Thursday, 8 September 2011

Kodaikanal Hill Station

Kodaikanal Hill Station
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Kodaikanal located amidst the folds of the verdant Pali hills is one of the most popular serene hill stations in India, which mesmerises any visitor. With her wooded slopes, mighty rocks, enhancing waterfalls and a beautiful lake, Kodaikanal India is a charming hill station.

Kodai is situated at an altitude of about 2,133-m high and covers an area of 21.45-sq-km. The hill town is renowned for its educational institutions of international repute. Other than the fascinating places to visit in Kodaikanal, the pride of Kodaikanal is the 'Kurinji-flower', which blossoms once in 12 years. The hill-plantain fruits and plums are known for their freshness and taste.

PLaces to Visit in Kodaikanal

Berijam Lake
Berijam Lake located at a distance of 21-km from Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu is one among the beautiful lakes of South India. Spread over an area of 24 hectares, the lake is star shaped and is known for its pure water.

Adventure in Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal Trekking
Head for Kodaikanal in the Palani Hills for small-time trekking. You can take short treks and hikes to tourist spots close by as well to local viewpoints. Overnight treks are also possible here where one can spend a night at a local village.

Fairs & Festivals - Kodaikanal

There are several beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu. With the Summer Festivals, the hills are even hospitable to welcome the visitors. The summer festival is held in the 'Queen of Hill Stations', the evergreen Ooty; the exquisite Kodaikanal or the salubrious heights of Yercaud. Cultural programs, adventure sports, boat races, flower and fruit shows add to the splendour of the festival.

Leisure - Kodaikanal

Shopping
The famous places to visit in Kodaikanal for shopping are the Khadi Emporium, Handloom Co-operative Stores and Travancore Crafts Work, Government Sales Emporium, Kurinji Mini Supermarket, Spencer and Company.
Entertainment
The Golf Club is located 5-km from the Kodaikanal Lake. Boating and Angling facilities are available at the Kodaikanal Lake. Picturesque trek routes are available in and around Kodaikanal. For details, contact: The Trek Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai.

How To Get There - Kodaikanal Hill Station

By Road
Kodaikanal is connected by road with Chennai (520-km), Ooty (264-km), Trichy (197-km), Coimbatore (175-km), Kumili (160-km), and Madurai(120-km). Regular bus services are available from Madurai, Palani, Kodaikanal Road, Theni, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Kumuli (Thekkady) and Coimbatore. Additional buses ply during the season. Taxis and vans are available for local transportation. There are no auto-rickshaws in Kodaikanal.
By Air
The nearest airport is at Madurai (120 km from Kodaikanal).
By Rail
The nearest railway stations are the Kodai Road Railway Station (80-km) and the Palani Railway Station (64-km).

Places To Stay - Kodaikanal Hill Station

Kodaikanal tours offers good accommodation facilities to the tourists. The TTDC run Hotel Tamil Nadu on Fern Hill Road is one example where comfortable accommodation is provided to tourists.

Climate - Kodaikanal Hill Station

The climate of Kodaikanal is pleasant throughout the year, but the best time to visit Kodaikanal is from April to June and from September to October.
Rainfall
165 cms (average). Heavy rains occur during October-December.
Winter
Max17.3ºC, Min8.3ºC
Summer
Max 19.8ºC, Min 11.3 ºC

General Information - Kodaikanal Hill Station

STD Code : 04542
Population
2,133 metres.
Clothing
Light woollen in the evening during summer and heavy woollen during winter.
Altitude
2,133 metres.
Location
120 Km From Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
Best Time to visit
April To June And September To October.
Languages
Tamil and English.

Useful Information - Kodaikanal Hill Station

Tourist Information Centres
21.45-sq-km.

Gulmarg Hill Station

Gulmarg Hill Station
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A huge cup shaped meadow, lush and green with slopes where the silence is broken only by the tinkle of cowbells, Gulmarg looks like a fantasy set in a film and not surprisingly have been the venue of several films.

The valley of Gulmarg, a large meadow about 3-sq-kms in area, stands at 2,730 metres, 56-km south west of Srinagar. The name means 'Meadow Of Flowers' and in the spring it's just that, a rolling meadow dotted with countless colourful Bluebells, Daisies, Forget Me Not's and Buttercups. The valley itself is about 3-km long and up to a km wide.

All around are snow-capped mountains, and on a clear day one can see all the way to Nanga Parbat is one direction and Srinagar is another. It's a popular day trip from Srinagar to Gulmarg, although many people extend their stay or use it as a base for trekking. The road from Srinagar rises gently towards the lower slopes of the range, passing through rice and maize fields

From Tangmarg, at the foot of the range, there are two paths to Gulmarg - a steep footpath or a winding sealed road. There is also a pony track from Gulmarg that leads upwards to Khilanmarg, Kongdori and seven springs.

Prime Attractions of Gulmarg

Skiing & Heliskiing
Asia's one of the most famous Heli-skiing resort is at Gulmarg, Kashmir. Come December, and the verdant green slopes of Gulmarg are blanketed with snow, forming some of the finest natural slopes for ski runs of all levels.

Golf Courses
Gulmarg also has one of the world's highest green golf courses, as well as a clubhouse, which is a historical building in its own right. For the would-be golfer, there are golf sets on hire, pros to instruct one in the game, and temporary memberships. Naturally, these facilities are available to players as well, except that serious golfers usually carry their sets along.

Gondola Lift
For a fun filled ride of a most unusual kind, Gulmarg's newly constructed Gondola lift from high above Gulmarg, through pine clad slopes, is exhilarating.

Excursions from Gulmarg Hill Station

Srinagar
(56Km.)
The capital of Jammu and Kashmir and the largest city in the state, Srinagar (1,730m) is famous for its canals, houseboats and Mughal gardens. The city itself is quite unlike most other large Indian cities for here you are much more in Central Asia than on the sub continent. 
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserves
(48Km.)
The reserve area is located at a distance of 48-km from Srinagar, to its southwest. It is famous for retaining several rare and endangered species such as the musk deer, and a rich and varied avifauna.
Alpather Lake
(13Km.)
Beyond Khilanmarg, 13-km from Gulmarg at the foot of the twin 4, 511 metre Apharwat peaks, this lake is frozen until mid-June and even later in the year one can see lumps of ice floating in its cold waters. The walk from Gulmarg follows a well-graded Pony track over the 3, 810 metre Apharwat ridge, separating it from Khilanmarg, and then up the valley to the lake at 3,843 metres. The more adventurous trekkers can climb straight up the boulder-strewn slope of the ridge and descend the other side to the path. For horse riding aficionados, Alpather Lake makes an exciting day's excursion, starting early morning and returning late evening.
Ferozpore Nallah
(5Km.)
Reached from the Tangmarg road, or from the Outer Circular Walk, this mountain stream meets the Bahan River at a popular picnic spot known as 'waters meet'. The stream is reputed to be particularly good for trout fishing; it's about five km down the valley from Gulmarg but quite close to Tangmarg. The river can be reached by walking 3-km down the path from the gap near Tangmarg and then heading south through the forest, down a slope towards the stream. Near here there is a bridge which leas to the small waters meet picnic spot on the right bank. Looking south from Tangmarg the river can be traced up to its source close to the rugged peak known as Ferozpore or Shinmahinyu. On the right bank the stream branches, the left path leading to Tosa Maidan, while the right bends away towards the Gogaldara road at a second bridge, about 32-km upstream, and then leads away to the Ferozpore pass, Poonch and Kantar Nag. One can continue on from here to Tosa Maidan, a three day, 50-km walk to one of Kashmir's most beautiful Marg's, crossing the Basmai Gali pass at about 4,000 metres. The track here is very close to the ceasefire line with Pakistan and on the right one will pass the Jamainwali Gali, the pass at 4,000 metres is one of the easiest and safest routes into the Punjab.
Khilanmarg
(6Km.)
This smaller valley is about a 6-km walk from the Gulmarg bus stop and car park. The meadow, carpeted with flowers in the spring, is the site for Gulmarg's winter ski runs and offers a fine view of the surrounding peaks and over the Kashmir Valley. It's a 600-metre ascent from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg and during the early spring, as the snow melts, it can be a very muddy hour's climb up the hill. The effort is rewarded, if it's clear, with a sweeping view of the great Himalayas from Nanga Parbat to the twin 7,100-metre peaks of Nun and Kun to the southeast.
Shrine Of Baba Reshi / Ziarat Of Baba Reshi

This Muslim shrine is on the slopes below Gulmarg and can be reached from either Gulmarg or Tangmarg. The Ziarat, or tomb, is of a well-known Muslim saint who died here in 1480. Before renouncing worldly ways he was a courtier of the Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin. Every year thousands of devotees visit this shrine regardless of the faith they believe in.
The Ningli Nallah
(8Km.)
Flowing from the melting snow and ice on Apharwat and the Alpather Lake, this pretty mountain stream is 8-km from Gulmarg. The stream continues down into the valley below and joins the Jhelum River near Sopur. This long, grassy valley is a popular picnic spot and the walking path carries on, crossing the Ningli (also spelt as Ningle) Nallah by a bridge and continues on to the Khilenmarg, another grassy meadow and a good spot for camping. In early summer one will probably share the campsites with Gujars moving their herds up to the high meadows.

Leisure - Gulmarg Hill Station

GULMARG WALKS

A circular road, 11-km in length, runs right round Gulmarg through pleasant pine forests with excellent views over the Kashmir valley. Nanga Parbat is clearly visible 137-km to the north, Haramukh 60-km to the east while to the south one can see the Ferozpore and Sunset Peaks and the Apharwat Ridge. Nanga Parbat, the 'lord of the mountains', is the fourth highest peak on earth at 8,500 metres.

Adventure Sports - Gulmarg Hill Station

Skiing:

In winter, Gulmarg acquires a new persona - that of the country's premier skiing resorts. Skiing, to many who watch it on TV, seems like a very elitist sport, requiring a high level of training and expensive equipment. They are surprised, when they visit Gulmarg for a day's expedition to "see the snow", that others with the same level of physical fitness and training are skiing down slopes. Gulmarg is the ultimate beginner's skiing resort. One doesn't requite a heavy woolen wardrobe - slacks or a Salwar Kameez will do fine. In Gulmarg one will also be able to drift to one of the many Ski shops and hire skis, sticks and goggles. Just find yourself a ski instructor and set off down a slope.

Neither does one need to exert oneself climbing up slopes. The gentlest slope of 200m is linked with a ski lift, which helps one to go up. When one graduates to intermediate level - which will happen after the first few days of practice, there are other slopes, longer and steeper, which are connected by chair lift. The longest ski run in Gulmarg is provided by the Gondola cable car, which allows a ski run of 2,213m.

How To Get There -Gulmarg Hill Station

By Air
Gulmarg is in Baramula District and is 56-kms from Srinagar District. The nearest Airport from here is situated in Badgam District, which is well connected with all the major cities of the country.
By Rail
The nearest railhead is at Jammu.
By Road
The journey from Srinagar to Gulmarg takes approximately 2 hours in bus and may take short time by chartered conveyance. The road to Gulmarg is very beautiful and is lined with poplar trees all through. All sorts of transport are available to Gulmarg from Srinagar bus stand at Batmallo and from private transport operators.

Places To Stay -Gulmarg Hill Station

There are numerous hotels of various standards available for accommodation purpose in Gulmarg, some of them being luxury, several being comfortable in addition to JKTDC's winterized, fully furnished huts, which are great value for money. Assistance for booking accommodation can be had from the booking manager at Tourist reception centre in Srinagar.

General Information -Gulmarg Hill Station

Main Attraction
Alpather Lake, Golf Courses & Skiing

Location
56-km South West Of Srinagar, Kashmir Region, J&K

Altitude
2,730m

Best Time
In Summer - May To September
In Winter - November To February

Gangtok Hill Station

Gangtok Hill Station
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Gangtok, the "Lofty Hill" or the "Hill made flat to build the Gangtok monastery in 1716". Gangtok is a city, which, till one sees it, one would believe exists only in picture-story books. In the mystery-laden mists prayer flags whip in the breeze; wheels spin in the hands of Lamas mumbling invocations to God, in the distance are the snows, on the streets amidst brightly painted pagoda roofed houses, lined with friendly smiling people are silver, silk and spice and jewellery to gladden an maiden's heart, from across the seven seas are gadget and goods to delight the collector of "imported goods', while directly overlooking the city is the hill Lukshyma, the 'Mother of Pearl' citadel of the magic mountain, Khang-Chen-Dzod-Nga.


An air of enchantment hangs over the city, indeed the whole valley; the mysticism, the stupas, the monasteries reach out as soon as one has crossed the border. While across the hills and valleys comes the sounding of the long trumpets by robed lamas.




Places to Visit in Gangtok

Deer Park
Adjacent to the new secretariat and also called the Rustomji Park named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim, the park has a big open enclosure in which animals native to Sikkim like the red panda and the Himalayan Bear are kept. A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his preachings of the noble truths in the Deer Park at Sarnath adorns the park premises. A butter lamp perpetually burns in front of the statue, which is surrounded with flowers of exotic variety. The park commands a fantastic view of the hills, surrounding Gangtok and thus commands a significant position in the list of places to visit in Gangtok.

Dul-Dul Chorten
Duddul Chortenat Dotapu Chorten, Gangtok was built under the supervision of the late Most Venerable Trulshi Rinpoche after due preparations in 1945-46, in accordance with the prophecy made in 1944 by the Holiness the Dud-Zom Rinpoche.

Government Institute Of Cottage Industries
This institute is located at about half a kilometre uphill from the main market of Gangtok. It was established with the purpose of promoting the manufacture and sale of local handicrafts. Thankas (also spelt as Thangkas), hand carved wooden tables - known as Choksees and exquisitely woven woolen carpets. More than hundred student workers turn out cottage crafts produced here, with textures, plush and exotic, the designs varying from sophisticated simplicity to a brilliant riot of varmillion pitted against intense blue, are durable and popular all over the world second to carpets in popularity is Sikkimese Tankhas, variegated appliqué work Batiks and exquisite dolls, in wood-work are available intricately carved Sikkimese tables, hand-painted masks, lamp-stands, shades and bamboo-craft. Esoteric masks, flashing silks, opulent brocades and embroidered boots, clothe the Sikkimese dancers.

Kabi Longstok
25-km from Gangtok, just before Phodong is Kabi Longstok. There is a spot amidst tall trees, where the treaty of brotherhood between, the Lepcha Chieftan - Tetong Tek and the Tibetan chief Khye Bhumsa was signed.

Kangchendzonga National Park
Crossing a check gate where visitors entry permits was checked, one enters the Kangchendzonga National Park. The climb is gradual but very interesting as soon one is greeted by snow, lying white and pristine over the green forest floor and covering a few treetops. The jagged, rocky slopes to our left glistened in the sunlight at places forming glaciers where the gradient was right. The mountains to right are covered with dark green pines; the snow line being much higher.
Kechopari Lake
On bifurcation road between Gyalsing and Yoksum, is clear water Kechopari Lake (means - wishing lake). All around are mountains with dense forests and wild life. It is so placid, crystal clear that not a leaf can be seen floating over it, because it is immediately lifted by birds.
Labrang Monastery
A kilometre further from Phodong, the Labrang monastery was built about 100 years later. This monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the same as that of Pemayangtse monastery in West Sikkim. Its name translates simply as the dwelling place of the Lamas (monks).
Lachung
Another significant entry in the list of top places to visit in Gangtok is Lachung. The road from Chungthang toward Lachung takes one into another world. This is the area inhabited by the Lachungpas, a hardy mountain people who consider themselves quite different from the Bhutias and the Tibetans. The lush green, terraced hillsides, even in winter, were a testimony to the grit and determination of these people. Lachung is the last habitation on the road to Yumthang a monastery; hidden high on the hillside overlooked a settlement of Lachungpas and barracks of the Indian army. The mountains on the other side of the valley rose up to snowy heights. In the distance, one could see the impressions of a track that was once used by traders to cross over from Tibet with their mules laden with Chinese silk.
Pemayangtse Monastery
Around 6-km from Gyalsing town, this monastery originally built as a small temple in the last of 17th century by Latsun Chempo, later rebuilt the temple structure into a monastery.
Phurchachu Reshi Hot Springs
Around 25-km from Gyalsing, near Reshi, after crossing Rangeet River (also spelt as Ranjit) by a pedestrian bridge, hardly ten minutes from the highway is Phurchachu springs with medicinal properties, ideal for skim diseases. These springs are considered holy as one of the four holy caves is located here. This holy cave is called the "Kadosangphu" or 'Cave of the occult fairies' and lies on the south of the four cardinal points.
Research Institute of Tibetology
In the serene surrounding amidst forest of oak, ash and birch is an organisation to advance the Tibetan language and its literature on the "Enlightened one", the only one of its kind in the world of Mahayana Buddhism. Ornate woodcarvings and murals decorate the lavishly decorated interior.
Rumtek Monastery
A 24-km drive from Gangtok, through the beautiful, bewitching countryside leads one to Rumtek. Rumtek, is the seat of the Karmapa Lama who heads the Kagyupa Sect of Buddhism. It is amongst the best places to visit in Gangtok if you want to know more about Buddhism.
Tasuklakhang - The Royal Chapel
The Royal Chapel, Tsuklakhang, is within the palace grounds. Popularly called Tsulakhang Royal. It is the principal place of worship and assembly and the repository of a vast collection of Buddhist scriptures.
The Ridge
The ridge is a small stretch of plain and flat road above the town of Gangtok. It is just about five minutes walk from the main market. The ridge has the white hall and the chief minister's official residence on one end and the beautifully designed palace gate on the other. The ridge is lined with plants and trees when in bloom are a riot of colours. Flower shows, which attract tourists from all over the world are held just below the ridge.
Tsomgo Lake
Tsomgo literally means "Source of the Lake " in Bhutia language. ' TSO' means lake and ' MGO' means head. At about 40-km away from Gangtok, this serene and holy lake is situated at an altitude of 12,400 ft on the Gangtok - Nathu La highway. It is one of the definitely not to be missed places to visit in Gangtok.
White Hall
It was built in 1932 in memory of the first political officer of Sikkim, Claude White. There is an Officers Club and a Badminton Court in the white hall.
Yaksey
Yaksey, a tourist lodge, 6-km from Lachung towards Yumthang is an ideal place for tourists to this area. Another 23-km leads to Yumey-Samdong hot springs near river Sebu-Chu at the foot of Donkia-La pass, which connects Lachung valley to Lachen valley.


Excursions from Gangtok

Changu Lake
(35Km.)
With an average depth of 50 ft, this lake is situated 35 km from Gangtok at an altitude of 12,000 ft on the Gangtok - Nathu-la highway. Recently this lake has been opened for tourists. Its cool, placid water is in the perfect harmony with the scenic beauty around. A small temple of Lord Shiva is constructed on the lakeside. Primulae flowers and other alpine vegetation grow wild around the lake. The department of Tourism conducts package tours to this lake. Cameras are not allowed to carry on this route. A little distance from the lake is a beautiful natural three storeyed cave, the Tseten Tashi cave is a worth to visit.
Chungthang
(95Km.)
Another typical called "Tung" and then one will reach Chungthang. Chungthang is a small habitation in a cup like valley, surrounded on all sides by towering hills. Though its altitude is only 500 ft, it is much colder than Mangam. The heavy, cold air remains slumbering in he valley till late morning. It is only when the sun is high up in the horizon and its warm rays pierce deep into the valley that the lazy, cold wind and mist slowly depart. The main importance of this place is that it is at the confluence of two valleys and two main rivers of north Sikkim: the Lachung Cho and the Lachen Cho, the latter commonly known as the Teesta. We would be following the Lachung Cho for the next part of the journey. To the Sikkimese and the members of the Indian Army, Chungthang is a place of major religious significance. The Sikkimese believe that guru Padmasabhava had rested in this place and left three footprints for his devotees on a solid piece of rock. The guru also scattered some rice on an adjacent land, where till today, notwithstanding the height and the cold, paddy is grown efforts to replicate this phenomenon in adjacent fields have reportedly failed The Sikh members of the Indian army believe that the footprints are those of Guru Nanak and so also are the main figures in the wall paintings inside the nearby monastery.
Ganesh Tok
(7Km.)
It is situated on a ridge and is only 7-km from Gangtok. From this spot one gets birds view of sprawling Gangtok town down below while across the hills Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu loom over the horizon. A cafeteria serves hot tea/coffee and snacks.
Hanuman Tok
(11Km.)
It is 11-km from Gangtok town, above Ganesh Tok with a Hindu temple where the devotees come and offer prayers.
Kabi Longstok
(25Km.)
25-km from Gangtok, just before Phodong is Kabi Longstok. There is a spot amidst tall trees, where the treaty of brotherhood between, the Lepcha Chieftan - Tetong Tek and the Tibetan chief Khye Bhumsa was signed.
Kabi Longtsok
(17Km.)
About 17-km away from Gangtok is Kabi Longtsok where the Tibetan chieftain, Khey-Bumsar signed a blood brotherhood with the Lepcha shaman Te-Kung-Tek, the spot is marked by a stone amidst the shadows of a dense wooded area. The statue of unity erected near the Thakurbari temple in Gangtok is in memory of this event.
Menmecho Lake
(20Km.)
Menmecho Lake lies 20-km ahead of Changu Lake, cradled between the mountains below Jelapla Pass, is the source of River Ranpochu, which meets Teesta at Rangpo. It is rich in trout. A Dak Bungalow and a tourist lodge are available for overnight stay.
Phoodong Monastery
(40Km.)
This monastery is located about a kilometre above the North Sikkim Highway about 40-km away from Gangtok. Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal built the monastery sometime in the first quarter of the 18th century.
Tashi View Point
(8Km.)
Situated along the North Sikkim highway it is only 8-km from Gangtok. From this point one can get a breathtaking view of Mount Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu, one of the most graceful peaks in the world.
The Ipecac Garden
(14Km.)
This 6 acres garden is about 14-km downhill from Gangtok and 2-km from Ranipul. It is named after the plant Ipecac that is grown here. Besides this plant, it also contains a wide variety of other flora including numerous types of orchids and medicinal plants. It is a very good picnic spot with a swimming pool nearby.
Yumthang
(149Km.)
Yumthang is a valley at 12,000 ft. Its location is awesome. Nature is at her expressive best. Snow clad mountains all around looking down on this high valley full of colour. The valley floor is covered with wild, yellow flowers and violet Primulas, while the hill sides are vivid and glowing with multicoloured Rhododendrons. The best part about travelling in Sikkim is that even while one is travelling one is actually passing through beautiful places. Each place could be the destination for a lovely ethereal holiday.
Yumthang Hot Springs
(135Km.)
At an altitude of 12,000 ft, 135-km from Gangtok in north Sikkim, a few hundred metres off the road, after crossing river Lachung over a pedestrian bridge lies these Sulphur springs. There is a hut with two pools for bathing.

Significance - Gangtok

Capital Of Sikkim.

Leisure - Gangtok

Shopping
The main markets for shopping are Old market, New Market and Lal market. Here one finds shops of all kind, which offer good range of items to be purchased. For tourists there are many attractive items to be bought as carved furniture, the dresses, Lepcha weave bags, Carpets & Durries with intricate designs and colourful decorations. One can also buy wooden and bamboo artifacts. For a collector of handmade decorative pieces Gangtok is a paradise. The items from Gangtok leave a long lasting impression on the mind of the visitor. The Hindi speaking Marwaris dominates many of the shops in the Gangtok market.

The handicraft and handloom directorate office and the showroom are on crossing of MG Marg and New market. The Gramin Vikas Agency showroom is also located here. In these showrooms one can buy carpets, masks, bright Choktse tables, Thanka hangings.

How To Get There - Gangtok

By Air
The closest airport is at Bagdogra, which is 124-km from Gangtok (about 4 hours drive) and connected by air with all-important Indian Metros. For all further details please contact any one of the Sikkim tourism offices.
By Rail
The nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri, which is 125-km (about 4 hours drive) from Gangtok. NJP is well connected with all major cities of India. Gangtok, railway bookings can be made at the booking counter of the Sikkim nationalised transport terminus.
By Road
Gangtok is connected with Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri by the national highway 31 A. the Sikkim nationalised transport plies regular bus services between Gangtok and Siliguri and within Sikkim. Private buses, jeeps and taxis are also available from Siliguri and Bagdogra. Bookings can be made at the SNT terminus, Siliguri.

Places To Stay - Gangtok

Gangtok has quite good hotels for a comfortable stay. There are youth hostels and various lodges, which give tourists a comfortable stay in Gangtok.

General Information - Gangtok

Indian tourists require no entry permits into Sikkim, except for the restricted areas. Foreign tourists require a special permit, which is easily available at all Indian missions abroad who are authorised to issue a 15-day permit. The same can also be obtained from any of the Sikkim Tourism offices. The tourism officer at the border town of Rangpo is also authorised to issue a 2-day permit to foreign tourists to enable them to enter the state and acquire the full 15-day permit.
Location
East District, Sikkim.
Altitude
1,870m.
Best Time
Mid- February To May End & Mid - September To December.

Ooty Hill Station

Ooty Hill Station
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Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri district, is popularly known as the "Queen of hill stations' among the tourist circuits. It is situated at a distance of 105 km away from Coimbatore. The height of the hills in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 metres, the highest peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2623 metres.

The Tea
The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty India famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers. Go for Ooty tourism during this festival, when tea lovers from all over the world converge, is an occasion not to be missed!


Prime Attractions of Ooty (Udagamandalam)

Botanical Garden
Botanical gardens are a major tourist attraction for those who are on Ooty tourism. It is one of the most popular hill stations of India. They sprawl over 50-acres and lie on the lower slopes of Dodabetta peak, which is the highest point in Ooty.
Government Museum - Ooty
The Government Museum At Ooty The government museum, Mysore Road, Ooty has items of tribal objects, district's ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It was set up in 1989, with a view to provide education benefits to the residing and visiting population of Nilgiris district. Tourist Information Admission: Free Timings: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm Closed On: Fridays, Second Saturdays and National Holidays Ooty The nearest airport is at Coimbatore (100-km). Ooty on the narrow gauge railway is connected to Mettupalayam, which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai on the broad gauge. There are regular bus services connecting Ooty to Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Calicut, Tirupati etc.
Hills and Views
Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri district, is popularly known as the "Queen of hill stations" among the tourist circuits. It is situated at a distance of 105 kilometres from Coimbatore
Kalhatty Falls
The Kalhatty falls are located on the Kalhatty slopes at about 13-km from Udhagamandalam on the Udhagamandalam - Mysore Kalhatty ghat road. Also known as the "Kalahasti Falls", the water here cascades down a height of 122m.
Kandal Cross Shrine
Kandal cross, a Roman Catholic Shrine considered, as the Jerusalem of the East is located in Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu. The Nilgiri Catholics consider it as the "Calvary of Tamil Nadu".
Mini Garden and Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is situated about 3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. Mini garden is also situated on the way to the boathouse where the children amusement park is housed.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
Adding more charm to Ooty tourism is the The Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary. It is located where the Nilgiri Hills, the offshoot of the Western Ghats meet the Eastern Ghats. The Mysore - Ooty highway runs through the sanctuary, following the course of the Mayyar River, which separates Mudumalai from Bandipur.
Ooty Lake
The beautiful Ooty Lake is a favourite haunt of tourists. It was constructed in the year 1825, through the initiatives of Mr. John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. This lake was built in order to provide an irrigation tank to the people.
Summer Festival
There is several beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu. With the Summer Festivals, the hills are even hospitable to welcome the visitors. The summer festival is held in the 'Queen of Hill Stations',
Tea and Tourism Festival
Akin to the nectar of the Gods is the Camellia Sinensia, which is a bush that gives fragrant amber ambrosia-a refresher and stimulizer. In other words, TEA.

Significance - Ooty India(Udhagamandalam)

Historical
It is believed that the name Nila, has been in use for over 800 years since, the King of the Hoysalas Vishnu Vardhana, who ruled from 1104 to 1141 AD seized the Nilgiris Plateau. His general Ponisia recorded this fact in 1117 AD with mention of Todas. The name Nilgiri was due to the blue haze, which envelops the range with most distant hills of considerable size.

This Nilgiri territory came into possession of the East India Company as part of the ceded lands, held by Tipu Sultan, by the treaty of Srirangapatnam in 1799. Rev. Jacome Forico, a priest was the first European who visited Nilgiris in 1603 and released his notes about the place and people of Nilgiris. In 1812 surveyor William Keys and Macmohan visited the top of the plateau.

In 1818, Wishand Kindersley, Assistant and Second Assistant to Collector of Coimbatore visited this spot and submitted their experience report to the Collector of Coimbatore Mr. John Sullivan. Settlement in Udhagamandalam began in 1822 with the construction of the Stone House by John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. The bungalow, which is locally called "Kal Bangla", is one of the landmarks of Udhagamandalam and is now the Chamber of the Principal of the Government Arts College.

Fairs & Festivals - Ooty (Udhagamandalam)

Summer Festivals
A summer festival is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Gardens, which is an added attraction in Ooty tourism. The Flower Show is the pride of the festival. Cultural programmes are organised for those interested in traditional classical arts. Adventure spots like trekking also form part of the festival.

Leisure - Ooty (Udhagamandalam)

EntertainmentTrekking
The Nilgiris are a trekker's paradise. Landscaped by nature, the hills abound in trek for lovers of nature. There are treks and treks in whichever direction you turn and from whichever point you start. A trek can be full of thrill, excitement and adventure and a way of seeing and enjoying nature in all its beauty and splendour.

Udhagamandalam (Ooty India) offers several trek routes, which vary in distance, altitudes and terrain. There is a base camp at Parsons valley, from where one can start trekking to various points within Western Ghats. The down hills of Western Ghats on the North ends up with meeting the extensions of Eastern Ghats, where the sprawling Mudumalai Sanctuary lies which opens vistas for adventure tourists.

Trekking pamphlets are available with the Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association (NWLEA). There are guides who have sound knowledge of certain areas. If necessary, their services may be hired. And for further details contact the Tourist Information Office at Charring Cross, Ooty.

Hang-Gliding
Hang-glidng courses are also organised during March to May every year, with the assistance of the Department of Tourism. Contact the Tourist Officer, Ooty for assistance.

Angling
Goad Trout, Carp and mixed water fishing is possible in various streams and lakes of Ooty. The Assistance Director of Fisheries issues the fishing licence.
Shopping
Just about anything available in the cities can be had at Ooty with the added attraction of leisurely shopping. Exclusive Nilgiri products including Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils like Eucalyptas, Toda embroideries, plant nurseries are easily available in the town. Co-operative Super Market and Municipal Market are some of the best places for shopping fruits and general groceries. Kairali of Kerala Handicrafts and Poompuhar of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts have their showrooms near to Super Market Buildings on Charring Cross.
Eating Out
Blue hills
Chandan Vihar
Tandoor Mahal
Ooty Coffee House
Chinkos Chinese Restaurant
Hills Palace.

How To Get There - Ooty (Udhagamandalam)

By Rail
Ooty is on the narrow gauge railway, connected to Mettupalayam (47 km), which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
By Road
A good network of roads and national highways connect Ooty India with all major towns and cities. There are regular bus services to and from Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut, Tirupati and other important destinations in South India. Ooty is also well connected with major cities of Kerala and Karnataka.

Local Transport
Taxis, tourist cabs, auto rickshaws are available in plenty. There are no standard rates except tourist cabs. Town buses are also available to all important places. Conducted sight seeing tours are arranged by the private operators and the Government Tourism Development Corporation.
By Air
Coimbatore, 105 km from Ooty, is the nearest airport.

Places To Stay - Ooty (Udhagamandalam)

Accommodation is available at the luxurious and economy class hotels, lodges, and resorts in Ooty India. Both Indian and Western style accommodation and food are available. Prior booking is advisable, especially during the summer months.

Climate - Udhagamandalam

Winter
Max 21ºC, Min 5ºC
Summer
Max 25ºC, Min 10ºC
Rainfall
121 cms.

General Information - Udhagamandalam

STD Code: 0423
Location
Niligiri District, Tamil Nadu.
Founded By
British In 1800.
Area
36-sq-kms.
Population
8,1763 (1991 Census) .
Altitude
2,623 metres.
Languages
Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and English.

Useful Information - Udhagamandalam

Tourist Information Centres
Tourist Office, Government of Tamil Nadu
Supermarket Complex
Charring Cross
Udhagamandalam-1

Clothing - Udhagamandalam

Summer
Light Woollen.
Winter
Heavy Woollen.

Darjeeling Hill Station

Darjeeling Hill Station
Darjeeling Hill Station, Darjeeling Hill Station Tour, Darjeeling Hill Station Travel, Darjeeling Hill Station Trip
The toy train coming from Siliguri is some thing which is liked by the elders and the children equally. The real fun in coming to Darjeeling is on the toy train. It takes six to seven hours to cover a distance of 82 kms and the slow speed gives you enough time to watch and appreciate the beauty which nature has provided it. This train passes through the Forests, waterfalls, over deep valleys and through the mountains and tunnels.
Trekking In Darjeeling
One of the famous trekking route taken by the trekkers is that of the Darjeeling-Sandakphu / Phalut trek. This trekking route is best during the months of April, May, October and November. As during these seasons the visibility is clear and the weather is also hospitable. For trekking on this route one does not have to carry much luggage as the Gorkha Hill Council has provided trekkers hut and other facilities all along the route. But it is advisable to carry your own sleeping bags. On this route the trekker must be prepared for all kinds of weather and high altitude mountain sickness. The trek passes through low areas and very high ridges so temperature varies a lot be prepared for all types of weather. There surroundings may be very attractive but there are some areas which have long stretches without any water, so carry water with yourself. Regular meals are available. Guides and porters can also be arranged.

Phalut is also called the view point of the Himalayas and is one of the most important & famous treks in the region. The trek starts with a small bus trip to Manaybhanjang. From here the trek passes through the mountains to Sandakphu. From here you can proceed further up or you can return via Rimbik then to Darjeeling by Bus. One can also take a short cut and not go to Ohalut. From Sandakphu backtrek to Bikhay Bhanjang and cut across to Rimbik. But keep in mind that this trek is a difficult one with no water or food in between.

Prime Attractions of Darjeeling

Batasia Loop
This railway loop is an interesting example of engineering. At this loop the toy train takes a very unique turn. This loop is just five kilometer from the main town of Darjeeling. This place also has a very good market where you can buy the purses, bags and other decorative items made by the local women at very reasonable price.
Bhutia Busty Gompa
With the back drop of the Kanchenjunga range stands a monastery called the Bhutia Busty Gompa. This monastery was shifted from the observatory hills to the present place. The Gompa is a branch of the Nyingmapa sect's Phodang Monastery in Sikkim. The monastery is not far from the chowrasta and is very tastefully decorated. It also has a library which has a copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Botanical Gardens
This place is worth a visit for its exotic and exclusive collection of a variety of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids. This place is near the taxi stand. The gardens also has a green house.
Chowrasta
This one of the important shopping places in Darjeeling . Here the Nehru Road and the Mall Road Intersect each other. The snow capped peaks of Kanchenjunga are visible from this place. Near Chowrata are several Hindu and Buddhists temples. This place is over flowing with foreign tourists. You can also enjoy a pony ride form this place.
Dhoom Gompa
About 8 kms from Darjeeling is the Dhoom Gompa. Here a very beautiful statue of the Maitrayie Buddha ( prospective Buddha) is established. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.
Happy Valley Estate
Here the tea from the gardens is processed. One can spent a few hours here. Entry is only allowed to persons who have permission from any officer of the estate.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Museums
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is on the West Jawahar road. The institute runs courses for training mountaineers as well as has the very good collection of mountaineering equipments which have been used in various mountaineering expeditions and other wise. Specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna are also kept here. The record of attempts made to conquer Mt. Everest has been kept in the Mt.Everest Museum. The institute also screens short films on mountaineering. You can also view the Himalayan peaks through the Zeiss Telescope given to the Nepalese Maharaja by Hitler. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the Director of this institute for many years and he was cremated near the institute after his death in 1986. Near the institute is Srabri which gives a very good view of the Single valley and the Kanchenjunga range. One can sit at Srabri and feel the cool breeze from the valley.
Kanchenjunga View
From Darjeeling one can have the best, uninterrupted view of the worlds third highest peak. Bhan Bhakta Sarani provides one of the enthralling views of these snow capped peaks. The Chowrasta also gives you a good sight to the Kanchenjunga peak.
Kurseong
Kurseong is mid way between Siliguri and Darjeeling. The way from Darjeeling to Kurseong is generally open through out the year. So, the toy train is not coming to Siliguri then you can come up to Kurseong. This place is equally beautiful and is full of natural splendour.
Natural History Museum
The museum has a collection of over 4300 specimen . Established in 1903, this natural history museum packs in its folds a rich collection of fauna found in the Himalayas and in Bengal. Among the attractions are included the estuarine crocodiles. This unique museum also has a good collection of butterflies. The mineral forms of various stones are displayed in a very attractive manner in the museum.
Observatory Hills
This point provides one of the breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga peaks. This place is also very sacred for the Hindus and the Buddhists as there are temples and the monasteries at this place. The Kali temple is decorated with the colourful flags. Be aware of the monkey groups as some these are very aggressive.
Passenger Ropeway
Another tourist attraction in Darjeeling has been the ropeway. This was the first ropeway in India. It connects the North point (7000 ft) to the Singla Bazaar (800 ft). The rope covers a distance of 8 kms in 45 minutes. The seats in the rope way is limited and it is better to get the tickets in advance. The ropeway is exciting and unique for any one visiting Darjeeling.
Rungli Rungliot
Where the road from Gangtok to Darjeeling takes its great bend high above the Teesta river, directly opposite Kanchenjunga, a Buddhist monk many years ago is believed to have proclaimed "Rungli Rungliot" This pious benediction which, literally translated, means "thus far and no further" is alive and well today in the shape of one of the most celebrated tea gardens in the Darjeeling hills. The village is steeped in legend.
Senchal Lake
A scenic place near the tiger hills. This place has popularly come up as a picnic spot among the tourists. The lake supplies drinking water to the town of Darjeeling.
Siliguri / New Jalpaiguri
The twin Cities of Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri are the departure point to Darjeeling, Sikkim and the North Eastern States. Being the nodal point this place has become very busy and crowded. This area has got population over 2.5 lakh people. Siliguri also acts as a transit point for Nepal. This place is not very pleasant to stay as there are always long lines of buses and trucks. These trucks and vehicles might be good for business but they provide very ugly sight. Tourists come to Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri mainly to change bus or catch trains. If you have time then visit the almost forgotten wild life sanctuary of Jaldhapara. The best season to visit this park is between October and May. This the time when the new grass has come up and animals are out there. The sanctuary has elephants, dears, tigers and other animals but the main attraction is the Rhinos which are threatened by the poachers. Elephant Safari can be taken from Hollong.
Snow Leopard Breeding Programme
Nowadays the zoologists and the environmental scientists are trying to protect the endangered species by breeding them in captivity. Following this trend is Kiran Moktan who has devoted his life in breeding program of snow leopards. The snow leopards are not known to have bred in captivity but in this center thanks to the efforts of Kiran Maktan these animals have given birth in captivity. Snow leopards are animals who have to be kept in large enclosures. Visitors are allowed in the center but they have to watch the animals in utter silence.
Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center
In 1959 was established a center for the refuges who had fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama after the Chinese invasion. This self help center has been developed as workshop for the manufacture of handicrafts. The fine and superb carpets, woollens, woodcarvings and leather work form this center has been very popular among the tourists. The money collected after the sale of the products goes to the Tibetans who work here. The variety Tibetan Curios on sale are also attracting the visitors in a big way. This center has established it self in the International scenario as place for hard work, self esteem and truth.
Zoological Gardens
The zoo is situated two kms form the main town. This zoological garden houses some of the rare species of animals and birds. This is only zoo in India having the Siberian Tigers. Apart from these the rare Red Panda is also there. The Snow Leopards, Great Grey Birds, Snow Yaks are some the animals which are attracting tourist in great numbers. The entry in the zoo is by tickets which are also valid for the natural history museum and the mountaineering institute & museum.

Leisure - Darjeeling

Shopping
Apart from tea there are many items which Darjeeling offers in its shopping malls. Tourists love taking home the curios and carpets from here. The shops for curios and carpets are on Chowrasta and Nehru road. These shops also sell thangkas, brass statues, religious objects, jewellery, wood carvings, woven fabrics and many other items from the Himalayan region. The Bronze items and wooden carvings give you good value for your money. Thangkas are impressive at the first sight but the require a closer look if you want to buy them. The West Bengal's Manjusha Emporium has a good collection Himalayan handicraft, silk and handloom products. The woollen garments can be bought from the markets on Hill Cart road. The bamboo items are collectors delight from the region. Hayden Hall is a place to look for the exclusive Tibetan Carpets. The women's cooperative is also a place worth checking out.

How To Get There - Darjeeling

The nearest airport to Darjeeling is the Bagdogra airport. Bagdogra is 10 kms from Siliguri and is an important military installation. From Bagdogra one can take a bus or taxi to Darjeeling. Darjeeling has a railway station but only the toy train from Jalpaiguri and New Jalpaiguri comes here. The major trains connecting the place with all the major places in India come to Jalpaiguri or New Jalpaiguri. From here again you have to take the toy train or a bus or taxi to Darjeeling. The place is well connected by roads. The state transports run buses from Calcutta and other nearby places. The private operators also have their buses and the fair does not vary much in the state or in the private buses.

Climate - Darjeeling

The best season to visit Darjeeling is between April and June. The weather during this period is generally clear and the chilling biting cold gets subsided. But one can also go to Darjeeling between September and November. During these months the mountains are clearly visible and one can enjoy the golden sunrise over the Himalayan peaks. Being a mountain city Darjeeling experiences rains throughout the year. Often heavy down pours wash away the roads and the place is totally cut off from rest of the country. The temperature range is not very large here with the maximum in summers being 15 degrees and 1.5 degrees in winters. This place requires warm cloths any time of the year and do not forget to carry a umbrella to this place.

General Information - Darjeeling

Population
About one lakh people live in this area.

Languages
Gorkhali, Hindi, Nepali, Bhutani, Bengali, Assamese and English.

Useful Information - Darjeeling

Tourist Information Centres
Gorkha Hill Council Tourism Office - Silver Fir Building, Opposite Hotel Alice Villa, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Tel. - +(91)-0354-54214

West Bengal Tourist Office - Bellevue Hotel, Chowrasta, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India . Tel. - +(91)-0354-54050.

Indian Tourism Office - 'Embassy', 4 Shakespeare Sarani, Calcutta, West Bengal, India Tel. - +(91)-033-2421402, 2421475, 2425813; Fax - +(91)-033-2423521

Indian Tourism Office - 88, Janpath, New Delhi - 110 001 India Tel. - +(91)-011-3320342, 3320005, 3320109, 3320008, 3320266; Fax. - +(91)-011-3320342

A Word of Caution - Darjeeling

To all tourist - beware of touts, if, new to the place.

Nainital Hill Station

Nainital Hill Station
Nainital Hill Station, Nainital Hill Station Tour, Nainital Hill Station Tour Package, Nainital Tour
A small town in the hills of Kumaon, Nainital is a lovely hill station surrounded by mountains on three sides. Once this area had many lakes and it was called the City of 60 lakes or 'Chakta'.

Most of the lakes in the region have disappeared and whatever remains is just a glimpse of what they might have been in the past. Today the life of Nainital revolves around the lake of Naini. But there are few other lakes around Nainital which are equally beautiful and attractive as the Naini lake.

River Ramganga originates from the Doodha Tauli ranges in district Pauri Garhwal. It enters into district Nainital, before re-entering into district Pauri Garhwal.

Nainital was discovered in 1841 by a Britisher called Lord Barron. The weather, the surrounding and the mesmerising beauty of this area attracted the British administrator who turned this place into the summer capital of the United Province. Being a major tourist place Nainital is always bustling with visitors and it is always better if accommodation and other facilites are prearranged.


Trekking Routes / Itineraries
1. Nainital Betalghat Trek
2. Nainital Binayak Trek
3. Nainital Kainchi Trek
4. Nainital Kilbury Trek
5. Nainital Kunjkharak Trek
6. Snow View Trek

Fairs & Festivals

Each year in the month of September a fair is organised which is dedicated to Naina Devi. This festival is held in traditional flavour. Whole Nainital suddenly wakes up and the town is decorated like a bride. This festival is host to a number of traditional Dance and singing programmes.

In October / November the UP tourism organises a Winter Festival which acts as window to the rich culture and tradition of the area. Other Fairs & Festivals 

Adventure Sports

HORSE RIDING :
Any visitor coming to Nainital cannot miss the joy of riding a horse on the Mall. Not only at the Mall but to reach the Snow view point, Tiffin top, Kilburi from the Mallital area one can hire ponies and horses.You can go around the town riding the horse. In fact one of the ways to experience Nainital is on a horses back. The flora and fauna of the region can be closely watched from the horses back. You can go to the interiors of nearby area and get a first hand experience of the mountain life of Nainital. The municipal corporation has fixed the rates of horse riding and one should avoid paying more than the prescribed rates.

The corporation has also issued identity card to the photographers who hang around the Tallital and Mallital region. Get yourself clicked on a horse to keep as a momento from Nainital.

How To Get There

The nearest railway station is that of Kathgodam which is connected by trains from Delhi and Howrah. The narrow gauge trains come from Lalkuan which is 55 kms from Nainital. From Lalkuan and Kathgodam regular taxi and bus services are available for Nainital. Nainital is well connected by buses with other parts of the state. Inter state services are also available. The state transport corporation as well as the private operators have their buses on this route.

Climate

Nainital is located in the Kumaon hills and the weather is very pleasant throughout the year except during winter months. The temperature is not very high at any time but in winters it becomes very cold. The climate of Nainital is regulated by the lake here which showers rain almost every afternoon. The best time visit the place is between April to June and then again in September October. The months of January to March are marked by the snowfall which is for a very short time. It is advisable that contact any local person before going to Nainital to watch snowfall.

General Information

Population
About 36,000 People resides in this city.
Languages
Kumaoni, Garwali, Hindi and English

Location
Uttar Pradesh

Scenic Beauty
Snow View

Useful Information

Tourist Information Centres
Uttar Pradesh Tourist Information Center -Mall Road, Nainital, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Kumaon Mandal Vikash Nigam - The KMVN Information Center mountaineering Tours, Tallital, Nainital, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Shopping

Where to Shop
The Mall is the main shopping center in Nainital which has some of the good shops where one can do some shopping. In Nainital the main items to be bought are the woollen garments, decorative pieces made from wood. The decorative colourful candles are one thing every traveller to the place takes back with himself. For the woollen garments the Bohtia Bazaar is the best place whereas the Mall road and the Mallital are places for good bargain of candles and wooden stuff.

Prime Attractions of Nainital

Naina Devi Temple
On the northern side of the Naini lake is built a temple dedicated to Sati and is called the Naina Devi temple.

Naini Lake
Naini Lake or Naini Taal, the picturesque blue green lake is located in the district of Nainital. It is from this lake that the city of Nainital, the beautiful settlement by the lake, derives its name.

Snow View Trek
The Snow view point is located at a height of 2270 meter above sea level. It can be reached by the ropeway or the ponies available at Mallital.

Excursions from Nainital

Bhim Tal
(23Km.)
Bhimtal, situated at a distance of 22kms from Nainital, is named after one of the Pandav brothers called Bhim.
Ranikhet
(60Km.)
The hill station, idyllic in its charm, Ranikhet with its majestic pine trees, is 59.5 kilometres from Nainital.
Mukteshwar
(52Km.)
52 kms. from Nainital, Mukteshwar set atop a high ridge, is a beautiful Himalayan resort, surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forest.

Nanda-Devi Mela

Nanda Devi Mela is a fair of great religious and cultural significance. It is held at Nanda Devi Temple in September to commemorate the memory of goddesses, Nanda and Sunanda.

Naukuchia Tal

Situated at an altitude of 1,219 m, Naukuchiatal is picturesque lake. It has nine corners and hence the name. 26 km away from Nainital, Naukuchiatal attracts migratory birds, which makes it a bird watchers paradise

Kufri Hill Station

Kufri Hill Station
Kufri Hill Station, Kufri Hill Station Tour, Kufri Hill Station Travel Package, Kufri Hill Station Trip

Some great Hiking, some skiing, some beautiful scenes and a cool environment that's what Kufri is all about. It is famous for its trekking and hiking trails. Adventure-seeking travelers throng Kufri in winters to enjoy skiing and tobogganing along its snow-covered slopes. The Skiing season spreads between November to February and the tourist inflow is at its peak during winters.

Kufri is a tiny hill station located 19-kms from Shimla on the National Highway No.22. It has a Himalayan Nature park and close by is the Indira Tourist Park with HPTDC's Cafe Lalit. Indira Park provides some great views of the nearby places. Here one can enjoy a Pony or a Yak Ride.

The region around Shimla including Kufri was once a part of the Kingdom of Nepal. This region remained obscure from the rest of the world until the British 'discovered' it in 1819. The British made Shimla their summer capital in 1864 and it remained so until 1939. As Shimla gained importance, Kufri also began to be recognized as an important place to visit near Shimla.

Prime Attractions of Kufri

Mashru Peak
One can hike through thick forest around Kufri to the Mahasu Peak- the highest peak in Kufri.
Indira Tourist Park
The Indira Tourist Park is near the Himalayan Nature Park and provides panoramic view of the locations around.

Excursions from Kufri

Shimla
(19Km.)
Shimla (also spelt as 'Simla') derives its name from goddess 'Shayamla Devi', which is another manifestation of Goddess Kali. The capital of Himachal Pradesh came into light when the British discovered it in 1819. more..
Fagu
(6Km.)
Situated on Hindustan-Tibet Road (22-km), at a height of 2,450m Fagu is gifted with some enchanting views.

General Information - Kufri

Location
Himachal Pradesh
Altitude
2,510 m
Best Time
April to June & November to February

Useful Information - Kufri

Recreation Centers
Annual Winter Sports Festival and the Carnival
Mashru Peak, Himalayan Nature Park, Indira Tourist Park

Shimla Hill Station

Shimla Hill Station, Shimla Hill Station Tour Package, Shimla Hill Station Tourt, Shimla Hill Station Trip
Shimla (also spelt as 'Simla') derives its name from goddess 'Shayamla Devi', which is another manifestation of Goddess Kali. The capital of Himachal Pradesh came into light when the British discovered it in 1819. Till then, it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. In 1864 Shimla was declared as the summer capital of India. After Independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. In 1903 a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla.

Shimla India has been blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of. Dwelling on a panoramic location, the hilly town is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era create an aura, which is very different from other hill stations.

Bulging at its seams with unprecedented expansion, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, among them are the stately Viceregal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall, packed with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala's escapades, offers a view of distant snowclad peaks.

Shimla's Heritage WalksHave A stroll Around The Summer Capital
Shimla India are one of the few places in the world where an enormous amount of history and heritage has been distilled into such a small place in so short a time. The town came into being in the first quarter of the 19th century and some four decades later, became the "Summer Capital' of British India. Till the coming of India's independence in 1947, momentous events and memorable architecture packed the town.

Today, the colonial order is gone, but its architectural bequest is now a part of the legacy for a free India. And the seven hills of Shimla hold a variety of architectural styles from all over the world- made all the more distinctive, for manstructural elements are local. In addition, the town has one of the longest stretches of purely pedestrian road and shopping anywhere in the world - the Mall. Shimla also holds what may well be the Earth's only 'urban forest'.

Shimla's Seven Hill Attractions
The seven hills of Shimla India are - Prospect Hill in Western Shimla, which has the temple of Kamna Devi; Summer Hill in Western Shimla, which has the campus of the Himachal Pradesh University; Observatory Hill in Western Shimla, which holds the estate of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study; Invererarm in Western Shimla, whose top has the State Museum; Bantony in central Shimla, which has the Grand Hotel; Jakhoo in central Shimla, which is crowned by the temple indicated to Lord Hanuman, and Elysium in north-western Shimla, which holds Auckland House and Longwood and reaches out towards the Bharari spur.


Shimla's MallsAs the town of Shimla grew through the 19th century, its Mall steadily developed and became the top one in the list of places to visit in Shimla. It grew as the town's commercial street and the hub of its social life. The road, which some 5-km in length, starts in the west at the gates of he former Viceregal Lodge , the present day Indian Institute of Advanced Study and ends at Chhota Shimla or 'Small' Shimla, in the east.

The route has bends, as one would expect any hill road to have, ut its nature essentially follows a wide sweeping curve along the hills. The primary aspect is south facing and affords a view of the valley below the town and of the foothills that reach out to the plains from its habitation. In pockets, snatches of the northern aspect spring up for a dramatic view and hold woods of Pine and Himalayan Cedar - the majestic Deodar. This picture of nature's bounty is framed by the distant snow ranges of the Greater Himalaya.

The Intriguing Architectural Grandeur
The core of the Mall is a row of shops that take the approximate mid section of the road and traverse for about a kilometre and a half along is length. At one point of time, it was regarded to be as fashionable as the finest streets of London, Paris or St. Petersburg and every morning, the tarmac was washed down by 'Mashkis' carrying goatskin bags full of water.

Architecturally, this stretch is often likened to an English small town market place. Elements of Tudor framing, a varied roofline, assorted columns and numerous decorations have given this row considerable character. The row also has a variety of windows that range from bay, to sash barred and to diamond cut panes and some unusual elements also find expression and take the form of Mughal inspired cupolas that hold bay windows.

Reminiscent of Italy, acroteria of urns can be found in a couple of structures. While decorative devices abound, the aspects of safety were hardly neglected. The presence of 'fire walls' between buildings ensured that fires remained contained and did not spill over to the adjoining structures.

Gaiety Theatre
Apart from the shops, where several buildings still retain elements of a bygone glory, the street holds the famous Gaiety Theatre whose neo-Gothic structure was completed in 1887 and once towered above the town. The theatre itself is modelled after the prize winning design of Bijou theatre and is remarkable for the quality of its acoustic that allow the lowest whisper to carry to the farthest corner of the hall.

Magnificent Specimen's Of The Bygone Era
Adding to the malls ambience, are the municipal offices housed in an impressive dressed stone building. The general post office and the spire of Christ Church on the ridge, add their own touches of background atmosphere. At the cross road, where one arm reaches to the ridge and another to the post office is the famous scandal point and the apocryphal tale goes that a former Maharaja of Patiala carried off the British commander in chief's daughter from this spot. The story is as unlikely as any, and the truth of the place name probably stems from the fact that earlier - as now - it was the place where people gathered for both conversation and gossip.

The southern slopes immediately below this row of shops are regarded to be one of the most densely populated hill slopes anywhere in the world. Over a hundred years ago, the celebrated writer Rudyard Kipling described this stretch in Kim as, "The crowded rabbit-warren that climbs up from the valley to the town hall at an angle of forty five. A man who knows his way there can defy all the police of India's summer capital. So cunningly does veranda communicate with veranda, alley way with alley way, and bolt hole with bolt hole" The description holds true even today.

A Colonial Supermarket With Indian Lifestyles
A major determinant of the town character and social ethos, the mall has modified its colonial and rather snooty ambience to reflect the Indian market centric lifestyle. Yet, the original colonial architecture, somewhat crumbling, somewhat forlorn and yet, almost unforgivingly still its spine, the street remains the town's social hub and for many, also its economic core. There is hardly a person who lives in Shimla who regards his day as complete without a daily salute to its tarmac or an evening promenade.

A Heritage Zone
There is hardly a visitor who will not rush there on his very first day in town. Its stores may be expensive in comparison with the lower bazaar that runs parallel to the mall some metre below, but yet this street is perhaps one of the most visible reflections of the principle of democracy anywhere in the world. This, perhaps, is born out of the fact that this stretch remains one of the longest stretches of open public road anywhere in the world that is lined with stores and where motor vehicles are not allowed through its core. Only select cars, ambulances and fire engines may ply through the street.

Interestingly, before 1947, only three carriages and later, cars were allowed into the town. These belonged to the viceroy, the Commander in Chief and the Governor of Punjab.

This combination of law and local feeling has billionaires practically walking arm in arm if they are not jostling for space in crowded summer evening. This area has also been declared a 'Heritage Zone' by the State Government.


Mahatma Gandhi's Retreat Georgian Mansion
Witness Of The Independence Movement
A magnificent mansion, majestically standing close to the 'Administrative Block' of Himachal Pradesh University at Summer hill, a suburb of Shimla, was the house of Late Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, a veteran freedom fighter and close associate of Gandhiji and the first Union Health Minister of India.

A Royal Heritage
A number of memorable happenings of country's freedom movement are associated with this historic building. This house has the unique distinction in as much as that, 'Father of the Nation', Mahatma Gandhi, stayed here during his visits to Shimla between 1935 and 1946. Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur gave this house to the All India institute of Medical Sciences - 'AIIMS', Delhi and is now under their administrative control and is being maintained as a guesthouse.

The building was the property of Maharaja of Kapurthala, an erstwhile state of Punjab and was inherited by his daughter, Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur. It was one of the three buildings in the entire estate of the Maharaja. The other two buildings came to the share of her two brothers, Sir Maharaj Singh, the first Governor of Bombay (Mumbai) after Independence and Mr. Dalip Singh, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court before partition of the country.

The houses of her two brothers got gutted and now the 'Administrative Block' and 'Library Block' of the Himachal Pradesh University stand on those sites. Another building near Chadwick falls belonged to her third brother, colonel shamsher singh and is now in the possession of "All India Radio", Shimla. Gandhiji used this place in serene environments, for evening prayers, which were attended bya large number of shimlaites. The central Government has handed over this building to the state government for setting up a gandhian study centre in it.

Mansions Exquisite Interiors
The entire area on which this building is constructed is about 5 Bighas. The building has three floors besides the basement. In addition to the Reception cum drawing hall, it has a kitchen, pantry and suite nos. 5 and 6 on the ground floor. First floor has suite no. 1 to 4 while the attic floor houses suite no. 7.

A major attraction of the house is the exquisite teak and walnut furniture, carpets and wall hangings adorning the rooms. Gandhiji used to stay here, along with his two private secretaries, Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur and Ms. Sushila Naya, in suite no. 6, which is the smallest one. The same old, large sized portrait of Gandhiji is placed on a high mantel in this suite even now.

It was from here that Gandhiji, with a galaxy of leaders like Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Dr. Rajender Prasad and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, set out to meet the then Viceroy of India, Lord Wavell in June 1945, for discussions regarding country's independence. There were many servant quarters where nearly 20 servants of different disciplines stayed.

Shri S.D. Sharma, who is on the establishment of the AIIMS, is the present caretaker of the building.

Places to Visit in Shimla

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Annandale
Annandale, just 2-km below the Ridge in Shimla, offers a picturesque piece of ground, charmingly adapted for recreation in the days of the Raj. Today it affords a pleasant change from the perpetual slopes above and is hence amongst very popular places to visit in Shimla.

Chadwick Falls
Beyond the Summer Hill and 7-km west of the ridge from Shimla are the Chadwick Falls, which was once the site of a 67-m aquatic spectacle.

Chapslee
Containing the comfortable elegance of an English country manor, Chapslee was originally built in 1835.

Christ Church And St Michael'S Cathedral
The most prominent building on the Mall is the yellow Christ Church, reputed to be the second oldest church in northern India. The silhouette of this can be seen on the skyline for miles around. It was designed by Colonel JT Boileau in 1844, but consecrated only after 1857. The clock was donated by Colonel Dumbleton in 1860, and the porch added in 1873.

Churdhar Sanctuary
The sanctuary got its name from the Chur Peak, on the top of which sits a majestic status of Lord Shiva. One is sure to come across a large number of multi-coloured and agile Monals in the adjoining forests.

Gurkha Castles
The Gurkha castles in Solan, Sirmour, Bilaspur and Shimla districts remind us of the life and time under the Gurkha regime. While most of the structures built by the Gurkhas have crumbled, the remaining few beckon tourists.

Hatkoti
Some 105-km east of Shimla, in Jubbal Tehsil on the banks of the river Pabbar, lays the mysterious valley of stone temples Hatkoti. Close by stands a small village by the name of Parhaat.

Jakhu Temple
Jakhu temple is an integral part of the list of places to visit in Shimla. 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.

Jeep Safari In Himachal Pradesh
By jeep, car or on motorcycle, one can explore the variety Himachal has to offer. By jeep, the Trans Himalayan tracts can steadily unfold their natural and man-made wonders.

Karyali Lake
In district Shimla,Karyali Lake lies on the northern face of the peak of Chhoti Shali.

Kotesvara Temple
The Kotesvara (also spelt as Kotesvar) temple is a magnificient structure dedicated to Shiva who is represented there in the form of 'Shivalinga'.

Mahatma Gandhi's Retreat: Gorgian Mansion
A magnificent mansion, majestically standing close to the 'Administrative Block' of Himachal Pradesh University at Summer hill, a suburb of Shimla, was the house of Late Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, a veteran freedom fighter and close associate of Gandhiji and the first Union Health Minister of India.

Padam Palace
Resting in a nest-shaped valley on the left bank of the Satluj River is Rampur's Padam Palace, 125-km from Shimla. The township came up because of its strategic location on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade route, which was accessible and not snowbound.

Shirigul Temple
One of the oldest and the most important temples of Shirigul are situated on the Chur Dhar Peak.

Tattapani
On the right banks of the river Satluj, is Tattapani famous for its hot sulphur springs. The place also has religious importance. These natural sulphur springs are invigorating and have curative values. All these have together made Tattapani one of the topmost places to visit in Shimla.

The Cecil
In the last quarter of the 19th century, at the site of the Cecil - towards the western stretch of Shimla's elegant Mall - stood the small 'Tendril Cottage'.

The Holme
Perhaps a place with greater 'heritage' than many, and a recent addition to the heritage hotel list, is The Holme, at Summerhill in Shimla.

The Oberoi Clarkes
Towards the eastern end of Shimla's Mall, where the row of shops end, is the Clarkes.

The Ridge
The large open space in the heart of town presents excellent view of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new - Tudor Library building is worth seeing

Viceregal Lodge
On the Observatory Hills is located Viceregal Lodge, which is also known as Rashtrapati Niwas. This magnificent building was the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin

War Memorial
Just over 2-kms from Gandhi Chowk is Martyr's Memorial at Panjpulla (five bridges), which commemorates Ajit Singh, a supporter of Subhash Bose and the Indian national Army during World War II.

Woodville Palace Hotel
Backed by a hillside covered with trees of tall Himalayan cedar - the fabled 'deodar' - Woodville is a stately art-deco mansion.

Baisakhi
Held on first 'Baisakh'- the 13th April - Baisakhi is one of Himachal's most important festivals. Rooted in the rural agrarian tradition, it bids a final farewell to winter.

Bharari Spur
It is a less explored area within the town. From here, one can take a long haul by foot through the thick cedar forest to the Hot-springs of Tattapani, or to the ruins of Kiar Koti.

Chander Naun
Accessible to experienced trekkers and fed by a series of springs, this lake lies in the Chanshal (Chansil) range at a height of 4,420m.

Climate
The climatic differences in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are probably the most varied in all of India - in Jammu in the hot season the temperatures can be consistently above 400 C, while at Kargil in mid winter the temperature has been known to drop to -400 C, a temperature differential of 1500 F!

Dagshai
Another little cantonment at an altitude of 1,925m just 19-km from Kasauli, it is accessible by a link road, which diverts from Dhrampur. Dagshai is perched on a small hill and comprisse of a military public school and numerous military barracks

Daranghati Sanctuary
Daranghati sanctuary located in the upper area of Shimla District, has undisturbed forest area with plenty of wildlife and was notified on 27th March 1974. The total covered area of this sanctuary is 16740 hectares. It is one of the most loved places to visit in Shimla.

Dharampur, Shimla
Just 15-km from Kasauli on the National Highway No.22, Dharampur is situated. Amidst the healthy air of the fragrant pines, Dharampur has one of the best hospitals in India for the cure of tuberculosis. It is also connected by Kalka-Shimla railway line.

Fagu
Situated on Hindustan-Tibet Road (22-km), at a height of 2,450m Fagu is gifted with some enchanting views.

Himalayan Aviary
Close to the Viceregal lodge is the Himalayan Aviary or the Himalayan Bird Park. This park is a natural habitat of numerous species of birds found in Himachal such as Himalayan Monal, Pheasants, Peafowls and National Bird of India, the Peacock.

Kuthar Fort
Kuthar fort's oldest sections are 800 years old while the most recent structures are barely eight decades old. This is spread over a large area and fresh-water springs flow within its confines.

Nature Parks: Kufri, Manali, Gopalpur
These are small nature parks getting very popular among the tourists who whish to admire the expance of nature.

Prospect Hill
Crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi 15-minutes walk from Boileauganj on Shimla-Bilaspur road. The hill at an altitude of 2,155m offers a spectacular view of the area.

Sabathu
A little cantonment town has a Gurkha fort built in the early years of the 19th century, situated at an altitude of 1,437m. This cantonment town quartered the British soldiers at the time of British Empire. A diversion road from Dharampur 15-km away leads to the Sabathu town.

Sankat Mochan
On Shimla-Kalka road is the famous "Lord Hanuman" temple. Situated at an altitude of 1,975m, it commands an excellent view of Shimla town

Shimla State Museum
Housed in a charming colonial building, Inverarm, the State museum is located atop a hill that rises above the Chaura Maidan. A selection of Himachal's rich heritage is displayed over here.

Summer Fairs
A wide spectrum of national talent, a variety of programmes and a splendid setting make Shimla's Summer Festival a memorable event. Shimla also hosts the Red Cross Fair, sport tournaments, flower shows, a photographs and posters exhibition and a fashion show based on folk costumes.

Summer Hill
At an altitude of 1,283m, Summer Hill is a picturesque spot on Shimla-Kalka Railway line offering shady walks in quiet surroundings. The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur located here. HP University is also situated over here.

Tara Devi
On Shimla-Kalka road this holy place is accessible by rail, bus and car (11-km). From the station / road - one can visit the temple either on foot or by taxi / jeep.

Trekking
Himachal offers a virtual bonanza for trekkers. From moderate to strenuous treks ranging up to 11 days and the best season to trek over here is during the months of June to October. One of Himachal's classic routes is the Chandra Bhaga triangle and the Baralacha Pass at a height of 4,833m.

Viceregal Lodge & Botanical Gardens
On the Observatory Hills is located Viceregal Lodge, which is also known as "Rashtrapati Niwas". This magnificent building was the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin. This lodge was completed in 1888 and it is said that every brick for the building was carried by mules. This is a six-storey building and is surrounded by well-maintained gardens and lawns. The lodge has now been converted into Institute of Advanced Study and is further 2-km from State Museum.

Excursions from Shimla India


Chail
(43Km.)
The former 'summer capital' of Patiala, Chail is 43-km from Shimla and dwelling in the midst of a lush green setting. At 2,250m, it has the world's highest cricket pitch and a polo ground, the old palace, now a hotel and the possibility of some angling are added attractions. 

Kasauli
(12Km.)
77-km from Shimla and 35-km from Kalka, at 1,927m, Kasauli is a quaint little town that seems to exist in a time wrap of an era that reminds one of the 19th century. 

Kufri
(19Km.)
Some great Hiking, some skiing, some beautiful scenes and a cool environment that's what Kufri is all about. It is famous for its trekking and hiking trails. Adventure-seeking travelers throng Kufri in winters to enjoy skiing and tobogganing along its snow-covered slopes. 

Solan
(48Km.)
Blessed with a pleasant climate all the year round, Solan is the district headquarters of Mashru, another city established by the British, is named after the Goddess, Soloni Devi, whose temple is located in the southern end of the town. Solan also remained capital of east, while Bhagat State for many years. 

Barog

Once just a brief stopover on the Kalka-Shimla highway, Barog town has grown to be destination in itself. Surrounded by pine trees and oak trees, Barog is located in an idyllic setting. The pines of Barog are full of cavort and pleasantries. Barog's railway station, on the Kalka-Shimla, is one of the most picturesque stations, modelled in the Scottish-style.

Nahan
(140Km.)
A well-laid out picturesque town of Nahan is situated on an isolated ridge in the Shiwalik hills, overlooking greenfields. Known for its cleanliness and dust free streets, saints and princes are linked with the origin of Nahan. The city was founded as a capital by Raja Karan Prakash in 1621.

Narkanda
(110Km.)
Narkanda, at 8,100 feet, 440-km from Delhi and is a two hours drive from Shimla. It is slightly higher than Shimla (7,400 feet) and the road linking the two runs almost near the crest of the mountain with a gradual ascent. One is constantly treated to a bird's-eye view of the different valleys as the road twists and turns from one spur to another. Especially breathtaking is the view of Narkanda from Fagu, a small village enroute.

Renuka Lake
(45Km.)
With a circumference of 3214m, Renukaji is the largest natural lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this is regarded as the embodiment of the Goddess 'Renuka'.

Sarahan
(44Km.)
Soaked in nature's beauty, Sarahan is flanked on the banks of the meandering Sutlej River. Located amidst Deodar forests, Sarahan was the ancient capital of the mighty Bushahr. It's a belief that Sarahan is the Shonitpur of old times, and this was the place, where Banasura once ruled.

Sirmour
(142Km.)
The Sirmaur district has the Shivalik hills in the south and the northern parts are made up of the forests and ravines of the first and second belt of the Himalayan ranges. The places here have man made lakes as well as natural ones, temples, tea gardens and ruins of ancient and not so ancient forts. This district connects the hills of Uttaranchal to the hills of Himachal.

Mashobra & Craignano And Naldehra
(11Km.)
Mashobra is a small village just 11-km from Shimla, which has a fair every May at Sipi. The lovely trail around takes one to the Shiva temple. Nearby is Craignano, which has some pleasant walk and trails. 15-km further North comes another small village Naldehra. This place is famous for one of the oldest and highest golf courses in India. Right in the middle of the Golf Course is the Mahunag temple.

Rampur
(140Km.)
140-km from Shimla and built by the banks of river Sutlej, lies Rampur, capital of the erstwhile Bushahr state. This was once a major stopover on the old trade routes and the Lavi fair, held here every autumn, still barters and sells a variety of goods. The old palace is a remarkable piece of architecture. Short of the town, at Dattnagar and Nirath, are some exquisite old temples.

Sarol
(23Km.)
23-km from Shimla and named after the little temple that stands on the links, is a 9-hole golf course. Lord Curzon was so much enchanted by this spot that he gave his daughter Alexandra, Naldehra as her second name. During the monsoons, several golf tournaments are also held over here.

White Flower Hall
(13Km.)
This is the former residence of British Commander in Chief and was taken over by the Himachal Tourism to be converted into a hotel. This lovely building was burnt down in 1994. The White flower hall is located in Chharabra 13-km from Shimla.

Significance - Shimla


Historical
Colonial shimla's pot pourri had some vital ingredients. There were 'Grass Widows' - unattached ladies spending a 'season' at Shimla while their husbands sweltered it out on the plains.

Then there were members of the 'Fishing Fleet' - young women who sailed out of England, usually chaperoned, in search of husbands. No dance was considered complete without numerous, cunningly devised 'Kala Jagahs' (dark places). In these nooks, one could sit with one's partner on a small sofa or even on a single armchair, and no word of criticism would be uttered.

But of all the clubs and societies that were unique to Shimla, the most enigmatic was the 'most noble order of the black hearts', only men were eligible for membership and they too could not commit the offence of "living in open matrimony." More staid were the Annandale Gymkhana Club and, the Amateur Dramatic Club - the latter still exists.

Fairs & Festivals - Shimla

Every year in the month of June, the Folk Dance festival, the "Mushaira" - recitation of Urdu poetry by poets, the Red Cross Fair, Golf and the Flower Show are some of the events held in Shimla, to celebrate Summer Festival. In December, Ice-Skating Carnival is held and then Christmas celebrations overtake Shimla.

Leisure - Shimla


ShoppingBeing the state capital, handicrafts from all over the state come here for sale. The Mall has some of the good and big names in the garment and textile industry. The State emporium on the Mall offers many handicrafts and handloom items, which are made by the artisans of Himachal. The famous Himachali hat comes in different rates and vivid colors. Lakkar Bazaar is famous for items made from wood. These decorative wooden items are made from the softwood found in the hilly region. Further, dry fruits and natural herbs, which have many medicinal properties, are also easily available in the shops.


Where to Shop
WHERE AND WHAT TO BUY
Wooden Articles, Toys:
The Mall, Lower Bazar, Lakkad Bazar
The Mall
Himachal Emporium
(Kullu and Kinnauri Shawls, Caps, Tibetan Carpets and other handicraft articles)

Eating Out
Restaurants:
Ashiana Goofa Restaurant
The Ridge
Fascination Restaurant
The Mall
Alfa Restaurant
The Mall
Himani Restaurant
The Mall
Nalini Restaurant
The Mall
Embassy Restaurant
The Mall
Solitaire Restaurant
The Mall
Solitaire Restaurant
The Mall
India Coffee House
The Mall

How To Get There - Shimla


By Air
The Jubbarhatti airport is 23-km from Shimla and major domestic airlines cater their services from here to Shimla. One can catch direct flights from Delhi.

By Road
Roads connect the capital city of Himachal with other places in the state as well as other major towns and cities. There is regular bus service from Delhi and Chandigarh as well as ordinary; semi deluxe, deluxe and AC coaches for Shimla are available too. One can also cross over to Leh and Ladakh via Rohtang pass from here.

By Rail
Shimla has a narrow gauge railway line on which toy train runs from Kalka to Shimla. The train cruises its way through valleys and beautiful landscapes at a very slow pace making the journey very pleasant. From Kalka one can take trains to other parts of the country. The Toy train from Shimla is of two types - one is the normal multi coach train and the other is the single car train, which has a glass roof giving an enthralling experience during the journey.

Places To Stay - Shimla

The capital city and commercial hub of Himachal has got some of the finest options of accommodation. The options vary from luxurious, posh looking five star hotels, cottages and holiday resorts to economy class and budget hotels and lodging rooms.

Climate - Shimla

Shimla is located on the slopes of lower Himalayas. The altitude of Shimla from the sea level makes it a very cool place. The temperature range is not very high and the maximum temperature rarely crosses 25 degrees during summers. Rainfalls mark the summers and the nights are cool and light warm cloths are required during this time. Winters are cold and chilly winds from the upper Himalayas makes the place really cold. Around Christmas or last week of December Shimla gets snow. The Best season to visit Shimla is between April and August, but the main season is between December and January. It is better to avoid the rainy seasons.

General Information - Shimla


Location
Himachal Pradesh.

Altitude
2,159m.

Best Time
April To August & December To January.

Scenic Beauty
The Mall, Christ Church, Kufri, Narkanda.

Activities
Skiing
The skiing season generally commences in the first fortnight of January and continue till mid- March depending upon snow conditons. HPTDS organises ski courses of 7 days and 15 days duration at Narkanda, every year. The facilities for the participants include boarding, lodging and equipment.

Fishing
Trout finish is available at Rohru, 110-km from Shimla, at Seem, 9-km from Rohru in river Pabar, and in river Baspa in the Sangla Valley. Mahseer fishing is available at Tattapani, 46-km from Shimla.

Golfing
Nine-hole Golf course at Naldehra, 23-km from Shimla, is one of the oldest Golf courses in India.

Trekking
The Shimla- Kinnaur region offers some exciting trekking opportunities. Narknda to Banjar (Kullu) over the Jalori and Bashleo Passes and Sarahan to Sangla are some of the popular treks, both for the domestic and foreign tourists.
Shimla to Kullu via Jalori Pass (3,300m).
Shimla to Kulu via Bashleo Pass (3,250m). Sarahan to Sangla.

Useful Information on Shimla India

CONDUCTED TOURS: -
Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) has a fleet of air-conditioned and luxury coaches and cars, ambassador cars and jeep in its Transport Wing for individual and group excursions. Conducted and package tours. A number of Shimla based sightseeeing tours are arranged from the Tourist Information Office, The Mall, Shimla.

SIGHTSEEING TOUR NO.1
Shimla - Wild Flower Hall - Kufri - Indira Holiday Home - Fagu - Mashobra - Craignano - Fruit Research Station - Naldehra - Shimla.
Daily. Timings: 10.00am to 5.00 pm

SIGHTSEEING TOUR NO.2
Shimla - Fagu - Theog - Matiana - Narkanda - Shimla.
On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Timings: 10.00am to 5.00pm.

In addition, both Himachal Road Transport Corporation and Private tour operators also run transport services to all these places.

NOTE: Itinerary and timings subject to change.

Banks / Money Changers
State Bank of Patiala, The Mall
Punjab National Bank, The Mall
Punjab and Sind Bank, The Mall
Indian Bank, The Mall
Indian Overseas Bank, The Mall
Jammu And Kashmir Bank, The Mall
Grindlays Bank Limited, The Mall
H.P., State Co-OP. Bank, The Mall


Hospitals
Kamla Nehru Hospital
Deen Dayal Upadhyay (Ripon) Hospital
Indira Gandhi Medical College


Tourist Information Centres
Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Tourist Information Office
Department of Tourism
Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
Victory Tunnel
Cart Road

Shopping - Shimla

Being the state capital, handicrafts from all over the state come here for sale. The Mall has some of the good and big names in the garment and textile industry. The State emporium on the Mall offers many handicrafts and handloom items, which are made by the artisans of Himachal. The famous Himachali hat comes in different rates and vivid colors. Lakkar Bazaar is famous for items made from wood. These decorative wooden items are made from the softwood found in the hilly region. Further, dry fruits and natural herbs, which have many medicinal properties, are also easily available in the shops.


Where to Shop
WHERE AND WHAT TO BUY
Wooden Articles, Toys:
The Mall, Lower Bazar, Lakkad Bazar
The Mall
Himachal Emporium
(Kullu and Kinnauri Shawls, Caps, Tibetan Carpets and other handicraft articles)

Entertainment - Shimla


Hang Outs
CINEMAS:
Ritz, The Ridge
Rivoli Theatre, Near Skating Rink
Shahi, Near Cart Road
SKATING RINKS:
Ice-Skating Rink, Below Rivoli
Roller Skating Rink, Regal Brldge
THEATRES:
Gaiety Theatre, The Mall
Kali Bari Hall, Near Grand Hotel


Club
FISHING FLEETS AND BLACK HEARTS

Colonial shimla's pot pourri had some vital ingredients. There were 'Grass Widows' - unattached ladies spending a 'season' at Shimla while their husbands sweltered it out on the plains.

Then there were members of the 'Fishing Fleet' - young women who sailed out of England, usually chaperoned, in search of husbands. No dance was considered complete without numerous, cunningly devised 'Kala Jagahs' (dark places). In these nooks, one could sit with one's partner on a small sofa or even on a single armchair, and no word of criticism would be uttered.

But of all the clubs and societies that were unique to Shimla, the most enigmatic was the 'most noble order of the black hearts', only men were eligible for membership and they too could not commit the offence of "living in open matrimony." More staid were the Annandale Gymkhana Club and, the Amateur Dramatic Club - the latter still exists