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Shimla, also known as the "Queen of the Hill stations" was the summer capital of British India before independence. Shimla is situated in the north west Himalayas at a height of 7238 feet. Today, Shimla is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla derives its name from "Shyamala", the goddess Kali. The English named it Shimla. This city is surrounded by thick pine forests, Himalayan oak, flowering rhododendron and deodar trees. This magnificent setting of the Himalayan mountains is framed by high peaks that trace a snow clad line across the north. According to the people, once Shimla gets in your blood, it never leaves. It calls you back time after time and at every moment, the town is capable of showing a fresh nuance to its rich and varied character. Today Shimla retains a substantial measure of a distinct lifestyle that had grace, leisure and elegance. This town has well-developed facilities and numerous attractions and activities due to which it is the most popular destination

History of Shimla

In the 18th century, India saw the growth of a totally new urban concept, the ‘hill station’. These hill stations were built by the British rulers and were treated as the retreat from the summer heat. The state of Himachal Pradesh has some towns that belongs to the colonial rule like Kassauli, Dalhousie, Palampur, Dharamshala and Shimla. Shimla was a nondescript village which was known as Shimlu, Shemalaya, Semla, Shumla and Shemla. Shimla was the summer capital of British India and today, this is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. According to the legends, the Shimla is known so due to the goddess Shamla, the Hindu goddess Kali who is held in high veneration in these hills. The first house in Shimla was built by a European in 1882, also regarded as the ‘Kennedy House’. In 1827, Lord Amherst and Lord Combermere also visited Shimla.

Shimla, Shimla Tour

As Shimla is the state capital, so handicrafts from all over the state come here for sale. The Mall in Shimla has some of the good and big names in the garment and textile industry. The State emporium offers various handicrafts and handloom items, which are made by the artisans of Himachal. One of the famous handicraft item is the famous Himachali hat that comes in different rates and colors. Lakkar Bazaar is famous for wooden items made from the softwood found in the hilly region. Dry fruits and natural herbs, which have many medicinal properties, are also easily available in the shops.

Tourist Attractions in Shimla

The major tourist attractions in Shimla are some of the colonial buildings. Some of the buildings are Eller in the Chotta Shimla, Barnes Court or Raj Bhavan, the Cedars and the Christ Church. Other tourist attractions in Shimla are the Gaiety Theatre, Scandal Point, the Kali bari temple and the Jakhoo hill. The temple of Kali Bari, near the Mall is one of the oldest temple in Shimla, dedicated to the goddess Kali. Jakhoo Hill is the Shimla’s highest point and offers a spectacular view of the town, hills and distant mountain ranges.

How to reach Shimla

By Air:
Shimla is connected to all important parts of the country by the regular flights of Indian Airlines and other private domestic airlines.

By Rail:
The broad gauge train services link Shimla to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Lucknow, Guwahati and many other places. A narrow-railway links Kalka with Shimla. This important rail-link was built in 1924 and its "toy trains" still ply between the two stations, passing through 105 tunnels and beautiful rail-road stations. The train takes about six hours and is a very exciting journey.

By Road
Shimla is well connected by road with all parts of Himachal Pradesh, the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashimir and the Union territory of Chandigarh.

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