I’d had enough of Delhi. I had only been there a few short days but I had already had more than enough.
It was oppressively hot, humid, chaotic, noisy and busier than anywhere else I’d ever seen. I was definitely looking forward to getting out of the frenzied city and visiting Shimla in the foothills of The Himalayas. I could only imagine it would be less hectic there.
The journey to Shimla was long. We boarded the Shatabdi Express at New Delhi and changed at Kalka to ride the last four or so hours on board The Toy Train. It was an exhausting day but once I stepped off the train in Shimla and looked around me at the jaw-dropping views I knew it was absolutely worth it.
After being blown away by the views I was stuck by how quiet and peaceful it was. It felt a million miles from the constant inescapable noise of Delhi. Even from the comfort of my hotel room in New Delhi I could hear the rumble of cars and, of course, horns blaring outside. Shimla was wonderfully peaceful in comparison.
During my four days in this beautiful hillside city I fell head over heels in love with it’s natural beauty, sense of calm and far cooler weather than in the lower regions of India. As a pale skinned girl from Scotland, where it’s rarely even sunny, the heat of the lower regions was zapping all of my energy. The cool of Shimla was a very welcome respite and I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that Shimla was once known as India’s summer capital as people fled from the heat of Delhi.
Whilst in Shimla we enjoyed a far more relaxing pace than what we had become accustomed to in Delhi. We went for long walks taking in the scenery, strolled through the bustling main streets of the city and ate traditional dishes from the Himachal Pradesh region.
One thing you have to be aware of in Shimla is monkeys EVERYWHERE. It absolutely wouldn’t surprise me if there were more monkeys than humans living in Shimla. They’re generally quite harmless, unless you have something they want, so I wouldn’t suggest wandering the streets with food as they might just decide they’re having it!
There’s lots to do and see in Shimla besides gawping at the views all day. I visited a gorgeous, colourful Hindu temple – Sankat Mochan Temple. Unsurprisingly this temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the monkey god!
I adored the vivid shades that adorned this temple and combined with the brightly coloured, elegant saris and Kashmiri suits that the Indian ladies were all wearing it made for a beautiful scene. It also made me feel very dull in my dark coloured clothes!
Undoubtedly the worst thing about my time in Shimla was having to leave. I could quite easily have stayed an extra few days and explored more of the Himachal Pradesh region. Oh well, I guess that just gives me an excuse to return one day…