Annandale is a beautiful picnic spot adorned with lush green deodar forests. This open space was used as a playground for racing, polo and cricket to entertain the British people. The picnickers paradise is perched at an altitude of 6227 ft above sea level and offers mesmerising landscapes to visitors.
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.
Darlaghat is located at a distance of 35 km from Shimla on the Shimla-Bilasour Road and is famous for a wildlife sanctuary. Visitors can see black bears, sambhals, wild boars, red jungle fowls, barking dears and various migratory birds here. The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation organises various eco-treks here. The ideal time to visit this sanctuary is during the months of October to April.
Dorje Drak Monastery is located in the Sarasvati Garden Estate, Kusmuti. Also known as Thubetan Evam Dorje Drak, this monastery follows the Nyingma tradition, one of the ancient schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
After the destruction of the original monastery during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche built a new one in the year 1984 in Shimla. Tourists don't need to pay any entry fees, but willing visitors can donate money for the monastery.
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.
Elysium Hill is a popular tourist attraction situated at an elevation of 7400 ft above sea level. This alluring site is located on the road leading to the Lakkar Bazaar. The Auckland House, which was the residence of Lord Auckland, is located here. He was the former viceroy of colonial India. According to records, he purchased this house in the year 1836, and it was converted to a girls' school, Auckland House School. Stirling Castle, located nearby, is an orphanage which offers shelter for the needy Tibetan kids.
Himalayan Aviary is a beautiful park where rare avian species can be sighted in large numbers. This aviary is also called the Himalayan Bird Park. This popular attraction of Shimla is located at an altitude of 2213 m and is very close to the Viceregal Lodge. Many different varieties of birds like pheasants, Himalayan monal and other rare and endangered species can be seen here. This beautiful park is located at a walking distance of 4.5 km from Scandal Point. The aviary remains open only during the summer season as there is heavy snowfall during the winter season.
Glenn is one of the most attractive picnic spots situated at a distance of just 4 km from the Ridge, the city centre of Shimla. The gurgling Chadwick stream falling from an elevation of 1830 m traverses this place.
This site is surrounded by deodar and pine trees. This site can be reached through two different routes, one from the Cecil Hotel and another from the Kennedy House. Taxis are available from the Scandal Point to this spot and tourists can also reach the destination on foot.
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.
Ellerslie is a beautiful colonial building, which is also known as Raj Bhawan. It is currently serving as the Secretariat of Himachal Pradesh. The structure was designed by Lt. Col. H.E.S. Abbott during the British reign and was under the control of the military department of Punjab till 1886. The Summit Hall is named after the historic Shimla Agreement, signed between India and Pakistan in the year 1972. The building, featuring three floors and 143 rooms, exhibits captivating architectural style.
Ice Skating is one of the famous sports in Shimla. This beautiful place offers the largest ice-skating rink in the country. Skating is best done during the months from December to February when the ground is covered with natural ice. The Shimla Ice Skating Club has already completed 75 years. The club offers short term as well as a single session membership to visitors.
Two sessions are organised in the morning and evening every day depending on the ice existing on the ground. The Municipal Building features a hanging balloon, which gives signals of the possibility of ice skating. An ice skating festival is also held in Shimla every winter when the snow comes alive with fun, feast and frolic.
Gurkha Gate happens to be one among the oldest gateways of Shimla. It serves as a gateway to Viceregal Lodge and is located on the Chaura Maidan road. The Lodge has a historic significance. It served as the residence to the Viceroy of India during the British rule and now houses the ‘Indian Institute of Advanced Study’.
The gate was built as a tribute to the Gurkhas in honour of their bravery and loyalty to the British Empire. The building of the stone structure offers an interesting view to the visitors.
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.