Shimla, the erstwhile summer capital of the British, is a beautiful city perched at an altitude of 2,196 m in Himachal Pradesh. Though the British had left the city long back, the echoes of the colonial era still lingers on. The snow clad mountains, picturesque surroundings and the mighty structures of Victorian style that dots the city, positions it apart from other hill stations of the country. Shimla is 370 km north of Delhi.
Shimla derived its name from 'Shyamala' - the name of
Goddess Kali whose temple once existed in the forest which covered
Jakhu Hills. The place gained prominence after the British arrived here in 1819. They made it their summer capital in 1864. The city was the capital of Punjab initially but now it is the capital of Himachal Pradesh.
Situated in the lower Himalayan ranges amidst pine, cedar, oak and rhododendron forests, Shimla boasts of well developed facilities, enchanting walks and easy accessibility. Viceregal Lodge, neo-Gothic churches,
Himachal State Museum and Library, the
Jakhu Temple, Christ Church, Kali-Bari Temple,
the Mall, the golf course at Naldehra and Jakhu hills are some the spots worth visiting in the city.
Chadwick Falls, Annandale, Sipur, and
Prospect Hill are the major attractions around Shimla.
Shimla Airport is 12 km south of city center. Kalka Railway Station is the nearest railhead on broad gauge line and is connected to Delhi and Chandigarh. Kalka is also connected to Shimla Railway Station by the famous toy train, which runs on the meter gauge. Kalka-Shimla rail route is a scintillating journey, passing through 105 tunnels and beautiful rail-road stations on the way. Regular buses are available to Delhi, Chandigarh and Kalka.