The Ridge, Shimla
The Ridge can be well defined as the heart of Shimla in terms of location and tourist attractions. This Shimla tourist spot is actually a wide open lane that runs east to west along Mall Road and connects it to the famous Scandal Point.
What makes it such a popular destination is that it offers magnificent views of the snow-capped mountain ranges that rise against the blue sky bordering this paradise of a destination. The place is dotted with longstanding British establishments that beckon visitors to indulge in good shopping and overeating.
Lined with boutiques, bars, restaurants, cafes and shops, the Ridge serves as a social hub in the region. Remember, this place is one of the most photographed parts of the city, due to its rich natural beauty and Gothic structures that define its elegance.
Jakho Hill and Temple, Shimla
Covered in a blanket of alpine trees, Jakho Hill is the highest point in Shimla and offers panoramic views of the snow-capped Shivalik ranges as well as the sister town of Sanjauli. Located at an altitude of 8000 feet above sea level, Jakho Hill is the location of an ancient Hanuman temple that boasts of being the world’s tallest statue (108 feet) of this Hindu deity.
Shrouded in legends and mysteries, it attracts devotees and tourists alike. If local legends are to be believed, the temple stands on the same spot where Lord Hanuman rested for a while during his journey to fetch Sanjiva’s booty for Lakshmana’s resurrection during the Lankan war.
Mall Road, Shimla
When it comes to places to visit in Shimla for couples, you cannot miss Mall Road. Otherwise, too, this place is a hip and happening location in this hill station and attracts visitors of all ages.
With a plethora of cafes, restaurants, showrooms, department stores and shops selling trinkets and unique handicrafts, this is a place where you can soak up the spirit of Shimla in all its touristy delights. From jewelery and books to intricately crafted wooden articles, you can shop for a wide variety of items here.
At the same time, you can explore other nearby attractions like Kali Bari Temple, Town Hall, Getty Theater and Scandal Point. Also, since the road is closed to vehicles,
Kalka-Shimla Railway, Shimla
The Kalka-Shimla train ride is a highlight of Shimla tourism and for good reason. Built in 1898, this narrow-gauge railway has recently been added to the Mountain Railways of India World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Traversing a highly scenic and hilly route from the foothills of the Shivalik range at Kalka (Haryana) to Shimla, the train ride offers spectacular views of the surrounding hills and villages. On the way, it halts at several tourist spots like Solan, Dharampur, Summer Hill, Salogra, Taradevi and Barog.
The ride will take you through 864 bridges, 919 turns and 102 tunnels. The train ride itself may not count as a ‘place’ to visit in the region, but missing the ride means missing out on some of the magnificent sights Shimla has to offer.
About a 40-minute ride from the city center will take you to Kufri, another must-see in the region. Situated at an altitude of 8607 feet, this small hill station promises you panoramic views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. But Kufri is not just about Shimla sightseeing.
It is also an adventure hub that offers training and facilities for exciting winter sports like ice skating and skiing. That is why it is also known as the winter sports capital of India. As Kufri receives regular snowfall in winter, it ranks among the top places to visit in Shimla in December.
Christ Church, Shimla
One of the prominent landmarks of Shimla, Christ Church is the second oldest church in North India and has exceptional architectural beauty. It is a notable example of the Neo-Gothic style of architecture. The historic church is located on the ridge and dates back to 1857.
A lasting legacy of the colonial rulers, the silhouette of this grand edifice is visible from a distance. With stained glass windows, brass church bells and arresting towers, it presents a picture of unparalleled beauty. While the church looks majestic during the day, it turns into a mesmerizing sight when lit up at night.
Additionally, it has the largest pipe-organ in India. Even if you are planning a quick tour of places to visit in Shimla in 2 days, don’t miss this magnificent attraction.
Green Valley, Shimla
A breath-taking natural dell near Shimla and Kufri, Green Valley lives up to its name. Against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and lush forests of pine and deodar, the valley is dotted with greenery. Away from the tourist crowds, the tranquil Green Valley is where you can witness nature in all its glory, making it one of the best places to visit in Shimla for honeymoon.
Given its pristine beauty, this place is also among the favorite Bollywood locations in India and has featured in a number of Hindi films. Although you can visit Green Valley all year round, the best time to visit is during the summer months.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Would you like to visit the historical place where the decision to create Pakistan and East Pakistan out of India was taken during the country’s independence days? Then you should find your way to Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Simla.
One of the tourist attractions in Shimla and Manali, the building was initially built as the residence of Lord Dufferin, who served as the Viceroy of India from 1884 to 1888. At the time, it was known as the Viceregal Lodge and the imposing building had electricity connections as early as 1888, before the rest of Shimla had come to use any form of electric power.
After India’s independence, the place served as the summer retreat of the country’s President and was known as the Presidential Residence before being converted into a center for advanced studies and research.
Kali Bari Temple, Shimla
Some temples are known for their religious or historical significance while others attract visitors due to their architectural beauty. But there are some temples that score high on both counts. Kali Bari Temple in Shimla is one such place! Believed to have been built in 1845, the temple has architectural beauty as well as religious significance in equal measures.
As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and houses a mesmerizing idol of the deity. Located very close to Mall Road, it is an ideal place to spend some quiet moments connecting with your inner self. An interesting thing to note is that Goddess Kali is known here as Devi Shyamala and it is said that Shimla got its name from Goddess Shyamala.
Himachal State Museum, Shimla
Located on Mall Road, Himachal State Museum (also known as Shimla State Museum) is housed in a colonial mansion. It has a rich collection of miniature paintings, stone sculptures, coins, weapons, armour, dolls, jewellery, handicrafts and coin articles discovered in the valley.
All the articles preserved here serve as relics of the state’s grand cultural heritage. The bronze idols collected from various temples spread across the Himalayas are a special attraction at this place. If you are a history buff, you will find this place a treasure trove of heritage and information.
Tara Devi Temple, Shimla
You may or may not be a religious soul, but when in Shimla, you must not miss a visit to the Tara Devi Temple. Located on a hill called Tara Parvat, this temple is believed to be around 250 years old.
Devi Tara, a Tibetan Buddhist goddess and one of the nine sisters of Goddess Durga, is the presiding deity here. According to local belief, the wooden idol installed in the temple was brought from West Bengal. While the temple exudes a serene atmosphere, what attracts tourists to this destination is its beautiful architecture.