When I moved to India, I promised myself that I would try and do as much travelling out of Delhi, as I could. A lot of stuff that goes on with me, goes undocumented on this blog but I vowed that at least my Indian excursions should be recorded for posterity. I’ve posted one here but I’m already two trips behind. But Shimla was the latest.

I kept vacillating, wondering whether to go or not. We were leaving soon after our last exam and while there was a part of me that really wanted to go, another part kept yelling ‘homehomehomehomehome’. As you’ve probably realized, I went and I’m glad I did.


Down Mall Road


Shimla constantly reminded me of Musoorie (forgive me, I’m prone to generalization). It had the old-town feel with all the colonial architecture and general laid-back atmosphere. A bit Nuwara Eliya like really, but with higher mountains and large sloping hills.

We stopped at a river called ‘thattapaani’ (literal translation: hot water) I loved the pebbles by the banks and lugged a whole bunch with me back home. They’re currently chilling in a bowl of water in my living room.


Policeman in snazzy uniform. Kept shooing tired tourists who kept coming and sitting at his post.

My friend had the quaintest (I hate using this word. I sound like such a tourist, but there’s no other word for it) cottage about 3 hours away from the main town, surrounded by orchards filled with fruit trees. How adorable is this?

The cottage

View from the top.


Most of our family vacations were spent by coastal areas. We’re all beach people and the mere thought of even heading to the hills was blasphemous. My family likes chilled out vacations. Give us a bunch of books, the beach, good food, good music and lots of pleasant weather and we’ll be content.

So I’ve never gone hiking or done any semblance of any sporting activity with my family. Also, I possess the magical ability to trip over flat surfaces so you can imagine my apprehension when faced with a massive mountain or any other vertical surface. I didn’t know that you’re supposed to walk zig zagged when you hike downhill etc. Hence, I’ve started to realize that my knowledge of the outdoors is hopelessly inadequate.


Played my first game of Monopoly.



Also read Asterix after ages! I loved Asterix as a kid and now, as an adult I love it even more. Goscinny and Uderzo were geniuses. And the English translations bring out the hidden humour and sarcasm brilliantly. Tintin who?



Tried making friends with cats and cows. Bit of a fail though. The cat ran away. The cow just stared.


On Mall Road, I was a little surprised to see tired looking parents pushing children as old as 6 or 7 in prams. But then we passed a ‘pram point’ of sorts with lots of prams for hire whenever the kids got too tired to walk up the sloping hills. Damn things had pianos and buttons which emitted the most horrible sounds on them. The kids loved it.


Mosaic interior at Cafe Sol


From home cooked food, soft ice cream to walnuts picked from trees, food-wise, everything was excellent





Shimla at night was beautiful.


Ps: No, I haven’t ditched the poetry challenge. Just a bit stuck. I’ve scoured my collection of poetry twice but I don’t seem to have a poem that is a guilty pleasure. I could probably just skip it or substitute something for it, but I feel like I should have a guilty pleasure. That fact that I don’t just bugs me.



21 thoughts on “Shimla

  1. shimla is right up there with rajasthan on my list of places to visit. so pretty. i find myself really liking te mosaic cafe!

    • I think Shimla would be worthwhile if you have someone in the know over there. Thanks to my friend, we skipped the typical tourist stuff and just headed straight to Kasog. But yeah, Rajasthan I really need to visit properly as well. Been to Jaipur, but didn’t do any sightseeing there so another visit seems necessary.

  2. I want that mosaic interior.

    Prams. The idea of people carrying me around on their shoulders sounds nice too. Like a king. I forget what they’re called.

    First game of Monopoly? Good at it?

  3. ‘bit like nuwara eliya’& ‘family vacations were spent in coastal areas’

    ummm…bentota-nuwara eliya or hikkaduwa-negombo? 😀
    hehe. sorry. couldnt resist!

  4. Nice pictures. Do you have any more?

    I have heard that Mussourie was and Simla were both conceived on similar lines so your observation should be correct. Have you visited Ootacumund yet?

    Making a note of places to visit when I eventually get round to visiting India.

    I wish the politicians there would’nt keep changing the names of places, it is Simla not Shimla.

  5. Also did you know that the main, shop lined street of the hill towns were referred to as the Mall or the Mall road.

    The term came from a London Street called Pall Mall, which you will see on the Monopoly board. The pronunciation of Pall Mall is rather odd, I think its something like “Pael Mael”. How do they pronounce Mall street in India?

  6. @ JP, Yes, I’ve been to Ooty a few years ago. Nice, but not particularly memorable (for me). And yes, there’s a Mall Road in Mussoorie as well 🙂
    @Scrumps it’s pronounced as ‘Maaall Road’ apparently.

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