Explore the best places to visit in Shimla, a wonderful holiday retreat
The capital of Himachal Pradesh is the beautiful Shimla. It is one of the most visited places in the country, mostly during the summer, whereby a massive number of tourists flock the city. It is popular among tourists because of its Victorian architecture, predominant in some sections of the Ridge and Mall Road. For newlyweds, Shimla is the perfect place for you to spend your honeymoon. Shimla has a cool and pleasant climate, making it ideal for a summer retreat. The city is strategically placed at 2200 metres above sea level. The whole region has a beautiful hilly terrain that is mostly covered with lush green all around. In our blog, we present best places to visit in Shimla.
Although the city is usually busy during the summer, some tourists visit during autumn when there are fewer crowds.
There are a lot of places to visit in Shimla. This article only highlights the most popular destinations, but bear in mind there are a lot more. When you finally get to tour the city, make an effort and visit as many places as possible to get a better understanding of the people, art and culture of Shimla.
Explore 2 wonderful destination of Himachal Pradesh : Shimla Manali Tour Package
Below are some of the best places for visit in Shimla.
Right at the centre of Shimla is the Ridge where tourists get to have spectacular views of the mountain peaks. It is a spacious open space that extends from the East to the West along the Mall (yet another popular tourist destination). The exquisite view of the snow-clad mountain ranges is spellbinding.
The Christ Church is an exquisite example of unique neo-gothic architecture. It is a work of art that has been a priceless part of Shimla’s scenery. Located on the famous Ridge, this architectural marvel was built in 1857 and took approximately three years to complete. Tourists get to view the clock tower, stained glass windows and the frescos. The church has the largest pipe organ in the country, and is featured in several Bollywood films such as 3 Idiots and Black.
Jakhoo hill is around 2 kilometres from Shimla and is the highest point in the entire hill station. It offers a scenic view of the city and the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains. Standing at 800 feet, the hill is a famous tourist attraction visited by pilgrims and nature lovers as well. It is also home to the ancient Jakhoo Temple, where you get to see the statue of Hanuman, the temple’s chief deity. The statue is 108 feet tall and has inbuilt sensors to drive away birds.
Johnnie’s Wax Museum
One of the best places for visit in Shimla, the Johnnie’s Wax Museum is situated on the historic Willow Banks Estate along the Mall Road. Inside the museum, you will find 16 life-size wax statues of icons from Hollywood, Bollywood and politics. All these wax figures are imported from London.
At the entrance, there is Mahatma Gandhi’s idol followed by statues of Harry Potter, James Bond, Steve Jobs, Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and many more completing the display in the museum. This spot is unique because it provides a somewhat unusual experience, especially for tourists who come to the hill expecting the regular sightseeing.
Just like the Mountain Railways of India, the Kalka-Shimla Railway is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was set up in 1898 by the British to connect Shimla and other railway lines. It starts from Kalka (located in Haryana) to Shimla. The fact that it passes through many tourist places like Solan, Summer Hill and many more makes it an obvious choice for many. Kalka-Shimla Railway trip gives viewers some breath-taking views including, bridges and tunnels, summing up an unforgettable experience.
Also known as Potter’s Hill, Summer Hill is a quaint town on the outskirts of Shimla. The name Potter’s Hill came about as a result of potters who used to collect clay to make pots. Summer Hill is 1283 metres above sea level, offering spectacular views of the greenery around and the valley below. It is also just 5 km from the famous Ridge, which sees a large number of tourists visit the place. Since, Summer Hill is among the seven hills that form Shimla, be sure to get breath-taking sights from the top.
Check our blog on Best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh
If you want to have a glimpse of Shimla and everything the city entails, then visit Mall Road located below the Ridge. The place has many shops, book shops, restaurants, cafes and many tourist attractions. Take a stroll on Mall Road, and every turn has something unique to offer. You can see the scenic beauty of Shimla here.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study
The Indian Institute of Advanced Study, commonly referred to as Rashtrapati Niwas, is found in the famous Viceregal Lodge. The lodge is on top of Observatory Hill. The building housing the IIAS was built between 1880 and 1888 during British colonial rule. Later in 1965, Doctor Radhakrishnan established Indian Institute of Advanced Study here.
Kufri is on the Himalayan foothills, standing at an altitude of 2510 metres and approximately 17 kilometres from Shimla. Adventurers and nature lovers enjoy delightful views and scenery. The site, as well as other places around Shimla, were previously part of the Nepal kingdom. Kufri is one of the best places for visit in Shimla because of its status as a standout adventure hub and the stunning views.
Just like the name suggests, Green Valley is a breath-taking natural Dale mostly carpeted in greenery. It is near Shimla and Kufri and strategically placed on the backdrop of snow-covered mountains and deep (lush) green forests of deodar and pine. Green Valley is often not crowded, and you get to witness nature in all its elegance, making it the perfect place for honeymooners to visit in Shimla. The spectacular views and pristine beauty makes it a popular Bollywood location in India and has been used in several Hindi movies. You can visit Green Valley all year round, but the perfect time would be during summer.
Also referred to as Annadale, Annandale is one of the top tourist attractions in Shimla. It is approximately 4 kilometres from the Ridge. The flat terrain was used by the British as a playground for cricket, polo and racing. The racecourse has now being converted into a golf course and is also used as a helipad.
Chadwick Falls, Shimla
Nature offers a sense of inner peace and calmness, and there is no better place to find this other than Chadwick Waterfall. It is nestled within Glen Forests and offers one of the most delightful sights in Shimla. The waterfall is 86 metres high and cascades down a large gorge. Green coverage formed by the deodar and pine trees surrounds the falls, presenting an enticing sight. It is recommended you visit during monsoons (June to September) when there is maximum rainfall, increasing water levels. During this time, Chadwick seems to be full of life. If taking a dip is not ideal for you, you can go ahead and splash around.
Himalayan Nature Park
Himalayan Nature Park is a sanctuary for the rich flora and fauna found here. It is the ultimate place for nature-lovers and adventurers. The park is located at Kufri approximately 17 km from Shimla. There are animals like Sambar Deer, Musk deer and Hangal Goral, as well as plants like deodar, oaks, orchids, balsam and primula. Tourists also get to try out activities such as day hikes, picnic and trekking in the forests.
Lakkar Bazaar is an old marketplace that is near the Ridge in Shimla. Famous for Regal building, Roller skating hall, wooden toys, walking sticks, Meena Bazaar and Indian snacks like Chole Bhature and Aloo Tikki, it one of the best places to visit in Shimla. The marketplace caters for everyone’s needs.
Shimla State Museum
The museum is also referred to as Himachal State Museum and Library. It was built in 1974 to preserve the cultural richness of the state and also record the rich past. The museum sits at the top of Mount Pleasant. The building has a colonial architecture featuring marvellous lawns, offering an inspiring sight. When you view the Shimla State Museum, you get an in-depth view of Shimla’s glorious past. Inside, you will find sculptures, coins, paintings and handicrafts.
Kali Bari Temple, Shimla
Ask tourists why they have visited a temple and they will tell you either of the following reasons- religious reasons or the architectural design. However, when it comes to Kali Bari Temple, it convincingly offers both. The temple was built in 1845. It boasts of architectural beauty and has a rich religious background. It is dedicated to Goddess Kali and hosts the idol of the deity. It is close to Mall Road and is an ideal spot to spend your time connecting with your inner self. It is interesting to note that Goddess Kali is also known as Goddess Shyamal, and many believe that Shimla derived its name from here.
Tattapani is one of the best places to visit in Shimla because there are a lot of options to choose from including the Himalayan caves, trekking trails, hot water springs, quaint temples, rock climbing and rivers suitable for rafting. It is approximately 51 km from Shimla. When you visit Shimla, make sure you try out Tattapani.
The above places to visit in Shimla are just the tip of the iceberg. When you discover a land which has endless natural beauty, writing everything about it is challenging. There are many more places to visit. You have to visit the city a couple of times to cover as much as you can. Do not miss the chance of touring this beautiful city.