Tourist Places in Himachal Pradesh

ridge shimla“Abode of Snow” is the meaning of the word Himachal Pradesh. The state covers over 56,000 sq km of the western Himalayas. The terrain of the state rises from the foothills of the Shivaliks bordering the plains of Punjab, and extends to the trans-Himalayan heights of the Zanskar Range which borders Ladakh and Tibet. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and during British Raj it was used to be the summer capital. It is one of the most famous tourist attraction and a popular destination for the visitors. The state’s other big hill station is Manali. It is in the heart of the idyllic Kullu Valley. It is an excellent base for trekking and excursion. Towards the west of Kullu valley is the Kangra valley. Its main town is Dharamsala which is the home of Dalai Lama. It is the seat of Tibet government exile and has a vibrant Tibet community.

In this post I am giving you some detail description of the main places of attraction of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh.


Shimla is the most popular hill station in the north India. It has very thickly forested slopes and has invigorating climate. It was discovered by Captain Charles Kennedy in the early 19th Century. Since then it has attracted countless tourists and visitors. In 1864, it became the summer headquarters of British government in India. Today it is the fast growing capital of Himachal Pradesh. Though now many of the surrounding forests have been replaced by concrete buildings but still Shimla has been able to retain its colonial charm.

The Ridge:–

This is the centre of Shimla’s bus social and cultural life. This is the most popular promenade. It is situated at a height of 2,230 m. It is an open stretch of land on the western shoulder of Jakhu Hills. From here the snowcapped peaks are very clearly seen in the form of an arc across the northern horizon. Here the official state’s functions are held such as ceremonial parades.

Christ Church:–

christ church shimlaThere is a Gothic Christ Church dominating the eastern end of the Ridge. This is a prominent landmark. It was constructed in 1864. It was one of the first churches built in North India. In the 19th century its fine stained-glass windows and impressive organ were acquired. Rudyard Kipling’s father, Lockwood Kipling designed the fresco around the chancel window. Near to this church is the mock-Tudor Municipal Library.

The Mall:–

It is a 7-km long thoroughfare which runs from Boileauganj in the west to Chhota Shimla in the south. It demarcates the original limits of the town. The mall is The Mall Shimlaflanked by rows of half- timbered buildings. This area is its most fashionable area. There are profusion of restaurants, bars and up-market shops in the centre section of the mall. The mall’s highest spot is the Scandal Point. This point is marked by a statue of Lala Rajpat Roy who is one of the most famous freedom fighter. The so called “scandal” refers to the repeated abduction of an English lady in the late 19th century from the spot by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. There is timber-framed post office in the nearby area.

Lower Bazaar:–

Lower BazarLower bazaar is below the central section of The Mall. It has been once referred by Kipling as “that crowded rabbit warren catering to the native population of Shimla. It can be said to be poor man’s mall because it offers the option of cheaper wares and less fashionable hostelries and eating places. Lower to it is the Ganj which is a congested bazaar where the town’s wholesale trade in groceries takes place.

State Museum:–

State MuseumThe State Museum is housed in the reconstructed Raj building which is called as Inveraram. It was opened in 1974 for public. Since then it has managed to build up a fairly good collection of almost 10,000 artifacts from various parts of Himachal Pradesh. The exhibits displayed in 15 galleries including stone sculptures dating from 16th to 11th century. These stone sculptures belong to the Gupta and Pratihara periods. There is also a collection of Kangra miniatures which represents various themes based on the seasons (Baramasa), musical modes (Ragamala), and episodes from GITA GOVINDA which is a devotional poem. Among all the things that the State Museum exhibits the most impressive thing is the spectacular series of mid-19th century wall paintings from Chamba. These paintings are housed in the ground floor galleries.

Jakhu Hill Temple:–

shimla jakhu templeThe highest point in Shimla is the forested dome of Jakhu hill which is at the height of 2,450 m. there is a temple standing at its peak which is dedicated to monkey god, Hanuman. According to the epic Ramayana , when Hanuman set on his journey to search for the Sanjivani Herb for Lakshman when he was wounded in the war with Ravana, then hanuman rested here for some time. A steep 2 km climb from the ridge to the summit through deodar and oak forests offers panoramic views of Shimla and its suburbs. Though all over Shimla monkeys are common sight but it seems as if Jakhu is their kingdom. It is always good for visitors to watch out for simian hands rifling through their pockets and belongings.

Viceregal Lodge:–

Viceregal lodgeThis is the most imposing British built building in Shimla. It is a grey stone structure situated atop Observatory Hill. It was built in 1888 under the guidance of Lord Dufferin and structured in the English Renaissance style. It was built with an idea of making it a suitable summer residence for the viceroy of India. On the three sides this stately mansion is surrounded by well maintained gardens. The interior is also very impressive. There are two rows of balconies which overlooked the magnificent teak-paneled entrance hall. The entrance hall and the gardens are open to the public. Behind the building there is a bronze plaque which is now called the Rashtrapati Niwas and houses the Indian Institute of Advanced studies.

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3 Responses to Tourist Places in Himachal Pradesh

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