Shimla: Queen of the Hills: Part-1

Shimla, also known as Simla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. For more information on Himachal Pradesh, please visit this page. Shimla “Queen of the Hills” is known for surrounding mountain ranges, snowfall, tall pine forests and nature in its best form. It was the summer capital of British India. Some of the buildings in Shimla are examples of colonial / European (neo-gothic) style architecture with the use of local/ Indian material for construction. Apart from being a tourist destination, Shimla is also an educational hub. The city has a natural ice skating rink, that happens to be the largest in Asia. The hustle bustle near the Mall Road, the Ridge and the Christ Church, mix of tourists and local residents and good food make Shimla an attraction for many all the year round.

Main attractions

Army Heritage Museum – Annadale

Annadale is a suburb of Shimla and an Army area. It has the Army Heritage Museum. Shimla has been historically connected with the Indian Army. This museum houses a collection of weapons used by the army, uniforms, flags, insignia, photographs, decorations and military honors and many other items. It displays a chronology of military events in the 4000 year old history of India. The best thing is this location is surrounded by tall Deonar trees, so it is refreshingly green. It also has a golf course. Moments of pride with India’s rich military heritage.

Army Heritage Museum, Shimla

The Ridge, the Christ Church, and the Mall Road

The Ridge is a large open area in the center of Shimla. It is has a towering Indian national flag in the center. The Ridge is connected to the Mall Road, the shopping destination in Shimla with several restaurants, cafes and bars. If you get bored in the hotel and are not sure of what to do next – the Ridge is the place to go. You will enjoy the scenic and happening life of Shimla, especially in the evening. One reason why I will love to go to Shimla – again and again in the winters.

The Christ Church is situated on the Ridge and is an attraction that cannot be missed. Beautiful from both inside and outside, this is the second oldest church in North India.

The Mall Road or the Mall is the main shopping destination in Shimla. A lot of hustle bustle with tourist and locals seen here in the evening. This place makes the whole atmosphere lively and one can enjoy the evening / night life in Shimla. Lots of shops selling woolen and other useful items. A number of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops selling Indian sweets. In our 2 days stay in Shimla, both the days we just walked around, did some shopping and tried pastries and Indian sweets. I can call it the heart of Shimla 🙂

The Viceregal Lodge

This building, which has Jacobethan architectural style, formerly used to be, the residence of British Viceroy of India. Post independence it was used as a summer retreat for the President of India. Later it was handed over to the Ministry of Education to turn it into a center for higher learnings. Today, it is known as Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, a research institute. The building is witness to a lot of developments and historic decisions during India’s Independence Movement. A guided tour of 45 minutes of the limited portion of the property covers 3 or 4 big rooms where one can see the interiors, a collection of photographs and understand more about the engineering design / techniques that were used while constructing the building.

In the upcoming blog posts, I will cover other attractions in and around Shimla and also options for reaching Shimla, accommodation and food.

If you enjoyed this post then do remember to like, follow, share and comment.

*** My travel experiences before the COVID-19 pandemic.