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About Shimla (Himachal) Travel Information

Shimla (also spelt as 'Simla') derives its name from goddess 'Shayamla Devi', which is another manifestation of Goddess Kali. The capital of Himachal Pradesh came into light when the British discovered it in 1819. Till then, it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. In 1864 Shimla was declared as the summer capital of India. After Independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. In 1903 a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla.

Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of. Dwelling on a panoramic location, the hilly town is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era create an aura, which is very different from other hill stations.

Shimla's Seven Hill Attractions
The seven hills of Shimla are - Prospect Hill in Western Shimla, which has the temple of Kamna Devi; Summer Hill in Western Shimla, which has the campus of the Himachal Pradesh University; Observatory Hill in Western Shimla, which holds the estate of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study; Invererarm in Western Shimla, whose top has the State Museum; Bantony in central Shimla, which has the Grand Hotel; Jakhoo in central Shimla, which is crowned by the temple indicated to Lord Hanuman, and Elysium in north-western Shimla, which holds Auckland House and Longwood and reaches out towards the Bharari spur.

Shimla's Malls
As the town of Shimla grew through the 19th century, its Mall steadily developed as the town's commercial street and the hub of its social life. The road, which some 5-km in length, starts in the west at the gates of he former Viceregal Lodge , the present day Indian Institute of Advanced Study and ends at Chhota Shimla or 'Small' Shimla, in the east.

The route has bends, as one would expect any hill road to have, ut its nature essentially follows a wide sweeping curve along the hills. The primary aspect is south facing and affords a view of the valley below the town and of the foothills that reach out to the plains from its habitation. In pockets, snatches of the northern aspect spring up for a dramatic view and hold woods of Pine and Himalayan Cedar - the majestic Deodar. This picture of nature's bounty is framed by the distant snow ranges of the Greater Himalaya.

Prime Attractions of Shimla

Annandale : Annandale, just 2-km below the Ridge in Shimla, offers a picturesque piece of ground, charmingly adapted for recreation in the days of the Raj. Today it affords a pleasant change from the perpetual slopes above.

Chadwick Falls : -km beyond the Summer Hill and 7-km west of the ridge from Shimla are the Chadwick Falls, which was once the site of a 67-m aquatic spectacle.

Chapslee : Containing the comfortable elegance of an English country manor, Chapslee was originally built in 1835.

Christ Church And St Michael'S Cathedral : The most prominent building on the Mall is the yellow Christ Church, reputed to be the second oldest church in northern India. The silhouette of this can be seen on the skyline for miles around. It was designed by Colonel JT Boileau in 1844, but consecrated only after 1857. The clock was donated by Colonel Dumbleton in 1860, and the porch added in 1873.

Churdhar Sanctuary : The sanctuary got its name from the Chur Peak, on the top of which sits a majestic status of Lord Shiva. One is sure to come across a large number of multi-coloured and agile Monals in the adjoining forests.

Gurkha Castles : The Gurkha castles in Solan, Sirmour, Bilaspur and Shimla districts remind us of the life and time under the Gurkha regime. While most of the structures built by the Gurkhas have crumbled, the remaining few beckon tourists.

Hatkoti : Some 105-km east of Shimla, in Jubbal Tehsil on the banks of the river Pabbar, lays the mysterious valley of stone temples Hatkoti. Close by stands a small village by the name of Parhaat.

Jakhu 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.

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