, is the capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, located in northern India. It is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north,KInnaur in the east, the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, and Solan and Simaur to the south. The elevation of the city ranges from 300 to 2200 metres. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of Brittish Inida, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla came into existence from 1st Sept,1972 on the reorganisation of the districts of the state.The British empire may have ceased to exist, but its echoes linger on in Shimla (2130 m). As the summer capital' of the British in India, this was the country's focus for the better part of every year and now, it is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. Today, its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and numerous attractions make it one of India's most popular hill resorts. Places in the lower ranges of the Himalaya mountains, it is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Within the town are a host of splendid colonial edifices, quaint cottages and charming walks. Shimla holds a variety of shopping, sport and entertainment.
History of Shimla
The present-day Himachal region was invaded by Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal in 1806. The British East India Company took control of the territory as per the Sugauli Treaty after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). Started from Stately Windsor Castlewhere the "Widow of Windsor" reigned in lonely, isolated splendour afterthe death of her beloved consort, Prince Albert, to the small, but ancient temple surrounded by thick woods where the himalayan Goddess, Shamla, a synonym of Goddess Kali, reigned her celestial realm on earth is indeed, distantcry, but for well over a century, the two places, almost inter-linked, ruled the destiny of this sub-continent. In the year 1818, when Queen Victoria's uncle, William IV, was King of England, Lord William Bentick,the Governer General, had transformed the Company's dominion in India to the Dominion of India, and it was accurate to speak of Britain's Indian Empire.
The frontier ran from bengal to Kathiawar, to the north it ran through the Thar desert and along the Sutlej nearly to the Himalayan range. The great hills were the northern boundary except for the Gurkha state of Nepal. Beyond this line lay the Punjab, Kashmir and the kingdom of Afghanistan. In 1814, the Nepalese king brought about the first war with Nepal over Sikkim, the Gurkhas had marched into Sikkim, whose ruler appealed, to the East India Company for help.
The Kalka-Shimla railway line, constructed in 1906, added to Shimla's accessibility and popularity. The railway route from Kalka to Shimla, with more than 806 bridges and 103 tunnels, was touted as an engineering feat and came to be known as the "British Jewel of the Orient".
The Sikkim ruler was installed and his territorial status was guaranteed but during the conflict the British discovered the beauties of Darjeeling and accidentally also the thickly wooded spot, abode of the goddess Shamla, and a part of the Kingdom of Nepal. When war broke afresh in 1819, the British took the place with its cool and healthy climate.
In 1863, the Viceroy of India John Lawrence decided to shift the summer capital of the British Raj to Shimla. He took the trouble of moving the administration twice a year between Calcutta and this separate centre over 1,000 miles away, despite the fact that it was difficult to reach.
Place of interest in and around Shimla
The Ridge :
This large open space in the heart of town presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the neo-Gothic structure of Christ Chursh and the neo-Tudor library building are here.
Jakhu Hanuman Temple
Lakkar Bazaar :
Popular for its wood crafts and souvenirs, this is just off the Ridge.
Jakhu Hanuman Temple:-
No visit to the state capital Shimla is complete without visiting Jakhu Hill. This hill looms over Shimla town and is the geographical nucleus. the Hanuman temple at the top of Jakhu hill is the highest point in town. The steep climb is rewarding for the fine views it offers over the surrounding valleys, out to the snow capped peaks and over Shimla it self. the temple is only 2 km from the Ridge but it could be an hour walk for a person not used to mountain climbing. the temple is one of the most favoured spots for tourists apart from pilgrims. There are many monkeys around the temple, but surprisingly they don't attack people. Pilgrims offer them eatables which they readily accept. The approach to the temple is through a dense forest of deodars, though many find the climb tiresome. Ponies are available for a to and fro ride to the temple.
St. Micheal's Cathedral :
This dressed - stone church with fine stained glass has a cruciform design. It is located just off the Mall, below the District Courts.
The Glen :
At 1830 m, this is a thickly wooded ravine through which a stream flows. It is a popular picnic spot.