Welcome to the PART-2 of the must visit historical places in Shimla. In my Part-1 post, I have given a brief history of Shimla and how it was the summer capital during the pre independence era and now it is one of the most famous tourist places in India. Shimla tops the most visited hill station almost every year. You can see tourist all over the year. Shimla has a very warm vibe to it and has always welcomed the tourists with open arms. This place will never fail to mesmerise you with its vintage beauty and its evergreen charm.
How to Reach Shimla ?
Let’s talk about the various ways you can reach Shimla-
- VIA AIR- Shimla being the capital of Himachal Pradesh has an airport to itself. It is 22km away from Shimla. You can fly from New Delhi to Shimla. From the airport you can take a taxi for Shimla.
- VIA TRAIN- Shimla’s railway station caters to only narrow gauge which means that toy trains are only way to reach Shimla via train. The toy train starts from Kalka railway station. To reach Kalka to you can take the Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi.
- VIA ROAD- Taxis and Cabs are easily available to reach Shimla. You can also take a sleeper bus to Shimla via Kashmere Gate bus station or travel via your own car. The roads leading to Shimla are very well developed but you might face some traffic issues especially during holiday seasons and long weekends. The total distance between Delhi to Shimla is 408km.
You have already seen that Shimla is very well connected by all modes of transport. The Himachal Pradesh government has done a very good job in promoting the tourism of the place by making the places more accessible to the people. Coming back to the famous historical places let’s get you covered as to what more historical places are a must visit in Shimla-
1. Mall Road-
Mall Road in Shimla is one of the most iconic tourist stop in Himachal Pradesh. It is the heart of Shimla and a hub to many restaurants and markets. A lot of Bollywood movies have been shoot on this road. Now when you come to Shimla the first thing is to hit the Mall Road. Wether it’s morning, afternoon or night this road is always busy with many locals people and tourists. Now let’s dig into the little history of the Mall Road.
Mall Road was built 14 years after Shimla was declared as the summer capital. During those days the road only catered to the pedestrians. Senior officers would travel by horses or ponies. Until 1875 the roads were very narrow and had very few shops around. The road mainly consisted of the official buildings of the municipal buildings. It was supposed to be the high street of Shimla. Even though it didn’t have many shops or restaurants at that time it was still iconic.
But now The Mall Road is commercialised and is filled with many restaurants, pubs, hotels and shops. While walking down the Mall Road you will still get the feel of the English street. The roadside lamps, the benches, the old post office buildings, the church church, the Town Hall. It still gives a very vintage vibe to it.
2- Annadale Golf course-
The name Annadale has a very interesting origin. It was named by Captain Charles Pret Kennedy who was mesmerised by the scenic beauty of this place. He named the place Annadale after his childhood sweetheart Anna and Dale meant valley so Annadale. It is nestled in the valley of Shimla and it is a hidden gem. Many tourist fail to visit this place due to not being aware about it.
It was a hub of various entertainment activities during the British Era. A lot of recreational activities like various games were conducted here. From polo, horse riding, football, cricket, golf to crookey was played here. It also held massive fairs which were atypical British style. Parades were also held here. The ladies enthusiastically participated in various activities. It was the perfect picnic spot during a cold day with warm sunshine.
This place is surrounded by pike trees which looks very serene and soothing. As of now it is under the Indian army along with a heritage museum next to it. The museum is also worth the visit. You will definitely not want to miss out on this one.
3- Bantony Castle-
Bantony castle is one of the historic buildings located on the Ridge in the Mall Road. Many people are not aware of this castle and might not pay attention to it. It is located at a point where the view of Shimla is breathtaking. Made in 1880. It is a 125 year old historical building in Anglo-gothic architecture. It was the summer house of Mahraja Sirumar who had given this castle of lease to the British.
This place has been home to many British army soldiers. It was also used for military work during the World war-2 in 1945. For some time it also was the police headquarters. After the British rule the building came back to the original owners.
As we all know now that Shimla has not only scenic beauty but also the historical significance which cannot be denied. It’s a place where you can bask in the cozy weather and the beauty of the city while exploring the rich history of India.
Note- All these pictures are clicked by me and is subjected to copyright.