Shimla, also known as Simla, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later made the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational centre of the state. It was the capital city in exile of British Burma (present-day Myanmar) from 1942 to 1945.
Shimla is home to a number of buildings that are styled in the Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architectures dating from the colonial era, as well as multiple temples and churches. The colonial architecture and churches, the temples, and the natural environment of the city attracts tourists. Major city centre’s attractions include the Shri Hanuman Jakhu (Statue), Jakhu Temple, Viceregal Lodge, Christ Church, Mall Road, The Ridge and Annadale.
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- The Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest church in entire northern India and is a site of pure devotion as well as architectural beauty.
- Indian Institute of Advanced Study is an educational institute now. This institute is housed at the former Viceregal Lodge, built-in 1884–88
- Jakhoo temple is 2 km from The Ridge, at a height of 8,000 ft, Jakhoo Hill is the highest peak in the city and has views of the city and of the snow-covered Himalayas. At the top of the hill is an old temple of Hanuman
- Shimla is well-connected by road network to all major cities in north India and to all major towns and district headquarters within the state. National Highway 5 (formerly NH 22) connects Shimla to the nearest big city of Chandigarh.
- Shimla Airport is situated at Jubbarhatti, 23 kilometres (14 mi) from the city. Regular flights to Delhi operate from the airport. The nearest major airport is Chandigarh Airport in Chandigarh about 116 km away
- The scenic Kalka Shimla Railway, a narrow gauge track, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the steepest rise in altitude in a distance of 96 km. Kalka, the plains rail terminus, has daily departures to major Indian cities.
Hindi is the lingua franca of the city, it is the principal spoken language of the city and also the most commonly used language for the official purposes. English is also spoken by a sizeable population and is the second official language of the city. Other than Hindi, Pahari languages are spoken by the ethnic Pahari people, who form a major part of the population in the city. Punjabi language is prevalent among the ethnic Punjabi migrant population of the city, most of whom are refugees from West Punjab, who settled in the city after the Partition of India in 1947.
Shimla urban agglomeration had a population of 171,817 as per provisional data of 2011 census, out of which males were 94,797 and females were 77,020.The effective literacy rate of city was 93.63 percent and that of urban agglomeration was 94.14 per cent.
The unemployment rate in the city has come down from 36% in 1992 to 22.6% in 2006. This drop is attributed to recent industrialisation, the growth of service industries, and knowledge development.
The city has 13 anganwadis and 64 primary schools. There are many schools from the British era. Some of the popular convent schools in the city are Bishop Cotton School, St. Edward’s School, Auckland House School, Loreto Convent, Tara Hall. Bishop Cotton School and St. Edward’s School, Shimla are for boys only, whereas, Loreto Convent, Tara Hall is for girls only. Other public schools include DAV Public School New Shimla, Shimla Public School, Himalayan International School and S.D. Senior Secondary School.
Shimla has two state libraries with a collection of over 47,000 old books divided between them. The one at Gandhi Bhavan in the university has over 40,000 books and the other library, also a heritage building on the ridge has 7,000.
- Tara Devi Temple is 11 km from the Shimla bus-stand. Tara Devi hill has a temple dedicated to the goddess of stars on top of the hill. There is a military Dairy Town here as well as the headquarters of Bharat Scouts and Guides.
- Annadale was developed as the racecourse of Shimla, Annadale is 2–4 km from the Ridge at a height of 6,117 ft. It is now used by the Indian Army.
- Kufri is a small hill station in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh state in India. It is located 20 km from the state capital Shimla on the National Highway No.22.