Shimla On Foot Ten Walks

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Item Code: IDK081
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Raaja Bhasin
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788129112156
Pages: 145 (Illustrated in B/W & Color with Maps)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
Back of the Book

Set against backdrop of the Himalayan Mountains and steeped in beauty and lore, Shimla has been a favorite haunt for nearly two centuries. The place has always had a tradition of walking, be it through the famous Mall, the "lovers' lane" along Forest Hill Road, or around its various sloping bazaars. Shimla on Foot will take you through these wonderful paths and trails that echo the town's colonial heritage and are vibrant with natural splendour.

Shimla showcases fine specimens of European architectural style that include Alpine chalets, the Norman baronial form, and the neo-Gothic structures combined with indigenous elements. Gorgeous woods of oak, pine and deodar, bushes of rhododendrons and strawberries, and flowers of all hues, set off delightfully against Shimla's rich history and cosmopolitan culture. The long stretch of shopping on the Mall, with its touch of old-world charm also offers glimpses into tales of intrigue and revelry through the years of the Raj, making it an ideal romantic walkway. The walks will also take you through Lakkar Bazaar, famous for wooden crafts; to picnic spots in glens and dense woods; through rare and hidden trails; and along an unusual track to the Naldehra golf course.

Resonating with a magnificent past and now mingled with a unique Indian ambience, Shimla is still the 'Queen of Hill Statiions'- and still best discovered on foot.

Shimla is home to Raaja Bhasin who has authored the critically acclaimed and standard history of the town, Simla- The Summer Capital of British India. His town walks are famous and are described by Frommer's India as, 'intelligent, entertaining, and exclusive'. A noted writer, he has published over a thousand articles, reviews and stories in various leading publications all over the world. He has handled assignment for the Government of India's Department of Culture, the UNDP, the BBC, and the Oberoi Group of Hotels. He is on the Heritage Advisory Committee and the Tourism Development Board of Himachal Pradesh and is the Managing Editor of Himachal Tourism's magazine, Monal.


For the year when Shimla was the 'Summer Capital' of British India, only three horse-drawn carriages and later automobiles were allowed in town. These belonged to the viceroy, the commander-in-chief and the governor of the Punjab- the town's chief medical officer was the only exception and wall allowed a car. The townspeople rode, used rickshaws or walked. The human pulled-and-pushed rickshaw is fortunately a thing of the past, the horses are their, but more for pleasure-rides than any serious movement. Ineviatably, cars, buses and trucks are driven in today's Shimla- and yet, there is an interesting little distinction made among the 'older' and the 'newer' families in town. The 'old' ones all walk, the 'new' ones drive where they can. The old ones also attribute their health to the regular use of their legs. The privilege of living in Shimla, they say, is of being able to walk freely - not of driving over roads designed for pedestrians. Be this little distinction as it may, if you want to really see the town and experience and magic that is shimla, you do have to walk.

While there is a level of physical effort involved, these walks are not exercise trails, but are designed to take you through the town's rich history, heritage and natural beauty. This is not a 'guide book' and there may be a few places of interest that are not on the walk routes in the book. However, the town's layout being largely pedestrian, most places have been covered here. At the same time and often enough, there will be alternative - and sometimes shorter - routes.

The walks outlined here follow routes that have negligible or low vehicular traffic and touch places of interest. Shimla still has a somewhat complicated system of roads and for vehicles; these are divided into 'sealed', 'restricted' and 'open' ones. Most of the walks given here are along the sealed roads. While the Lower Bazaar is also taken as a short walk, most of the others attempt to skirt areas of dense population.

Some terms are used interchangeable, for example the former Viceregal Lodge now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and both appear in the text. Time variations are there with every walk - and these depend on the pace you keep and the time taken for stopovers.

Himachal Tourism and the Shimla Municipal Corporation have placed plaques at various important sites around Shimla. The text of these has been prepared by the author and they may add a measure of interest to the walks.

Shimla - A Brief Historyix
The Seven Hills of Shimlaxiii
ONE: Where the White Man Carried his Burden1
TWO: 'Wide Sweeps of Greensward'33
THREE:Wishes on a Tree45
FOUR:To Rain-fed Falls51
FIVE:The Heritage Miles63
SIX:The Jakho Walks81
SEVEN:Down Southern Slopes99
EIGHT:The Northern Track105
NINE:The Bazaar Walk113
TEN:A Suburban Walk119
Tips for Visitors129
Photo Credits133
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