Stylish Place Shimla

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Send yourself a postcard from the timber-structured ‘wild west Swiss’-styled 133-year-old Shimla General Post Office as a souvenir. Pass Christ Church on the ridge that was built back in 1857 with its tower clock and fresco designed by Rudyard Kipling’s father. Take a break at The Town Hall’s steps, but make way for officials as it’s still used by the Municipal Corporation of Shimla. Get transported to grandeur and aura of times gone by at the century-old Gaiety Theatre before you move on to the ancient Kali Bari Temple. Stop for a breather at the neo-Gothic Gorton Castle set in the midst of gigantic Deodars. Walk past the enormous Vidhan Sabha to the old Victorian mansion that now houses the Himachal State Museum with its numerous cultural treasures. Be prepared for a pleasant colonial hangover at the end of this walk.

also known as Simla, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is also a district which is bounded by the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, districts of Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, Sirmaur in the south and Solan in the west. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later made the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational centre of the state.

Small hamlets were recorded prior to 1815 when British forces took control of the area. The climatic conditions attracted the British to establish the city in the dense forests of Himalayas. As the summer capital, Shimla hosted many important political meetings including the Simla Accord of 1914 and the Simla Conference of 1945. After independence, the state of Himachal Pradesh came into being in 1948 as a result of integration of 28 princely states. Even after independence, the city remained an important political centre, hosting the Simla Agreement of 1972. After reorganization of state of Himachal Pradesh, the existing Mahasu district was named Shimla.

Shimla is home to a number of buildings that are styled in the Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architectures dating from the colonial era, as well as multiple temples and churches. The colonial architecture and churches, the temples and the natural environment of the city attracts tourists. Attractions include the Viceroy Lodge, the Christ Church, the Jakhoo Temple, the Mall Road and the Ridge, which together form the city centre. The Kalka–Shimla Railway line built by the British, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a major tourist attraction. Owing to its steep terrain, Shimla hosts the mountain biking race MTB Himalaya, which started in 2005 and is regarded as the biggest event of its kind in South Asia. Shimla also has the largest natural ice skating rink in South Asia. Apart from being a tourism centre, the city is also an educational hub with a number of colleges and research institutions.

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