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When a hotel search in Shimla is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Shimla is waiting for you!

Hotels of Shimla

A hotel in Shimla is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Shimla hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Shimla are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Shimla hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Shimla hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Shimla have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Shimla
An upscale full service hotel facility in Shimla that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Shimla hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Shimla
Full service Shimla hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Shimla
Boutique hotels of Shimla are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Shimla boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Shimla may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Shimla
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Shimla travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Shimla focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Shimla
Small to medium-sized Shimla hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Shimla traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Shimla hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Shimla
A bed and breakfast in Shimla is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Shimla bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Shimla B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Shimla
Shimla hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Shimla hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Shimla
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Shimla hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Shimla lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Shimla
Shimla timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Shimla often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Shimla on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Shimla
A Shimla motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Shimla for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Shimla motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Shimla

This article is about the municipality in India. For its namesake district, see Shimla district.
"Simla" redirects here. For other uses, see Simla (disambiguation).
Shimla Montage
Clockwise from top: Skyline at Shimla Southern Side, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Town Hall, Night view of Shimla and Christ Church.
Nickname(s): Queen of Hills
Shimla is located in Himachal Pradesh
Shimla is located in India
Coordinates:  / 31.10333; 77.17222  / 31.10333; 77.17222
Country India
State Himachal Pradesh
District Shimla
Named for Hindu goddess Shyamala Devi
• Mayor Sanjay Chauhan (CPIM)CPI-M-flag.svg
• Capital 35.34 km (13.64 sq mi)
Area rank 1st
Elevation 2,276 m (7,467 ft)
Population (2015)
• Capital 169,578
• Rank 1 (in HP)
• Density 4,800/km (12,000/sq mi)
• Metro 171,640
• Official Hindi, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 171 001
Telephone code 91 177 XXX XXXX
ISO 3166 code ISO 3166-2
Vehicle registration HP-03, HP-51, HP-52
Climate Cwb
Precipitation 1,577 mm (62 in)
Avg. annual temperature 17 °C (63 °F)
Avg. summer temperature 22 °C (72 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 7 °C (45 °F)

Shimla (English pronunciation: /ˈʃɪmlə/; Hindi: [ˈʃɪmlaː]), also known as Simla, is the capital and largest city of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is also a district which is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, and Solan and Sirmaur. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational centre of the hilly regions of the state. As of 2011, the city had 171,817 permanent residents, and was one of the least populous capital cities in India.

Small hamlets were recorded prior to 1815 when the English forces took control of the area. The climatic conditions attracted the British to establish the city in the dense forests of Himalayas. As the summer capital, Shimla hosted many important political meetings including the Simla Accord of 1914 and the Simla Conference of 1945. After independence, the state of Himachal Pradesh came into being in 1948 as a result of integration of 28 princely states. Even after independence, the city remained an important political centre, hosting the Simla Agreement of 1972. After the reorganisation, the Mahasu district and its major portion were merged with Shimla. Its name is derived from the goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Kali. As of 2011 Shimla comprises 19 hill states, namely Baghal, Baghat, Balsan, Bashahr, Bhajji, Bija, Darkoti, Dhami, Jubbal, Keonthal, Kumharsain, Kunihar, Kuthar, Mahlog, Mangal, Nalagarh (Hindur), Sangri and Tharoch.

Shimla is home to a number of buildings that are styled in the Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architectures dating from the colonial era, as well as multiple temples and churches. The colonial architecture and churches, the temples and the natural beauty of the city attract a large number of tourists. The major attractions include the Viceroy Lodge, the Christ Church, the Jakhoo Temple, the Mall Road and the Ridge, which together form the city centre. The Kalka–Shimla Railway line built by the British, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a major tourist attraction. Owing to its steep terrain, Shimla hosts the mountain biking race MTB Himalaya, which started in 2005 and is regarded as the biggest event of its kind in South Asia. Shimla also has the largest natural ice skating rink in South Asia. Apart from being a tourism centre, the city is also an educational hub with a number of colleges and research institutions.

Shimla: History

The vast majority of the area occupied by the present-day Shimla city was dense forest during the 18th century. The only civilisation consisted of the Jakhoo temple and a few scattered houses. The area was called 'Shimla', named after a Hindu goddess, Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of Kali.

The bridge connecting Shimla with Chhota Shimla, originally erected in 1829 by Lord Combermere, Shimla, 1850s

The area of present-day Shimla was invaded and captured by Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal in 1806. The British East India Company took control of the territory as per the Sugauli Treaty after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). The Gurkha leaders were quelled by storming the fort of Malaun under the command of David Ochterlony in May 1815. In a diary entry dated 30 August 1817, the Gerard brothers, who surveyed the area, describe Shimla as "a middling-sized village where a fakir is situated to give water to the travellers". In 1819, Lieutenant Ross, the Assistant Political Agent in the Hill States, set up a wood cottage in Shimla. Three years later, his successor and the Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt Kennedy built the first pucca house in the area in 1822, near what is now the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly building. The accounts of the Britain-like climate started attracting several British officers to the area during the hot Indian summers. By 1826, some officers had started spending their entire vacation in Shimla. In 1827, Lord Amherst, the Governor-General of Bengal, visited Shimla and stayed in the Kennedy House. A year later, Lord Combermere, the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in India, stayed at the same residence. During his stay, a three-mile road and a bridge were constructed near Jakhu. In 1830, the British acquired the surrounding land from the chiefs of Keonthal and Patiala in exchange for the Rawin pargana and a portion of the Bharauli pargana. The settlement grew rapidly after this, from 30 houses in 1830 to 1,141 houses in 1881.

In 1832, Shimla saw its first political meeting: between the Governor-General William Bentinck and the emissaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In a letter to Colonel Churchill, he wrote:

Combermere's successor Earl Dalhousie visited Shimla in the same year. After this, the town saw regular visits from the Governors General and Commanders-in-Chief of British India. A number of young British officers started visiting the area to socialise with the higher-ups; they were followed by ladies looking for marriage alliances for their relatives. Shimla thus became a hill station famous for balls, parties and other festivities. Subsequently, residential schools for pupils from upper-class families were established nearby. By the late 1830s, the city also became a centre for theatre and art exhibitions. As the population increased, a number of bungalows were built and a big bazaar was established in the town. The Indian businessmen, mainly from Sood and Parsi communities, arrived in the area to cater to the needs of the growing European population. On 9 September 1844 the foundation of the Christ Church was laid. Subsequently, several roads were widened and the construction of the Hindustan-Tibet road with a 560-feet tunnel was taken up in 1851–52. This tunnel, now known as the Dhalli Tunnel, was started by a Major Briggs in 1850 and completed in the winter of 1851–52. The 1857 uprising caused a panic among the European residents of the town, but Shimla remained largely unaffected by the rebellion.

Rashtrapati Niwas, Shimla, former "Viceregal Lodge", built 1888

In 1863, the Viceroy of India, John Lawrence, decided to shift the summer capital of the British Raj to Shimla. He took the trouble of moving the administration twice a year between Calcutta and this separate centre over 1,000 miles away, despite the fact that it was difficult to reach. Lord Lytton (Viceroy of India 1876–1880) made efforts to plan the town from 1876, when he first stayed in a rented house, but began plans for a Viceregal Lodge, later built on Observatory Hill. A fire cleared much of the area where the native Indian population lived (the "Upper Bazaar" nowadays known as the Ridge), and the planning of the eastern end to become the centre of the European town forced them to live in the Middle and Lower Bazaars on the lower terraces descending the steep slopes from the Ridge. The Upper Bazaar was cleared for a town hall, with many facilities such as library and theatre, as well as offices for police and military volunteers as well as municipal administration.

During the "Hot Weather", Shimla was also the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, India, the head of the Indian Army, and many Departments of the Government. The summer capital of the regional Government of the Punjab moved from Murree, in modern-day Pakistan, to Shimla in 1876. They were joined by many of the British wives and daughters of the men who remained on the plains. Together these formed Shimla Society, which, according to Charles Allen, "was as close as British India ever came to having an upper crust." This may have been helped by the fact that it was very expensive, having an ideal climate and thus being desirable, as well as having limited accommodation. British soldiers, merchants and civil servants moved here each year to escape from the heat during summer in the Indo-Gangetic plain. The presence of many bachelors and unattached men, as well as the many women passing the hot weather there, gave Shimla a reputation for adultery, and at least gossip about adultery: as Rudyard Kipling said in a letter cited by Allen, it had a reputation for "frivolity, gossip and intrigue". (See also.)

The 500-foot (150 m) Lower Bazaar tunnel was built in 1905 and christened Khachhar Surang. The Elysium tunnel (now known as the Auckland Tunnel), about 120 feet (37 m) in length, was also built in 1905.

Passenger train on the Kalka-Shimla Railway route

The Kalka–Shimla railway line, opened in 1903, added to Shimla's accessibility and popularity. The railway route from Kalka to Shimla, with more than 806 bridges and 103 tunnels, was touted as an engineering feat and came to be known as the "British Jewel of the Orient". In 2008, it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mountain railways of India. In addition, Shimla was the capital of the undivided state of Punjab in 1871, and remained so until the construction of the new city of Chandigarh (the present-day capital of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana). Upon the formation of the state of Himachal Pradesh in 1971, Shimla was named its capital.

Entrance of the Crow Brough Rest House built in 1921.

After independence the Chief Commissioner's Province of H.P. came into being on 15 April 1948 as a result of integration of 28 petty princely states (including feudatory princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya, known in full as the Shimla Hills States & four Punjab southern hill states by issue of the Himachal Pradesh (Administration) Order, 1948 under Sections 3 & 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947 (later renamed as the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 vide A.O. of 1950). The State of Bilaspur was merged in the Himachal Pradesh on 1 April 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lt. Governor was appointed. Legislative Assembly was elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory on 1 November 1956. Following area of Punjab State namely Shimla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Tehsil of Pathankot District; were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966 on enactment of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 by the Parliament. On 18 December 1970, the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged as the eighteenth state of the Indian Union.

Pre-independence structures still dot Shimla; buildings such as the former Viceregal Lodge, Auckland House, Christ Church, Gorton Castle, Shimla Town Hall and the Gaiety Theatre are reminders of British rule in India. The original Peterhoff, another Viceregal residence, burned down in 1981. British Shimla extended about a mile and a half along the ridge between Jakhoo Hill and Prospect Hill. The central spine was the Mall, which ran along the length of the ridge, with a Mall Extension southwards, closed to all carriages except those of the Viceroy and his wife.

Shimla: Geography

Simla and Jutogh, 1911 map
Skating at Simla, c. 1905

Shimla lies in the south-western ranges of the Himalayas at  / 31.61; 77.10. It has an average altitude of 2,206 metres (7,238 ft) above mean sea level and extends along a ridge with seven spurs. The city stretches nearly 9.2 kilometres (5.7 mi) from east to west. Shimla was built on top of a total of seven different hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft).

The city is a Zone IV (High Damage Risk Zone) per the Earthquake hazard zoning of India. Weak construction techniques and an increasing population pose a serious threat to the already earthquake prone region. There are no bodies of water near the main city and the closest river, the Sutlej, is about 21 km (13 mi) away. Other rivers that flow through the Shimla district, although further from the city, are the Giri, and Pabbar (both tributaries of Yamuna).

The green belt in the Shimla planning area is spread over 414 hectares (1,020 acres). The main forests in and around the city are of pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron. Environmental degradation due to the increasing number of tourists every year without the infrastructure to support them has resulted in Shimla losing its popular appeal as an ecotourism spot. Another rising concern in the region are the frequent number of landslides that often take place after heavy rains.

The city is situated 88 km (55 miles) northeast of Kalka, 116 km (72 miles) northeast of Chandigarh, 247 km (154 miles) south of Manali and 350 km (219 miles) northeast of Delhi, the national capital. Kalka can be reached within 2.5 hours, Chandigarh can be reached in 3 hours and 15 minutes. Delhi and Manali are both around 7 hours away from Shimla.

Shimla: Climate

Shimla features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb) under the Köppen climate classification. The climate in Shimla is predominantly cool during winters and moderately warm during summer. Temperatures typically range from −4 °C (25 °F) to 31 °C (88 °F) over the course of a year. The average temperature during summer is between 19 and 28 °C (66 and 82 °F), and between −1 and 10 °C (30 and 50 °F) in winter. Monthly precipitation varies between 15 millimetres (0.59 in) in November and 434 millimetres (17.1 in) in August. It is typically around 45 millimetres (1.8 in) per month during winter and spring, and around 175 millimetres (6.9 in) in June as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 1,575 millimetres (62 in), which is much less than most other hill stations but still much heavier than on the plains. Snowfall in the region, which historically has taken place in the month of December, has lately (over the last fifteen years) been happening in January or early February every year. The maximum snowfall received in recent times was 38.6 centimetres (15.2 in) on 18 January 2013. On two consecutive days (17 and 18 January 2013), the town received 63.6 centimetres (25.0 in) of snow.

Climate data for Shimla (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.4
Average high °C (°F) 9.3
Average low °C (°F) 1.7
Record low °C (°F) −10.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 53.0
Average snowfall cm (inches) 42
Average rainy days 4.5 5.3 5.9 4.6 6.3 10.1 17.2 16.2 8.8 2.2 1.5 1.8 84.5
Average snowy days 4.2 4.2 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.3 11.2
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010, snow, 1990–2010)

Shimla: Economy

Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital at Shimla

Employment is largely driven by the government and tourism sectors. Education sector and horticultural produce processing comprise most of the remainder. Recently a Model Career Centre has been set-up at US Club Shimla under the National Career Service, India flagship of the Ministry of Labour and Employment Govt. of India to help connect job-seekers with employers.

In addition to being the local hub of transport and trade, Shimla is the area's healthcare centre, hosting a medical college and four major hospitals: Indira Gandhi Hospital (Snowdown Hospital,) Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital (formerly called Ripon Hospital), Kamla Nehru Hospital and Indus Hospital. The city's development plan aims make Shimla an attractive health tourism spot.

The hotel industry is one of the major source of income generation for the city. Shimla leads the list of Indian cities with the highest ranked hotels.

National Academy of Audits and Accounts, Yarrows.

Shimla had always been famous for its quality of education and lots of important schools have been imparting quality education throughout the state. Along with schools of higher education, several institutes are also present namely Himachal Pradesh University and Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Recruitment to the IAAS is through the joint competitive examinations (the Civil Services Examination) and through promotion from the subordinate cadre. Once recruited to IAAS, the directly recruited officers are trained mainly at the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, Shimla. Students from across India prefer to study in Shimla because of its climate and Queen of Hill Stations status. These has been adding to the economy of the district as well as the State.

Government is trying to promote technology and IT sector as the new area for growth and promotion although not many companies have yet settled in Shimla. There are many new startups in and around Shimla. There are over 6 different call centre's in Shimla. Some major call centres are Alturist Technologies, 31 Parallel. Two notable companies that are registered in Shimla are Netgen IT Solutions, an international website development startup with partner offices in USA and Australia, and Himachal Media, a company that deals with content and media publishing.

Shimla: Civic administration

Town Hall as seen from The Ridge

The administrative responsibilities of the city of Shimla and the surrounding planning areas of Dhalli, Totu and New Shimla reside with the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC). All three areas were taken under SMC in 2006–07. Established in 1851, the Shimla Municipal Corporation is an elected body comprising 27 councillors, three of whom are nominated by the Government of Himachal Pradesh. The nominations are based on prominence in the fields of social service, academics and other activities. Thirty-three percent of seats are reserved for women. The elections take place every five years and the mayor and deputy mayor are elected by and amongst the councillors themselves. Sanjay Chauhan and Tikender Singh Panwar of CPI(M) are the present Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively. The two major political parties are the Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Congress with third party Communist Party of India (Marxist) being an emerging one. The administrative head of the corporation is the commissioner who is appointed by the state government. The city contributes one seat to the state assembly (Vidhan Sabha), and one seat to the lower house of parliament (Lok Sabha). Law and order in the city is collectively maintained by the police force, Vigilance Department, enforcement directorate, forensics, fire brigade, prisons service and Home Guard. There are five police stations and three fire stations in Shimla. The Superintendent of Police, Shimla heads the police force. The First Armed Police Battalion, one of the four armed police battalions in the state, is also available for assistance to the local police for assistance. There are eleven courts in the district including a fast-track court.

Shimla: Demographics

Religion in Shimla
Religion Percent
Others include Islam (2.29%), Sikhism (1.95%), Buddhism (1.33%) and Christianity (0.62%)
See also: List of cities in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh

According to 2011 census, Shimla city spread over an area of 35.34 km had a population of 169,578 with 93,152 males and 76,426 females. Shimla urban agglomeration had a population of 171,817 as per provisional data of 2011 census, out of which males were 94,797 and females were 77,020. The literacy rate of city was 93.63 percent and that of urban agglomeration was 94.14 per cent.

The city area has increased considerably along with passage of time. It has stretched from Hiranagar to Dhalli from one side & from Tara Devi to Malyana in the other. As per the 2001 India Census, the city has a population of 142,161 spread over an area of 19.55 km². A floating population of 75,000 is attributed to service industries such as tourism. The largest demographic, 55%, is 16–45 years of age. A further 28% of the population are younger than 15 years. The low sex ratio – 930 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2001 – is cause for concern, and much lower than the 974 versus 1,000 for Himachal Pradesh state as a whole.

The unemployment rate in the city has come down from 36% in 1992 to 22.6% in 2006. This drop is attributed to recent industrialisation, the growth of service industries, and knowledge development. 84% of the population of Shimla city is literate, compared to 80% in Shimla district and 83.87% in the entire state. The majority of Shimla's population consists of natives of Himachal Pradesh.

Hindi is the Lingua franca of the city, it is the principal spoken language of the city and also the most commonly used language for the official purposes. English is also spoken by a sizeable population, and is the second official language of the city. Other than Hindi, Pahari languages is spoken by the ethnic Pahari people, who form a major part of the population in the city. Punjabi language is prevalent among the ethnic Punjabi migrant population of the city, most of whom are refugees from West Punjab, who settled in the city after the Partition of India in 1947. According to 2011 census, the majority religion of city is Hinduism practised by 93.5% of the population, followed by Islam (2.29%), Sikhism (1.95%), Buddhism (1.33%) and Christianity (0.62%). Muslim migration has visibly increased in the year 2015, especially from Uttar Pradesh.

Shimla: Culture

Stained glass windows at Christ Church (1850), Shimla.

The people of Shimla are informally called Shimlaites. With largely cosmopolitan crowds, a variety of festivals are celebrated here. The Shimla Summer Festival, held every year during peak tourist season, and lasting 3–4 days, is celebrated on the Ridge. The highlights of this event include performances by popular singers from all over the country. Since 2015, 95.0 BIG FM and Himachal Tourism have been jointly organizing a 7-days long winter carnival on the Ridge from Christmas to New year and it has been a talk of the town ever since.

Shimla has a number of places to visit. Local hangouts like the Mall and the Ridge are in the heart of the city. Most of the heritage buildings in the city are preserved in their original 'Tudorbethan' architecture. The former Viceregal Lodge, which now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and Wildflower Hall, now a luxury hotel, are some of the famous ones. A collection of paintings, jewellery and textiles of the region can be found at the State Museum (built in 1974).

Foggy morning at Tattapani

Lakkar Bazaar, a market extending off the Ridge, is famous for souvenirs and crafts made of wood. Tatta Pani, 55 kilometres (34.2 mi) from the main city, is the name of hot sulphur springs that are believed to have medicinal value located on the banks of the River Satluj. Shimla is also home to South Asia's only natural ice skating rink. State and national level competitions are often held at this venue. Shimla Ice Skating Club, which manages the rink, hosts a carnival every year in January, which includes a fancy dress competition and figure skating events. Due to effects of global warming and increasing urban development in and around Shimla, the number of sessions on ice every winter have been decreasing in the past few years.

Jakhu Temple in 1910

Shimla has many temples and is often visited by devotees from nearby towns and cities. The Kali Bari temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali is near the mall. Jakhoo Temple, for the Hindu god Hanuman is located at the highest point in Shimla. Sankat Mochan, another Hanuman temple, is famous for the numerous monkeys that are always found in its vicinity. It is located on Shimla-Kalka Highway about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city. The nearby temple of Tara Devi is a place for performing rituals and festivals. Other prominent places of worship include a Gurudwara near the bus terminus and a Church on The Ridge.

A folk celebration in Shimla

Shimla arts and crafts are highly in demand by the tourists. They range from excellent pieces of jewellery, embroidered shawls and garments to leather made articles and sculptures. Shimla is full of pine and deodar trees. The wood has been extensively used in all major buildings of Shimla. The various kinds crafts of Shimla made out of wood includes small boxes, utensils, image carvings and souvenirs.

Side view of Christ Church Shimla from Mall Road.

The paintings in Shimla bear the deep artistic insight of the people there. Shimla art bears the testimony of the rich culture and tradition of Shimla. The art of carpet making of Shimla is a great attraction for the tourists. Different floral and other motifs make these carpets look really very beautiful. The wool from the sheep is used to make blankets and rugs. The embroidered stuffs includes handkerchiefs, hand fans, gloves, caps, etc.

The arts and crafts of Shimla have that traditional touch in it. Among others, the shawls of Shimla are very well known for their fine quality. The leather craft of Shimla comprises shoes, slippers and belts. The other arts and crafts of Shimla includes a huge collection of beaded and metal jewelleries. These intricately designed jewelleries bear the hallmark of the artistic craftsmanship of the Shimla designers. The temples of Shimla shows the stonework of the architects there. The sculptors have proved their mettle in upholding the art of Shimla.

Shimla has the largest natural ice skating rink in South Asia, with the ice skating season usually begins in the start of December and goes on till the end of February. The city has sporting venues like the Indira Gandhi Rajya Khel Parisar, the main sports complex. Further out from the city is the Naldehra nine-hole golf course, the oldest of its kind in India. Kufri is a ski resort (winter only) located 19 kilometres (11.8 mi) from the main city.

Shimla: Education

See also: List of educational institutions in Shimla
Public library on The Ridge

The city has 14 anganwadis and 63 primary schools. There are many schools from the British era. Some of the popular convent schools in the city are Bishop Cotton School, St. Edward's School, Shimla, Auckland House School, Shimla Public School, Sacred Heart Convent, Tara Hall, Convent of Jesus & Mary (Chelsea). Other public schools include Kendriya Vidyalaya Jakhoo, DAV New Shimla, Hainault Public School, DAV Lakkar Bazaar, DAV New Totu, Dayanand Public School, Himalayan International School and Chapslee Garden School. Bishop Cotton School and St. Edward's School, Shimla are for boys only, whereas, Tara Hall and Convent of Jesus & Mary (Chelsea) are for girls only.

The medical institutes in Shimla are Indira Gandhi Medical College and Dental College. St. Bede's and Rajkiya Kanya MahaVidayaliya (RKMV) are girls-only colleges. Government College, Sanjauli, and Government College Chaura Maidan are also located in the city. The Indian Institute of Advanced Study, housed in the Viceregal lodge, is a residential centre for research in Humanities, Indian culture, religion and social and natural sciences. The Himachal Pradesh University (state University of himachal Pradesh) is also located in Shimla. Himachal Pradesh University Business School (HPUBS), the best Business school of Himachal Pradesh and University Institute of Information Technology, Himachal Pradesh University (UIIT), a premier technical education institute are also located here.

There is one Private University by the name of APG (Alakh Prakash Goyal) Shimla University. The university had also been awarded as the Best University in Hills by Assocham India.

Shimla has two state libraries with a collection of over 47,000 old books divided between them. The one at Gandhi Bhavan in the university has over 40,000 books and the other library, also a heritage building on the ridge, has 7,000.

Other institutes of higher education and research located in Shimla are the Central Potato Research Institute, a member of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and National Academy of Audit and Accounts for training of officers of the Indian Audit and Accounts services (IA&AS).

Shimla: Places of interest

Main article: Tourism in Himachal Pradesh
The Ridge, covered in snow
Christ Church on the Ridge
Mall Road, Shimla seen from the Scandal point.
Catholic Church
Naldehra Golf Club on hilltop, Shimla
  • The Mall: The Mall is the main shopping street of Shimla. It has many restaurants, clubs, banks, bars, post offices and tourist offices. The Gaiety Theatre is situated there.
  • Christ Church: Situated on the Ridge, Christ Church is the second oldest church in Northern India. It has a very majestic appearance and inside there are stained glass windows which represent faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility.
  • Jakhu Hill: 2 km from Shimla, at a height of 8,000 ft, Jakhu Hill is the highest peak and offers a beautiful view of the town and of the snow-covered Himalayas. At the top of the hill is an old temple of Lord Hanuman, which is the home of countless playful monkeys waiting to be fed by all visitors. A 108 feet (33 metre) statue of Lord Hanuman, a Hindu deity, at 8,500 feet (2,591 metres) above sea level, is single statue to stand at the highest altitude among several other masterpieces in the world, overtaking the Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Jutogh: Located 8 km from the city centre, this army cantonment is near Totu, an important suburb of Shimla city.
  • Shimla State Museum: The museum, which was opened in 1974, has tried to protect hill-out and the cultural wealth of the state. There is a collection of miniature Pahari paintings, sculptures, bronzes wood-carvings and also costumes, textiles and jewellery of the region.
  • Indian Institute of Advanced Study: This institute is housed at the former Viceregal Lodge, built in 1884–88.
  • Summer Hill: Situated at a distance of 5 km from the Ridge is the lovely township of Summer Hill, at a height of 6,500 ft on the Shimla-Kalka railway line. Mahatma Gandhi lived in these quiet surroundings during his visits to Shimla. Himachal Pradesh University is situated here.
  • Annandale: Developed as the racecourse of Shimla, Annandale is 2–4 km from the Ridge at a height of 6,117 ft. It is a very big beautiful ground, now used by the Indian Army.
  • Tara Devi: 11 km from the Shimla bus-stand. Tara Devi Hill has a temple dedicated to the goddess of stars on top of the hill. There is a military Dairy Town here as well as the headquarters of Bharat Scouts and Guides.
  • Sankat Mochan: A very famous Lord Hanuman temple is located here.
  • Junga: Junga is near Tehsi, 26 km from Shimla. Its original name (with diacritics) is Jūnga and is a former royal retreat of the princely state of Keonthal. It is known as the Keonthal Estate.
  • Anand Vilas: Midway between Shimla and Junga. "Sarva Dharma Mandir", Temple of all faiths, is a spiritual group dedicated to Mother Nature. Thousands of visitors and devotees come here every year. There is an "Art is Values" school with pupils from all over India. Classes are provided free of cost.
  • Totu: A major developing suburb of Shimla on NH-88. Houses Jutogh railway station & HimFed under Govt. of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Mashobra: 13 km from Shimla, site of the annual Sipi fair in June.
  • Kufri: 16 km from Shimla at a height of 8,600 ft, Kufri is the local winter sports centre, and has a small zoo.
  • Chharabra: 13 km from Shimla on route to Kufri.
  • Naldehra: 22 km from Shimla, with a nine-hole Naldehra Golf Club. The annual Sipi fair in June is held in Naldehra.
  • Chail: Chail was built as summer retreat by the Maharaja of Patiala during the British Raj, it is known for its cricket pitch, the highest in the world.
  • Tattapani: Location of sulphur springs which are found near the Tatapani mandir (holy temple)
  • Sanjauli: The main suburb of Shimla.

Shimla: Transport

Local transport in Shimla is by bus or private vehicles. Buses ply frequently on the circular road surrounding the city centre. Heavy local transport can be seen between Shimla and its major suburbs which include Sanjauli, Kasumpti, Summer Hill, Totu and New Shimla. Tourist taxis are also an option for out of town trips. Locals typically traverse the city on foot. Private vehicles are prohibited on the Mall, Ridge and nearby markets. Due to narrow roads and steep slopes, the auto rickshaws common in other Indian cities are largely absent.

Shimla: Road

Shimla is well-connected by road network to all major cities in north India. National Highway 22 (NH 22) connects Shimla to the nearest big city of Chandigarh. HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) runs 24 daily bus services between Shimla to Delhi. HRTC Volvo buses are also available on Shimla-Haridwar via Dehradoon, Shimla-Katra via Chandigarh-Pathankot-Jammu and Shimla-Manali routes. Buses from Shimla to Chandigarh are available round the clock. Distance between major towns and Shimla:

National Highway 22 connects Shimla to the city of Chandigarh.

Distance between major towns and Shimla:

  • Kalka: 90 km
  • Chandigarh: 120 km
  • Ambala: 152 km
  • Patiala: 172 km
  • Bathinda: 330 km
  • Amritsar: 342 km
  • Delhi: 380 km
  • Dehradun: 227 km
  • Jammu: 482 km
  • Agra: 568 km
  • Jaipur: 629 km
  • Haridwar: 278 km
  • Srinagar: 787 km
  • Pithoragarh: 703 km
  • Kolkata: 1460 km
  • Mumbai: 1742 km
  • Kanya Kumari: 2500;km

Shimla: Air

Shimla Airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 kilometres (14 mi) from the city. Currently, there are no regular commercial flights to the city. The nearest major airport is Chandigarh Airport in Chandigarh about 116 km away.

Shimla: Rail

Shimla railway station

The scenic Kalka Shimla Railway, a narrow gauge track, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the steepest rise in altitude in a distance of 96 km. Kalka, the plains rail terminus, has daily departures to major Indian cities. The city has a total of three railway stations with Shimla the main station and two others located at Summer Hill and Totu (Jutogh) respectively. It was built to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj, with the Indian rail system. The route is famous for its scenery and improbable construction.

In 2007, the government of Himachal Pradesh declared the railway a heritage property. For about a week starting on 11 September 2007, an expert team from UNESCO visited the railway to review and inspect it for possible selection as a World Heritage Site. On 8 July 2008, the Kalka–Shimla Railway became part of the World Heritage Site Mountain Railways of India. alongside Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Shimla: Media and communications

State-owned All India Radio and Reliance Broadcast owned 95.0 BIG FM have local radio stations in Shimla, which transmits various programmes of mass interest. Apart from a wide range of other national and international TV channels of different languages, the National TV broadcaster Doordarshan also broadcast channels like DD Shimla, DD National and DD Sports in the city. There are a number of private FM Radio channels like 95.0 BIG FM, radio mirchi etc. Amar Ujala, Divya Himachal, Punjab Kesari, and Dainik Bhaskar are the widely circulated Hindi dailies while The Tribune, The Times of India, Hindustan Times and Indian Express are popular English newspapers in the city.

Shimla: Notable people born in Shimla

  • Anupam Kher, Bollywood actor
  • Asmita Sood, television actress
  • Charlie Chauhan, television actress
  • Simranjit Singh Mann, Sikh politician
  • Guy Penrose Gibson, WW2 RAF VC
  • Horatio Boileau Goad, British policeman and former secretary of the municipal corporation of Shimla
  • Idries Shah, writer on Sufism
  • M.M. Kaye, novelist
  • Nirmal Verma, Hindi writer
  • Priety Zinta, Bollywood actress
  • Rahat Kazmi, Pakistani television actor
  • Ram Kumar, painter
  • Robin Jackman, former England cricket player
  • Rubina Dilaik, television actress
  • Salmaan Taseer, Pakistani businessman
  • Samuel Boileau Goad, one of the principal property owners in Shimla
  • Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistani economist, born during British rule

Shimla: Notable people educated in Shimla

  • Amrish Puri, Bollywood actor
  • Anupam Kher, Bollywood actor
  • Asmita Sood, television actress
  • Charlie Chauhan, television actress
  • Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan from Lalpani
  • Meera Nair, filmmaker
  • Mayank Anand, actor, author, designer
  • Mohammad Hamid Ansari, current Vice-President Of India
  • Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, ex-president of Pakistan
  • Naina Lal Kidwai, businesswoman
  • Neetu Kapoor, Bollywood actress
  • Prem Chopra, Bollywood actor
  • Priety Zinta, Bollywood actress
  • Rubina Dilaik, television actress
  • Ruskin Bond, writer

Shimla: Sister cities

Sister relationships with towns and regions worldwide include:

  • United States Carbondale, Illinois, United States

Shimla: See also

  • Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan on 3 July 1972.
  • Simla Accord (1913) was a treaty between Britain and Tibet signed in 1914 at the end of a convention held in Shimla. Although its legal status is disputed, it is currently the effective boundary between China and India.

Shimla: References

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  2. "Shimla District Census 2011 Handbook" (PDF). Census of India. p. 39(Urban Section). Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  3. "Shimla City Census 2011 data". Census 2011 India. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  4. "Himachal Pradesh (India): Districts, Cities, Towns and Outgrowth Wards – Population Statistics in Maps and Charts".
  5. Vipin Pubby (1996). Shimla Then and Now. Indus Publishing. pp. 17–34. ISBN 978-81-7387-046-0. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  6. Harrop, F. Beresford (1925). Thacker's new Guide to Simla. Simla: Thacker, Spink & Co. pp. 16–19.
  7. Researches and Missionary Labours Among the Jews, Mohammedans, and Other Sects By Joseph Wolff, published by O. Rogers, 1837
  8. "Shimla A five-tunnel town". Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  9. Charles Allen, Kipling Sahib, London, Little Brown, 2007
  10. Hari Sud (2013). Entrepreneurs of British Shimla. Lulu. pp. 73–74. ISBN 978-1-304-11357-3. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  11. Kipling Sahib, London, Little Brown, 2007: p. 134
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  13. "Unesco". Retrieved 14 October 2012.
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  22. Adarsh Batra (September 2001). "Himalayan Ecotourism In Shimla" (PDF). ABAC Journal. Assumption University, AU Journal.
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  26. "62cm and counting". The Tribune, Chandigarh, India. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  27. "Queen of Hills records highest Snowfall of 8 Years On 25th december, 2016 shimla received its first snowfall of the year .Shimla received the snowfall on christmas after 25 years on 25th december ,2016". IANS.
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  32. "Department of Health and Family welfare, Himachal Pradesh". Retrieved 8 May 2007.
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  34. "National Academy Of Audit and Accounts, Shimla".
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  36. Shimla MC polls: BJP wins 12 wards, Cong 10; CPM wins mayor, deputy's post
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  51. "Ice-skating rink completes 100 sessions again". The Tribune, Chandigarh, India. Retrieved 11 February 2001.
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  • Official website of Shimla district
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  • Municipal Corporation Shimla
  • Shimla travel guide from Wikivoyage
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