Shimla Journals

Shimla - the Queen of Hillstations

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A November 2007 trip to Shimla by koshkha

Early Morning Tea Photo, Shimla, India More Photos
Quote: Shimla, the old Summer Capital of the British Raj was a hotspot for scandal and intrigue. 60 years after Indian independence, is it still worth a visit?

Olde England in India - Shimla Overview

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Story/Tip

Chota Shimla Beauty Photo, Shimla, India
Quote:
I wish I could remember what it was about Shimla that caught my imagination and made me include it in the itinerary I was designing for our first fully independent trip to India. We'd done several tours with so-called adventure travel companies and had been adding more and more extra bits on the beginning and end of those tours as our confidence in finding our way around and our reluctance to be 'led' had grown. It's not as if Shimla is on the way to anywhere; going would inevitably mean a diversion from wherever else we planned to see but perhaps it was the magic of the name, perhaps my growing obsession with the history of the Indian Independence movement and the end of British rule, perhaps my sele...Read More

Taking the Toy Train to Shimla

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Story/Tip

Early Morning Tea Photo, Shimla, India
Quote:
In the days when the British ruled India there were many problems for an expatriated Brit to contend with but one of the most serious was the heat. The average chap sent out to make his fortune or defend his nation's economic and political interests wasn't bred to deal with saturation humidity and thermometer-bursting temperatures. To cope with these extremes, each summer the government, civil service and everyone with the wherewithal to do so would flee from Calcutta and Delhi and literally 'head for the hills'. In 1864 the city became the official Summer Capital of the British and took on the mantle of the 'Queen of the Hill Stations'.Located up at around 7000 feet in altitude, Shimla of...Read More

Woodville Palace

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Hotel | "Chilling Out at the Woodville - Literally"

Our Chilly Bathroom Photo, Shimla, India
Quote:
In the mid 19th Century, the site that the Woodville stands on was the residence of Sir William Mansfield, the Commander in Chief of the Imperial Army. The house was later sold to His Highness Maharaja Bhagvat Singh of Gondal State in Western Indian who bought it as a gift for his daughter, Rani Leila Ba of Jubbal State. The old house was ripped down and the present Woodville Palace was built on the site in 1938. Rajkumar Uday Singh, the grandson of the Rani Leila opened Woodville Palace to the public as a 'heritage' hotel in 1977 when it was less than 40 years old. His family still live in the hotel.Architecturally it is an odd looking place with lots of turrets and pointy bits combined w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2009

Jakhu Temple

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Attraction | "How I Got Mugged by a Monkey on a Mountain"

Jakhu Temple Photo, Shimla, India
Quote:
On your first day at high altitude, the normal advice is to take things easy; drink lots of water, walk slowly, breathe deeply and get used to the change in atmosphere. Rushing around like a lunatic is a bad idea and can set off altitude sickness.So, it would be fair to say that our decision to go to the Jakhoo Temple in Shimla on the day we arrived was pretty dumb. The temple sits on top of Jakhoo Hill at an altitude of almost 2500m, a good 300m higher than most of the city of Shimla which is already at 'nose-bleed' height. The jolly assistant in Shimla tourist office had given us maps and told us we still had time to go to Jakhu temple before it got dark and like good tourist...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2009

Jakhu Temple
Highest point of the Shimla Ridge
Shimla, India

Viceregal Lodge

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Attraction | "Looking Down on the Empire"

Viceregal Entry Photo, Shimla, India
Quote:
If I were to tell you that one of the top attractions in the Himalayan city of Shimla is the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, a place so rarefied that it takes only a few dozen students, all of them doing post-doctoral studies into esoteric topics that few of us would understand, then you'd probably think I was wrong, I was lying or Shimla must be a pretty dull place.To be fair, I'm being a bit dismissive. The Indian Institute for Advanced Studies takes only students who are the best of the best; Burmese Nobel Prize winner Aung San Sun Kyi was a fellow here in 1986 and is just one of many exceptional academics. However it's not what it is today that matters, it's what it was a hundred...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2009