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Shimla

Situated among the Himalayan foothills, Shimla is perhaps best known as the former summer capital of British India. Because of its high elevation, Shimla is mild and moderate for most of the year - it was ideal for British civil servants and officers seeking refuge from the stifling heat of the Indian lowlands. While today Shimla city is struggling with the challenges of modernization and development, many of its colonial-era buildings remain and the town is also a gateway to outdoor adventures in the Indian Himalayas.
Situated among the Himalayan foothills, Shimla is perhaps best known as the former summer capital of British India. Because of its high elevation, Shimla is mild and moderate for most of the year - it was ideal for British civil servants and officers seeking refuge from the stifling heat of the Indian lowlands. While today Shimla city is struggling with the challenges of modernization and development, many of its colonial-era buildings remain and the town is also a gateway to outdoor adventures in the Indian Himalayas.

EXPERIENCES

EXPERIENCES

Annandale

The playground of Shimla, Annandale sits at a comfortable 6,117 feet (1,864 meters); its grounds host a polo court, cricket pitch, and wide, grassy meadows perfect for picnics and group festivities.

Christ Church

Built in 1846, Christ Church is the second oldest church in north India. Well-maintained through the years, it appears much as it did upon unveiling, with tall, distinctive spires, a clean off-white exterior and a working clock. Its interior is decorated with a series of stained glass windows, as well as a fresco designed by Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's father.

Dharamsala and Kinnaur

Near Shimla are several towns and settlements populated mainly by ethnic Tibetans who fled their homeland. One is Kinnaur, which sits on the border of Tibet. Another is Dharamsala, best known to the world as the home of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. While both towns are 100 miles from Shimla proper, they remain worthwhile destinations, especially for those seeking a glimpse of authentic Tibet.

Jakhu Hill

A mile outside Shimla stands Jakhu Hill, the summit of which reaches 8,000 feet (2,438 meters), and affords a bird's-eye view of the surrounding Himalayas and Shimla town. Atop the hill is a temple to Hanuman, a Hindu monkey deity known for his loyalty and fidelity to Rama, and a prominent character in the Ramayana. Within the temple is a giant statue of Hanuman, one of the highest-standing statues in the world.

Shimla Mountain Train Railway

Built in the 1900s to connect Shimla with the outside world, the Kalka-Shimla Railway is a relic that evokes the British Raj in all its grandiosity and stubborn determination. Today, because of its excellent condition and its status as a significant feat of engineering, the railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While there are a number of roads leading to Shimla, travelers may appreciate the excellent, panoramic views offered by a ride on this historic railway.

Skiing

In the vicinity of Shimla lie the ski resorts of Kufri and Narkanda. Brought to the area in 1930 by the British, skiing has remained one of the most consistently popular pastimes in this part of India. The ski season runs approximately from January to mid-March.

The Mall

Closed to motorized traffic, the Mall is Shimla’s main commercial and nightlife district. Filled with bars, shops, restaurants, nightclubs, banks, and more, it is a bustling pedestrian center that attracts both visitors and locals alike.

Viceregal Lodge

Built in 1888, the Viceregal Lodge is a large mansion that once served as the summer residence for the Viceroy of India. A sprawling structure built in the Jacobethan style, the Viceregal Lodge features prominent Tudor arches, turrets, balustrades, and stone-trimmed windows and doors.

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TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

The Forgotten Gujarat Town of Sidhpur

The Forgotten Gujarat Town of Sidhpur

Author : Sugato Mukherjee
The lonely town of Sidhpur in Gujarat is a mix of architecture, culture, and mythology, from the great warrior Parasurama to colonial corners built by merchants.
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Delhi, Jaipur, Agra: Shooting India’s Golden Triangle

Delhi, Jaipur, Agra: Shooting India’s Golden Triangle

Author : Jordan Hammond
Photographer Jordan Hammond journeys through India's Golden Triangle for a look into hidden ghats, ancient forts, and into the faces of the Indian people.
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The Ultimate Roadtrip with The Ultimate Travelling Camp

The Ultimate Roadtrip with The Ultimate Travelling Camp

Author : Victoria Hilley
The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) is the only way to see the Ladakh, a combination of high passes, gorgeous rivers, and the culture on the top of the world.
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The Forgotten Tibetan Refugees of Darjeeling

The Forgotten Tibetan Refugees of Darjeeling

Author : Elisha Donkin
The Tibetan Refugee Center is a rundown, underused facility in Darjeeling. It's not just a place for the best momos in India; it's a testament to the resilience of the refugees who fled and the heritage of those who stayed.
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Raffles Hotels Bound for Udaipur in 2020 and Jaipur in 2022

Raffles Hotels Bound for Udaipur in 2020 and Jaipur in 2022

Author : Tyler Roney
Two new Raffles hotels are set for Jaipur and Udaipur, one in the budding hotel region of Kukas, the other on a private island in Udai Sagar Lake.
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Calcutta Canyon: A Wild West World in Bengal

Calcutta Canyon: A Wild West World in Bengal

Author : Sugato Mukherjee
Four hours outside of Calcutta is a strange Wild West world of Gongoni Danga, red earth and green scrub with a demon cave backstory.
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