Shimla is a popular hill town in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India. The city is approximately 359 km from New Delhi and is strung out on a 12 km ridge. While the Mall and the areas around are swarmed with tourists, the lower bazaars are frequented by locals where you can get a glimpse of the local lifestyle as well as go for shopping. Cars aren’t allowed in the main part of the town and some of the signboards look like they haven’t been changed ever since the British left! With no vehicular traffic, walking through the main town is fairly easy and a pleasant experience.
The official centre of the town is the Scandal Point (don’t go by the name). From here follows the flat open area known as the Ridge which carries until the famous Christ Church in the east, and further uphill till the Jakhu Temple. There are quite a few interesting forest walks in the eastern part of the city.
Come April to June or October and November, you can easily see the some of the snow-covered peaks from certain parts of the town.
The Mall Road aka the most happening tourist spot in the town is a long, pedestrian-only stretch encircled by various souvenir shops, snack shops, and some good and affordable restaurants. This stretch of road cascades downhill to the main Cart Road, which will most likely be your arrival point in the city with Shimla’s train station, the old bus terminal, and several taxi stands. There is a passenger lift between Cart Road and the Mall.
Now, let’s explore some of the popular tourist attractions in the city:
Jubbarhatti airport is the only airport in Shimla though it’s a very small airport. But, there are a few flights that offer connectivity between Delhi and Jubbarhatti Airport.
The train journey is not just a way to enter the town but also a joyful experience in itself. Take the narrow gauge toy train from Kalka and enjoy a scenic 4-6 hour ride to town, passing through 103 tunnels, before you finally reach the Tiny Railway Station 1.5 km (approx..) from the Cart Road. There are ordinary trains as well which connect Shimla to nearby main cities such as New Delhi and Kalka.
Frequent buses to and from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Manali, Rekong Po, and Dharamshala arrive at the Government Deluxe Bus stand whereas buses to and from the nearby small town of Chail, Naldehra, and Tattapani arrive at the small Rivoli Bus Stand along the Ridge.