This month, I posted a few articles in my blog about my visits to some hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal, Lonavala and Khandala. In continuation I thought I must write about my visit to the most popular hill station in India that is Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. I visited Shimla during one of my official trips to Parwanoo, also in Himachal Pradesh. Parwanoo is 35 Kms. from Chandigarh along the Chandigarh –Shimla highway. And Shimla is just 80 Kms. from Parwanoo. Parwanoo is an industrial town at the foothills of the Shivalik mountain range. My trips to Parwanoo were to the Eicher Motors plant. During my various trips to Parwanoo I managed to visit places like the nearby Timber trail Resort, Kasauli and Chandigarh. Timber trail resort is at a height of 1,524 metres on the outskirts of Parwanoo atop the Shivalik range and we have to go there by a Cable Car, overlooking a beautiful valley of pine trees. And kasauli is another beautiful hill station close to Parwanoo and at an altitude of 1,927 metres. As for Chandigarh the capital of Chandigarh-union territory, Punjab and Haryana, I have been to the place a number of times, stayed there and seen all the interesting places. So on one such trip to Parwanoo I visited Shimla.
I visited Shimla in winter when the tourists are fewer compared to the heavy rush in summer. It is located on the Shivalik hills that are the North-West Himalayas at an altitude of 2,420 metres. It is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is spread over several hills and the connecting ridges. It is a very peaceful place with picture perfect scenery all around. It is said to look all the more beautiful during snowfall. There was no snowfall during my stay there but I could see a few snow capped peaks at a long distance. Shimla was cloudy and very cold during my stay. I eagerly asked a local resident about the possibility of snow and he replied sort of angrily that snowfall is bad weather for them, so I should not look forward to it.
I went to Shimla by bus but travelling by the Narrow gauge train from Kalka to Shimla would have been a much lovelier alternative. On the way from my hotel to Eicher Motors plant I always came across this lovely train circling the hills on its way to Shimla or Kalka and loved watching it. This railway line passing through 103 tunnels and 806 bridges, completed in 1906 is an engineering marvel. I visited the Mall a number of times which is the best place in Shimla for shopping and eateries. The other places I visited are Christ Church, Jakhu the highest peak in Shimla with a beautiful view of the distant Himalayas, the Shimla museum, the Railway station, Summer hill, the natural Ice skating rink, Annandale and Lakkar Bazaar.
I sincerely wish to go there once again, hope it would be possible soon.