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15 Best Places to Visit in Shimla

 
  • Once a summer capital of the British, Shimla still exude the charm of India's Colonial era. Delight in stately old buildings, hand-painted signs in the market, fetching iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. A salubrious hill station and holiday retreat, this is where Indians from across the country retreat to. Thanks to cars not being allowed in the main town, ambling thorough the place is easy and beguiling. Cosseted by lush hills with snowy peaks, this capital of Himachal Pradesh exhibits nature's many glories.

    Still displaying the colonial appeal, Viceregal Lodge, once a summer abode for India's Viceroys has now become the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Situated 3kms from Shimla's Mall Road, guided tours are conducted here on a regular basis. You get to unravel the architecture, details about the furniture and history. Along with the fetching building, there are well-maintained lawns and tiny cafeteria. Other notable places to visit in Shimla include Annandale, Tara Devi Temple, Kalka - Shimla Railway, The Mall and more.

    Here are some of the best places to visit in Shimla:

  • 01Annandale

    Annandale
    Image Credit : Rohit Chhiber-Flickr
    Annandale is a flat terrain in Shimla that has been developed as the playground of the city. The ground is used to play cricket. Several other sports like Golf and Polo are also played here. Picnics too are organized here. The ground here is famous since the British rule. Britishers used to play sports like racing, cricket and polo here. Entertainment activities too were organized during these times.

    Image Credits : Rohit Chhiber-Flickr



    Location: Annandale is situated about 3 kilometers away from the Ridge. Private taxis as well as buses can help you reach Annandale.

    Highlights: Annandale is a very beautiful spot that gives away a picturesque view of the Shimla city along with its surroundings. The area here is covered with beautiful deodar trees, oak trees, etc. It falls under the authority of the Indian army.

    Best Time: The Annandale is open all round the year. Ground has all the facilities available that may be needed by the visitors.
  • 02Jakhoo Hill

    Jakhoo Hill
    Image Credit : T toes - Flickr
    Jakhoo Hill is the highest point of the city. It is covered with the Alpine trees. On the top of the flat hill is the colourful Jakhoo Temple as well as the newly built Hanuman statue. Said to be the favorite escape for the visitors who enjoy calm and peace, you just need to be beware of the criminal minded monkeys who are ready to rob food from the visitors.

    Location: In order to reach the hill top, you’ll have to walk for approximately 30 minutes. Thereafter, there is a pleasant route that will direct you to the Jakhoo Hill.

    Highlights: The summit of Jakhoo Hill Shimla is some 2,455m and about 200m higher than the central ridge of Shimla. Temple at the Jakhoo Hill is dedicated to the Lord Hanuman who is believed to be the Hindu monkey god. Monkeys clearly rule the Jakhoo hill.

    Best Time: Ideal to visit during winter months of November to March. Open Daily!
  • 03Green Valley

    Green Valley
    Image Credit : GIACOMO BRINGS-Flickr
    Green Valley is truly one of the most famous tourist destinations and photography points in Shimla. Seen as the popular shooting spot in different Bollywood movies, the Green Valley brings forth endless beauty. Noted for its elite beauty, Green Valley has been mentioned in number of articles and travel books.

    Location: Located near near Kufri at Shimla, the Green Valley is surrounded with the verdant hills.

    Highlights: Here at the Green Valley you can spot some rare animals such as yaks that are seen grazing and wandering here. The visitors who come here can cherish the lush green environments that are exceptionally picturesque. It is today one of the most photographed sights of the Shimla.

    Best Time to Visit Green Valley: Open all year round, the best time to visit this place is post monsoon or during the summer time when the dense forest has lush green surroundings. Ideal months include July to October and from February to April.
  • 04Tara Devi Temple

    Tara Devi Temple located in Shimla is definitely one of the most popular tourist attractions here. Origin of the temple can be traced way back to some 250 years. Even today, the temple stands in complete splendor at the top of the hill. It is believed that the Goddess Tara was brought here all the way from the West Bengal.

    Location: It is situated at a distance of about 11 kms from Shimla and can be visited while travelling on the Kalka - Shimla National Highway. The temple is set at the top of the hill in Shimla with lush green environs surrounding it giving the restaurant a very peaceful as well as tranquil atmosphere.

    Highlights: Visit the temple to browse through the breath taking views of the countryside. If you enjoy the Himalayas and the clean and fresh air, this is definitely your ideal vacation option.

    Price: Entry is free.
  • 05Kali Bari Temple

    Kali Bari Temple
    Image Credit : Singh, Devendra-Flickr
    Kali Bari Temple is a very popular tourist attraction that is situated at a strategically planned location. Built in the year 1845, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali who is also known as Shyamala. From the Goddess Shyamala, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla gets its name.

    Location: Primarily, the Kali bari this temple was initially located at the Jakhu hill. Presently, the temple is located at the Kali Bari Road, Shimla. The British brought it to its new site.

    Highlights: The Kali Bari temple of Simla is said to be an exceptionally religious place of India. It is believed that anyone who visits Shimla should never miss out on visiting this temple. The temples houses a shrine of the Hindu Goddess Shyamala. Shyamala is believed to have multiple aliases like Durga and Kali.

    Best Time: The temple is open all round the year.

    Price: Entry to the temple is free.
  • 06Kiala Forest

    Kiala Forest is located in the valley of Kotkhai in Shimla. Definitely an interesting place to visit, the forest is beautified with the lush green vegetation as well as many indigenous animals. The forest is said to be an ideal destination for all the wildlife enthusiasts as well as nature lovers. A number of visitors from different place both far and near come to this to bask in the natural beauty.

    Highlights: Kiala Forest boasts of rich foliage and wildlife. Photographers as well as visitors can click incredible pictures of the beautiful landscapes as well as the animals in their wilderness. Bathroom facilities are available here. Those who wish to store their luggage and baggage can make use of the lockers as well as the storage facilities available here.

    Best Time: Open all round the year. Ideal to visit during the day time one can plan a visit to the Forest during months of March to October.
  • 07Kufri

    Kufri
    Image Credit : timeflicks-Flickr
    Kufri is known for its tranquil surroundings, breathtaking views as well as distinct stunning locales.

    Location: Kufri is located about 19 kilometers from Shimla and can be reached easily from Shimla. One can reach Kufri by road since the hill station is located very near to the National Highway - 22.

    Highlights: Kufri is popular as the Switzerland of the East. The beauty of the Kufri hill will definitely entice all. It is ideal for activities such as skiing and hiking that definitely must be tried at least once when you visit Kufri. Snow clad hills of Kufri make it the hotspot for trying your hand at skiing.

    Best Time: The ideal time to visit Kufri is during winters. Months between November to February seem ideal. For those who are not into adventure sports or skiing can visit the hill station during the months of April to June. Weather is pleasant all year round.
  • 08Viceregal Lodge

    Viceregal Lodge
    Image Credit : Tom-Flickr
    Viceregal Lodge is the most beautiful and the historically significant building of Shimla. It is architecturally rich and accounts for a good half-day excursion. Known to be the summer residence of Indian Viceroy who was the British Raj leader between 1888 until 1946, the Viceroy has taken several significant decisions in this Lodge.

    Location: The Viceregal Lodge is located some 2km west of Shimla on the summit of Observatory Hill which offers beautiful panoramic views over the region. To reach the Lodge you’ll have to follow the Chaura Maidan Road out of Shimla and the lodge spans over 500m along this road.

    Highlights: The Viceregal Lodge is Shimla is also famous as the Rashtrapati Nilayam or the President’s House. Reference here is on the era between independence to the mid 1960’s when the logo was used by the Indian Presidents as their summer retreat.

    Price: Entrance fee to the Lodge is 20RS
  • 09Kuthar Fort

    Kuthar Fort is placed in the undying serenity of the Himalayas. The fort spans over an area of about 52.8 square kilometers and is located in the middle of the exotic background, pools as well as the beautiful gardens.

    Location: Kuthar Fort is located at a small distance from both Arki and Subathu that are both an hour away from the Shimla airport, Jubbarhatti. Situated in Solan, the fort is one of the key attractions here.

    Highlights: Some sectors of the forth are as old as 800 years however there are some new sectors that have been built and are a mere 8 decades old. Stretched in the large area of the region, there are a number of fresh-water springs flowing through here. It is surrounded by different picturesque locations such as the Gurkha Fort from Subathu, Kunihar, and Kasauli hill station.

    Best Time: Open all year round.
  • 10Shimla State Museum

    Shimla State Museum
    Image Credit : Abhishek Kumar-Flickr
    Shimla State Museum is housed in an old Victorian mansion. It has been designed carefully to adapt it to the museum.

    Location: The museum is set on a lonely hilltop known as ‘Inveram.’

    Highlights: The Shimla State Museum is a residence of Indian government officials. Opened on January 26, 1974, the museum is used to collect as well as preserve the ancient artistic, historical, archaeological and ethnological human works for ensuring access to the future generations.

    Price: The entry fee for the Indians is 20 INR and for the foreigners is 100 INR. Fee on camera is also levied. Indians will have to 50 INR surplus for carrying the camera and the foreigners will have to pay 100 INR surplus for carrying camera. Research scholars too will have to pay 100 INR for carrying camera.

    Best Time: The ideal time to visit the Shimla State Museum is between 10a.m. to 5.p.m. Museum remains closed on all Mondays and other Gazetted holidays.
  • 11Summer Hill

    Summer Hill is an exceptionally beautiful tourist spot in Shimla. It is situated at an altitude of 1283 meters. The area is beautified by the serene beauty of quiet hills that give it a nice and breathtaking aura.

    Location: Located on the way of Shimla to Kalka, Summer Hills is just about 5 km from the Ridge Road of Shimla. The place is surrounded by serene beauty of quiet hills, which give it a breathtaking aura.

    Highlights: This is an ideal place for those who wish to take a leisurely walk amidst the tranquillity of Mother Nature. The hilly trees of pine and deodar add to the beauty of the place. Snow clad mountains make it an ideal romantic gateway.

    Best Time to visit: Summer Hill is open all round the year courtesy its pleasant climate. However, the best time to visit the place is during winters when the weather is cool and humid.
  • 12The Ridge of Shimla

    The Ridge of Shimla is known for organizing several government functions and fairs. It is the key venue for all the major events as well as celebrations that take place here in Shimla. Summer Festival that is the most famous festival is held here at the Ridge.

    Location: The Ridge of Shimla is an extremely famous tourist attraction that is set in the heart of Shimla. It is situated along the Mall Road that is the famous shopping center of Shimla.

    Highlights: The Ridge of Shimla is the hub of all the cultural activities of Shimla. Some of the prominent place of Shimla such as the Lakkar Bazaar, Mall, Scandal Point, Jakhoo hill, etc is in close proximity to the Ridge.

    Best time: Open all round the year but since the Summer Festival is held during the months of April or May, one can plan a visit during these months.
  • 13Shaily Peak

    Shaily Peak is formed by the lush green forests and the lofty Himalayas that makes it exceptionally magnificent.

    Location: Shaily Peak is located about 23 km from Naldehra. From the Khatnol, the base for the steep climb to the peak is about 8 kms. In case, you are not fit enough for trekking, you can also hire a pony to reach here.

    Highlights: The dense forests as well as the rocky trails adorn the Shaily Peak. Beauty of the Shaily Peak encourages everyone who comes to this place to take pictures and capture this beauty.

    Best Time: Shaily Peak is open all round the year. The ideal time to visit the Shaily Park is morning for anyone who enjoys trekking. The Peak looks exceptionally spectacular during the sunrise and the sunset. Do carry your lunch if you plan to venture out on the trek.
  • 14Manjathal Sanctuary

    Manjathal Sanctuary
    Image Credit : Jonybraker-Flickr
    Manjathal Sanctuary is famous for its rich wildlife as well as the vivid flora. Rich biodiversity of the Manjathal Sanctuary is a paradise for all the wildlife enthusiasts. In order to preserve the natural beauty of the place, there are no resorts or hotels constructed here in this region. It is an exciting place for kids since they can enjoy camping here.

    Location: Placed beautifully in the lap of Himalayan terrains, the Manjathal Sanctuary is situated on the Shimla-Bilaspur Highway at Solan district (Shimla).

    Highlights: This sanctuary attracts a number of nature lovers from across the country and is a home to several endangered animal species. One amongst them is the Goral that is a distinct type of mountain goat as well as the Cheer Pheasant that is believed to be vulnerable by the International Union of Conservation of Nature.

    Best Time: The best time to visit the Manjathal Sanctuary is during winters.
  • 15Chadwick Waterfall

    The clear waters of the Chadwick Waterfall cascade deep down a gorge at a height of approximately 86 m. What amplifies the beauty of the place is the surrounding hills as well as the thick green trees of Pine and Deodar. After you have had a hectic travel schedule exploring the entire Shimla, you can come back here and unwind. This place will give you ample ‘me’ time.
      
    Location: Chadwick Waterfall is situated within the dense and the very beautiful Glen Forest. This waterfall lies at a distance of about 7 km from Shimla and about 4 km from Summer Hill.

    Highlights: The place was originally famous as the ‘Chidku Jhaar’ where Jhaar stands for waterfall and in the local dialet ‘Chidku’ means the bird. It is so called because the waterfall is at such a height that only a bird can reach to the top. Britishers gave it the name ‘Chadwick Falls’.

    Best Time: Can be visited anytime of the year but it is advised to go there in a group.