and carefully embroidered wooden interiors with a blend of natural lambency makes the hotel more charming.

2. Sukh Sagar Regency Sukh Sagar Regency swears by ‘luxurious living’. It is located only 2 minutes walking distance from Taradevi train station, 7 km from Mall Road, Shimla's main street, it greets the guests into its 3-star majestic structure that is in perfect keeping with the magnificent surroundings.

3. Shimla Greens Hotel Shimla Greens is inspired by the magic of Nature’s love. Situated in the “Shimla” proud Capital of the state of “Himachal” the biggest Hill Station of India, the green slopes are covered with Firs, Pines, the Himalaya Oak, and Carmine Rhododendron Trees.

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Akshay Negi

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