Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, along a crescent-shaped ridge at an altitude of 2159 metres, Shimla is the largest and most famous of the British hill stations in India. With forest-carpeted hillsides sweeping above and below Shimla, it's a particularly scenic spot and its popularity as a summer resort continues today with cooler temperatures and ample outdoor activities on offer. It's even pretty in the winter when pristine white snow blankets the streets and conifer trees and the numerous ski resorts within close proximity to Shimla open their doors.Read More
One of the most novel and enjoyable ways of getting to Shimla is on the toy train service that operates from the town of Kalka south of Shimla and was originally completed in 1903. Hauled along by a tiny diesel locomotive, the leisurely journey through stunning mountain scenery and surrounding villages takes between 5-7 hours and is a highlight for many visitors.
Shimla is comprised of just two roads with the higher road running east to west and known as the Mall. It has the most British feel of the two roads, with stately English-looking homes and the Victorian-Gothic spire of Christ Church, which was built in 1846 and is the most recognisable of Shimla's landmarks. The highest point of town is Scandal Point, the unofficial centre of town, and further on is the State Museum, which boasts an interesting collection from Himachal. Beyond here is the Vice Regal Lodge and Botanic Gardens. The Vice Regal Lodge, Shimla’s most impressive colonial building, was where many important decisions affecting the destiny of the subcontinent were made.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Shimla
If you are planning a Shimla holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Clarkes Hotel Shimla
The Oberoi Clarkes is a charming hotel situated on the main promenade in Shimla. This heritage hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Shimla and is known for its architecture that dates back to the colonial era. The rooms are reminiscent of British style with elegant furnishings and many providing views of the surrounding mountains. The Dining Hall is the perfect spot to enjoy a wide variety of Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine while soaking up the vistas. There's also an open terrace and 18th century bar onsite.
Hotel Willow Banks Shimla
The Willow Banks is a colonial-style hotel established in 1871 with each room boasting its own private balcony. As well as the gym and pool, the hotel has a steam room and sauna, jacuzzi and Ayurvedic massage available so guests can relax and rejuvenate amongst the stunning mountain scenery in comfort. The inviting rooms are fully appointed with elegant furniture and rich upholstery with WiFi access and cable TV. The hotel is located on The Mall, within walking distance of great retail outlets and restaurants.
Shimla Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Shimla.