History and heritage anchor us to our roots. They also provide us with a window to the grand theatre of events, people and luminaries that have carved a place for themselves for posterity. The journey of Shimla, or rather Shayamala in its early days, a small village in the Western Himalayas has been an incredible narrative imbued with lashings of nostalgia.
From an obscure little hamlet Shayamala rose to become the heart of the spider’s web, from where, as the summer capital of the British Indian Empire for seven months, it steered the fortunes of its imperial pursuits from Afghanistan in the west to Burma in the east. It served as Raj’s summer capital from 1865 until World War II.
Shimla, in its new avatar, you will discover, was no stranger to the doings of great luminaries of power play, be it the British with their imperial pursuits or the Indian maharajas who presided over their kingdoms from this summer retreat.
Delving into this splendid banquet of history, heritage and culture is most rewarding when explored on foot. Though there is no doubt that Shimla is Walker's Paradise you are truly spoilt for choice for the kind of experiences that await you here.
The entire length of this Heritage walk comes under Shimla’s Heritage Zone. Every lane offers a morsel of history, every wall hides a story behind it, every house has a tale to tell and every tree here is a living witness to the growth of the town. The trails are protected by nature. Most of the lanes have been cleaved through the forests of lofty cedars, ancient oaks, blooming rhododendrons, or whispering pines.
Why you will love it
- The best way to know Shimla - The Little England.
- Walking with a local through this British Himalayan town
- Narratives of the history, architecture, lifestyle, and Indian summer pursuits of the Raj in the Himalayas.
What you will experience
Shimla is known not only for its views but also for its Victorian and Post Victorian architecture. You will enjoy up-close encounters with the marvellous edifices that are richly associated with Raj-era history in this pretty hill town. The walk takes you along a ridge that spirals out over five hills.
The highlights of this walk are some of the hill town’s most imposing and attractive structures, including Christ Church, the Gaiety Theatre, the Bandstand, some heritage hotels, old banks, and government offices. These are some of the best examples of Raj-era architecture.