Shimla, an alluring hill station of Himachal Pradesh is a paradise for both nature lover and adventure buffs.
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Shimla



Mountain Biking in the Snowy Field of ShimlaShimla the capital of Himachal Pradesh derives its name from goddess 'Shayamla Devi', which is another manifestation of Goddess Kali. It came into light when the British discovered it in 1819. Till then, it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. In 1864 Shimla was declared as the summer capital of India. After Independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. In 1903 a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla.




Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of . Dwelling on a panoramic location, the hilly town is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era create an aura, which is very different from other hill stations.

Shimla changes its moods with the seasons. In spring we see flowers of all kinds, both wild and cultivated, smiling in each garden. During the monsoon, we see some of the best sunsets in the world.

Winter in Shimla is known as the season of "Long moon-night." It becomes a frost glistening silent city. A gathering of dark clouds tells us of the approach of snow generally a slight fall first, followed by a heavier one when the snowflakes sweep down through the fine-needles bending long branches to the ground. The following morning sees the town as a fantastic fairyland of white beauty.

Adventure Sports in and around Shimla

Heli-Skiing

Manali
The Manali heli skiing expeditions involve helicopters, which are going to drop keen skiers onto peaks as high as 6,500m. The high peaks reduce the wind speed at lower levels where one skis, resulting in consistent, light and powdery snow. Powder skiing is easier to learn with the new thick kind of skis, especially if you are new to skiing.
read more about Kullu-Manali

Kufri
Kufri, near Shimla is one of the oldest places in India to be associated with Skiing and the slopes are still in use during winter.

Skiing

Manali
In winter is a fairy-tale town holding out an irresistible invitation to the skiers and snow-lovers. Located at a height of 6,000 ft. to 7000 ft., it offers breathtaking ski gradients at Solang Nala. Between December and May ski enthusiasts from all over the world are attracted to this Himalayan resort.

Its smooth-curved ridges and escarpments promise unmatched exhilaration both to expert skiers as well as beginners. Those on a maiden adventure can learn the exciting sport on some of the gentle slopes and gradients with the help of experts. A winter carnival held around the middle of February is a major attraction for the skiers.

Narkanda
Nestled in the picturesque ranges of Himachal, Narkanda at a height of 3143 Mts. is a quiet town, 64 kms from Shimla. In winter it coats itself with thick, soft snow turning its gentle slopes into an excellent playground. The pleasure of skiing makes Narkanda an attractive destination for many during the winter months. Some of the very steep and smooth slopes hereafter a different kind of skiing experience. These slopes especially appeal to the cross country skier for. Narkanda is set amid fine coniferous forests.

Kufri
At a height of 2501 ms, girdled by awesome pinnacles, Kufri is a scenic hill resort 16kms, from Shimla. From December to March it wears its white winter garb, with snow trimmings on its tall green pines and deodars. Its undulating slopes are fashioned by nature to exhilarate lovers of winter sports.
read more about Skiing in Himalayas

Mountain Biking

Himachal Pradesh to Uttaranchal
Himachal Pradesh offers some extremely attractive areas for the lover of mountain cycling. One can start from Kumarhatti on the Shimla-Kalka road. A link road runs through a forest of pine, rising and falling till you reach Sarahan a small Tehsil town. From Sarahan, the road drops steeply to Nahan and you race down through heavily wooded dark forests on a road, which is remarkably free of traffic. On the way, you can come across valleys, barrage and through fertile fields of the Doon valley set against the backdrop of the sadly denuded lower reaches of the Garhwal Mountains.
read more about Mountain Biking in Himalayas

Ice Skating

Shimla
The shimla Ice skating rink has the largest poen air area with naturally frozen ice in this part of the world.

Kufri
At a height of 2501 ms, girdled by awesome pinnacles, Kufri is a scenic hill resort 16kms, from Shimla. From December to March it wears its white winter garb, with snow trimmings on its tall green pines and deodars. Its undulating slopes are fashioned by nature to exhilarate lovers of Ice Skating.

Rohtang
Ice Skiing facilities and training for beginners are available during the best part of winter. Commands an awesome height of 3978 Mts. and is 51 kms. from Manali, Recently a new Ice ski terrain developed here has fired the imagination of ski lovers, as it offers a new challenge to their spirit of adventure. This is the only place in the country where the Ice skiers can indulge in their favorite sport in summer as well as autumn. With the onset of summer, the Ice skiers begin arriving here-dotting the silver-white backdrop with vibrant colors. The steep descents here are truly inspiring. The setting is just perfect both for the beginners and the seasoned.

Camping

Chail
Enroute to the frontiers of civilisation in the Himalayas, the Banjara camp at Chail is a welcome break. A picturesque, thickly forested tract of land at 2000m, Chail was once the summer retreat of the Maharaja of Patiala. With its carpet of lush green meadows and thick Deodar forests, Chail offers a tranquillity simply unimaginable in today's fast paced life.

The world's highest cricket pitch is located here at the famous "King George Royal Indian Military College". While from one side of Chail you can see the twinkling night lights of Shimla, you get a glimpse of the Choor Chandani peak, the highest in this region of the Himalayas.
read more about Camping Tours in Himalayas


Places of Interest in and around Shimla

The Mall
The Mall is the main shopping centre of Shimla. It also has many restaurants, clubs, banks, bars, Post Offices and tourist offices. The Gaiety Theatre is also situated there. People walk up and down the Mall slowly, stopping to gossip, as it is the main meeting place for everyone. The Ridge and Scandal point are the two main meeting points at the Mall.

Christ Church
Situated on the Ridge is Christ Church, which is the second oldest church in Northern India. It has a very majestic appearance and inside there are stained glass windows which represent faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility. Christ Church is a place all visitors should spend some time in.

Summer Hill
Situated at a distance of 5 kms. from the Ridge is the lovely township of Summer Hill at a height of 6,500 ft. on the Shimla-Kalka railway line. Mahatma Gandhi lived in these quiet surroundings during his visits to Shimla. Himachal Pradesh University is situated here.

Shimla State Museum
The Museum, which was opened in 1974, has tried to project hill-out and the cultural wealth of the state. There is a collection of miniature Pahari paintings, sculptures, bronzes wood-carvings and also costumes, textiles and jewellery of the region.


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