The hillside town of Shimla is popular as the erstwhile British Summer Capital of India. With strong architectural impressions from the British Raj, today Shimla is one the most popular mountain destination for locals and tourists alike.
Tourists visiting Shimla like to visit the Chadwick Falls - 67 meter waterfall cascading into a deep gorge. Best views of the falls are available after monsoons when it is full of water. The falls are surrounded by thick forest which further adds to the beauty of the place.
The temple of Taradevi set in a picturesque location is widely visited by tourists. The deity worshiped here is Tara Devi, a Hindu version of the Tibetan Goddess Drolma.
At a distance of 3 kms from the city centre, the Himachal State Museum is located in a beautiful building that is regarded as a great piece of colonial architecture in Shimla. The museum has a wide collection of statues, miniatures, coins, photos and other items from around Himachal Pradesh. A visit to the museum gives a good idea of the history and culture of Himachal Pradesh.
Jakhoo hills offer a great panoramic view of Shimla town. The Jakhoo peak is the highest in Shimla. There is also an attractive small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman (the Hindu monkey god) here.
The mall is the main commercial centre of Shimla. The place is full of little shops and restaurants. Gaiety Theatre, the main centre in Shimla for cultural activities is also located here. The theatre is a reproduction of an old British theatre. Excellent views of the nearby mountain ranges are also available from the Mall. At a point called the 'Scandal Point' in the mall area, a statue of nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai has also been erected.
Kufri is a beautiful hill resort within close proximity to Shimla. Kufri is known for its scenic beauty. Located at an altitude of 2510 metres, Kufri is a popular destination for hiking. Tourists come in large numbers to the place in winters to participate in a winter sports festival held here.
This unique toy train experience offers the charm of old-world travel amidst lofty pines and lush green, misty mountains. This is one of the four narrow gauge rail routes on hill terrain still available in India. A UNESCO world heritage ride, the toy train is a charming and unique experience of the region.
Angling and opportunity for Mahseer fishing is available at Tattapani, 46 km from Shimla. A fishing license is required in advance and this can be sourced from the local office there.
Skiing is possible at the snow peaks of Narkanda and Kufri (January–mid-March) near Shimla.
At Naldera, 23 km from Shimla is one of the oldest golf courses in India.
The Shimla ice-skating rink has the largest open-air area in India, with naturally frozen ice. The Ice Skating Club here dates back to almost a century.
One thing that must feature in your shopping cart in Shimla is the walking sticks. This and more is available in the Lakkar bazaar adjoining the ridge. The bazaar offers everything from toys, figurines, candle stands, key chains, carved sticks to pots, pans and spoons - all made of wood.
As the name suggests the Lower Bazaar is located below the Mall. In between these two is the middle bazaar. These the shopping places for the local people. People from villages around Shimla are seen shopping at these markets.
This Tibetan market is famous for imported goods mainly electronics goods and fancy items.
Shimla offers many small restaurants and local shacks along with high-rise hotels. In Shimla, most restaurants are located near The Mall. It is the most frequented place that has not only good restaurants but also small coffee joints like Café Coffee Day and Barista. You shouldn't really bother about what to eat in Shimla as most restaurants have a variety of cuisines to offer. Affordable and delicious meals are served at
- Alfa Restaurant (The Mall)
- Ashiana Goofa Restaurant (The Ridge)
- Baljees (The Mall)
- Cecil (The Oberoi)
- Devicos (The Mall)
- Embassy Restaurant (The Mall)
- Fascination Restaurant (The Mall)
- Himani Restaurant (The Mall)
- India Coffee House (The Mall)
- Lutyen's Room (Springfield)
- Nalini Restaurant (The Mall)
- Solitaire Restaurant (The Mall)