28 Jul Shimla – the British Summer Capital
My Family decided to do the much-awaited trip to Shimla – the once British Summer Capital of India. Planned as a road trip, it was a Chandigarh – Parwanoo – Shimla journey.
Chandigarh is the capital of the state of Punjab and a model city designed originally by the French architect “La Carbusier”
Our first stop on this journey was Parwanoo. This unexplored gem sits on the border of Chandigarh and is located 277 Km from the capital city Delhi. Once you are in Parwanoo, you have effectively changed states and are now in Himachal Pradesh. Parwanoo is strategically important for Himachal Pradesh as it holds Himachal’s wholesale market and is also an industrial area.
Things to do In Parwanoo
Take a ride across the hill in a cable car
This experience is exactly what it sounds like. 12 people on board per ride, this car is suspended mid-air attached to a cable and crosses across from one hill to another, treating the eyes with the most amazing view of the Timber Tail and the Kaushalya Valley. This one is a must try any time you are in this town. I am told that many years back on October 13, 1992, there was an incident when eleven people were left stuck in one of the cable cars as the line had snatched. The Indian Airforce and the Indian Army had combined together to carry out a rescue mission. This of course was many years back and since no such incident has ever occurred.
Go and see the fruit orchards
Himachal itself is known for its beautiful array of apples, plums and peaches. Parwanoo however is known for its harvest of fruit orchards. They are a treat to the eyes and the taste buds. The vibrant colors mixed with the sweet smells will surely put a smile on your face. You can also sample fresh and delicious fruit beer, wines, jams and jellies to make it a memorable experience.
Go to the unexplored Gorkha Fort
A trip to the Gorkha Fort is fascinating. It is located on a hill in the village of Subathu, about 16 kilometers from Parwanoo. This fort, which was built by Gurkha army chief Amar Singh Thapa to fight British troops, is a symbol of strength and might. The fort is home to a museum, which houses items going back to 1815.
This town, which was once a sleepy small settlement, has evolved into a popular tourist attraction in Himachal Pradesh and remains unexplored.
A small town with so much to explore, Parwanoo is the perfect stepping stone to the magnificent Himachal and a great pit stop.
A lovely drive through valleys, along peaceful roads. Shimla is one of India’s most well-known hill towns. The town has a peaceful aura that helps you to feel at ease and content. The town features colonial architecture and a touch of history which also doubles as a tourist hotspot and is usually packed with people. The capital of the state of Himachal, it was once the summer capital of British India.
Shimla sees pleasant weather between march to June. This period is perfect for outdoor activities and going around the city. July to September the town sees heavy rainfall although this is the time when you could witness the lushest greenery in the city. October to February the town sees peak snow and is the best time to go ice skating, skiing and other snow activities.
Getting to Shimla
The ideal way to get here would be a road trip. With well-managed, interconnected roads, the drive to this town is serene and fun. Not only roads but the town is also very connected with Kalka by a small gauge railway line and a beautiful train experience, one of the best in the world. Shimla also has a small airport which can receive ATR’s.
There are a variety of things that you can do while in Shimla.
You can go take a walk on the Ridge Road.
No matter when you visit, Shimla always has something to offer. From little local shops to amazing eateries, there is something for everyone. Layers of icy, white snow and warm clothes like shawls and stoles is just what you will find here.
Or go Party at the winter carnival
Shimla organizes the best winter carnival every year. Enjoy the snow, skiing, ice – skating and other activities made just for the winter. This fun – filled party is just what you need to add the perfect touch of peaceful fun to your stay in the town, hence if you are in Shimla when this carnival is going on, trust me, you do not want to miss it.
You can also take the toy train and take in the splendid view!
Shimla is known for the Kalka Shimla Toy Train. You can either use the train as a mode of transport or just to enjoy the hills at its finest and the colonial architecture of the town. this train will also take you through the amazing mall road and other local delights. Either way, this train is the joyride you need.
The history of this train ride dates back to the 1900s. Shimla was designated as the British Empire’s summer capital when India was ruled by the British however, there was no good connectivity to the place during that time and the options available were risky, dangerous, and time-consuming.
In November 1903, Britishers launched the Kalka Shimla narrow-gauge train to enable convenient and speedy access to Shimla.
Shimla also has a number of adventure sport to offer such as paragliding, ice skiing, Horse rides and camping. So, get ready for an adventurous fun filled time in Shimla.
Once you are done with Shimla, go play a round of golf at Annadale, an army golf course, or at Naldehra, the oldest golf club in India, 23 kilometers from Shimla. One can also visit Fagu, Chail and Kufri and Mashibara near Shimla for day outings.
A Blog by our team member from Bengaluru, Simran Judith Bhatia