10 Amazing Things To Do In Shimla
By now Shimla needs no introduction on our site. We have referred to this famous hill station in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh often enough and extolled its virtues in several articles that we have covered previously. This picturesque city of with wonderful, energising climate, misty and snow-clad rolling hills, lush greenery, dense forests, spectacular waterfalls and rivers, while beautiful and refreshing in itself, also has several interesting and exciting activities for people to undertake on a holiday. Given below are a few ideas on the kind of activities that one can enjoy while on a holiday in Shimla.
Best time to visit :
Shimla is best referred to as a summer destination where people come to enjoy the rejuvenating, pleasant coolness of this hill station and escape the heat and humidity in their cities.
The cool months from March to June are ideal for sight-seeing, trekking, camping, river rafting and such other outdoor activities. But at the same time, for those who love the cold season and snow, October to February would be the best months to visit to enjoy the weather, skiing and ice skating during that period.
How to reach :
By air – The nearest airport to Shimla is at Jubarhati, about 23 kms away and has flights coming in from Delhi and Chandigarh. From here one can take a taxi to Shimla.
By train – The nearest railway station to Shimla, which is connected to Delhi and Chandigarh, is at Kalka. From Kalka, one can take the toy train to Shimla.
By bus – The Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses, as well as plenty of Private buses are available from many North Indian cities to Shimla.
AbhiBus too has several buses plying to Shimla from cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun etc. So log on to www.abhibus.com and book your bus tickets to Shimla online.
What to do :
Embracing the outdoors; the sun, moon, stars, wind, mist and beauty of the hills is a must when out at a beautiful hill station. And camping is one such activity that lets you experience this to the fullest. With Shimla being the base for quite a few trekking expeditions, camping is a very popular activity that one can indulge in here. Especially with Shimla’s dense green cover of oak, deodar and pine forests, camping in the outdoors at this enchanting hill town with magnificent views of the lush green hills, is an exhilarating and exciting activity.
Some of the popular camping sites in Shimla are Sarahan, Sandasu, Shoghi and Chirgaon.
Nature Trail :
There’s no better way to explore a location than walking! And when one has only misty hills, lush green foliage, dense tree cover and lovely weather to go with it, doing a nature trail is like walking through a dream. In Shimla, one has plenty of choices to go for small hikes and nature walks. The pine, oak and deodar trees, with the snow-capped hills just set the mood for a long, leisurely walk and is ideal for both couples as well as families.
Some of the picturesque trails in Shimla lead to the Summer Hill, the Glen, the Prospect Hill and the Kamna Devi Temple. The Chadwick Waterfall is an absolutely amazing site to enjoy at within the dense Glen forest.
While Shimla is advocated more as a dreamy, romantic destination, it has also got famous for its adrenalin pumping adventure activity of paragliding. With its wonderful hills, perfect for a great take-off, paragliding in Shimla treats you to wondrous sights of snow-covered mountains, lovely, dense, green forests, sparkling streams and gushing rivers and waterfalls. It’s not surprising then that adventure junkies make a beeline to experience this exciting sport in Shimla.
Paragliding in Shimla is best indulged in at the Kangra Valley.
Ice Skating :
Known as one of the best destinations to enjoy ice-skating, Shimla is ideal for this sport and surprisingly the only destination in India that can boast of a natural ice skating rink. This open-air rink is large and draws huge crowds of locals as well as tourists. Ice-skating in Shimla usually starts in December and goes on till the end of February as the skies are clear and the climate is very cool and conducive for ice skating. However, one has to be geared for this sport with cap, gloves, knee pads and skates. The thick forests around the vicinity manage to maintain the cool atmosphere and prevent the ice from melting.
Timings: 8 – 11am and 5 pm to 8 pm.
Trekking is another activity that one can enjoy immensely in Shimla. The Himalayan ranges provide varying types of terrain and lengths of trail for one to trek. Shelters and rest-houses set up along the route provide the much needed break and convenience for those who tire along the way. The Jakhu Hill, located at an altitude of 2, 455 m above sea level is believed to be the highest peak in Shimla and trekking to the top of this hill, along with several others, is quite a popular activity in Shimla.
Lakkar Bazaar :
Shopping at Lakkar Bazaar is one of the highlights of a vacation in Shimla. This colourful street bazaar is a delight for tourists looking out for comfortable woollens, pashmina shawls, wooden handicrafts, various artefacts, Chinese and handmade shoes, dry fruits, Tibetan mats, carpets and so much more. An absolutely great place to buy souvenirs and little gifts for your loved ones, Lakkar Bazaar has a constant buzz and energy throughout the day with tourists flitting around from morning till midnight, when the bazaar finally winds up. The market is very famous for its local handmade and Kullu shawls, Nehru jackets and dry fruits. Another hotspot at the bazaar, is a very famous eatery called Sita Ram which serves mouth-watering ‘Chole Bature’.
Shimla Ridge :
The Ridge is a large, open area right in the centre of Shimla. One of the most popular and frequented locations, the Ridge is a very lively place and host to numerous cultural activities. Owing to the vibrance and dynamism of the place, the Ridge is also known as the ‘Heart of Shimla’. A great location to click selfies, one can choose to sit here, relax and enjoy the evening sun going down on the beautiful, magical city after a stint of hectic shopping at Mall Road. It is indeed fortunate, if one can witness the magnificent snow covered ridge after a snowfall.
River Rafting :
This is an ideal sport to enjoy in the crystal clear, free-flowing, gushing rivers of Shimla. The mighty Sutlej river, flowing close to Shimla provides great options for an exciting and thrilling white-water river rafting experience which is carried out from the Chhaba to Tattapani, a 12 km stretch. An inflatable rubber dinghy is used for this sport and it takes about 2 hours to navigate through the varying and challenging rapids of the roaring Sutlej. One can thoroughly enjoy this sport during summer as it is strictly prohibited during the monsoons and winter. It is important to get properly trained and have the required security gear before indulging in this activity.
Travel In The Toy Train :
Relive your childhood days by travelling in the famous toy train from Kalka to Shimla. These toy trains are only available in the Himalayan region and Shimla is one of the few destinations that let you capture the joy of travelling in these delightful trains. The Kalka – Shimla route takes you through wonderful green forests, lets you marvel at the beauty of the various flora and fauna visible along the route, lets you experience the delight of looking down the various mountain slopes from high altitudes and experience the thrill of a sometime slightly rocky train journey along the rugged hilly terrain. One can revel in childish pleasure as the train trudges along the route and you can see the other end of the train from your window, while it crawls around a curve or bend. This experience can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Cycling In The Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary :
This location is an ideal area for those looking for some tranquility and peace by themselves. Surrounded by dense forests of entwined fir, deodar, spruce, pine, cedar and oak trees, the Shimla water catchment wildlife sanctuary is an astounding set-up for cyclists as well as people who love nature walks. Cyclists can bask in the beauty and freshness of the exciting flora and fauna around the place.. Located to the north of Kufri and east of Shimla, this water catchment wildlife sanctuary is close to the national Highway 22 and is a favourite spot to be visited by tourists. But owing to the dense jungle cover, not many visitors to this place can be accommodated at one time and so it is one of the best places to explore on a cycle or on your own.
Picture Credits : scroll.in