Evergreen trees, sloping valleys, magnificent lakes, comfortable weather, and historic air all contribute to this hill station’s unique beauty. The place definitely lives up to its name, with a diverse range of attractions — natural splendours as well as man-made wonders. However, there is a drawback. When planning a trip to this former summer capital of British India, you will have a difficult time narrowing down your options.
Don’t be concerned, and keep reading! This article will provide you an overview of the must-see destinations in Shimla that will never disappoint to attract you, whether you are with your family, going on a honeymoon, or a solo traveller.
The epicenter of all tourist activities in Shimla, the Ridge is one of the famous tourist places in Shimla. Easily connected to all other important spots in Shimla such as the Mall Road, the Scandal Point, and the Lakkar Bazaar, the Ridge also serves as the location for the highly significant Summer Festival held every year in April or May. Among the many interesting spots along the Ridge, Christ Church is the most popular. The neo-gothic style place of worship is the second oldest of its kind in northern India and has been in existence since 1857. Boasting several architectural wonders, lush greenery, and a picturesque landscape, the Ridge is also the perfect place for shopping, dining, and nightlife.
One of the prominent landmarks in Shimla, Christ Church is the second oldest church in northern India and boasts of exceptional architectural beauty. It is a remarkable example of the neo-Gothic style of architecture. The historic church is located on the Ridge and traces its origin back to 1857. An enduring legacy of the colonial rulers, the silhouette of this imposing edifice is visible from far away. With stained glass windows, brass church bell, and arresting towers, it presents a picture of matchless beauty. While the church looks majestic during the day, it turns into an enchanting sight when illuminated at night.
A breath-taking natural dale near Shimla Green Valley stands true to its name. Set against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains and lush green forests of pine and deodar, the valley is carpeted in greenery. Away from the touristy crowd, the serene Green Valley is where you can witness nature in all its grandeur, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Shimla for a honeymoon. Given its pristine beauty, the place also counts among the favorite Bollywood locations in India and has been featured in a number of Hindi movies. Although you can visit Green Valley all year and the best time to visit there is during the summer months.
JAKHOO HILL & TEMPLE
Covered in a blanket of alpine trees, Jakhoo Hill is the highest point of Shimla and offers scenic views of the snow-covered Shivalik Ranges as well as the sister town of Sanjauli. Situated at a height of 8000 ft. above sea level, Jakhoo Hill is the location of an ancient Hanuman temple that boasts of having the world’s tallest statue (108 ft.) of this Hindu deity. Shrouded in legends and mysteries, it attracts devotees and tourists alike. If the local legends are to be believed, the temple stands at the very spot where Lord Hanuman had rested for a while during his journey to bring the Sanjeevani Booti for Lakshman’s revival during the war of Lanka.
Nestled within the Glen Forests, Chadwick Waterfall is one of the most delightful sights that nature has bestowed upon Shimla. The waterfall makes a dive from a height of 86 meters and cascades down a huge gorge. Surrounded by a blanket of greenery formed by the deodar and pine trees, it presents an enticing sight. The best time to visit it is during monsoons (from June to September) when the water level increases and Chadwick seems to take on a life of its own. If you are not daunted by the idea of taking a dip in the cold waters, you can go ahead and splash around.
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDY
One of the iconic places to visit in Shimla, the building was initially built as a residence for Lord Dufferin, who served as the Viceroy of India from 1884 to 1888. At that time, it was known as the Visceral Lodge and the impressive edifice had electricity connection as early as 1888, which was way before the rest of Shimla came to use electric power in any form. After India gained independence, the place served as the summer retreat of the country’s president and was known as Rashtrapati Niwas before being turned into a center for advanced study and research. The structure draws attention due to its majestic Victorian style of architecture and grandeur.
HIMALAYAN BIRD SANCTUARY
A no-frills aviary tucked away in the lap of Shimla, Himalayan Bird Park is a great spot to visit during your vacation in Shimla. Noted among one of the most loved tourist places in Shimla, especially for nature lovers, the Bird Park is home to many rare and exotic bird species, including but not limited to peacocks, pheasants, and the Himalayan Monal. This place is also famous for its exquisite collection of rare plants and trees. Visit this lovely place with your kids and enjoy along with the sweet chirping of birds.
HIP HIP HURRAY AMUSEMENT PARK
This unique amusement park is located in Kufri, Shimla at an elevation of 8500 feet above sea level. It offers a range of activities like Burma Bridge, Flying Fox, Rock climbing, Commando Net, Bumping boats, Rowing and Valley crossing, etc and it is one of the best kids attraction places in Shimla. You can also indulge in ice skating and boat on the snow-laden terrain in winters. If you get hungry by doing all this then there are multi-cuisine restaurants and coffee shops and the best part of this amusement park is the telescope which enables incredible views of the valley.
THE MALL ROAD
It is like the heart of Shimla that is packed with an array of shops, offering items of different varieties. You can amazingly enjoy your shopping spree by purchasing a range of items. The shops of this place offer almost every type of item ranging from woolen items to dry fruits. You can not only shop at various shops here but also get an opportunity of tasting delicious foods, drink coffee, juices to get rid of your fatigue. You can also visit the church in this region. You will be amazed to view the diverse collection of colorful caps of Kinnaur and Kullu, rugs, carpets, pashmina shawls along with their mirror and embroidery work. These are some of the iconic products of Shimla. You can choose your favorites from here whether it’s Himachali caps, souvenirs, sweaters, gloves, woolen shawls, etc.
It is a well-known market of Shimla, famous for its dry fruits and wooden items. An incredible collection of wooden items can be found at this particular place which is popular all over India. You can purchase different souvenirs for decorating your living room or for gifting purposes. All of the items signify the hard work and efficiency of the regional artists. Select your preferred items from the long list of wooden toys, wooden sticks, flower vases, candle stands, kitchen pots, small idols, Key-chains, spoons, etc. You can opt for fresh fruits, such as cherry, plum, peach, mango, etc as well from this market. If you have a sweet tooth, you will also get to relish delicious yet cheap sweets here. This place is also popular for the availability of locally made carpets and shawls.