Shimla is the capital of
and a hill station in North India.
Located at an average height of 2000 meters (5500 ft) above mean sea level in the middle Himalayas,
this small city is surrounded by fir and pine forests.
The city is accessible by road, air and railway but road is perhaps the best means of transport. The nearest big city is Chandigarh 115 kilometers on National Highway no 22. New Delhi is 365 kilometers. A narrow gauge railroad connects Shimla to Kalka. Travel by rail is slow but the scenery and 103 tunnels enroute make it a tourist attraction. There is a small airport about 30 Km from the city at Jubbalhatti. A private airline runs operates weekly flights to Delhi.
The winter (Dec - Feb)is cold with temperature ranging between -4 º C to 15 º C. It generally snows in winter. The summer is warm and pleasant with temperature seldom exceeding 26 º C. The rainy season (June - Sept) is wet, humid and somewhat cooler.
Shimla is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh. The population of permanent residents is approximately 100,000. In summers a substantial number of tourists (~10 thousand)add to the population whereas in winter the population is reduced heavily due to the residents taking vacation and going to warmer places.
The majority of population is comprised of natives of Himachal Pradesh and a minority migrated from what is now Pakistan during the partition of India. Hindi, Punjabi and Pahari are the main languages.
There are many government offices.
A good part of economy is supported by government. Shimla is
also a good tourist attraction. Kufri, Naldera, Taatapani and
Chail are among the main tourist attractions.
The ridge and the adjacent Mall Road form the heart of the city. The mall road doe not have vehicular traffic so it's a favorite place for walking.
Kali Bari (a temple of the Hindu godess Kali) is five minutes walk from Mall Road, Jakhoo Temple (a temple of the Hindu god Hanuman) is located at the highest point in Shimla (2600 mts above mean sea level, about 30 min to one hour walk from the mall). Tara Devi Temple is about 10 km from Shimla ,directly visible from the city.
The Lower Bazaar adjoining the mall road caters the city.
Schools in Shimla are Bishop Cotton School (boys only), St Edwards (boys only), Convent of Jesus and Mary (girls only), Loreto Convent popularly known as Tara Hall (girls only) but now Sacred Heart Convent Tara Hall, Auckland House School (girls only), DAV Public School New Shimla, Dyanand School, SD School, St Thomas et al. Shimla has a Medical College IGMC, St Bedes Girls College, RKMV (a girl's college), Government College Sanjauli, and Government College Chaura Maidan.
Himachal Pradesh University offers Masters and PhD programs.
The city was established by the British in the latter half of the
19th century as the summer capital of the British Raj.