LESSER KNOW HIMACHAL
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.
How to get there :
The airport is at
Jubbarhatti, 23 km away. Shimla is connected to Kalka by an enhancing
narrow gauge railway line - wherer even a quiant rail-car plys. By road,
Chandigarh is 117 km, Manali is 219 km, Chail is 45 km and Delhi is at a
distance of 370 km. From Delhi, the driving time is about eight hours.
From Delhi, Manali and Chandigarh, luxury coaches and taxis ply to
Indian Institute of
Advanced Study : At 1983 m, this magnificent English renaissance
structure was the former Vicerega Lodge. Its lawns and woodland and
added attractions. Entry by ticket nominal charge). A portion of the
interior is also open to the public, except on Sundays and
|Climate : In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when
heavy woollens are required. Summer temperatures are mild and light
woollens/cottons are recommended. |
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.
Lakkar Bazaar :
Popular for its wood crafts and
souvenirs, this is just off the Ridge.
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
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
Surrounded by a thick deodar forest
this large glade has an ancient temple on an edge.
Bhargaon (4 km) :
Approached either past the cemetery
below St. Edward's School, or through Tutikandi, this village ha
splendid examples of traditional Himachal architecture.
Prospect Hill and
Kamna Devi (6 km) : At 2125 and
crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi, the Hill offers
spectacular views of the area.
Sankat Mochan (7
km) : This is a temple dedicated to
Chadwick Falls (8
km.) At 1586 m, these rain-fed
falls are approached through Summerhill.
Tara Devi (11 km)
: A thickly wooded hill whose peak
has a temple dedicated to Tara Devi.
Mashobra (12 km) :
At 2149 m, this beautiful subrub is
surrounded by a thick forest. From here, a track leads down to Sipur
which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There
are old temples on a side and a fair is held every April.
KUFRI MINI ZOO ADDED ATTRACTIONS TO
famous tourists spot only 16 kms. Shimla has an added
attraction of Mini zoo amidst dense forest to the tourists
where a rare breed of wild animals and pheasants species
commonly found in Himalayan forest region have been kept in
natural habitat. Spread over an area of twenty hectares of
land with rich flora and fauna about 140 wild animals
including pheasants of different verities 'Monal' the State
bird of Himachal Pradesh and one of the endangered species of
Himalayan region has been the other attractions of this zoo
also been placed safely in this mini zoo. The other attraction
of this zoo are Tibetan wolf, Brown Bear and Barking Deer.
There are other popular wild animals species in the Mini zoo
such as leopard, Ghoral, Samber, Himalayan Thar, Yak, black
bear and number of pheasants varieties.Himalayan Nature Park has been set up at Kufri in 1992
which is spread in 90 hectare area and mini zoo has been set
up in this Park which has been set up at a cost of Rs. 5
crore. Infact, Kufri was popular for winter sports especially
skiing which used to be organized here till 1990 with the
passage of time and due to substantial decrease in snowfall,
the winter sports from Kufri shifted to other places like
Dhomri in Narkanda in Shimla District and Solang Nalla in
Kullu District where snow for longer duration is available
during winter. Taking advantage of the space available,The
Forest Department decided to restored the attraction of this
popular tourist spot by establishing Himalayan Nature Park
thereby giving boost to wild life
: This houses a representative collection of
Himachal Pradesh's rich heritage exhibits inculde archeological
artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Closed on Tuesdays
and holidays. Himachal State Museum was opened on January 26, 1974
with the purpose of collecting and protecting the scattered cultural
heritage of Himachal Pradesh particularly in the Westem Himalayan
Since then this institution has
been preserving the state cultural and artistic heritage and
imparting its service to acquire, conserve, and exhibit the arte-
facts to educate the people. The Research Scholars and people at
large visit the institution from India and abroad. The art objects
displayed in the museum stand as eloquent testimony to life of the
past and have their value to access the technological, artistic and
religious concept. It is housed in an old double story heritage
Government of India had transferred this building having historical
importance for housing the Museum. Previously, the building was a
private residence of Lord William Beresford, the Military Secretary
to the Viceroy for many years. After Lord William Beresford left
India, the General Sir Edwin Collan occupied it and then by Sir
Edward Law, the Financial member of the council. After it served as
residence of Indian government officials.
Art objects in the Museum collection are mostly related to
art, archaeology and cultural anthropology of Himachal and other
states of India. At present Museum, has about 9000 objects in its
collection. At the outset, museum started with four galleries. Since
then more galleries have been added. These galleries pertain to Pre-
historic, Indian Archaeology, Woodcarvings, Himachal Archaeology,
Pahari Miniature Paintings Monuments, Photographs, Rajasthan
paintings, Bronzes, Numismatic, Arms Gallery, Gandhi Gallery,
Philatelic, Anthropological, Contemporary Art & Wall Paintings
gallery. In addition to these galleries museum has one exhibition
hall for arranging the exhibition and other museum
Pre- Historic Gallery:
-At the entrance of museum, the visitors can have a view of
some fiberglass models of extinct wild animals which were used to
roam in the Shivalik hills, million of years ago. In the gallery,
some stone tools and fossils are on display, which show the
development of technique of tools.
Wood-Carving Gallery:- Here one can find
the display of wood carving and panels retrieved from the old- age
temple and houses of state. There is a fine display of masks, which
are still used in various religious and cultural festivities. The
gallery serves as a living example of traditional wooden art of
Himachal. Apart from this Some stone sculpture of Himachal are also
Gallery:- The sculpture from different parts of India are
displayed here. The themes, styles and material of these sculptures
provide us with a good perspective of the cultural life of the
various regions and provide a comparative study of art for research.
Apart from this, some terracotta's of Maurya, Shunga and Gupta
period and pottery shreds of proto- historic period are also on
Gallery: - Gallery has a unique collection of stone
sculptures from different parts of the State which reflects the
artistic skill of the regional artists. The sculptures of
Simhavahini Durga from Hatkoti, Surya from Kullu, Vishnu and Lakshmi
from Nirmand, Kartikeya from Karsog and Nidhi from Kangra are among
the displayed sculpture.
Miniature Painting Gallery: - Himachal is well known for
its Kangra Miniature Paintings in the art history. The miniature
painting of different school like that of Kangra, Guler, Basholi,
Bilaspur and Mandi etc are on display. These paintings were done on
hand-made paper prepared by the prisoners of Sialkot Jail and
natural colors are used in paintings. The themes of these paintings
are drowned from epics, Git-Govinda,Ragmala ,Baramasa, Bihari Satsai
and other secular themes.
Painting Gallery:- The tradition of decorating the
temples, palaces and royal houses with wall were prevalent in
Himachal. The wall paintings displayed here are retrieved from the
palace 'Rang Mahal' of Chamba and dated back to first half of 19th
century A.D .
Gallery: -In up-stair one can find the display of
photographs of important monuments of Himachal Pradesh. The
photographs depict the hill architecture.
Rajasthan Miniature Painting Gallery:-
Miniature paintings and portrait from various school of
Rajasthan, i.e. Jaipur, Mewar, Buildi, Kota, Malwa,etc. are on
display. In addition, some paintings of Mughal School, Sikh School
and Company period are also exhibited.
Bronze Gallery:-Bronzes of different
regions of Himachal are exhibited in this gallery. In addition to it
bronzes of rest of India are also displayed which reflects the
cultural tradition, artisanship and religious belief of the people.
Numismatic Gallery:- Coins
discovered in different parts of Himachal are chronological
displayed in the gallery. Gallery throws a complete light on the
numismatic history of Himachal. Coins right from Punch mark i.e.
first Indian coin to the present coins are on display in its
chronological order. Apart from this some chart of coins showing the
different types of coins issued by the ruler during their