Shimla is perhaps the most popular option for a holiday in Himachal Pradesh, and quite rightly so. The state capital attracts plenty of tourists thanks to its charming colonial architecture around the town, in addition to all the beauty surrounding it. With something for everyone, Shimla offers a plethora of activities for you to enjoy there. We’ve compiled a list of things to do, along with the best places to stay at, so you can have the best experience.
6 MUST-VISIT LANDMARKS IN SHIMLA
1. Mall Road
Every hill station needs to have a charming mall road! The pedestrian-friendly road is strewn with beautiful churches and quaint cafes for you to explore. Passing through the market may keep you busy for an entire day. The evergreen Gaiety theater can also be found here, while the town hall is worth a visit too. The mall road meets the ridge road at Scandal Point, which is perfect to enjoy the sunset from.
2. Jakhoo Temple
Trek up to this temple sitting on the peak. It can be seen from the mall road, as Hanuman watches over Shimla. You can also trek to Shailey Peak if you want a longer trek.
3. Ice Skating
Asia’s only open-air ice skating rink is very affordable and worth a try! It can be visited in winters, as you’d guess.
Right outside Shimla is Kufri, which is popular for being an ideal ski destination in the winter. It is also home to the highest go-kart track in the world, which is part of the Kufri Fun Park.
Further of Kufri, is Naldehra, which will delight you with its meadows. Surrounded by tall cedars, the oldest golf course in the world is worth a shot!
Drive down to Tattapani, which literally means a piping hot water spring. In addition to that, it is also popular for the rafting options along the Satluj river.
6 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SHIMLA
1. Whispering Pines
One weekend at the Whispering Pines can leave you with a sense of peace that can only come from being enveloped in nature. It is a great spot to enjoy the incredible views of forested hills all around. The lush green lawn outside is perfect for outdoor games, or to light up a bonfire and relax. Most notably, this stay is ideal for yoga enthusiasts. Enjoy a calming stay with expert yoga guidance by a certified trainer, meditation, sound healing, yogic diet charts and internal cleansing.
2. The Corner House
When you stay at The Corner House, we must warn you – you should be prepared to welcome another guest – the clouds, which float into this home and make for delightful companions during your stay. This luxurious villa is set amidst a pine forest, and is designed with windows such that the view never quite leaves you. The common areas such as the living room and the balcony are perfect for the entire group to hang out together, and if some of the outdoorsy ones would like to sneak away for a bit, beautiful treks await.
3. Daafi House
Situated on a hilltop in Theog, this house is named Daafi, which means – a sitting area next to windows. You’ll find a ‘daafi’ in every room at this enchanting location. The property consists of 3 cottages and is surrounded by dense deodar trees and apple orchards. These traditional old Himachali cottages are made of stone and wood. Look out to stunning views of the valley and deep forests from every window here. Rediscover the lost tranquility of nature at Daafi House.
4. Northwood Cottage
Northwood Cottage is a quaint heritage cottage that takes you back in time. Built in 1916, the retreat is set amidst deodar trees, at a 20-minute drive away from the heart of Shimla. The vintage furnishings, artifacts, and décor weave tales of time past. The stone exteriors and lattice windows, coupled with a homely inside and a cozy attic, make Northwood the setting for an Enid Blyton adventure. Rediscover vintage luxury at Northwood Cottage.
5. Violet Hill
Violet Hill is a dream stay for any group that has a taste for luxury and exclusivity. When you choose to stay here, it is not just a villa, but the entire hill that would be your own. Classy interiors, stunning views and countless amenities make this a perfect getaway. The staff at the property can guide you through a beautiful trek around the area, and other activities such as golfing, rafting and cycling are also possible. It wouldn’t be surprising, though, if you choose to spend all your time at the villa itself – enjoying your morning tea outdoors, hanging out in the spacious living room with the group, or lounging in the bohemian style TV room.
6. Wood House Retreat
This spectacular Shimla home offers plenty of space and luxuries galore. Upon entry, you will find classic home decor with expansive windows overlooking a beautiful view of the Himalayas and Shali Tibba. The in-house library, gazebo and Jacuzzi will keep you company all day while the barbeque and bar is in service to make your evenings more exciting. Wood House Retreat is a private oasis for anyone who is simply looking to relax and unwind luxuriously, with a great view, of course.
Do check out the room listings for the properties above, in case you’re looking to travel in smaller groups. Shimla offers something for everyone, which is why it’s great for families, couples, and even solo travellers. Make sure that wherever you visit, you have figured out the logistics beforehand. The spontaneous explorer in you might need to be prepared for 2020. We hope you have a great time exploring Shimla and around. Stay smart, stay safe!