The Ridge is located in the heart of the Shimla town and offers mesmerising views of the mountain ranges. It is a large open space, which is connected to the Scandal Point in the west. The east side leads to Lakkar Bazaar where tourists can buy various wooden crafts. There is a huge water reservoir located in this site which supplies water in the town. A summer festival is held here in the month of May. Besides, various government functions and local celebrations during the eve of New Year are held in the Ridge. This place offers long walks in its beautiful surroundings. A beautiful church, library and numerous statues add attraction to this popular location.
The Mall is a popular shopping area located in Shimla. This area spreads from the Oberoi Clark Hotel to the Scandal Point. There are many restaurants, banks, clubs and tourist centres in the Mall. The historic shops, cafes and restaurants are the main attractions of the area.
In addition, many social and cultural events are organised in the Mall. This area can be aptly termed as the hub of Shimla’s social life. The restaurants serve a wide range of delicious food items at a reasonable price.
Lakkar Bazaar is a popular shopping area which offers attractive wooden articles. These handcrafted wooden items can be bought as souvenirs. Dry fruits and natural herbs are also sold here. There are many hotels in this area. The state hospital is also located here.
Tara Devi Temple, located on the Kalka-Shimla Road, is perched at an altitude of 6070 ft above sea level. This place, surrounded by lofty oaks and rhododendrons is an ideal picnic spot. Tourists can enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings from this temple. According to legends, the shrine was built more than 250 years ago, and it is devoted to the goddess of stars. According to a folklore, the goddess keeps an eye on her devotees and showers blessings. This temple is located on the Tara Devi Mountain lying between Shoghi and Shimla. Visitors can reach the temple through a motorable road.
Toy Train Ride is a very popular journey which was started by Lord Curzon in 1903. This famous old ride has been declared as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). This ride takes 5 h from Kalka to Shimla covering 96 km. This journey offers a breathtaking experience of crossing through 103 tunnels and 800 bridges and viaducts.
The ride which goes through mountains, green valleys and pine, fir and deodar forests, offers a memorable experience to the tourists. The train runs on mountains and stops at many places for the tourists to engage in photography of amazing views. The speed is so slow that passengers can even get down and get back in without any risk.
The trains are categorised into various classes like deluxe (Deluxe Motor Rail Car and Shivalik Deluxe Express), super deluxe (Shivalik Queen Tourist Coach and Shivalik Palace Tourist Coach) and regular passenger trains (Kalka Shimla Express and Himalayan Queen); these start from Kalka in the mornings and from Shimla in the afternoons.
Jakhu Temple is perched on the Jakhu hilltop, at an elevation of 8048 ft above sea level and, it offers panoramic views of the snowy peaks, valleys and the Shimla town. This religious centre is located near the Ridge and is devoted to Lord Hanuman. Tourists can enjoy breathtaking views of the sunrises and sunsets from this site.
This temple complex is a dwelling place of various monkeys. Various trekking and mountaineering activities are organised by the government to this hill. The trekking route is surrounded by captivating pine forests. Visitors can also hire ponies to reach the temple. Various shops located at the base of the Jakhu Hill offer walking sticks to trekkers.
The Himachal State Museum & Library, also known as the Shimla State Museum is located around 3 km away from the Scandal Point. This museum was founded in the year 1974, and it has beautiful exhibits of Pahari miniature and Mughal, Rajasthani and contemporary paintings. Various bronze artefacts, photographs and philatelic and anthropological items are also conserved in the museum.
Tourists can also see the Gupta sculptures, the stone images of Masrur and the masks of Kullu here. The library hosts of a collection of various historical books and manuscripts for the visitors. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and remains closed on Mondays and gazetted holidays. The visiting hours start from 10.00 a.m. and continue till 5.00 p.m.
Summer Hill, on the Shimla-Railway line is perched at an altitude of 1283 m above sea level. Visitors can take a nature walk in the quiet surroundings of this beautiful spot. The Manorville Mansion and the Himachal Pradesh University are located on this hill. Pine and deodar trees nestle the place, offering a breathtaking landscape to the joy of the nature lover.
Scandal Point is situated at the intersection of the Mall Road and the road to the Ridge. Tourists can see the Scotland Church, the old Alfa Restaurant and enjoy the mesmerising views of the valleys. The unusual name of the place has a story behind it. According to a popular lore, a Patiala king was infatuated by the daughter of the viceroy of India and kidnapped her while she was taking a stroll at this place. Scandal Point is the highest location of the mall.
It is to be noted that Christ Church in Shimla happens to be the second oldest church in the Northern part of India. It was built during the period from 1846 to 1857. Overlooking the Ridge, the church is decorated with stained glasses on the windows and brass plaques. The church was designed by Colonel J. T. Boileau.
A clock was installed in the tower of the church in the year 1860. Lockwood Kipling, the father of the prominent writer Rudyard Kipling designed the fresco encircling the chapel window. During the colonial era, the British officials and laureates used to offer their prayers in the church.
St Michael's Cathedral was the first Roman Catholic Church in the hill station. It was built in 1886 in the French-Gothic style of architecture. The exquisite stonework and the beautiful stained glass windows of the building add a magnificent touch to it.
Green Valley lies on the way to Kufri from Shimla. It is a very beautiful place and is ideal for photography. Noted for its beautiful scenery, it offers some of the most mesmerising landscapes. The crisscross mountains are covered with sylvan all around. It is merely 7 km from the bus stand and 27 km from the airport which makes it an easily accessible location.
Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex is a Victorian-style monument designed by Henry Irwin. This cultural complex and town hall were constructed in the year 1887. The building has been maintained well by timely repair without altering the original design. The art gallery located inside the complex displays traditional and modern arts. The complex also features an amphitheatre, where various cultural performances are organised. A conference hall and an old theatre are also present here. The old theatre is used to organise various classical events of the town.
Jakhu Hill is perched at an elevation of 8000 ft above sea level and is situated at a distance of 1 km from the Ridge. This is the tallest peak in Shimla, as a result of which, it offers spectacular views of the mighty Himalayan Ranges and surroundings. The famous Jakhu Temple is located on this hill.
The word ‘Jakhu’ originated from the term ‘Yakhsa’ - a mythological character that protects the divine treasures. According to a folklore, the shrine is present at this site since the era of the great Hindu epic, Ramayana.
It is believed that Lord Hanuman rested on this hill during his search for the medicinal herb, Sanjivani Buti for the cure of Lord Lakshmana, brother of the Hindu God, Lord Rama. Trekking to the hill can be an enjoyable activity for the adventure-loving visitors.
Gorton Castle, representing the Gothic architectural style, was established in the year 1904. This building was founded by a famous British architect, Sir Swinton Jacob and served as the summer capital of the British. The balconies of the building are adorned with the intricate Rajasthan jali (net) work. The 3-storeyed castle with 125 rooms used to be the office of the civil secretariat during the British reign and presently is the seat of the state’s accountant general. Sanjauli stone was used in the construction of the building and recently, the red-tile roof was altered by galvanised red-iron sheet roof. Rosewood timber blocks from the Andaman surround the building.
Manorville Mansion is a heritage building situated close to the University of Himachal Pradesh. In this building, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Maulana Azad stayed when they had a meeting with Lord Wavell in 1945 to discuss the independence of India. The room where Mahatma Gandhi stayed is conserved carefully till date. Earlier, this building was the property of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the first woman cabinet member of India. Presently, this property is being used as a guest house.