Lush green pine forests, apple scented crisp, clean, unpolluted air and relaxed, almost lazy and delightfully laid back environ, so reminiscent of an unhurried, calm and unfortunately bygone era, greets visitors once they set their foot in Shimla. Set on a 12 km curved ridge, Shimla is not only the largest hill station in the country but also holds the distinction of being the summer capital of erstwhile British Empire.
Shimla has, for long, been enchanting tourists with its ravishingly endowed beauty who (tourists) clamor for Shimla like no other hill station in India. Such popularity comes with a price and it indeed is difficult to find a room in any of almost 1000 hotels of the place. An advance booking, therefore, becomes a necessity if you plan to visit Shimla, particularly if you intend to do so in the tourist season. In the off season to it is not difficult to find an accommodation. One can even expect to get a 20-25% discount on the rates as well in these times!
Verdant forests of firs, rhododendron, pine and oaks add glitz and color to Shimla landscape and make it lively. The enchanting green pastures of Shimla gets a lease of life with the presence of hyacinth, celandine, asphodel which find their way to the giant deodar trees as also in the rough and icy stretches of the Himalayas.
Kalka-Shimla train is the most simple and novel way to enjoy the greenery of the place. It makes its way amidst the forest of firs, pines, apricots, and through terraced hillside fields of paddy corn and capsicum exposing the charm to the onlookers who cannot resist but get hooked to the bewitching beauty of the place. Shimla also has a number of springs and lakes that equally betrothal people who decide to go about wandering through the beauty of the town.
The houses found in Shimla have slanting roofs which obviously allows snow to slide through rather than get accumulated on the roof tops. The houses constructed by Brits are striking for the heavy use of timber and for adopting gothic styles. The roofs of these houses are mostly red or green in color.
Shimla has moved far away from a British mainland traversed mostly by high and mighty to the present times when it is the most popular summer retreat for commoners, from within the country as well as abroad.