The next on the list of tourist destinations is Shimla the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh. The city derives its name from Devi Shyamala, the fearless reincarnation of Godess Kali.
I travelled through Himachal in Oct 2019 and I intend taking you all through some of the beautiful locales in the next couple of blogs.
Himachal is one of the most beautiful states in India. The hills, beautiful valleys, the apple orchards, winding rivers and above all the pure environment add to the raw beauty of the place.
How to reach….
The city is located 88 Kms from Kalka and 116 km from Chandigarh on NH at an altitude of 7238 ft. Shimla is built on top of seven hills and spreads approximately 9 kms. The road is beautiful and the drive worth the effort. The Kalka Shimla railways, a UNESCO heritage site, is another worthwhile option of travelling, though it takes more time.
Brief History of Shimla
As per official records most of the area occupied by present day Shimla was a dense forest in the 18th century. The British Army took over the city in 1814 and in 1822 Charles Pratt the Assistant Political Agent got constructed the first house of mortar and brick, named Kennedy Cottage, near Annadale.
From being named the summer capital of British India in 1864 to being the capital of British Burma and then post-independence being the capital of the state of Punjab and finally Himachal Pradesh Shimla has been the seat of power for long.
The British favored Shimla because of it’s beautiful weather and the green environment. However, unplanned growth and increasing tourism has degraded the natural beauty to a great extent. Thankfully as one moves out of the concrete jungle the valleys and the hills covered with Pines, Deodars and the rhododendrons present a visual treat to the eyes.
The city is dotted with numerous Tudorbethan and neo gothic styled buildings of the Bristish era. Major tourist attractions include Viceregal Lodge, the Christ Church, Jakhoo temple, the Mall and the Ridge.
Do plan a visit to Himachal, I can assure you will never forget the beautiful experience. The city can be travelled to in any season but the best is in summers or the winters. Small hill stations like Kasauli and Daghshai lie on the route to Shimla. The hills stations of Kufri and Narkanda are located 20 and 65 Kms respectively ahead of Shimla.
Please enjoy this small video on Shimla. I have taken all pictures on my mobile phone camera.