Shimla-"Queen of Hills"
Shimla: "Queen of Hills"
Shimla, a popular tourist destination, is the capital of Himachal Pradesh.It is formerly known as Simla. Shimla is known to be abundent in natural beauty. The city Shimla is named after the Goddess Shyamala Devi.
Shimla is often reffered to as "Queen of Hills".The city of Shimla is located in the north-western ranges of
Himalayas at an average altitude of 2,397.59metres.The Shimla city stretches nearly 9.2km from east to west.
Above the sea level, Shimla is spread on a ridge and its seven spurs. The main forests in and around the city are that of pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron.
Shimla is a Zone i.e., High Damage Risk Zone per the Earthquake hazard joning of India.The Shimla city has some unique featurs.The buildings are styled in tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture. Jakhoo Hills,the highest point in Shimla at a height of 2454 meters.
The nearest major city is Chandigarh, which is approximately 100km from Shimla.
There are no bodies of water in or around the main city.Sutlej is the closest river to Shimla, which is
about 21km away. Girri and pabbar are the two other rivers that flow through the Shimla district.
The Kalka-Shimla Railway is one of the longest narrow gauge railway routes, still operating in India, that connects Shimla to the city of Kalka.
Some aspects of History
In 1814,the Prithvi Shah of Nepal, captured Shimla including the places Almora, Kumaan, Sirmaur,Kangra,
Garhwal and Dehradun. Then the British East India Company went to Nepal for war with Nepal. As a result of war, the places were under the rule of British East India Company.
In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. Shimla was also the Haedquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. It was also considered as the Summer Capital of Regional Goverenment of the Punjab. In 1871,it became the capital of the Undivided State of Punjab and remained so until the construction of Chandigarh.
At the British time, Shimla extented about a mile and half along the Ridge between Jakhoo Hill and Prospect Hill.
The Kalka-Shimla railway line, was constructed in 1906, it added to the Shimla's popularity. The railway route from Kalka to Shimla have more than 806 bridges and 103 tunnels. In 2008, it bacome part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mountain railways of India.
Pre-Independece buildings such as Viceregal Lodge, Gorton Castle, Auckland House, Peterhoff House, Gaiety Theatre, reminds us of the British rule in India.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study is housed in the Viceregal Lodge. It is a center for research in Humanities, Indian Culture, Religion, and Social, and Natural Sciences.
The Shimla has two state libraries. There is a collection of
more than 47,000 old books. One is the public library on the Ridge. It is a heritage building and has 7000 books. The other is at Gandhi Bhavan in University. It has about 40,000 books.
The medical institute in Shimla are Indira Gandhi Medical College and Dental College. The girls colleges are Rajkiya Kanya MahaVidayalaya(RKMV), and St. Bedes.
The city has 14 anganwadis and 63 primary schools.The popular schools in the city are Bishop Cotton School, St. Edwards school, Auckland House School, Shimla Public School, Tara Hall, Hainault Public School, DAV New Shimla, DAV Lakkar Bazaar, Dayanand Public School, Kendriya Vidyalaya Jakhoo Hills, Jutogh Cantt.
Other institutes of higher educations are Govt. College Sanjauli and Govt. college Chaurda Maidan. Research institute are the Central Potato Institute, a member of Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR), and National Academy of Adult and Accounts for training of officers of the Indian Audit and Accounts Services.
The Mall: It is the main shopping market of Shimla.
It also has many restaurants, clubs, banks,bars.
The Gaiety Theatre is also situated there.
Christ Church: It is the second oldest church in Northern India,having majestic appearance. There are stained glass windows. these windows represent faith, hope, patience, charity, peace.
Lakkar Bazaar: A market extended off the ridge, is famous for crafts made of wood.
Shimla State Museum: It was opened in 1974. The cultural wealth of the state has been protected here, by collecting the sculputres,pahari costumes, jewellery and paintings.
Indian Institute of Advance Study: It is a residential centre for research in Humanities, Indian Culture, Religion, and Natural Sciences.
Annandale: It is 2-4km from the ridge and has been developed as a playground of Shimla.
Tara Devi: It is 11km from Shimla Bus-stand.A temple dedicated to the Goddess of stars has been located here. Tara Devi Hill also has headquarters of Bharat Scouts and Guides as well as the Military Dairy Town.
Sankat Mochan:A Lord Hanuman temple is located here.
Jakhoo Hill: It is the highest peak and 2km from shimla, at a height of 8000ft. A 108 feet statue of Lord Hanuman, is the single statue to stand at the highest altitude. A beautiful view of town and snow covered Himalayas can be seen from here.
Summer-Hill: It is situated at a distance of 5km from the ridge.
H.P niversity is situated here.
Junga: It is 26 km from Shimla. It is also
known as Keonthal Estate as it is a former royal
retreat of the princely state of Junga.
Anand Vilas: It is located midway between Shimla and Junga. There is an "Art is Values" school with students from all over India and classes are given free of cost here.. "Sarva Dharma Mandir", Temple of all Faiths, is a spiritual group dedicated to Nature.
Mashobra: It is 13 km from Shimla. Here, annual Sipi fair is held every year in June.
Kufri: It is 16 km from Shimla at a height of 8,600 ft. Kufri is the local winter sports centre.
Naldehra:It is 22 km from Shimla. Here, Naldehra Golf Club is maintained with nine-holes. Here also, the annual Sipi fair in June is held in.
Chail: Before Independence, Chail was the summer capital of the Maharaja of Patiala. Chail is known for the highest cricket ground situated here. The cricked ground is 2444 above the sea level and was built in 1893.
Tatapani: It is 55km from the main city. Near the Tatapani mandir, sulphur springs are found on the banks of river Satluj. They have medicinal value.
Sanjauli: Sanjauli is the main suburb of Shimla.