The hilltop destination of Northern India is seeped with history and the most charming of hillside architecture. Whether you go there for the cooling summer or to witness the snowfall during white winter, Shimla will fascinate you with its variety of activities and stunning scenery.
HOW TO GET THERE
The fastest route to get there is to fly to Jubbarhatti airport via domestic airlines then hire a cab to bring you to town. Adventurous people can opt for a train ride, travelling through New Delhi railway station to Kalka and enjoy the steepest railway ride in the world across the Himalayan trails. Although buses to Shimla are available through many towns, the train journey is one you wouldn’t want to miss.
WHAT TO DO
Set at 2100 feet above sea level, one can indulge in mountaineering, fishing and the snowfall in winter makes it a pleasant time for ice-skating and skiing. This cultural and historical site is also the home for some of the oldest religious buildings in India besides the captivating Victorian architectures of the Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex and Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Shopping lovers can check out the famous local handicrafts items plus wooden souvenirs at various bazaars and market.
WHERE TO EAT
Food hunting is easy as local eateries are mushrooming everywhere in Shimla from cafes to diners and restaurants. Seek for Baljee’s & Fascination for their yummy Indian-Italian cuisine or the local’s favourite authentic Himachali food at Ashiana & Goofa. What’s more, Cecil restaurant offers premium upscale dining with romantic setting that will set the honeymoon mood going.
WHERE TO STAY
Backpackers can stay at Hotel Marina near the train station in the bustling Mall of Shimla. With an overview of the scenic mountains, this contemporary hotel is home to a hillside restaurant and a luxury spa. Besides, Snow Valley Resorts is the biggest hotel in Shimla with three types of rooms, the standard, premium and the luxurious executive to choose from. The stunning view of nature and town can be captured at Ghora Chowki where the hotel is located.
LOCAL TIPS & FACTS
- Honeymoon season is popular from October to February as the temperature drops (8° to -2°) and the snow falls during this time.
- Bring comfortable and durable walking shoes as Shimla is built on a mountain so you will be cruising and walking on the hill path. Also, pack along thick woolen socks as it gets cold at night.
- Shimla was once the summer capital of India during the British rule as the weather is cooler on the hills. It even inspired a British television series called ‘Indian Summers’ about the British Empire in Shimla in 1932.