Shimla - The Summer Capital of the Raj
Delhi - Shimla - Delhi (By Train)
Shimla, a tranquil & scenic city with a rich heritage is known as the "Queen of Hills". It is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 2,205 m (7234 feet) above sea level surrounded by lofty mountains of the Himalayas with its dense pine forests and beautiful apple orchards.
This city has created a special place in the heart of number of tourists. Shimla derives the name from the Goddess kali "Shyamla Devi". The state capital is also famous for its buildings styled and has some of the world's finest examples of British architecture. The circuit from Shimla, a beautiful city, it is the capital of the Himachal Pradesh, earlier the summer capital of the former British Raj in Himachal Pradesh where they liked to take his summer quarters. It is just impossible to describe Shimla in words. The valley is blessed with nature's beauty. The hilly town is surrounded by snowcapped peaks and green pastures on all side.
History of Shimla, Way back in 1817, a small village tucked away in the Himalayas was discovered by British surveyors and pronounced an ideal retreat for the homesick colonisers. Named after Shyamla Devi, an incarnation of the fierce goddess Kali, stories of Shimla's salubrious climate and invigorating surroundings made it grow in popularity.
In 1830, the land around was bought from the local ruler and Shimla turned into a resort for British army officers. Soldiers recuperating from the Gurkha war came up to the hill resort to heal their wounds, while the memsahibs favoured its cooler climate to the hot, humid and mosquito-infested plains. Soon it began to look like an English village as cottages with gardens, tree-lined walks, churches and cricket pitches came up around town. Finally, in 1864, the town was formally declared the summer capital of the Imperial Government. Every summer, tons of files and baggage were transported all the way from Calcutta and later Delhi, to this hill town. Shimla came alive with gentlemen and ladies spending their days at garden parties, games of bridge, grand dinners and balls.
The main pedestrian walkway, known as the Mall, was popular for evening promenades. Several British landmarks, including the Christ Church, the Cecil Hotel and the Gaiety Theatre came up along the Ridge. In 1903, the Kalka-Shimla railway link was begun making the hitherto arduous journey up much simpler. Even today, the quaint toy train connecting Kalka to Shimla chugs up steep hill slopes carrying hordes of eager tourists. Due to its secluded location and relaxed surroundings, Shimla was useful as a meeting point for national leaders.
In the days just before India's independence in 1947, the architects of modern India and the leaders of the Muslim League met here to discuss the modalities of the transfer of power. Later, in 1972 the Landmark Shimla Accord was signed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the premiers of India and Pakistan. The Shimla Accord was an effort at diffusing tension between the two nations that had remained hostile after independence and partition.
Day 1 : Delhi-Kalka-Shimla (By train)
Early morning, transfer to New Delhi railway station to board the train for Kalka. Board the train Kalka Shatabadi at 0745 hrs and enjoy the beautiful journey. Arrive at 1145 hrs at Kalka station and shift from broad gauge line platform to the narrow-gauge line platform to board the Himalayan Queen Express Toy Train departing at 1210 hrs for Shimla. It is a narrow gauge railway track having a length of 90 kilometers. It is more than 100 years old world heritage sites and if the tourists coming to Shimla, they don't want to miss this ride. These trains are small in size that why, the name of these train is "toy trains". Enjoy the fascinating, full of scenic ride on this historical Kalka- Shimla line with 106 tunnels and single & double arch bridges.
Arrive at 1730 hrs at Shimla railway station. You can click photos of the Old KC 520 steam loco parked on the side of the Shimla station. Traditional welcome on arrival and then transfer to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 2 : Full day visit Shimla
Breakfast at the hotel.
Depart to visit the most attractive destinations. Visit The ridge is the pride of the Queen Hills. It is located in the heart of the town and always filled with the tourists. You can see the beautiful view of the mountain peaks. Being the most famous popular shopping Centre in the city, Shimla ridge links the most commercial spots such as Lakkar Bazar, The mall, Christ church, Scandal point and many others.
Then visit Christ Church, this church is the second oldest church in Northern India. The construction of this church was started in 1844 and completed in 1857. Built in Neo-Gothic style of architecture, it took nearly thirteen years to construct it. The stained glass windows over the altar and the clock were placed in 1860. The fresco on the walls was painted from a design made by Mr. Lockwood Kipling (father of the Jungle book writer Rudyard Kipling). It is located at the most important road of Shimla in the Ridge. It has become an important landmark in the city. Also Visit Jhaku temple, the temple is situated on the Jhaku Hill, 2.5 kms from ridge at a height of 2455 (m) above sea level. This temple is a sacred place for the Hindu community of India and is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. From the top of the Jhaku Hill you can see the entire Shimla and also can enjoy wonderful panoramic views of the Shivalink ranges and the sister town of Sanjauli. The statue of Lord Hanuman is made which stands 108 feet high.
After that visit Sankat Mochan Temple, Situated at a distance of 5kilometers from Shimla, the Sankat Mochan Temple in Shimla is located in Tara Devi. One of the sacred pilgrimage destinations of Himachal Pradesh, the Sankat Mochan Temple is one of the important tourist attractions of Shimla as well as a significant pilgrimage destination. It was during the 1950s when Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj visited this beautiful and isolated place covered by sprawling acres of greenery. Nestled amidst the snow clad peaks and green valleys, the Babaji found here the true meaning of peace and serenity. He was deeply moved by the beauty of the place and had this desire to construct a Hanuman Temple over here.
Then one of Baba's devotees Lt. Governor of Himachal Pradesh, late Raja Bajrang Bahadur Bhadari and Sh. Bhagwan Sahai helped in the construction of the temple. This led to the construction of the famous Sankat Mochan Temple of Himachal Pradesh. Then visit State museum, it is located 2.5 km west of the Scandal point on the Inveram Hill. The museum represents the collection of Himachal Pradesh's rich heritage of ancient historical sculptures, coins, paintings etc. It also has a library which has approx. 10,000 books, journals and magazines. The history of the building dates back to the colonial times when it was the private residence of Lord William Beresford. He was the Military Secretary to the then Viceroy of India, Lord William Bentinck. After independence, it served as the residence of Indian Government officials. It was transformed into a museum on January 26, 1974 with the sole aim of collecting and preserving the historical, artistic and archaeological items of the Himachal Pradesh State.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 : Shimla - Kalka - Delhi (By train)
Enjoy a breakfast at hotel. Then departure from Shimla railway station to board the Toy train for Kalka. Arrive at Kalka and shift from narrow-gauge line platform to the broad-gauge line platform to board the Kalka Shatabadi Express for Delhi. On arriving at New Delhi railway station internal transfer to onward destination / back home with sweet memories of Shimla tour.
Shimla is the best market for the handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh. Woolen and pashmina shawls, decorative items, handmade shoes, dolls, woolen caps, carved wooden sticks, toys and other items made from wood are made in Shimla itself and are on sale in the Lakkar Bazar. Tibetan jewellery and trinkets are found in the small Tibetan shops near the Ridge.
Shimla has the only natural ice-skating rink in India. An Ice-skating Carnival is arranged every year by the Ice-skating Club during January. During this festival, members display their skill on ice and participate in a fancy dress competition.
In summer the city holds a Summer Festival every year and it is one of major festivals in Shimla. Apart from that, the city also holds food festivals, painting competitions, flower and cultural shows.
Besides the summer festival, regular cultural programmes are organized in Shimla during the tourist season.
Best time to visit Shimla:-
Shimla is no doubt one of the bustling hill stations in India and is often frequented during its off-seasons also. Well mountains sometimes cuddle a bracing climate and sometimes they behave enigmatically but both the way Shimla is simply enlivening. Best time to visit Shimla is between April to Mid-July & Mid-Sept to Mid-Nov.
1. Summer season in Shimla:-The summer season in this magnificent hill station begins in the month of March and lasts till June. The maximum temperature remains in between 15'C to 30'C. If you are lucky then you can enjoy the snow on the high altitude in early summers.
2. Monsoon season in Shimla:- The city welcomes the monsoon season in the months from July to September. Excessive rainfall occurs during this season especially in the month of July. To feel the magic of rain and enjoy the fragrance of the hill station, a number of visitors from the different parts of the world love to come here. But, be careful as landslides are common during this season.
3. Winter season in Shimla:- winter begins in Shimla in October and lasts till February. The minimum temperature of this magnificent city comes down to -2' C. The climate remains quite cool and pleasant. The season is also liked by quite a good number of tourists. One can enjoy the snowfall during this season as well. It is also a perfect honeymoon place. Winter season is the best time to visit Shimla.
1. Shimla by Air:- Airport is located 22 kms from Shimla; the Jubbarhatti Airport is well connected to various cities by air.
2. Optional: - Flight connection is also available for the above tour from Delhi - Shimla
3. Shimla by Railway:- The nearest station is Kalka which connects the city with different parts of the country by rail line. There are quite a good number of trains from the cities like Delhi and Calcutta. From Kalka station, one can take the pleasure of toy train as well as can hire private cabs to explore the beauty of this city.
4. Shimla by Road:-
New Delhi to Shimla - 6 hrs 6 mins /369 km
Chandigarh to Shimla - 2 hours 19 mins /128 km