Shimla abounds in natural bounty and looks picture perfect. The small hill station amidst the lofty snow-clad Himalayan ranges, surrounded by lakes and lush green pastures look as though an artist has painted them. The long, winding main street, the Mall, runs east and west just below the spine of the hill. The unique thing about Shimla is that it still retains its colonial charm and this creates an ambiance that is not found anywhere else in India. Shimla is one tourist destination that can be visited any time during the year. Summers are warm with cool and pleasant evenings while winters are bone chilling and the temperatures can fall below zero. But this difference is what makes Shimla all the more special!

So pack your bags, catch the next flight and come to Shimla – A place where dreams come true!

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The Mesmerizing Shimla

A jagged line of distant snowy peaks is clearly visible for about half the year. From mid-July to mid-September Shimla is frequently wreathed in cloud, and in winter it often gets a carpeting of snow.Bulging at its seams with unprecedented expansion, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall, packed with shops and eateries, is the center of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala’s escapades, offers a view of distant snow clad peaks. 

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The Journey

Shimla was in my list for a very long time, just after my brother in laws marriage in October, while coming back to Dubai we planned our trip to the mountains of the Himalayas.So fresh and so enthralling journey from Delhi to Shimla in a local taxi.We had booked the taxi  for 2 nights 3 days which came around 10000 in Indian rupee.The weather was awesome with clear skies and chill evenings.It took almost 8 hours for us to reach and when we entered all the tiredness of the journey just winded away, it was WOW and WOW!!.

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The Queen of Hills

We booked Shimla British Resort from Booking.com.

An idyllic secluded haven nestling in the natural beauty of untouched Cedar,Pine forest the “Green Glen”. A celebration of elegance and grace of the Colonial era in the Queen of Hill Stations . The Resort captures the beauty of Scottish and British architectures ,peace and privacy pervade this exclusive “Resort” with elegant & rich interior that transport to you a different century.

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Shimla British Resort
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Shimla British Resort

The Glen Cottage established in 1893 and the Scottish Cottage in 1898 are architectural wonders in themselves. The Danish cottage was also established in the same year. Today it is running as a heritage resort. Shimla British Resort is very much a part of Shimla’s Colonial history. The resort has been restored to its original grandeur with wood floors, period furniture, crackling fires and an inviting ambiance- a true celebration of the elegance and grace of the colonial era.
A stay in the resort promises of not only a beautiful memory to be cherished forever but a true feel of nature to recharge your soul.

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Shimla British Resort
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Shimla British Resort

The hospitality was terrific, from dinner orders to hot water, everything was so quick and smooth. We opted to take the breakfast as complimentary so was served a full English and Indian style breakfast. The reception was so beautifully done, and the colonial period can be traced by the artifacts kept in the place. So cultural and so heritaged.

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The Artifacts at Shimla British Resort

We booked the Danish Imperial rooms with the breathtaking jungle views from the balconies, having a king size bed, 4 seater sofa, study, mini fridge, mini bar, separate dressing, fully furnished & equipped toilets and personal lawn.It was around 5000 in Indian rupee.

The Scottish Villa at the back is itself a tourist attraction with a 5 bedroom villa for an unforgettable family holiday, private lawns to enjoy the picture perfect surroundings, best feature is the private leather library bar with antique fireplace. The “Secret Attic” with a famous Hidden Stair case adds to your excitement of living in the Villa of Scottish Architecture.I t will cost you around 28000 in Indian rupee, specially this villa is booked by producers from film industry for shooting.Indeed a must visit!!

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The Scottish Villa
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The Artifacts at Shimla British Resort

Day 2

Our day 2 journey was to Kufri.

Kufri is a picturesque hill station situated 20 km from Shima.It is also renowned for adventures activities like tobogganing (sliding downhill on a sled). Kufri has the oldest skiing slopes in Himachal Pradesh. Especially popular among trekkers, Kufri is the starting point of treks to Manali, Shimla, Rewalsar and Fagu among others. Kufri, Shimla and Chail form the Golden Triangle of Himachal Pradesh. The cool and pleasant climate, along with stunning natural beauty, makes Kufri a perfect summer getaway.

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Kufri

We drove to Kufri in a local taxi which charged 800 Indian rupee for sight seing, while travelling he showed us some famous tourist spot like the Green Valley which is the beautiful natural dales near Shimla. It oozes the boundless beauty, covered with dense deodar and pine forest and surrounded with the verdant hills. It is one of the mesmerizing sights of nature, the criss crossed snow mountains which has been blanket under the carpet of green becomes the highlight of ones vacation.

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Green Valley

After reaching the one can hike through thick forest around Kufri to the Mahasu Peak- the highest peak in Kufri. Only mode of transport is to hire a horse/mule, for which they charge your Rs.250 per person for Mahasu Peak or Rs.380 per person for Deshu peak depending on the package one choose. It is safe to hire the horse for the trip as the path is very muddy. Also, there will be photographers pestering you to hire them for shooting your memorable photos.

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Kufri
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Horse Ride

Once you are on Mahasu peak, you can get yourself snapped on top of Yak with ‘cowboy’ pose, Rs.30 for Yak owner. Get your snaps with Himachali dress for Rs 20-30 hire charges.There is an amusement park on top where entry fee charged separately, you can do go karting, skiing etc. Remember to collect the horse owner’s mobile number, as you might require when descending after spending memorable time on top.Don’t forget to eat those hot maggi served Rs.30 per plate and cup of fresh tea Rs.10. The best  maggi i ever had.

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The Mahaseku Peak

 

The other places of interest in Kufri are

  • Indira Tourist Park The Indira Tourist Park is near the Himalayan Nature Park and provides panoramic view of the locations around.
  • Chini BunglowIt is the Kufri bungalow which is very famous for its statues and architecture.
  • Kufri Fun Worldan amusement park to enjoy the whole day. This park is an excellent destination for family to make a memorable day, is equipped with various rides, pools and world’s highest go-kart track. 
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Chini Bungalow

It took only half of the day to visit and come back from Kufri, the evening we decided to visit the Mall Road for some souvenir shopping.

The Mall Road has many famous restaurants that specialize in not just local cuisines but also delicacies from nearby places. Since there are no vehicles allowed in the Mall, you don’t quite have to worry about watching out for the traffic. The whole area is fun to loiter around in and you wont even know when time flies by. It has been built in a very strategic and planned way.The Mall road is full of shops that sell woolen clothes, branded clothes, handicraft items, pottery items, jewelry, books, etc. The Mall Road is also famous for its wooden furniture shops that sell exquisite wooden articles, which look like antiques.
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Mall Road

While going back we decided to experience the local train, the Kalka–Shimla Railway for dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages.The view is stunning, with the line passing through an amazing 103 tunnels.This was the most thrilled and beautiful journey by train, we booked the train a day before so got our tickets reserved.The small cozy coupes, the beautiful nature and the enthralling tunnel was my hit of the vacation.Chips, mixtures,juices etc were available by the local vendors on train and the stations too provided some of the most localized delectable dishes.We booked the train till Solan as our car driver was comfortable to pick us from Solan station,though the journey was short for around 4 hours but had an amazing experience of a lifetime.

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The Train Journey
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The Train Journey

The famous tourist places in Shimla where you can spend your time on :

  • Jakhu Temple
  • Chadwick Falls
  • Jakhoo Hill
  • Dorje Drag Monastery
  • The Ridge
  • Christ Church
  • Lower Bazaar
  • Viceregal Lodge
  • Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary

The things to do in Shimla :

  • Visit the zoo at Kufri 
  • Ice skating 
  • Trek 
  • Tee off at the Naldehra Golf Course
  • Kinnaur Kailash Parikrma Trek

Himachal is known as the fruit-bowl of India. It has a thriving food processing industry that churns out fruit-based drinks, squashes and concentrates. The most famous flavors are plum, litchi, strawberry, mango and guava.

You can also try the real aqua mineral spring water available near the source (if you are trekking)!

 

Tourist Information :

There are two main official tourist information centers in Shimla, as well as a small office at the train station that isn’t always open. The victory point office is less busy and helpful. It’s also near where some government buses leave from.

  • Near Victory Tunnel, Shimla- Phone: +91-177-2654589
  • Bye pass road, Shimla, Phone: +91-177-2832498.

Its a once in a lifetime visit to the Queen of Hills, the mesmerizing weather, the delectable maggi served on roadside, the pony ride to Kufri, the breathtaking nature, the fresh fruits adds so much to the liveliness of the place.I would definitely go back to bungalows and their gabled roofs and beautiful gardens. 

The website used for the details :

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/himachal-pradesh/shimla

http://wikitravel.org/en/Shimla