The capital city of Himachal Pradesh and the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, Shimla is hugged by the Himalayan Cedar making the perfect romantic backdrop at a height of about 2200 meters spreading across the area of 18 sq.km. Shimla has derived its name from a descendant of Goddess Kali fearing ‘Shyamali Devi’. Shimla, given its location, has always held an important spot in the eyes of British and thus one can find a lot British imprints in terms of architecture, innovations, lifestyles, etc. till today. Given its climatic condition, the capital of the British Empire was shifted to Shimla in summers and was known as the ‘summer capital’. The Hindustan Tibet border that was constructed in 1850 had a Kalka-Shimla Railway line in 1903 which is still one of the important tourist destinations and an important landmark in the history of Shimla. Although one can visit Shimla at any time of the year, however, the durations in which certain activities can be enjoyed may vary; like trekking is best done during the months of March to August since it is less cold whereas to enjoy skiing one must visit the winter season.
Nearest airport is within Shimla: Jabbarhatti.
Other airports: New Delhi & Chandigarh
Toy train runs between Kalka and Shimla.
Kalka is connected to all major cities.
Shimla is 118 km from Chandigarh and 350 from New Delhi. Buses and taxis are available to-and-fro from both places.
Shimla is the most popular hill station and has amazing weather and tourists can go to Shimla anytime of the year. The summers are extremely pleasant with average temperature plays around 20 degrees. The peak tourist season is from March to June, as this is the time when weather is enjoyable for those who are trying to escape the plains’ harsh summers. The monsoon season starts from June making it slightly inconvenient to travel around the town. Post monsoons, the weather starts getting colder. Snowing occurs by the mid of December till the end of February. This is the perfect place to go for trekking, paragliding and other adventure sports.
The period from March to June is the best time to visit Shimla. The extreme winters have receded by this time and th... read more...
There are numerous festivals and events in Shimla that are celebrated with great pomp and show and the prominent ones include the Summer Festival, Ice Skating Carnival, Baisakhi and Sipi Fair.
The Summer Festival
The Summer Festival is one of the most important festivals in Shimla and is celebrated every year to herald the coming of summer to the region. It is held every year from 2-6 June and is a popular vent attracting many visitors. As part of the Festival, food fests, painting competitions, flower shows, and cultural shows are held.
Another prominent festival of Shimla is the Ice Skating Carnival held in the month of February. The festival features snow sports including skiing and ice-skating and is a great way to enjoy the winter months in Shimla.
Baisakhi is the other important festival in Shimla that is celebrated with great fervour in the month of April. Sipi Fair celebrated in the month of May is another main festival in Shimla, which is dedicated to Sip Devta – a local deity of this region and the festivities include cultural shows and magic shows.
Other important festivals in Shimla that are celebrated with much enthusiasm include Lohri, Rhyali, Dussehra, Diwali and Navaratri. Each of these festivals have a special significance in the life of locals here.
Shopping in Shimla is all about buying the local handicrafts and the main shopping areas in Shimla are along the Mall, the Subzi Mandi, and the Lakkar Bazaar. The Mall road is the place shoppers love to explore, as there are several shops here that offer plethora of choices including woollen products, handicrafts, and handmade artefacts. The Kullu and Kinnauri shawls, mufflers and scarves, Pashmina shawls and the Tibetan carpets are some of the must-buys from Shimla. Apart from shawls, there are Himachali caps, gloves, sweaters and socks, which you may buy from here. You may buy these woollen items either from the local shops or the state emporiums. Don’t forget to bargain and if you are not sure of bargaining skills then you may prefer to buy the products from state emporiums. In case you are interested in some wooden work then you may head to Lakkar Bazaar where you will find various wooden products including walking sticks, toy, figurines, key-chains, pots, candle stands, kitchen ware and spoons that make for some great souvenirs to take back home. Take a trip to the Tibetan Market if you want to buy Tibetan carpets, jewellery that can be purchased from the shops close to the ridge. Apart from this you may also like to buy juices, jams, squashes, pickles and sauces as they are also the best buys here.
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