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The former summer capital of British rule, scenically located and known as the Queen of hills.

Until the British arrived in Shimla around 1815, the area was just a collection of small hamlets and wild forest. The British were attracted to the area by the cool summer temperatures, which meant they could escape the heat of Delhi. At this time, Shimla became the summer capital of the British Raj and an important centre of British governance of colonial India.

The visitor will therefore be quite intrigued to see this slice of little England in the foothills of the Himalayas. Admire the Tudor architecture, the town hall, Christ Church, Viceregal Lodge and the city centre. One of the most famous attractions is the Kalka to Shimla railway, also built by the British and now a world heritage site. A great feat of engineering with over 800 bridges and 100 tunnels, the journey passes some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere in India.

Shimla is located on seven hills over 7,000 feet above sea level. The climate is 1-15 degrees centigrade from November to February and 15 to 23 degrees centigrade from March to October. It snows in winter and July and August can be very wet. So you need to carefully plan your trip to get the best weather.

Also well worth visiting in the Himachal Pradesh is Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama, about 7 hours drive from Shimla. The Tibetan settlement began in here in 1959 when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and the Indian government allowed him to live in McLeod Ganj (in Upper Dharamsala). The Tibetan influence remains to this day with many buddhist monks making this their home. It is an inspiring place to visit and well worth the scenic - yet long - journey to get there.

 

 

Image for: Berenice

Specialist Knowledge

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Accommodation
Shimla and the hill stations

The Terrace

Clarkes Hotel

A delightful British colonial hotel in an excellent central location.

 
Nature Shimla Pixabay

Radisson Jass Hotel

An excellent first class hotel with very comfortable and modern rooms.

 
Wildflower Hotel View

Wildflower Hall

Stunningly located colonial resort with many activities available.