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Shimla is The one of the most scenic hill stations in North-India & it is famous for its natural beauty, wooden crafts, pine forests, architectural buildings and apple farming. Midst the hills, surrounded by pine and deodar jungles, this town, sometimes known as Queen of Hills.
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Shimla has its own unique and Grand charm. Every year, thousands of people visit Shimla to absorb its true beauty and tranquility. Apart from that, city is also famous for rich-cultural heritage, arts and crafts & intelligesia.
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Main Local sightseeing in Shimla is all about visiting the focal point of Shimla which is the Ridge and The Mall running around its south slope.
Shimla Ridge :- From the Ridge, the town spills downwards, with winding roads linking up settlements and stone steps connecting each layer. The Cart Road encircles the base of the main settlement, and is the highest motorable road of Shimla. The Mall is open only to pedestrians. There is a lift run by the Himachal Tourist Department that connects the railway stations and Cart Road to the Mall.
The Mall Shimla :- is the main attraction in Shimla, lined with shops selling woollen garments and shawls, handicrafts, departmental stores, eateries and old colonial timber houses. There is a palpable change of character from the times when the Mall was strictly out of bounds for all natives except royalty, to the Indian crowds that walk down it today.
Christ Church :- At the eastern edge of the Ridge is the famous Christ Church, which was consecrated in 1857. It is a prominent yellow painted building with a Victorian-Gothic spire. In the church some of the finest stained glass windows in India depict faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience, and humility.
Tudor Library :- Near by to the church is the mock- Tudor Library,which was built in 1910.
Scandal Point :- On the other extreme of the Ridge is the Scandal Point. A statue of the Lala Lajpat Rai dominates the place and groups of local people gather here in the afternoon for some casual chit-a-chat. The temple of Kali Bari is near by to the Scandal Point enshrines the idol of Shyamla Devi, the presiding deity of Shimla.
Town Hall reminds of the colonial past of Shimla, the timber lined General Post Office and the old Gaiety Theatre remind of teh Britishb Era. This popular hall was home to the Shimla Amateur Dramatic Society, complete with a gentlemen’s club where the discussion veered around the noble pursuit of cricket and horse racing.
Cecil Hotel :- Down from the Mall stands the gracious Cecil Hotel, originally built in 1877 and now rebuilt to its original grandeur.
The Lakkar Bazaar is famous for its woodcrafts and souvenir shops.
St. Michael’s Cathedral :- The other important church, St. Michael’s Cathedral, which is built like a cruciform, is just off the Mall.
Vice Regal Lodge, now known as the Rashtrapati Niwas (President’s House) is the most impressive colonial edifice of Shimla,located on the top of Observatory Hill, this Elizabethan mansion was built in 1888 for Lord Dufferin. It now houses the Institute of Advanced Studies, and is open only in some parts to the public. The grey building still retains its grandeur, with a lion and unicorn guarding the entrance, immaculate lawns, and original brass fire hydrants from Manchester. The Lodge has a chapel and an indoor swimming pool. Inside, the rooms have rich woodcarvings and wooden panelling.
The Prospect Hill is a popular picnic spot , it can be reached by a short cut through the forests west of the Viceregal Lodge. A tarmac path leads up to the top at 2,176 metres, crowned by the Kamana Devi temple. Here you can view the southern side of Shimla, the undulating hills and valleys of southern Himachal and beyond to the plains of Punjab in the distance.
The Jakhu Temple, sitting on top of Jakhu hill at 2,455 metres is the highest point on the ridge. This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
The Glen:- a thickly wooded area 4 kms to the northwest past the Cecil Hotel,
Chadwick Falls, at 1,586 metres where the river drops 67 metres and is best visited during the monsoons,
Tara Devi Temple
The Sankat Mochan Temple :- about 7 kms on the Shimla-Kalka road and the Himalayan Aviary close to the Viceregal Lodge, with a selection of birds like the monal, pheasant, pea fowls and peacocks.
The Summer Hill is in suburbs of Shimla and is located about 5 kms away the town and a stop on the Kalka-Shimla rail line, has quiet walks through wooded surroundings. The Himachal Pradesh University is also located here.