After brilliant success of the 'Place to Skip' series, here I plan to write about Shimla. I am choosing places where I visited multiple times and have spent significant time. People found last about Dalhousie very useful and suddenly blog-form is in use by folks visiting various places and asking for similar suggestions. That was an interesting experiment and I am not surprised why people want to know about it. There are lot of websites highlight main areas and list becomes a long one. Now prioritisation also need info about skippable places.
Today we will be talking about Shimla. And when we mention some places here, we share some of the deciding factors in terms of when you are visiting, how and who is accompanying you. This post is just to keep you informed and we would strongly encourage to take your own call and share your opinions through comments on this post.
I feel more motivated to write such posts by looking at something like what you see on Tripadvisor -
Please notice in above image (screenshot from Tripadvisor website, taken on 14th Nov'16). Please note that Viceregal Lodge & Indian Institute of Advanced Studies is same. Some folks also call it Rashtrapati bhawan. And check out the image used for Tara Devi temple. It's not correct image and it's a hindu temple, not a monastery. Moreover places are listed from different cities as well. And many places are more than 50 km from Shimla town. Wondering if the list is for Shimla and around or whole district? Before wasting more time on their website, I thought of continuing with my post. But these websites are good sources for me to help you guys making right decisions and not going by fake info without relevant details.
Many times some queries on google give misleading results. Mainly because of the fact that major websites take place in top searched and some of them don't really care reviewing the content carefully. This usually happens with common places because big websites have tough competition for lesser known places or relatively less popular destinations. You can get misleading results for 'Top 10 places to visit in Shimla', 'Must visit places in and around Shimla' etc.
Here is the list of places you may skip, along with my reasoning (please feel free to share your thoughts in comment, if you don't agree. I would really appreciate that. Because idea is not to portray myself correct but to come up with right information for better decision making. ) The details also cover what makes them interesting, so if it aligns with your priorities then why not.
1. Jakhu Temple - Jakhu temple is most popular temple as per web articles and here is why - it's comparatively near to mall road and ridge. But be aware about monkeys around this temple. So it depends about your reason for visiting a place. If you like doing small treks and interested in visiting temple, why not Tara Devi? It also covers your toy train ride from Shimla till Tara Devi (the best landscapes around the rail track). Tara Devi temple is not in the town, but you can take toy train till Tara devi and take the trek to the temple. It's located on a hill which offers panoramic view of Shimla and surrounding valleys.
2. Green Valley - This is one of the most overrated place around Shimla. It's nothing but a view from road, which connects Shimla to Kufri. There is a deep valley full of deodars and called as Green valley because it's green throughout.
3. Summer Hill - Summerhill is mentioned on various website and i have no clue why. It's near Viceregal lodge and himachal pradesh university is here. Summerhill is mainly known because of the huge university campus. There is nice walk from Inidian Istitute of Advanced studies to university but such walks are there all across the place.
4. Naldehra Golf Course - I don't want to give a strong verdict here because different people have different opinions about the place. If you are keen to see a golf course in hills, certainly go there and have some snacks at HPTDC hotel. But son't expect much apart from this golf course. It's little away from the town, so you need to go specifically to visit this Golf Course.
5. Kamna Devi Temple - If you keen to visit lot of temples in and around Shimla, then you may want to visit this place which is on a hill and a little away from Mall road.
6. Kali Bari Temple - Above logic applies to it. But it's near to the mall road and at walkable distance. So if you are around Mall road and walk more, visit this temple. It offers some nice views on one side facing the road & valley. This is one the road which connect Mall Road with Indian Institute of Advanced studies.
7. Be aware of distances of places you chose and accessibility. Some of the places may seem near but traffic may take more time and some of the places are not directly accessible through roads.
I couldn't come with a long list here because most of the places are Shimla are beautiful. All depends when you are visiting them. I found this list quite sensible although some of my favourites are missing here - http://traveltriangle.com/blog/best-places-to-visit-in-shimla/
Some time back I had started sharing about some of the hidden and best secrets of Shimla and here is the first part of it - This is Shimla everyone forgets to explore . And if you follow it, you already cover most of the best places to explore and things to do in Shimla Town.
We have also received a request for compiling such post about Mussourie but I have explored it much to comment. So if you known someone who ca contribute, please us know.
For now, we shall wait for your opinion and comments on this post. Feel free to add places to this list.