The landscape and scenic expanse of Shimla, one of the top hill station tourist destinations in India, emerges straight out of a postcard picture. It had been a well-liked center for British officers and their maidens keen to make a stir among the scandalmongers and who gathered on “The Mall” throughout the summers. Shimla enjoys a proud history owing to the fact that it was and is still termed as the most popular hill-station escape retreat from the intolerable summer heat of the plains. Several Himachalis would often talk about Shimla’s intriguing past during which you get to sink into a lifetime of idle gossip, romantic quests, and military favours that had become a common affair. Today, the romantic image of Shimla has been somewhat ruined by ungoverned urbanization and reckless construction, but nevertheless, the Hill Station still retains its old world charm and majestic appearance.
Sprawling over seven hills fringed by dense forest and verdant mountains, Shimla could be a helpful place to begin your exploration to the untouched elements of Himachal. The timbered cottages and wood-gabled buildings of this town still retain a degree of charm, however if you are expecting a quiet hill station, you will be disappointed. The Mall, a boulevard laid on the southern slopes of the Shimla town ridge, remains a pedestrian preserve, crowded by tourists and natives that tend to echo the social mannerisms of the rule at its most British. Below the ridge, however, the Indian conglomeration of buildings constitutes the bazaar, and a sweep of contemporary dwellings has the clearly untidy look of unplanned conurbation.
Shimla is, however, in close proximity to many of the lesser-known hill resort getaways such as Kufri – a ski-resort and a must-visit, Mashobra, Naldehra, Narkanda, and the Chadwick Falls; all destinations near Shimla, providing relative peace and quiet with scenic splendour that is sure to capture your imagination. And for those seeking to view the remote beauty of this town, Shimla is stringed with a confluence of roads leading north to Kullu – a top Hill Station tourist destination in India, Ladakh and Lahaul – known for their remoteness and unexplored trekking trails worldwide; east into the valleys of Spiti and Kinnaur– known for their breathtaking scenic beauty, and finally west into the mesmerizing Kangra Valley – a must-visit for nature lovers.