Places to visit in Shimla

Going to queen of hills Shimla is always a nice experience. There are many places to visit in Shimla and I have been there 2-3 times earlier but never spent much time & never visited any place except ridge as these were one day trip only from Chandigarh. This time I visited the place again and this was a family visit. As this is hill station so people believe best time to visit Shimla is summers, but I suggest to go there between October – March as you can walk comfortably and enjoy the sunshine while sitting on the mall road. My brother in law planned to visit Chandigarh with his wife and younger brother. We decided to move to Shimla to enjoy the weather.

How to reach Shimla?

You have road, railway and air connectivity to shimla. If you have time then must visit the place by rail. Shimla is connected by rail line from kalka. You can catch toy train from kalka station. Train fare for normal class from kalka-shimla is Rs. 189. This train moves at maximum speed of 20 kms p.h and the distance of 120 kms of kalka-shimla is covered in approximately 6 hours to reach shimla from kalka. But this will be a memorable trip. Y

ou will get awesome view of hills and valleys through train. The train passes through tunnels and steep curves. There are around 107 tunnels on the railway track of kalka – shimla.

You can also visit to shimla by road. This is also adventurous trip. You can get Volvo buses to Shimla from ISBT, sec 43 chandigarh. There are many buses to shimla from delhi ISBT also in morning time. I guess from delhi buses to shimla are at 8 am, 9.30 am.

I preferred to go by my car. Your own vehicles gives you option to start as per your convenience and stop wherever you liked the view. Shimla is just 150 kms from Chandigarh but it takes 4 hours to reach by road.

Way to shimla

From Chandigarh you have to cross panchkula, pinjore, kalka, parwanoo, dharmpur, solan to reach shimla. If you are coming from Delhi then you can directly enter to panchkula and then the same route to shimla. We started at 1.30 pm from Chandigarh. Rain started when we reached kalka. We thought the rain will ruin the enjoyment in shimla. But we were wrong. When we crossed solan, surroundings were lush green. Because of rain dust was settled down and leaves were clean. Clouds above on hills were clearly visible and it was not more then 30-40 ft height.

As we moved ahead we were in between the clouds. It seems like fog when you are in middle of cloud. We opened the windows. Ears and cheeks were chilled. Shirts were wet. No we were at height and we could see clouds everywhere. Clouds were in valley, around us and above the hills as well. We stopped at koti and clicked some pics.

Reaching shimla

Finally we reached shimla around 7.30 pm after many stoppages in the way. There are lots of budget hotels in Shimla but choose one which is near to the places to visit in Shimla. Our hotel was on mall road. So we were at the centre of the city. You can’t take your car there so you have to park your car in lower Shimla and go to mall road by govt. lift. There are lots of parking lots made by govt. which are paid. On Saturdays and Sunday you don’t get place to park. We reached to lift parking but couldn’t get place. There was another parking after 100 meters. We parked the car and reached to lift. Lift is not free. You have to pay Rs. 7 per person per trip to use the lift. Hotel was arranged by friend neetu singh. Hotel was very close to lift. Neetu told us there are 2 hotels with same name, bridge view and bridge view regency. Bridge view regency was the new one. Hotel was on 7th floor. View from the hotel was awesome. I immediately decided to click some long exposure shots of shimla from the terrace.

Shots came out well. While clicking rain started. We decided to see ridge church in clou Again that was a beautiful scene. For dinner we decided to go to sher-e-punjab but it was full so we went to nalini restaurant on mall road. Restaurant was beautiful but the food was below average.

We came back to room. Weather was good. In month of july we were feeling like  December.

Morning we decided to walk on mall road again and have breakfast at sher-e-punjab. Because of rain very few people were on road, also sher-e-punjab was not open. We moved to ashiana restaurant at ridge. This restaurant is governed by tourism department. Food was good here.

We already checked with friends and also googled places to see in Shimla. Now the day’s plan was to visit Jakhoo Temple, Sankatmochan Temple and Indian Institute of advanced studies. We hired a taxi for the trip. First was jakhoo temple.

Jakhoo Temple

Jakhoo is temple of lord hanuman. It is said that lord hanuman came to this in search of “sanjivani booti” for laxman. Jakhoo temple is 2 kms from shimla if you walk & 6 kms if you go through taxi. There is a way to jakhoo temple from ridge. People who love trekking can go through this way. By car the route is chhota shimla and sanjouli. The road was single and very steep. We were quite scared but at the same time because of mist and greenery the view was awesome. Traveling to jakhoo temple will give you good feel.

Temple is full with monkeys. You need to take care of your belongings here because of monkeys.

Sankatmochan Temple

Next move was sankatmochan temple which was again temple of lord hanuman. This temple was on the way to Chandigarh. Very neat and properly maintained temple. You can get panorama view of shimla from this temple. Terrace was big spacious. Aryaaditya was not ready to come back. He was enjoying running here and there on the teraace.

Indian Institute of Advanced Studies

Next move was Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. You have to take ticket to enter in the campus. As the name says, it is institute for advanced studies in humanities. People come and do studies after ph.d. You can visit inside in a restricted area with guide. Ground floor have library but members can enter only. The walls are made of teakwood, wooden flooring was done by kashmiri wood. First floor is having study room and 2nd floor have rooms for the scholars.

IIAS have historical value. The building that houses the Institute was originally built as a home for Lord Dufferin, Viceroy of India from 1884 – 1888 and was called the Viceregal Lodge. It housed all the subsequent viceroys and governors general of India. It occupied the Observatory Hill, one of the seven hills that Shimla is built upon.

Many historic decisions have been taken in the building during the Indian independence movement. The Simla Conference was held here in 1945. The decision to carve out Pakistan and East Pakistan from India was also taken here in 1947

After India gained independence, the building was renamed Rashtrapati Niwas and was used as a summer retreat for the President of India. However, due to its neglect, Dr. S Radhakrishnan decided to turn it into a centre of higher learning.

This was the last destination for the trip. After spending 2 memorable days we moved back to Chandigarh.

You can definitely plan to visit Timber Trail which is on the Shimla – Chandigarh Highway. Read my travelogue about another famous destination of India – Goa. Read all travelogues by clicking here.

 

Shimla

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