Shimla – Always Charming & Endearing


Charming, ancient, quaint, queen of hill stations, summer escape, Shimla has earned innumerable adjectives and sobriquets. And tourists continues to remain in awe when they arrive here for their honeymoon or summer vacation. While most of north India moves uphill  to escape from the soaring mercury, Shimla is an equally attractive destination in winter.

Here is a series of photos of this can’t-have-you-enough hill station.

————————————————————————————————-

If you are driving down from Delhi to Shimla, the Pinjore gardens off Zirakpur highway is your first stop. Enjoy a hearty meal and the lovely views of this garden that is steeped in history.

The famous Pinjore gardens outside Chandigarh and on the way to Shimla

The famous Pinjore gardens outside Chandigarh on the way to Shimla

On a lucky day, the 100 year old heritage toy train to Shimla will give you company as you drive up the hair pin bends. We made do with walking through the tunnel.

One of the several tunnels you'll encounter while driving up to Shimla

One of the several tunnels you'll encounter while driving up to Shimla

It is just for these awesome sunrise or sunset views that is worth a visit to Shimla

View of the rolling hills of Himalayas on an early morning

View of the rolling hills of Himalayas on an early morning

Sunlight bursts down in the valley while its still cool up in Shimla

View of the valley from a curve in the road

View of the valley from a curve on the road

The bright orange head of the statue of Hanuman at Jakhoo temple is clearly visible from the Mall road. This temple is notorious for its monkeys that trail and attack every visitor climbing up its steps

Head of the Hanuman statue at Jakhoo temple in Shimla

Head of the Hanuman statue at Jakhoo temple in Shimla

The cream colored tower of Christ Church is one of the most visible landmarks of Shimla, standing out against the blue sky as you see it from several miles away

Christ Church in Shimla

Christ Church in Shimla

Most hill stations in India have a Mall road, but very few can match the charm and activity of the one in Shimla. This signboard on the Lift shows you the direction

Signboard indicating direction of Mall road

Signboard indicating direction of Mall road

Every name mentioned on this street sign on Mall road is a destination to itself.

A signboard on the Mall road in Shimla

A signboard on the Mall road in Shimla

The Ridge on the Mall road is where Shimla descends every evening, be it summer or Winter. It offers amazing views of the Himalayan range and is also the entrance to this Church

View of Christ Church from the Ridge on the Mall road

View of Christ Church from the Ridge on the Mall road

Christ Church, is equally charming on the inside. Beautiful colors, absolutely peace and only prayers on your mind. Sit for as long as you want. Or soak in the stain glass paintings that adorn its windows.

Inside Christ Church in Shimla

Inside Christ Church in Shimla

Strained glass paintings on the windows of Christ church

Stained glass windows of Christ church

Stained glass windows of Christ church

View of the The Ridge from the ‘3 Idiots’ spot. In winter, jackets, woolens and caps rule. Crisp chilly winds keep you company. While hot soup and coffee relax

The Ridge area on Mall road in Shimla

The Ridge area on Mall road in Shimla

It is customary to get yourself clicked in traditional Himachali garments with the Ridge offering unmatched backdrops to the pictures

Tourists getting clicked on the Ridge

Tourists getting clicked on the Ridge

This used to be a small club situated at the base of the climb to Naldhera golf course, it appeared abandoned when I visited

An old charming house in Naldhera

An old charming house in Naldhera

A behind-the-scenes view of the tea-stall outside the Naldhera golf course, the highest one in India

A tea-stall at Naldhera, India's highest golf course

A tea-stall at Naldhera, India's highest golf course

The hill roads are dotted with restaurants like these, which precariously balance themselves on the steep slopes

A restaurant clings to the hillside

A restaurant clings to the hillside

India’s grand old queen of hills is dying slowly, it is overcrowded and bustling with growth and construction all over the place. But if you search, there are still a few places where you can enjoy the old world charm.

Shimla town as viewed from the taxi stand near the Lift

Shimla town as viewed from the taxi stand near the Lift

The canopy does the trick. Sitting under such sheds on the Mall road and getting lost in the distant views brings immense contentment

A view point on the Mall road in Shimla

A view point on the Mall road in Shimla

This white building with red lining and a red roof stands out distinctly on Mall road. It houses the head post office in Shimla.

The India Post building on Mall road in Shimla

The India Post building on Mall road in Shimla

One would normally not feel the need to keep track of time in Shimla, but just in case. This massive clock stands out on Mall road at Gaiety theatre

A massive clock at Gaiety theatre on Mall road in Shimla

A massive clock at Gaiety theatre on Mall road in Shimla

Gaiety theatre played host to various functions, events and theaters to the British royals when they were in town. It continues to hold stage shows and theatre events. It also has an exhibition hall on the ground floor

Inside Gaiety theatre in Shimla

Inside Gaiety theatre in Shimla

Most Indians get their first glimpse of snow-clad Himalayan mountains from Shimla. This view plays peek-a-boo as you walk along the long winding Mall road

Snow-clad Himalayan mountain range

Snow-clad Himalayan mountain range

History buffs can take the steep walk up to the Museum at the west end of the Mall road. Its been renovated and commands one of the best views of surrounding hills

The museum at Shimla

The museum at Shimla

Under the British rule, this building served as the summer residence of the Governor generals of India. This stone building now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Don’t miss the elaborate walls, majestic halls and tapestry in it. This is also where the agreement partitioning India and Pakistan was signed.

Viceregal lodge or Indian Institute of Advanced studies

Viceregal lodge or Indian Institute of Advanced studies

The grand decor inside the Indian Institute of Advanced studies building. This is the lobby area where visitors are allowed in. The ceiling, wall fabric and wooden furniture date more than half a century

The grand decor inside the Indian Institute of Advanced studies building

The grand decor inside the Indian Institute of Advanced studies building

The municipal corporation building on Mall road is a majestic stone structure and a hub of activity. With several shops near by, its a buzzing place all day.

The municipal corporation building of Shimla

The municipal corporation building of Shimla

Finally stop by for a cup of coffee at the Indian Coffee house on Mall road. Attendants still dress traditionally and wear turbans. A great place to eavesdrop on local conversations

Waiter serving coffee at Indian Coffee house in Shimla

Waiter serving coffee at Indian Coffee house in Shimla

9 thoughts on “Shimla – Always Charming & Endearing

  1. Sirji,

    You brought back memories of our final year trip during MBA, Shimla really evokes memories of our colonial past and that is one of the reasons for the charm it exudes to this day.

    I have always wondered about how Shimla must be in the winter, if it snows.

    Good work, you have one more follower.

    -Rahul

  2. Pingback: Who is poor? « Learning From Life

  3. This may sound silly, but I didn’t know it could be that cold (and snowy?!) in India – when we think of it, we have mental images of a sunny, very hot place, it’s nice to see this other side! Loved the Institute of advanced studies and the stained-glass in the church, beautiful!

    • Thanks Janus. Northern India is flanked by the Himalayas and hence gets extremely cold in winters. Infact, the winters of Delhi are extremely popular, esp around Dec and Jan. It regularly snows in most hill stations of northern India, which are approx 200-300 miles from Delhi. You should visit:)

  4. Shimla is India’s one of the favorite travel destination place among the all Indians and for the foreign tourists. Tourists come here to enjoy snowfall and in summers For their Relaxing Vacation at Shimla.

  5. For such a small place like Shimla, it has so many to offer. I love how the church perched on top of the hill and visible from all over the town. Great pictures!

Thanks for reading my post. I'd love to hear what you think about it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s