Written by

Shimla, the Queen of Hills, is a famous hill station in Himachal Pradesh that attracts tourists worldwide. While the town’s major attractions are full of visitors, several lesser-known offbeat places in Shimla await being uncovered. From secret viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the mighty Himalayas to quaint villages where time seems to stand still to hidden hiking trails, picturesque waterfalls, and abandoned colonial-era structures, Shimla’s offbeat places take you off the beaten path. So, if you love to turn away from the typical touristy haunts and discover the unexplored, this guide to the gems in Shimla is just for you.

Top 5 Offbeat Places in Shimla

Shimla, a renowned tourist destination in India, extends far beyond its bustling Mall Road and colonial structures. Within its folds lie undiscovered treasures waiting to be unearthed. Below is a list of the top 5 offbeat places in Shimla for family, perfect for those seeking peace amidst breathtaking Himalayan beauty:

1. Chadwick Falls

Chadwick Falls, is known for its pristine water.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Chadwick Falls, a hidden gem in Shimla’s dense Glen forests, is one of the offbeat places in Shimla. While not as massive as other waterfalls, it offers a captivating experience. The waterfall cascades down from a height of about 100 meters, surrounded by lush greenery and towering pine and deodar trees. The name ‘Chadwick’ is derived from the local term ‘Chidku Jharna,’ which translates to ‘sparrow waterfall’, as locals believed that only sparrows could reach the top of the falls.

The trail leading to Chadwick Falls is a short and scenic hike through the Glen forest. The area around the falls is perfect for a picnic lunch. The cascading waterfall, lush greenery, and sun dappling through the leaves create a picture-perfect scene. So, don’t forget to carry your camera to capture the mesmerising beauty of Chadwick Falls.

Best Time to Visit
Chadwick Falls is most captivating during the monsoon season (July to September), when it’s at its fullest, though the trail can be slippery. For safer conditions, opt for spring (March to May) or fall (October to November).

How to Reach Shimla to Chadwick Falls?

  • By Taxi: You can hire a taxi from Shimla and ask the driver to drop you off at the start of Glen Forest Road. From there, it’s a short walk to the falls.
  • By Car: If driving to Shimla, you can take Cart Road to Nabha Road to Phagli Road along National Highway No. 22. Once you reach Glen, a narrow lane leads to the falls.
  • By Bus: You can take a local bus from Shimla to Summer Hill. From there, it’s a short walk to the trailhead for Chadwick Falls.

Must Read: Resorts Near Kufri

2. Jakhoo Hills

The grandeur idol of Hanuman on Jakhoo Hills, other offbeat places in Shimla.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Jakhoo Hills, one of the offbeat places in Shimla, towers over the city at a staggering height of 2,500 meters. It’s the highest point in Shimla, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Himalayas. A haven for nature lovers, Jakhoo Hills, is carpeted with lush green forests of alpine trees.

Jakhoo Hill is also significant from a religious standpoint. It enshrines the historic Jakhoo Temple, a famous Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The temple complex is home to the world’s tallest statue of Lord Hanuman, standing at 108 feet. Jakhoo Hills offers some trekking trails that wind through the serene forests. Jakhoo Hills is an excellent spot to witness the magic of sunrise and sunset. The interplay of colours on the mountains as the sun rises or sets is a sight.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Jakhoo Hills is spring (March to June) or autumn (September to November).

How to Reach Shimla to Jakhoo Hills?

  • Walking: The most adventurous option is to walk up the hill. The trail is about 2.5 Km long and can be pretty challenging, especially in the summer heat.
  • Horse riding: Riding a horse up the hill is a more leisurely option. This is a great way to enjoy the scenery without breaking a sweat. You can find horses for hire at the bottom of the hill.
  • Cable Car: The easiest option is to take the cable car. The ride provides breathtaking views of the cityscape and the encompassing hills.

3. Kufri

The astonishing Kufri, where the mountains whisper tales of snow and serenity

Image Source: Shutterstock

Kufri, a small but famous hill station just 20 kilometres from Shimla, is one of the offbeat places in Shimla. The name “Kufri” is derived from the local word “kufr,” which means “lake,” though there are no major lakes present today. Located at 8,600 feet, it offers stunning natural beauty, with snow-capped mountains in the winter and lush green valleys in summer.

Kufri is the ‘Winter Sports Capital of Himachal Pradesh’. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing. Mahasu Peak is the highest point in Kufri, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges. You can reach the peak by taking a scenic hike or riding a horse.
Best Time to Visit
January to March is ideal for experiencing snowfall and enjoying winter sports. April to June and September to December are pleasant weather and sightseeing options.
How to Reach Shimla to Kufri?

  • By Taxi: Taxis are available in Shimla and can take you to Kufri in 30-40 minutes. This is a comfortable and convenient option, especially if you have luggage.
  • By Bus: The Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) operates regular buses between Shimla and Kufri. This is a budget-friendly option, but the journey time may be slightly longer than a taxi.
  • By Toy Train: The iconic Shimla-Kalka Toy Train route passes through some stunning Himalayan scenery. While the train doesn’t stop directly at Kufri, you can get off at the Summerhill station and then hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Kufri.

Suggested Read: Offbeat Places Near Shimla

4. The Ridge

The Ridge is among the best offbeat places in Shimla.

Image Source: Shutterstock

The Ridge is the heart of Shimla, an ample open space offering stunning views of the Himalayas and a bustling centre of tourist activity. It is a historic area with colonial-era buildings like the neo-Gothic Christ Church and the Tudorbethan-style library. It’s also a hub for shopping, with shops selling everything from souvenirs to woollen clothes.

In the evenings, the Ridge comes alive with street performers, horse rides, and locals enjoying the cool mountain air. The Ridge offers some of the best views of the Himalayas in Shimla. Some food stalls on the Ridge sell local Himachali cuisine, reminiscent of the culinary delights found in offbeat places in Shimla. Try the momos (dumplings) and the siddur (a steamed bread dish).
Best Time to Visit
The best time to go to the Ridge is summer (May to June) or winter (December to February).
How to Reach Shimla to The Ridge?

  • By Road: Shimla is well connected to major cities in North India. You can take a taxi or bus from Delhi, Chandigarh, or Manali.
  • By Rail: The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great way to travel to Shimla. The train voyage spans approximately five hours, treating passengers to mesmerising vistas of the majestic Himalayas.
  • By Air: Shimla Airport is located at Jubbarhatti, about 23 km from Shimla. You can take a taxi or cab from the airport to Shimla.

5. Annandale

Annandale Ground on a sunny morning following heavy snowfall days

Image Source: Shutterstock

Annandale is a meadow located in Shimla. It’s a popular tourist destination for its scenic beauty, history, and recreational activities. Initially created as a playground for British officers during the colonial era, Annadale is now a favourite spot for locals and tourists seeking a break from bustling city life, much like the serene, offbeat places in Shimla.

Established in 1864, Annandale boasts one of the oldest golf courses in Asia. It offers an adventure suitable for players of every proficiency level. You can learn about the region’s rich military history at the Army Heritage Museum. The museum hosts an array of weaponry, uniforms, photographs, and assorted artefacts, all illustrating the valour and sacrifices of the Indian Army. You can also visit the Cactus Garden, located near the Army Heritage Museum, a unique attraction that houses a variety of cacti and succulents from around the world.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Annandale is during the summer months (March to June). For those seeking the charm of autumn, a visit in September and October offers a delightful experience.
How to Reach Shimla to Annandale?

  • Taxi: This is the most convenient option, especially if you have a group. You can easily hail a taxi from Shimla Mall or the Ridge and reach Annandale in about 15 minutes.
  • Bus: The Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) operates regular buses between Shimla and Annandale.
  • Car: If you are comfortable driving in the hills, rent a car and drive to Annandale. The roads are well-maintained, and there’s ample parking available near the entrance.

Further Read: Mashobra Resorts

Shimla, once the summer capital of British India, holds a wealth of undiscovered treasures awaiting exploration. This hill station offers an array of offbeat experiences that promise to leave you spellbound. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or someone seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of city life, offbeat places in Shimla for family have something to offer everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start on an unforgettable journey to Shimla, where you’ll find magical places off the beaten path that you won’t forget! Book your trip to Shimla today and create memories that will last a lifetime!

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Source: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions About Offbeat Places in Shimla

What are the unique places to see in Shimla?

Some of the unique places to see in Shimla include Ridge, Mall Road, Kufri, the Toy Train from Kalka to Shimla, Jakhoo Temple, Theog, Scandal Point, the Institute of Advanced Studies, Mashobra, Chail, Christ Church, Tattapani, Lakkar Bazaar, Himalayan Bird Park, and Naldhera.

What are the hidden tourist places near Shimla within 50 km?

Some of the hidden tourist places near Shimla within 50 km include Naldehra, Cheog, Theog, Koti, Kotkhai, Narkanda, Kotgarh, Matiana, Fagu, Kiarighat, Shoja, Karsog, Sirmaur, Sarahan, Tirthan Valley.

Which city is called Mini Shimla?

Solan, often called ‘Mini Shimla,’ mirrors its larger counterpart's scenic beauty and cooler climate. This quaint town exudes a charm reminiscent of Shimla, albeit on a smaller scale.

Is 2 days enough in Shimla?

Whether two days is enough time in Shimla depends on your interests. Two days may be enough if you just want to see the main sights. However, if you want to explore the surrounding area and trek, you will need more time.

What is famous in Shimla to eat?

Shimla offers a variety of delicious food options, including Siddu, Kullu, Trout, Chole Bhature and Himachali Thali.

People Also Read:

Category: Places To Visit, Shimla

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month