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Shimla - Local Sightseeing

The Mall Road:

Just walking up The Mall- Shimla's main street - you come across the strangest sights.

Christ Church

Christ church established in 1844, still stand tall at the eastern edge of the ridge. The church represents faith, hope, charity and patience and has been admired for its excellent architecture. The pipo organ, inside, is said to be the biggest in India. More than 100 years old, this pipe organ was made to order for a whopping Rs. 23,000 at that time. The yellow silhouette of the church is visible from a distance and is considered to be the most prominent building on the entire length of the mall road. No doubt it has been a hot favorite with Indian filmmakers. Nearby stands the mock-tudor Municipal library, designed by Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's father.

Scandal Point

The3 ridge, leading down from Christ church joins the mall at scandal point. Considered to be the highest point of mall, the scandal point is a favorite haunt of tourists and remains the heart of social life of the city. This point is marked by statue of freedom fighter, Lala lajpat rai. The place got this intriguing name after an English lady was abducted from this point by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala in the late 17th century. The view from here of snow covered peaks rising high into the sky and green valleys as lush as a tropical forest is marvelous. This point is at walking distance from the Church of Scotland, St Andrew's and the city Post office.

Gaiety Theater
Entertainment in Shimla is synonymous with Gaiety. Located on the Mall, This theatre, built in Neo- Gothic style was inaugurated in 1887 and was constructed to entertain the English elite. It has staged many shows of some of the best known theatre personalities like Rudyard Kipling, Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick and Lord Kitchner. Among the Indian personalities, K.L Saigal, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Nasseerudin Shah and Anupam Kher are a few who have performed here. This theatre was designed by Henry Irwin, the architect for the vice regal lodge and is now considered a heritage site.

Himachal State Museum
Walk down the Mall and you would reach Himanchla state museum, another not-to-miss destination. Located near the scandal point, the museum is housed in a charming colonial building with a vast lawns. Apart from the display of rare paintings, coins, guns and stone sculptures, the recently open jewellery gallery provides an insight into the rich heritage. The museum has objects which date back to 11th century like the miniature statue of lord Vishnu in bronze. There is also a doll's museum where dolls have been dressed as traditional Himanchali brides. The library attached to the museum has age-old manuscripts and books.

Viceregal Lodge/Indian Institute of advance study
At the distance of 2km from the Himanchal State Museum, the Viceregal Lodge located on the observatory hill. Built in 1888, the edifice covers one full hill and was designed by the architect of the public work department, Henry Irvine. The lodge was constructed as the residence of Vicerory Lord Dufferin but has now been converted into the Indian Institute of advance study. In those days too, the lodge had electric lighting system and a tennis court. In the early 1960s, the prim minister Jwahar lal Nehru and President Dr Radhakrishnan decided to convert to this lodge into an institute. Do not miss the astounding view of either a sunset or sunrise from its verandas and terrace. The beautifully manicured lawns would entice you to explore the stately interiors. Timming: 9am to 1 pm and 2pm to 8:30pm.

The Petre hoff
The historic petrehoff Complex, now a heritage hotel, is located at chaura Maidan, in the heart of the city. From here you can see the scenic beauty of choorchandani on the front side, Dhauladhar ranges on the western and kinner kailash on the eastern sides. Starting from the first viceroy, Earl of Elgin, arriving in shimla in 1863, this building has housed at least seven viceroys and governor generals. After independence, the building served as the panjab high court and it was here, in peterhoff, that the trail of Nathu Ram Godsey, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, this building became the Raj Bhawan. Unfortunately, it got burn down in 1981 but was destructed again in 1991 and designed to match the hill architecture.

Jakhu Temple
Perched on the highest peak in Shimla, the Jakhu Temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman According to the epic Ramayana Hanuman, while on journey to fetch the life saving Sanjeevani booti for lord Rama's brother Lakshman, stopped here to rest You may spot over a hundred monkeys here but non of them ever harm any one. The temple can be reached easily on a pony. You can even rent a taxi that plies from tha Mall road. Most people though prefer to trek up the hill through oak and deodar forest and narrow roads.

Raj Bhawan
Standing on chhota Shimla, Raj Bhawan (Governor House) is the formal residence of the Governor of Himanchal Pradesh. The state government has maintained it well and that only makes it a visual treat for its visitors. This heritage building has witnessed the Shimla peace accord of 1972, where the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had met. The interiors are marvelous and deserve a special mention. Entry is restricted and one needs to get the permission from the Governor's secretariat.

Toy Train
The kalka shimla train whose path was first sketched in AD 1847, meanders through the mist-laden mountainsides, thick pine forests and hills that wishper tales of mystery and charm. Lovingly known as Toy train, it chugs at a snail's pace but still offers a memoramble experience. The train still remains an attraction. A trip through the sight nip in the breeze freshens, invigorates and enlivens all mind, body, soul and spirit. Suddenly the weight of time and pace ceases to exist and you leave behind the hustle and bustle of the past-paced urban life.

Dhanu Devta Temple
About 4km from city, Dhanu Devta Temple is one of the rare temples where a male god is worshiped. Built in traditional Pahari Style, it is replete with intricate woodwork. The outer hall has a Pagoda - like Roof and the small entrance has brightly-colored intricate carvings. People say that Dhanu was a benevolent king and so the temple is dedicated to him.

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