12 Best Things to Do in Shimla, India

And when it comes to a calm and beautiful places to visit in India, the first name appears in mind is Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. Make your trip to Shimla more memorable by doing adventurous things. Even machines want some rest so why don't humans? Naturally, you cannot bear continuous work pressure and daily work routine for long.

To make itself energetic and stress-free man need some environmental changes. Formerly 'Summer Capital of the British', Shimla is ideal for traveling with children and family. It is a good and economical place for Indian family holidays for interesting activities.

Shimla is also the capital of Himachal Pradesh and it is once known as the summer capital of the British in India. Shimla offers the popular Mall Road which is one of the longest shopping enclaves in India. Mall Road in Shimla has a good market for local handicrafts, wool, jams, and Tibetan goods. Make ice murtis with your family and visit Kufri's fair and join various ice khels. Take your family for a toy train ride.

The place remains unaffected by the tropical heat that takes the rest of the country in its torturing hands. Shimla’s cool climate, pine, and deodar dressed hills and walking trails captivates thousands of visitors each year. The influence of the British can be seen in the structures dotted the mountainside. The major tourist attractions involve Mall Road, Chadwick Falls, Kali Bari Temple, Daranghati Sanctuary, and the famous Christ Church. No need to be worried if you are travelling for the first time in India or you are a regular traveller, you will simply love it. Peak time to visit Shimla and Manali is winter, so you should pack some warm clothes and jackets along with yourself.

The mountainous terrain and lush greenery added with chilly weather make Shimla one of the best honeymoon places in India. Shimla was regarded as the summer capital of British India courtesy a pleasant average summer temperature 22°C. However, the ideal time to spend a honeymoon in Shimla can also be the winter for the snowy weather and the skiing experience in Kufri.

Though there are lots of historical and amazing cities in India, undoubtedly, Shimla is top of them. Its breathtaking views, sunsets and dawns are second to none. There are so many adventures things you can do here if you don't want to sit and enjoy the fresh air.

Shimla is the Queen of Hills, and it offers a romantic getaway. You will also be able to enjoy utmost peace here if you stay away from crowds. The foods that you will find here include Madra, Dhaam, Sidu, Thukpa, Mash Daal, Chicken Anardana and more.

Among the best places to visit in India in December, Shimla is called the Queen of the North. Shimla is one of the famous hill tour stations which is flocked by many tourists every year from all around the world. This place is surrounded by heavenly snow-capped mountains and green plains. It is 2215 meter above sea level and provides the best climatic condition for the people to visit this place.

If you are a person who loves to visit mountains then Shimla needs to be in your to-do list in India. Shimla used to be the mid-year capital of the British Raj when they ruled India. Now it's the capital of Himachal Pradesh. This town spreads along a mountain edge and is known for its antiquated design and railroad.

This place has been done to death numerous times by travelers and non travelers across. It has become overcrowded and commercial as complained by many fellow travelers. Indeed. But yet strangely there is this charm that is so unique to it that it can be only experienced. Yes it is crowded, commercial, messy congested and so on. But yet, it is so uniquely beautiful!

Things to do in Shimla

Shimla has so many things to entertain its visitors. Following are few of them:

1. Trekking to Chail Sanctuary

Shimla is spread over a huge territory in various mountain ranges of the Himalayas along with some astounding treks. The best piece of trekking in Shimla is that the alternative options range from simple walks around the forested areas to excessively long, elaborate treks.

To have a simple trek that takes you through the lavish green jungle, a trek to the extremely well known Jakhoo Temple is a magnificent option, which is additionally the highest point in Shimla. Or you can take simple yet energizing treks to Chadwick Falls or Kamna Devi Temple while taking the fresh air in the stunning surroundings of Shimla.

Shimla also brags of some more adventurous treks. The best among those are Snow Line Trek to Chail, Shoghi Trek and Shali Tibba Trek. One gem of a trek that you can take from Shimla is Banjar Valley Trek. One must take these treks on their trip to Shimla to enjoy the genuine magnificence of Shimla, and to know why it is deservingly the capital city of Himachal. Chail is another place you can visit during your stay at Shimla.

Accessible from Kandaghat or Shimla, Chail is at an altitude of 2150 meters. Here is the Maharaja Palace, built in the 19th century, together with the houses of its staff that are, today, a beautiful tourist center. Chail is a beautiful hill station located in the Himachal Pradesh region and extends over three mountains of Rajgarh, Pandawa and Sadh Tibba.

It overlooks the Sutlej valley and enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. Chail boasts of the highest cricket ground in the world, overlooking the Sutlej valley, with a spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas.

Chail together with Kufri and Shimla form the golden triangle of Himachal Pradesh and offer breathtaking views of the mountains and a fascinating natural beauty that makes it a great place to visit. Many trekking trails go from Chail to Shimla, Choor Chandni Peak, Kali Ka Tibba and other places. Fishing is a popular activity carried out on the Giri River, a few kilometers from Chail.

The Chail Wildlife Sanctuary attracts a large number of wildlife enthusiasts and wildlife photographers. Inside the park you can admire a great variety of flora and fauna that includes animals such as the black deer of the Himalayas, langur, sambar, goral, wild boar, among others. Numerous hiking trails cross the sanctuary like Kandaghat-Chail, Chail-Shimla via Junga, Chail Rajgarh.

2. Dorje Drak Monastery

Sanjauli is the main suburb of Shimla. It has many inhabited places nearby like Cemetery road, HB colony, Bhatta Kuffar, Sanjay Van, Dhingu dhar, Shanan, Navbhar, Chaulanti and areas other side of the Sanjauli-Dahli tunnel. Sanjauli is situated just below the Jakhu Hill. Sanjauli has the famous Sanjauli-Dhalli tunnel made by British government during that time when Shimla was capital of British India.

Shimla is not only known for its beauty and weather but also loved by all those who like offbeat adventures sports as well. Rock climbing is one of the most loveable adventurous sports people try and enjoy in Shimla. For those who like rock climbing, guys, Shimla is like a heaven for you.

You can see your actual inner adventurous side here. Climbing hills though is not an easy task but who is looking at ease here? There are different levels of rock climbing here in Shimla, go with the one with which you think and feel safe during your adventurous time. It is suggested to hit a try rock climbing at least once during your stay in Shimla.

The Dorje Drak Monastery, which is of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, is also very popular and admission is free.

A bustling little town on the banks of the Pabbar River is Rohru. However, it is the valley near Rohru that is an attractive place. An important place for fishermen who come here for trout fishing, Rohru is a decent destination to get rid of the stress of the hectic week and subdue the beauty of virgin nature. Shikru Devta Temple, Chirgaon, Chanshal, Dodra and Kwar are some of the places you would like to see in Rohru.

Trek the Buran Ghati. Its a single trek that serves up a buffet of all other great treks put together. The starting point of this trek is village Janglik in Rohru. The trek trail comprises of dense forest of oak and pine trees. The sacred Chandranahan Lake is another attraction of this trek. The flowers and herbs are in plenty along the trail.

The beauty of numerous glistening streams of water will keep you amazed. The panoramic view from Buran Pass is one of the best you can get. For the adventurers and sportsmen, treks through the local mountains are recommended, such as through the meadows of Annadale, 5 kilometers from Shimla. Glen, which is further west and is a popular place for picnics and further north to the Wildflower Hall, which was the place of Lord Kitchner's retreat.

Hatkoti is famous for the ancient temple of the Mata Hateswari in the middle of the rice fields on the right bank of the Pabber River. You can reach Chindi on the highway via Mandi and Tattapani and the beautiful Karsog Valley. One can also visit the Mahunag Famous Temple, Mamleshwar Mahadev Temple, Kamaksha Temple Devi, Pangna Killa and Temple and Shikari Devi Temple.

Interesting Reads: Best Himalayan Treks for Beginners

3. Mountain biking in Prospect Hill

Experience the adventure of Shimla by browsing the list of this amazing and best adventurous games in Shimla and attempt mountain biking in the slopes of the Himalayan mountains and enjoy the task. Get an opportunity to ride through the surprising slopes and valleys and enjoy the cool mountain breeze as well.

Feel the adrenaline rush as you ride through the snowy valley and the peaceful surroundings of nature. Wonder about seeing the oak trees and the snowcapped mountain on this superb mountain biking adventure and witness the astounding touring. In only a couple of days, this stunning activity is a hit among the people. These bikes are intended especially for the off-road and rough tracks so that you feel great while you ride.

Prospect Hill is crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi. It is 15 minutes walk from Boileauganj on Shimla Bilaspur Road. The hill offers a spectacular view of the area.

4. River rafting in Naldehra

For the adventure lovers, this sport is nothing less than a heaven, you can never pass up the best opportunity of this exciting and best adventurous games in Shimla. Stream boating is one of the most loved activities in Shimla. The Sutlej River which keeps running at a high pace makes the sport all the more exciting.

Feel the rush as you attempt this extraordinary adventurous sport. One of the renowned river rafting ways is almost at a distance of 12 km which starts from Chamba and finish at Tattapani amid the water of the Sutlej river. Rafting through the forceful and angry River Sutlej for around two hours and feel the adrenaline surge as you overcome the waves.

It is not only in India but Shimla's ice skating club is famous all over Asia as well. It is Asia's only open-air ice skating spot. This is enough to put this place on your To-Do list. December is the best time to enjoy this amazing sport. During the season the circular road is block for traffic and all you can see there, people enjoying themselves by skating around the rink.

Naldehra is a beautiful hill station of Himachal Pradesh situated just 25 km ( 45 min drive ) away from Shimla. Naldehra is an untouched, unexplored, peaceful and green hill station with a fascinating dense forest of thick Deodar trees. If you like slow travel, want a quiet and peaceful relaxed trip this can be one of the best places to be.

Interesting Reads: Kalka Shimla Toy Train Experience

5. Sightseeing in Ridge

The Ridge is the large open space in the heart of the city that presents an excellent view of the mountains. Enjoy playing a snowball fight at the Ridge of Shimla in the evening. Its winter time and winter provoke us for some adventurous sports and when it is for Shimla adventures than nothing can beat skiing. Head out for this as this is a standout amongst other adventurous sports in Shimla and float through the snow as you move and turns while Heli-Skiing.

The best thing about this game is that you will be dropped by a helicopter on the peak and you ski right down in the mountain. The mountain inclines are simply designed for the ski lovers.

Narkanda and Kufri are two of the best places in Shimla where you can enjoy this adventure sport. It is the dual-threat for the ski lovers where they can appreciate the beauty of nature while skiing.

6. Sightseeing in Christ Church

Shimla's landmarks of the neo-Gothic structure of the Christ Church of and the New-Tudor Library building are worth seeing. The old Christ Church, with its superb re-shaded glass windows, is amazing among most prominent places of interest in Shimla.

7. Shopping in Mall Road

You can stroll on the HP university road. A passenger elevator from HPTDC can take the road cart and the Mall. The Mall is Shimla's main shopping center with restaurants. Strolling on the mall road and gorging on to the momos or hot gulab jamuns feels simply divine! Lakkar bazaar next to the Ridge is very popular for its wooden crafts and souvenirs.

8. Sightseeing in Kali Bari temple

Kali Bari temple is a few meters from the scandal point near the General Post Office. It is believed that the idol of the goddess Shayamla is enshrined there.

9. Hiking to Jakhoo temple

Take a short hike amidst the dense forest to reach Jakhu Temple and seek blessing from Hanuman. This temple has the world's largest Hanuman statue, which is visible from most parts of Shimla. Jakhoo temple offers a panoramic view of the city from an ancient Hanuman Temple. From Ridge Road, near the church you can go on foot or on horseback or by taxi to visit the temple.

10. Sightseeing in Viceregal Lodge

Another is on Observatory Hill named Viceregal Lodge.

11. Visit Summer Hill

Summer Hill is a magnificent scenic place on Shimla-Kalka railway line that offers shadow walks in a quiet environment. Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian house.

11. Visit Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex

It’s a cliched answer but Shimla is much more than just the Mall road! You can stay at a nice hotel. Go to Gaiety theatre at mall to enjoy plays, art exhibitions etc. There is always something or the other going on there. The Gaiety Theatre, which is a reproduction of an old British theater is a center of cultural activities.

11. Visit Indian Institute of Advanced Study

For architectural beauty, you can spend a day at the Institute of Advance Studies. Go out for dinner and feel the colonial vibe of the yore!

12. Photoshoot in Chadwick Falls

Other popular tourist attractions in Shimla include the Chadwick Falls. Shimla could be visited at any time of the year, but from December to February, there is snowfall in Shimla that attracts the newlyweds.

All the Delhizens will know that Shimla is not just a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, but it's an emotion that they always wanted to explore with someone special. With plenty of activities like camping, trekking, shopping, you must visit Shimla if you are residing near the NCR Region.

Located roughly around 340 km from Delhi, couples can drive on a private vehicle to reach Shimla for a relaxing romantic weekend! Hire a professional wedding photographer to click your fanciful romantic pictures in Shimla. This activity sounds usual in city life, but in the hilly town where snow bunny mountains smashing greenery is laden as far as your eyes can stretch, a romantic photoshoot with your spouse on Himachal honeymoon will do half of the work!

How to Reach Shimla

By Air: The terminal at Shimla is at Jubbarhatti, 23 km from the city. There is a daily flight service from Delhi, Chandigarh and Kullu. Jagsons Airways flight service is very good.

By Train: Kalka (96) is connected to Shimla via Shimla Narrowage Line. Let us know that Kalka station is connected to Howrah, Delhi, Amritsar and many big cities. From here, Shimla can be reached by a short train via the Heritage Rail Route. The Kalka-Shimla route consists of 107 tunnels and 864 bridges. 4 trains run daily.

By Road: Shimla is connected by road to many cities in North India. Several buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation ply everyday from Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ambala, Dehradun, Saharanpur, Patna.

Apart from this, there is an AC Valvo bus service from Shimla Bhavan to Shimla every night in Delhi, which can be booked through Himachal Tourism Department website. The distance from Delhi to Shimla is 380 km and from Chandigarh is 113 km.
Kalyan Panja