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India’s most famous hill station was founded in 1822 by a British civil servant, who built a summer house to escape the heat of the plains on a lofty ridge in the foothills of the Himalaya. Hundreds more civil servants followed, transforming Shimla into the summer capital of the British Raj. From 1864 to 1939, the entire government of India was relocated to Shimla every summer, a migration facilitated by the construction of the narrow-gauge Shimla-Kalka railway. Shimla remains one of India’s most popular hill resorts, particularly in winter when Indian tourists visit in droves for their first experience of snow. In terms of tourist ...

India’s most famous hill station was founded in 1822 by a British civil servant, who built a summer house to escape the heat of the plains on a lofty ridge in the foothills of the Himalaya. Hundreds more civil servants followed, transforming Shimla into the summer capital of the British Raj. From 1864 to 1939, the entire government of India was relocated to Shimla every summer, a migration facilitated by the construction of the narrow-gauge Shimla-Kalka railway. Shimla remains one of India’s most popular hill resorts, particularly in winter when Indian tourists visit in droves for their first experience of snow. In terms of tourist attractions, the "Queen of the Hills" is the definitive hill station - visitors are drawn here by grand colonial architecture, quirky British-era hotels, peaceful forest walks, temples teeming with monkeys, excursions to Raj relics in the hills and magnificent views of the Himalaya from "the Ridge," the hilltop promenade in the center of Shimla.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the north-west Himalayas, 71.4 miles from Chandigarh, the nearest major city, and 227 miles north of New Delhi.
  • Language: Hindi, Punjabi and Pahari
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to November and March to May - temperatures plummet from December to February.