Simla, also known as Shimla, was the Summer Capital of the British. And here we bring you nine things that make it a capital experience, even today.
1. Jai ho!
Simla is filled with countless important and revered temples. But Shri Sankat Mochan is the only famous temple complex in Simla. It is filled with many smaller temples which are dedicated to a number of Hindu Gods. If you’re lucky, you might even be invited to join a wedding and see the traditional ceremonies being performed.
2. Monkey around
Arguably the most popular temple in Simla is a Hanuman temple called Jakhoo. Located on Jakhoo Hill, which is two kilometers away from Simla and is the hillstation’s highest peak. The temple naturally offers some of the most wonderful vistas of the town below and of the majestic, snow-clad Himalayas. At the temple you’ll also find countless mischievous but harmless monkeys who will happily take food from your hands.
3. Meet the Mall
Simla’s Mall Road is where everyone hangs out to just walk around, shop for souvenirs and indulge in some people watching. The Mall also has a number of good restaurants, cafes, and bars. If you’re in the mood you can catch a Bollywood masala flick, then catch a show at The Gaiety Theatre.
4. At the door of The Christ
The Mall’s Ridge Road is an important rendezvous for people. But it’s also where you will find the 2nd oldest Church in North India. Simply called Christ Church, it has a majestic aura and fascinating architecture. Beautiful stained glass windows embellish the interiors of the Church and it attracts people of various faiths and religions.
5. Join the celebrations
Almost all year round, tourists can observe and even participate in Simla’s simple but enchanting festivals, which are filled with feasts, music and dance. Some of the important festivals are Lavi, The Summer Festival, Rohru, Halog and The Winter Sports Festival.
6. A lesson in history
The Shimla State Museum opened back in 1974 with the mission to preserve the state’s cultural and historical wealth for future generations. Here, visitors can see many important artifacts such as miniature Pahari paintings, sculptures, traditional costumes, and jewelry.
7. Go away for the day
If one wishes to go on day trips outside of Simla, then there are plenty of good options available. Amongst them, Cheil is favoured by a lot of people. It was the summer capital of Maharajas and has the world’s highest cricket pitch. But for golf-lovers the ideal location is the famous Naldehra Golf Club, in Naldehra. Another favorite spot for sports lovers is Kufri. This is the capital of winter sports in India and even has a small zoo, which is home to many indigenous animals.
8. Be a Sport
For those who love sports, the place to be is Annandale. The place is less than four kilometers from The Ridge and is known as the playground of Simla. It stands at a height of over 6,000 feet above sea level from where you can enjoy panoramic sights of the region and join a game of cricket, polo or frisbee.
9. Hold the fort
Arki isn’t very near Simla but it’s a site historically-rich, which must be visited by people who can spare the time. About 50 kilometers away from Simla in Arki you can find an 18th century fort, which is a one of its kind monument in the region.
Take a look at our Simla homestay
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.