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Blessed with a grand colonial past, Shimla is a walker's paradise. To know Shimla best you need to explore its heritage walks. Every road here has some history; every wall hides a story behind it. Almost every house has a tale to tell and every towering tree has been a witness to the town’s remarkable history.
Most of the lanes and paths have been carved through the woods of lofty cedars, rattling oaks, blooming rhododendrons and whispering pines. The old heritage Shimla town area has recently undergone a major restoration work. The original look and glory has been restored with painstaking effort and liberal resources.
Walk no 1: Scandal Point-General Post Office - The Mall-Telegraph Office -St Michael's Church-St Andrew's Church, Grand Hotel-Kali Bari Temple- SBI building-Railway Board Building-Gorton Castle-Himalaya Bramo Samaj-Vidhan Sabha-The Sanitorium-Cecil Hotel-climb up to The State Museum-Peterhof-Radio Station-Indian Institute of Advanced Study-Yarrows -Back.
This Walk is around 6 km long and will take about 2 hours. There are level stretches, slopes and an occasional steep climb.
Walk no 2: Scandal Point - General Post Office -St Andrew's Church-YMCA-Bantony-Kali Bari Temple-North Bank-Railway Board Building-Gorton Castle-The Vidhan Sabha-Knockdrin-The Cecil and Cooper Block, State Museum, Indian Institute of Advanced Study -Yarrows, SBI, St Michael's Church, and Telegraph Office.
A round trip will cover 6 km and will take about 2 hours. There are level stretches and slopes.
Plenty of built heritage and views on both these walks
Walk no 3: The Glen Walk
The Glen is Shimla's oldest and most popular picnic spot. There are oak, rhododendron, deodar, chil and kail pines in and around Glen. Also partridges, pheasants, barking deer, foxes and leopards can be spotted.
This walk is 7-8 km on the round trip and can take around three hours.
About 2 km from Knockdrin while the main road continues to Annandale, the path to Glen branches off next to the small stone shelter. You can also reach the Glen via the Cecil hotel.
Walk no 4: The Annandale Walk: Scandal Point to Knockdrin-Kumar House, way back through Lower Kaithu.
At Annandale the first plane landed on this ground at the end of the First World War. Today it has a museum of military history, a golf course and a helipad. You can spot birds and animals on the way.
Walk no 5: Scandal Point to Kamna Devi Temple on Prospect Hill.
From Boileauganj Bazaar- Prospect Hill-Observatory and way back via Summer Hill- The Holme-Manorville. It is about 8 km and takes 2 hours.
Walk no 6: Scandal Point to Chadwick Falls and back via Potters Hill.
This is around 12-15 km long and can take at least 6 hours. It runs along slopes and stretches. Last 2 km walk is along a narrow path in a forest. It covers Boileauganj, Summer Hill railway station, Summer Hill Post Office, Monorville and Chadwick Falls.
At Summer Hill there are two historically important houses. The Holme was once the residence of the celebrated artist Amrita Shergill and Manorville, the property of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Mahatma Gandhi often stayed in this house.
Walk no 7: Telegraph Office via the Mall to Barnes Court and then back to the Ridge over the Forest Hill Road.
Shopping area of the Mall and the route loops back to the Ridge via Barnes Court, the Forest Hill Road (Lovers Lane) and Ramachandra Chowk.
It is around 6 km, level stretches and slopes. It takes approximately 2 hours. Past the English Home Counties Style The Mall Road, the Town Hall and the Gaiety Theatre. Lift, Willow Bank, Chalet Day School, The Cedar Lodge (Swiss Bavarian style ornate woodwork and filigree metal) Oak Over, Oldest Cemetery and the Himachal Secretariat.
Walk no 8 : The Two Jakhu walks.
First circles the hill and the other climbs it.
It covers about 6 km and takes 2 hours and does not cover the temple. The route is the Ridge-Lakkar Bazaar- Snowdon (IGMC)-Dental College, Boys Hostel-Corner House-Huts of Tibetans-Navbahar cross road above St Bede's College-Forest Hill Road.
The second Jakhu walk:
Jakhu Temple: This walk covers over 5 km. The Jakhu hill is at a height of 2455 m above sea level. You can take a steep 1.5 km climb via Walsingham the residence of the Deputy Commissioner – Holly Lodge- Rothney Castle. A half an hour's steep walk from the Christ Church takes you to Shimla's highest point Jakhu at 2455 m. There is a temple of Lord Hanuman and a towering statue of Hanuman overlooking Shimla. The spot offers views of surrounding valleys.
Walk no 9: The Bazaar Walk:
Walk through the Lower Bazaar, Ram Bazaar, Gunj, Ripon and Shere Punjab takes around 30 minutes. Runs parallel to the Mall, DC Office and winds up at Shere Punjab. It is mostly crowded with shops on both sides.