Shimla came into existence in the 1820’s and served as the summer capital of British India from 1864 till 1947. Thus for 8 months of the year, the entire Indian subcontinent was ruled from these ridges. As a result Shimla is dotted with impressive heritage buildings and most of them can be accessed easily by walking from one end of the town to the other. For those interested in history and who like walking, the town of Shimla has some delightful offerings without having to contend with cars and busses and horrendous traffic jams for which it is now famous.
Starting from Chapslee, walk to the Ridge and stop at Christ Church built between 1846-1857, which is a landmark of Shimla. It is worth a look inside with its lovely stain glass windows. Next stop is the Gaiety Theatre or the Amateur Dramatics Club built in 1837 with a visit to the old Theatre which has been beautifully restored. Admire the recently restored Town Hall then continue to Scandal Point. Walk past the GPO, Telegraph Office and then Bantany Cottage and the Grand hotel. Near Kali Bari walk down to meet the lower road which comes out near the State Bank of India Building. As you walk along, you will see the Railway Board Building which now houses the offices of Income-tax and Gst. Carry on to the erstwhile Gorton Castle, now the CAG Office. Walk past the Vidhan Sabha, the Army Mess, ARTRAC Commander’s Residence and unto Cecil hotel at Chaura Maidan. The Himachal State Museum is located at this junction, for those interested. If you take a right from the quaint post office you will be on a lovely forested road and passing Yarrows (Academy of the Audit and Accounts) on the right, you will come out at the gate of the IAAS or what used to be called the Viceregal Lodge or the Residence of the Viceroy of British India. Walk around the beautiful grounds and take a guided tour of the inside, sip a coffee at the café there and when ready make your way back to the Mall and then to Chapslee. From Chapslee to the gate of Viceregal lodge and back is approximately 9 km.
Half day heritage walk /drive with local Guide
Drive by taxi from Chapslee with a local guide and get off at the Viceregal lodge. After exploring the building and grounds make your way back to Christ Church with the local guide explaining the historical antecedents of all the important buildings on the way. Amble along the quaint Mall, have lunch at one of the many restaurants, visit Maria Bros the famous antique book shop, and then back to Chapslee for a sumptuous afternoon tea of Drop scones and Sponge cake!
Heritage walk with historian Mr Raaja Bhasin
Mr Raaja Bhasin is an accredited historian and has written many books and articles on the history of Shimla and is the noted authority on the Colonial history of Shimla, including the Kalka Shimla Railway. For those history buffs who want to delve deep, one of his exclusive walks is a great experience( subject to availability of MrBhasin).
Army Museum at Anandale, Viceregal Lodge, Jakhoo Temple by Car.
From Chapslee, drive to Annandale which was the original race course of Shimla. It is a beautiful spot surrounded by forest and is now an Army Golf Course. There is also a very interesting Army Museum there in a heritage building which is worth a visit. Then travel by car to the Viceregal Lodge and explore the erstwhile residence of the Viceroy and it’s beautiful grounds. From there, travel by car upto Jakhoo Temple which is the highest point in Shimla and offers beautiful views of the town. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, one needs to be careful of the monkeys who are not only bold but quite aggressive. You can either walk down from there to the Mall and have lunch there or make your way back to Chapslee by car.
Elysium Hill, Lakkar Bazar, Shimla-171001(H.P.) India Phone: 91-177-2658663/2802542 Mob./Whatsapp: +91-9816644202 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://www.chapslee.co.in