The British called Shimla the "Queen of Hill Stations". Situated in the north-West Himalayas, Shimla the summer capital of India before independence is now the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla derives its name from "Shyamala";- the goddess Kali, whose temple existed in the dense forest that covered Jakhu Hill in the early 19th century. Shimla is well connected by Air, Road and Rail with all parts of Himachal Pradesh, and the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashimir and the Union territory of Chandigarh. Covering the area of 18 sq. km. at a height of 7,238 ft. Shimla is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and numerous attractions make it one of Indian's most popular and biggest hill-stations.

Indian Institute of Advanced Study : At 1983 m, this magnificent English renaissance structure was the former Vicerega Lodge. Its lawns and woodland andadded attractions. Entry by ticket nominal charge. A portion of the interior is also open to the public, except on Sundays and Holidays.

Places of interest in and around Shimla:

Jakhu Hanuman Temple:
No visit to the state capital Shimla is complete without visiting Jakhu Hill. This hill looms over Shimla town and is the geographical nucleus. the Hanuman temple at the top of Jakhu hill is the highest point in town. The steep climb is rewarding for the fine views it offers over the surrounding valleys, out to the snow capped peaks and over Shimla it self. the temple is only 2 km from the Ridge but it could be an hour walk for a person not used to mountain climbing. The temple is one of the most favoured spots for tourists apart from pilgrims. There are many monkeys around the temple, but surprisingly they don't attack people.

State Museum :
This houses a representative collection of Himachal Pradesh's rich heritage exhibits inculde archeological artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Museums arec closed on Tuesdays and holidays.

Himachal State Museum was opened on January 26, 1974 with the purpose of collecting and protecting the scattered cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh particularly in the Westem Himalayan principalities. Since then this institution has been preserving the state cultural and artistic heritage and imparting its service to acquire, conserve, and exhibit the arte- facts to educate the people. The Research Scholars and people at large visit the institution from India and abroad. The art objects displayed in the museum stand as eloquent testimony to life of the past and have their value to access the technological, artistic and religious concept. You will find luxury hotels in Shimla at very competitive prices.

Art objects in the Museum collection are mostly related to art, archaeology and cultural anthropology of Himachal and other states of India. At present Museum, has about 9000 objects in its collection. At the outset, museum started with four galleries. Since then more galleries have been added. These galleries pertain to Pre- historic, Indian Archaeology, Woodcarvings, Himachal Archaeology, Pahari Miniature Paintings Monuments, Photographs, Rajasthan paintings, Bronzes, Numismatic, Arms Gallery, Gandhi Gallery, Philatelic, Anthropological, Contemporary Art & Wall Paintings gallery. In addition to these galleries museum has one exhibition hall for arranging the exhibition and other museum activities.

Pre Historic Gallery:
At the entrance of museum, the visitors can have a view of some fiberglass models of extinct wild animals which were used to roam in the Shivalik hills, million of years ago. In the gallery, some stone tools and fossils are on display, which show the development of technique of tools.

Wood-Carving Gallery:
Here one can find the display of wood carving and panels retrieved from the old- age temple and houses of state. There is a fine display of masks, which are still used in various religious and cultural festivities. The gallery serves as a living example of traditional wooden art of Himachal Pradesh. Apart from this Some stone sculpture of Himachal are also on display.

Pahari Miniature Painting Gallery:
Himachal is well known for its Kangra Miniature Paintings in the art history. The miniature painting of different school like that of Kangra, Guler, Basholi, Bilaspur and Mandi etc are on display. These paintings were done on hand-made paper prepared by the prisoners of Sialkot Jail and natural colors are used in paintings. The themes of these paintings are drowned from epics, Git-Govinda, Ragmala ,Baramasa, Bihari Satsai and other secular themes.

Annandale :
Surrounded by a thick deodar forest this large glade has an ancient temple on an edge.

Prospect Hill and Kamna Devi (6 km) :
At 2125 m and crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi, the Hill offers spectacular views of the area.

Sankat Mochan (7 km) : This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

Tara Devi (11 km) :
A thickly wooded hill whose peak has a temple dedicated to Tara Devi.

Mashobra (12 km) :
At 2149 m, this beautiful subrub is surrounded by a thick forest. From here, a track leads down to Sipur which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There are old temples on a side and a fair is held every April.

The Ridge : This large open space in the heart of town presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the neo-Gothic structure of Christ Chursh and the neo-Tudor library building are here.

Kufri, famous tourists spot only 16 kms. Infact, Kufri was popular for winter sports especially skiing which used to be organized here till 1990 with the passage of time and due to substantial decrease in snowfall, the winter sports from Kufri shifted to other places like Dhomri in Narkanda in Shimla District and Solang Nalla in Kullu District where snow for longer duration is available during winter.

Shimla has an added attraction of Mini zoo amidst dense forest to the tourists where a rare breed of wild animals and pheasants species commonly found in Himalayan forest region have been kept in natural habitat. Spread over an area of 20 hectares of land with rich flora and fauna about 140 wild animals including pheasants of different varities 'Monal' the State bird of Himachal Pradesh and one of the endangered species of Himalayan region has been the other attractions of this zoo also been placed safely in this mini zoo. There are other popular wild animals species in the Mini zoo such as leopard, Ghoral, Samber, Himalayan Thar, Yak, black bear and number of pheasants varieties. Himalayan Nature Park has been set up at Kufri in 1992 which is spread in 90 hectare area and mini zoo has been set up in this Park which has been set up at a cost of Rs. 5 crore.

Naldehra (22 km) :
Naldehra situated at a height of 2044 meters above sea level, about 22 kms from Shimla, the Capital Himachal Pradesh is well connected by all weather road. This place does not confine its activities to Golf alone but the day hikes and excursion through the woods and villages are other attractions for the tourists and nature lovers. Shimla is known for 1972 historic Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan. The historic agreement was signed between the two countries in the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhawan known as Barnes Courts during the British time. Naldehra has one of the worlds oldest Golf Club.

The Golf Course took shape on totally natural topography which remained untouched to the present day. The 'Naldehra' name is regarded to have come from the temple of 'Nag Devta' serpent deity whose temple is situated inside the beautiful and serene Golf Course. The Naldehra Golf Course is regarded as the most challenging ones in the Country. The Naldehra Golf Course is maintained by Himachal Tourism. Accommodation which include one log hut (Luxury) and four regular log hut and quality cuisine in the tourism restaurant are available on the premises.

Chail (45 km) : This was the former 'summer capital' of the Patiala State. the palace is now run as a luxury hotel by Himachal Tourism.

Climate: In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woollens are required. Summer temperatures are mild and light woollens/cottons are recommended.

How to reach there :
The airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 km away. Shimla is connected to Kalka by an enhancing narrow gauge railway line - where even a quiant rail-car plys. By road, Chandigarh is 117 km, Manali is 219 km, Chail is 45 km and Delhi is at a distance of 370 km. From Delhi, the driving time is about eight hours. From Delhi, Manali and Chandigarh, luxury coaches and taxis ply to Shimla.




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