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Shimla, The Queen of Hills

Located in North-West Himalayan Range, Shimla is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Once the Summer Capital of India, it is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and is a thriving place for the state’s tourism.

The name Shimla comes from Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of Hindu Goddess Kali. Modern-day Shimla is all about urbanism while retaining the pristine beauty that brings it the “Queen of Hills” title.

The fervent development in Shimla during the British reign gave the city its architectural heritage, classic buildings, educational institutes, and Kalka Shimla railways, for which Shimla is popular right now.

The Mall road ridge snow view during winter
Snow Clad view of The Ridge Shimla
Places to Visit in Shimla
Shimla have rich greens, snow-clad mountains, beautiful lakes, old-world architecture, and some of the most wonderful landscapes. Very few places on Earth surpass or even equal the beauty of Shimla. Shimla, one of the most popular tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh and the whole of India, holds magic in its air. No wonder it is known as the Queen of Hill Stations.
One of the best things about the tourist spots in Shimla is you can visit them any time of the year. Such is the gorgeousness of the places where the British made Shimla their summer capital. With the abundance of some of the most majestic tourist spots in Shimla for exploration, you will be surprised by the wonders this hill station offers. Since Shimla is strategically located in the wonderful landscapes of Himachal Pradesh, it makes the best weekend gateway for North Indian tourists.Read more

If you want a peaceful and romantic weekend in nature's lap or to indulge in something more adventurous like trekking or skiing, Shimla is the quintessential hill station that has everything. Boasting some of the most majestic and breathtaking peaks to architecture dating back to the British era, the best places to visit in Shimla provide a perfect way of spending your holidays. Kufri, The Ridge of Shimla, Solan, Viceregal House, Jakhoo Hill, Kali Bari, Mall Road, Kuthar Fort, and Himalayan Bird Park are some of the leading attractions that should find a place in your tourist itinerary.

The Ridge of Shimla is the heart of Shimla because of its tourist attractions and its location. This wide-open street along the Mall Road connects to the well-known Scandal Point and offers gorgeous views of the snow-clad mountains.

Popular for cuisine, shopping, tourist spots, history, and photography, Mall Road is located just below The Ridge in Shimla, offering a complete glimpse of the place in a nutshell. Mall Road has some of the best cafes, shops, book stores, restaurants, and several tourist attractions.

Jakhoo Hill is the highest point in Shimla, covered with wonderful alpine trees. You can reach the summit of the hill by following a 2.5-kilometer footpath. Once you are at the summit, you get the scope of enjoying cool weather and cherishing the awe-inspiring sights of the Shivalik Mountain through the ropeway.

Famous for adventure, photography, and nature, Kufri lies 17 kilometers from Shimla, and it takes just 48 minutes to reach the place. Located at an altitude of 2510 meters in the Himalayan foothills, this hill station delights both adventurers and nature lovers. It offers some of the region’s most stunning views and is also considered an adventure hub for the activities it offers tourists.

Also, indulge in adventure sports such as skiing and paragliding, and enjoy bike riding through the snow and ropeway rides to reach the highest summits of the nearby snow-clad mountain ranges. There’s even an amusement park called Kufri Fun World where you can have a great time with kids. You can also visit the Himalayan zoo if you have time.

Probably the most significant and historical structure, the Viceregal Lodge once served as the Indian Viceroy’s (1888 to 1946) summer abode. One of the most iconic tourist spots in Shimla, the Indian Institute of Advanced, serves as the center for advanced studies and research. It remains open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days except Monday from 1st July to 30th April and from 9 am to 7 pm from 1st May to 30th June. Its entry fee is INR 40 for Indians and INR 85 for foreigners, and there’s a separate INR 20 fee for a Garden visit.

Located at Chaura Maidan, the Himalayan Bird Park is known for its exclusive selection of rare trees and plants along with exotic bird species like pheasants, the Himalayan Monal, and peacocks. The length of visit here is 1 hour, and it remains open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days. Located at a distance of 2.3 kilometers from Shimla, you need to pay INR 10 per individual to get an entry into this park.
Open from 7 am to 6.30 pm daily, the Tara Devi Temple in Shimla can serve as one of the best tourist spots for all religious souls. The presiding deity at this temple is Goddess Tara, one of the nine sisters of Goddess Durga and the Goddess of the Tibetan Buddhists.
Believed to have been constructed in 1845, the Kali Bari Temple draws attention because of its religious significance and architectural beauty. It is a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. Situated very close to Mall Road, this place is perfect for spending serene moments. The temple remains open from 6 am to 7 pm every day.
Located at a distance of 2.5 kilometers from Scandal Point, the museum boasts a massive collection of old photographs, sculptures, coins and artworks collected from throughout the nation. The museum remains open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Monday. The entry fee for Indians is INR 10, and for foreigners in INR 50.
Annandale is the star attraction of Shimla, well-known for photography, golf, adventure, and nature. It is 4 kilometers from The Ridge and serves as a small golf course and a helipad. You can visit nearby gardens, the army museum and hike at The Glen on your visit to Annandale.
You will need half a day to visit Shali Peak, located very close to Mahakali at a distance of 40- 45 kilometers from Shimla. With lush green surroundings and magical weather, this peak is popular among tourists looking for serenity and peace in Shimla.
The Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex is a century-old structure built in Victorian-style architecture. With its art gallery, exhibition hall, amphitheater, and multipurpose hall, it is one of the most famous performing arts centers in Shimla. Its entry fee is INR 10 for Indians and INR 25 for foreigners. It remains open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days except Saturday and Sunday.
Established in 1904, Gorton Castle is located at a distance of 1.1 kilometers from Shimla at Mall Road. This is a gothic-style architectural grandeur designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, one of the most popular architects of those times. This is a three-story structure accommodating 125 rooms of varied sizes and has Rajasthani Jallis carved on balconies.
Located at a distance of 8 kilometers from Shimla, the Sankat Mochan Temple was established in 1950. Lord Hanuman is the deity worshipped at this temple that remains open from 6.30 am to 8 pm in summers, while in winters, it is open from 7 am to 6.30 pm, and you need one and a half hours to visit it.
St. Michael’s Cathedral Catholic Church dates back to 1886 and has interiors displaying the fine touch of Victorian and French-Gothic architecture. With a housing capacity of 400 people in its main hall, this church is an important landmark located at a distance of 500 meters from the Shimla bus stand. Daily mass is held at 6:45 am at this church, with the Friday mass being held at 6 pm and the Sunday mass at 10:30 am.
Baba Bhalku Railway Museum is 47 kilometers away from Shimla and remains open on all days from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm except Monday. Displays at this museum include engines and machines.
Located 11 kilometers from Shimla, the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary with jackals, barking deers, bears, monkeys, and leopards is one of the best places for nature lovers and photographers. The sanctuary remains open from 9 am to 6 pm on all days, and its entry fee for students is INR, and for common people is INR 25. You will have to pay extra for still cameras, two-wheelers and other vehicles.
One the residence of A.O. Hume, the knowledgeable ornithologist and political reformer, Rothney Castle lies 8.5 kilometers from the Shimla bus stand. This house boasts some of the most extraordinary landscapes and greenery and is an architectural marvel worth visiting in Shimla.
This exclusive amusement park is situated at 8500 feet above sea level in Kufri. Here you can enjoy some of the best activities like Commando Net, Rowing, Burma Bridge, Valley crossing, Bumping boats, Rock climbing, and Flying Fox. The park remains open from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm throughout the week, and the entry fee to the park is INR 100 per individual, INR 350 per individual including rides, and INR 160 per individual including Go Karting.
A haven for adventure lovers, Mashobra Greens, has several adventure activities like quad biking, trekking, skiing, rappelling, and paragliding. This town, dominated by towering pine, cedar, and oak trees, misty hills and a glistening stream, lies 12.1 kilometers from Shimla.
Located 2500 meters above sea level, Fagu Heights is a place blessed with a breezy atmosphere, snow-clad mountains, and the majestic Himalayan range. Home to different flora and fauna and often encompassed with fog and mist, Fagu has got some of the most beautiful apple orchards and cedar and pine trees.
Located in Himachal Pradesh’s Shivalik region, Chail is a captivating hill station 63 kilometers from Shimla. The weather here is pleasant throughout the year, and offers elegant and scenic sights of both Kasauli and Shimla. Along with Shimla and Kufri, this place is called Himachal Pradesh’s Golden Triangle. This beautiful hill station is free of huge crowds and gives tourists the chance to relish the charm of the environment while being at complete peace. The dense pine and deodar trees, stunning mountain views, and lush green outfields make Chail one of the most important tourist spots in Shimla.
This hilly town is located 62 kilometers from Shimla, along with a highway running from Kinnaur to Shimla. Nestled at an elevation of 8100 feet, this town has winding roads. It takes around 2 hours to reach Narkanda from Shimla, one of the most beautiful places to visit around Shimla. Visitors can witness the beauty of this entire town from Fagu Heights, a small hill station in Shimla. The most common fact about Narkanda is that it serves as a stopover for all those traveling to Spiti Valley.
Located on the banks of River Satluj, Tattapani is a small little village located 60 kilometers from Shimla. The meaning of the term Tattapani in the local language is hot water, and it gets this name from the different hot springs dotting the entire village. Situated amidst beautiful mountains, this scenic town in Shimla boasts of several ponds and winding rivers. Not only this, it even boasts of some of the best cultural monuments and vibrant life.
Here, visit the Tattapani Adventure Park, a beautiful picnic location, and The Shiva Cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Hot water spring located close to River Satluj is the main attraction of this village and is considered to have healing properties.
Naldehra is a small beautiful town located at a distance of 25 kilometers from the Shimla bus stand. The most popular attraction of this town is its 9 Hole Golf Course, and the town also boasts several verdant expanses of vegetation and hills. You can play golf at the 9 Hole Golf Course here by paying a fee of INR 1000 per individual.

Shimla Tour Packages You Might Not Want to Miss Out

Hotels & Hospitality in Shimla

This list includes nearby hotels of Shimla categorized according to your budget.

Luxury

The Oberoi Cecil and Radisson Hotel Shimla

Mid Range

Hotel Landmark, Hotel Peterhoff, Hotel Combermere, Woodville Palace, Clarke’s Hotel, Hotel Ashiana Regency,

Economical

Hotel Woodland, Hotel City View, Hotel Dreamland, Hotel White, Hotel Mayur, Dalziel, Hotel Gulmarg

How To Reach Shimla

Air Travel to Shimla

The nearest airport for Shimla is the Jubberhatti Airport, situated 22 km from Shimla. Daily commercial service is operational at the Jubberhatti Airport to and from Delhi, by Kingfisher. Owing to the runway space only a turboprop Dornier aircraft can land here

Land Travel to Shimla​

There is regular bus and taxi services via road. Shimla is connected by a national highway. Majorly long route government transportation buses are available but you can also travel through Volvo buses. From Shimla it would take 15 km to Kufri.

Train Travel to Shimla

UNESCO has granted Kalka-Shimla Railway the status of World Heritage Site. The meandering narrow gauges railway experience through the toy train will take you back to the British Raj. As the train passes tunnel after tunnel you’ll reach one step closer to your destination “Shimla”. There are four train services per day mainly    Kalka Shimla Passenger, Shivalik Deluxe Express, Kalka Shimla Mail and Himalayan Queen Express.

Things to do in Shimla

Top Tourist Spots in Shimla

Religious & Spirituality

  • Sankat Mochan
  • Tara Devi Temple
  • Jakhoo Temple
  • Nanina Devi
  • Christ Church
  • Dorje Drag Monastery

Day Out At

  • State Museum
  • Naldehra Golf Course
  • Hip Hip Hurray Amusement Park (kufri )
  • Ice Skating Ring (Active in Winters only)
  • The Retreat and Chail

Camping & Trekking Jaunts

  •  Glen
  • Potter Hills
  • Annadale
  • Mashobra
  • Kufri

Shopping Spree

There are many brand outlets on mall offering great shopping options, Lower Bazaar (local jam packed market), Lakkar Bazar( antique and wood works)

Architectural Heritage

  • Christ Church
  • Vice Regal Lodge (Indian Institute of Advanced Study)
  • Gorton Castle
  • The Railway Board Building (Now AG Office)
  • Gaiety Theatre( recently remodeled)
  • WoodVille Palace(converted into a Hotel)

Shimla Facts & City Profile

Here is list of the fact about the Kufri

Why visit Shimla ?

Shimla has it all - greenery, hilltops with stunning views, indigenous temples, sports and leisure activities, commingle of cultures and exciting shopping spots.

Shimla Map