Sunday, 30 August 2015

Shimla - an Indian Summer retreat …...

Autumn is almost upon us & my Indian Summer is but a fond memory.

I wrote of our amazing Shimla - Kalka narrow gauge railway trip & had a request to give some detail on the amazing Himalayan town of Shimla / Simla.


Where do I start?  The altitude of Shimla in northern India makes it a cooler place that was the Summer governance choice during British rule when the heat of India was too much. The whole government decamped to Simla & it was filled for the summer months with activity, parties & visitors ….


This is the view from numerous spots in town - how can you not love it? A mere 30km across the valley to these iconic mountains? I just loved the view …..


Ms M & I stayed at Clarkes Hotel in Shimla, a central hotel on to the Mall Road where cars are banned so we could walk out & just enjoy the experience, atmosphere & amazing buildings.



A warm & inviting hotel that was perfectly situated ...


The staff all wear impressive uniforms ….


 The impressive Vice Regal lodge which was once home to the Viceroys of India & is now an institute of higher learning …



The view from the gardens in the Lodge  towards the Himalayas - how fabulous is this?


From the Mall road in town, a massive Hanuman - monkey god - statue is visible so we took a trip up to the top to view it. The entrance with many steps (& monkeys) to the Temple at the top.



 The enormous 108 feet tall stature on the hill above Shimla ranks as one of the tallest in the world.


Making our way back down while trying to avoid the monkeys snatching our things ...


The views are amazing on the hill but the local monkeys have the run of the hillside - hold on to your glasses & wave a stick at them ….


The iconic Gaiety theatre is also worth a visit - recently restored to its impressive beauty with a long fascinating history of famous people who have performed there.


The lovely vibrant colours with stalls to the sides in the theatre. The Viceroy's box at the theatre ….


Back on to the large mall where people mingle, chat, relax & it is a complete pedestrian space which is very enjoyable.


Indira Gandhi on the Ridge at Shimla



Mahatma Gandhi shares the space on the Ridge


Scandal point - a spot where ladies used to meet to exchange gossip & news before social media


The only way to move things around Shimla are by sherpa type folk - mainly Nepalese men who carry tremendous loads up the steep steps to the numerous businesses there. We even saw a large fridge being carried on a persons back.


An easy 2.5km walk takes one to the stunning Oberoi Cecil in Shimla - a perfect place to enjoy a meal or a cool drink while taking in the lovely buildings & scenery en route.



Drinks & snacks in comfort …


A lovely light lunch while we plan our next walk ...


 The ship like interior is so lovely



The old Hotel Cecil just opposite ….


As night draws in, Shimla just lights up beautifully & people still mingle on the streets & in the cafe's - a lovely relaxed culture in the town.


Safe streets at night made it an enjoyable experience to go out.


Our favourite walking route ...


The pinkish Hanuman statue is just visible on the tree lined horizon …


Lovely old facades & glimpses of the stunning Himalayas …


Beautiful buildings line the roads - perfect walking & photographing time ….


Several roads lead off from the main one - excellent for exploring & for the views over the town & the Himalayas.


 Interesting rooftops & shapes on the Mall Road


We found it so interesting to look down the alley ways & to read all the shop signs …


Hanuman visible on the hill top - looming very large over the town …


The train shaped buildings of Shimla on the mall ...


The train like building on the Mall road - stunning & so appropriate given that the Shimla to Kalka narrow-gauge railway line is an important link …



 Washing cage to stop the many monkeys running off with your washing …


Shimla / Simla is an amazing place - we spent 3 days & nights there & loved our time: walking about, taking in the scenery, walking tours, coffee shops, lots of time for photos & relaxing, a stunning place.

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you have enjoyed my Indian stories
Dee ~♥~

2 comments:

  1. Very nice, would love to visit here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - it is an interesting place with so much to see - I just love mountains so it was so lovely to just have the amazing Himalayan views all round …

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