Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and boasts a rich history as the summer capital of British India. It’s renowned for its elegant Victorian architecture and historic narrow-gauge railway, as well as sweeping views of the Shivalik Ranges.
Things to do in Shimla
Soak up the dramatic mountain views on the narrow-gauge train from Kalka to Shimla, built in 1898 during the British Raj. Journey through the Himalayan Shivalik Hills and across more than 800 bridges while being pulled by vintage diesel-hydraulic locomotives.
Mingle with locals along Shimla’s main thoroughfare, the Mall, which is filled with Victorian architecture and retains its Raj-era charm. Take in the street vistas from Scandal Point where a statue of Indian freedom fighter, Lala Lajpat Rai, stands, then shop for Himachal handicrafts along the pedestrianised strip.
For the best views in Shimla, head to Jakhoo Hill to discover sweeping panoramas of the Shivalik Ranges. You’ll also find the ancient temple of Jakhoo, which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and features the world’s tallest statue of this Hindu deity.
Step inside the former residence of the British Viceroy of India at the Rashtrapati Niwas, also known as “Viceregal Lodge”, a Jacobethan-style residence that dominates the Observatory Hills of Shimla. It was completed in 1888 and houses an impressive collection of artefacts and photographs detailing British rule in India.
Getting around Shimla
Chandigarh International Airport is around 3.5 hours’ drive from Shimla and there are regular trains from Delhi to Kalka Railway Station. Long-distance buses also connect Delhi and Shimla, while taxis are readily available for getting around the city.