Shimla is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit during the hot summer months because the climate here, combined with the beautiful views of the Himalayas is simply lovely. The capital of Himachal Pradesh is a small self-contained city which has neat, winding roads and several remnants of its British history. After all, it used to be the summer capital of the British when they occupied India. Given its wonderful and cool weather and calm atmosphere, it’s no wonder the British (or any of us for that matter) want to get our dose of Shimla sightseeing any chance we can get.
Shimla is in fact great to visit even during the winter when it is covered in a blanket of snow. Nearby Kufri and Chail are popular spots to visit during this time for skiing and other activities and Shimla itself becomes a winter wonderland of sorts. Here’s a list of some of the top things to do in Shimla.
Once you have decided to try out below mentioned fantastic things to do in Shimla, it’s time to turn to the SOTC website where you will have access to some amazing deals and offers on Shimla tour packages and Himachal tour packages. Don’t miss the chance to make some savings while you book your trip.
Located on the top of Jakhu Hill which is said to be Shimla’s highest peak, Jakhu Hill is a popular Shimla sightseeing spot for many tourists who come to pay their respects at the temple. The huge awe-inspiring sight of the 108 feet tall statue of Hanuman makes it worth visiting and the temple sees several devotees who have come to listen to the daily sermons and to receive the prasad.
For many people, one of the popular things to do in Shimla is to go trekking. Since Shimla is located at the foot of the Himalayas, it offers several amazing opportunities for trekking and hiking and there are a number of walking tours you can join to walk up the nearby mountains. This is truly something amazing and memorable as the sights around you of the mountains and tree-covered valleys are mesmerising.
The Ridge is a famed Shimla sightseeing spot. This flat land in the middle of the city is near the Mall Road and is pedestrian only, which means you can walk around without feeling the annoying presence of traffic everywhere around you. In summer, you can enjoy the brisk air and warm sunshine here while in winter, it gets beautifully covered with snow. The Ridge is where most cultural and government activities take place.
One of the best things to do in Shimla is to take the toy train from Kalka to Shimla. This is an experience you should not miss because of the amazing journey on the train that will take you through forests and winding hill slopes. The journey from Kalka to Shimla takes six hours on the train but it is every bit worth it. The train ride is even more mesmerising during winter when everything around you is covered in snow and you feel like you are on the Polar Express.
One of the famous Shimla sightseeing spots is Chadwick Fall which is located in the Glen forest near Shimla. The roar of the water as it falls down from a height of 86 metres is deafening and yet you feel a sense of peace as you take it all in. Situated among the thick pine trees of the forest, there is something quite enchanting about this place. It is recommended however to not visit this alone and to go there in groups, well before it turns dark.
Even if you’re not interested in architecture, checking out the Gaiety theatre is one of the fun things to do in Shimla. This Gothic inspired theatre is a British era building and it was designed by Sir Henry Irwin. It is one of the oldest buildings in Shimla, but it has been maintained very well and there’s a certain old-world charm inside.
While you’re in the Mall Road, do try and check out Gorton Castle which is another gothic architectural building designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, a renowned architect of that era. The balconies of the castle have an interesting Rajasthani jaali carving and it is a three-story building with as many as 125 rooms. Certainly, a sight to behold and capture on your camera.
Most hill stations have mall roads, a stretch of road at the centre of the city, with shops, restaurants and cafés. Shimla’s Mall Road is no different and it is a vibrant and colourful lane where you can enjoy a good deal of shopping at decent prices (if you can bargain though!) Nevertheless, you will have an entertaining time here, just people watching and having a quick bite at the many restaurants.
Located near the Ridge is the famed Lakkar Bazaar. A stretch of more than two kilometres, there’s much to do here as you walk past the many stalls that sell wooden toys and artefacts. It’s a good place to do some shopping for souvenirs, provided you can bargain a little. There are excellent chaat shops where you can satisfy your hunger after all that walking.