It is the capital of Himachal Pradesh State. It was known as the summer home for the Europeans during colonialization -who retreated here whenever the temperatures rose in other states. It is in the mountains and thus quite cool and the scenery of the Himalaya Ranges from afar is breathtaking. The buildings have been done to have a somewhat Victorian look and the historic central area is a place of peace as traffic is prohibited.
Things to do in Shimla:
1)Visit Christ Church Shimla
It is the second oldest Church in North India having been built in 1846. It has five stained windows with one representing charity, faith, patience, hope, fortitute and humility. It has 19th century pipe organ and a great collection of books and ancient scriptures.
2)Walk around the town:
The town is best described as a boutique town. Though an old town, it is super clean, the roads are in perfect condition, the buildings are in great condition with some being a beauty to behold, the homes are built in an orderly manner and to prevent traffic-some areas are no go zones for vehicles.
3)Eat at the local eateries
There are several eateries that freshly prepare meals as you watch. The diversity in delicacies will vary and there is something for everyone.
4) Beware of monkeys
This area is inhabited by several troops of monkeys. As you walk around, be very careful as they could easily snatch your property. The area is also home to the Jackhoo Temple where the monkeys fill the surrounding area and the Hanuman Statue which is part Monkey and part Man stands towering over the place.
5) Head to Kufri
This is a hill station about 20km from Shimla.
a) Go horse riding
The area is hily and thus one has to ride horses both to get to the bottom of the area and then back to the top. The terrain is narrow, rocky, slopy and being my first time atop a horse-it was scary. One is then advised to lean back as it starts descending the slopes to avoid being flipped off the back of the horse.
b) Carry a snake
This goes down as one of the scariest and craziest things I have ever done. We visited one of the villages and discovered that people kept dangerous snakes as pets-I have a snake phobia. I cannot explain what madness or bravity overcame me that inspired me to cary a snake-and a python at -that on my neck. I was terrified as the owner placed it on my neck, then twirled it severally around my neck and there after gave me its head to hold-I was now on my own on handling it. I was suprised to discover that it felt so soft on my skin and as it moved, feeling its body compress and relax as it slithered into a comfortable position was mindboggling-I was beyond terrified and the thought that it was planning to choke me crossed my mind severally.
It relaxed and lay somewhat still, seeming like it was in a relaxed mood and soon all fear was forgotten and I was smilling, laughing and taking pictures with my friends as it lay on my neck. However, when it opened its mouth and its tongue slithered out, I almost collapsed if not died of fear and couldnt hold myself from asking the owner to take back its pet-I had come-I had seen and I had conqured…Never again would I do this-madness is only allowed in small doses.
c)Ride a Yak
The people in this region keep Yaks as domesticated animals for milk, meat, fibre and as beasts of burden.I think they are really cute.
d) Visit Kufri Zoo
This zoo has a wide array of animals with my favourite ones being bears and the snow leopard. This was the first time to see them and I was left in awe.