SHIMLA is the capital of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, in the Himalayan foothills. Once the summer capital of British India, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Kalka-Shimla Railway, completed in 1903. It’s also known for the handicraft shops that line The Mall, a pedestrian avenue, as well as the Lakkar Bazaar, a market specializing in wooden toys and crafts.
Shimla has beautiful architecture dating from the colonial era, as well as multiple temples and churches. The colonial architecture and churches, the temples and the natural beauty of the city attract a large number of tourists. The major attractions include the Viceroy Lodge, the Christ Church, the Jakhoo Temple, the Mall Road and the Ridge, which together form the city center.
Apart from being a tourism center, the city is also an educational hub with a number of colleges and research institutions. The people of Shimla are informally called “Shimlaites”. With largely cosmopolitan crowds, a variety of festivals are celebrated here. The Shimla Summer Festival held every year during peak tourist season lasts for 3–4 days, is celebrated on the Ridge. The highlights of this event include performances by popular singers from all over the country.
Local hangouts like the Mall and the Ridge are in the heart of the city. Heritage buildings in the city are preserved in their original like ‘The former Viceregal Lodge, which now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and Wildflower Hall, now a luxury hotel, are some of the famous ones. A collection of paintings, jewellery and textiles of the region can be found at the State Museum (built in 1974).
Local transport in Shimla is by bus or private vehicles. Buses ply frequently on the circular road surrounding the city center. Heavy local transport can be seen between Shimla and its major suburbs which include Sanjauli, Kasumpti, Summer Hill, Totu and New Shimla. Tourist taxis are also an option for out of town trips. Locals typically traverse the city on foot. Private vehicles are prohibited on the Mall, Ridge and nearby markets. Due to narrow roads and steep slopes auto rickshaws are not available. People prefer walking. Shimla Airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 kilometers (14 mi) from the city. The nearest major airport is the Chandigarh Airport which is about 116 km away.


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