Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, has so much more to offer than just stunning views. Trust me, if you want to truly soak in the essence of this delightful destination, you’ve got to experience it like a local. Forget about the touristy stuff and dive headfirst into the local culture. That’s where the real magic happens, and you’ll leave with memories that’ll last a lifetime. So, let me spill the beans on six amazing ways to embrace the local way of life and uncover those hidden gems!
Kick off your day with a Pahadi breakfast
Get up early and hit up a local joint for a traditional Pahadi feast. You’ve got to try Sidu, a delicious steamed bread made from flour, served with a generous dollop of ghee or Desi Ghee. It’s a local delicacy that’ll please your taste buds. And don’t forget to pair it with a piping hot cup of Kangra tea, locally grown and bursting with its own distinct flavour and aroma. It’s the perfect way to start your day!
Wander through the charming streets of Old Shimla
Leave the crowds behind and explore the narrow lanes of the old town. Make your way to Sabzi Mandi, the lower bazaar, where the action is. This vibrant marketplace is where you’ll find everything from groceries and spices to traditional crafts. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells that define the local way of life. Chat up the shopkeepers, indulge in local snacks like Kurkez and Momos, and soak in the beauty of the traditional architecture that’ll transport you back in time. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!
Go for a trek to Jakhu Temple
Now, let’s get a bit adventurous. This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and can be reached by starting your trail near Ridge Road. As you trek, you’ll be surrounded by serene surroundings and might even come across some mischievous monkeys along the way. Once you reach the temple, prepare to be amazed by the 360-degree view of Shimla’s skyline and the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Take a moment to soak in the tranquil atmosphere, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the world’s largest Hanuman statue, the resident deity of this temple. It’s a breathtaking experience!
Go for a Heritage Walk
To dive deeper into Shimla’s history and architecture. Join a guided tour and explore the colonial district of Shimla, where you’ll discover architectural treasures like the Viceregal Lodge, Gaiety Theatre, and Christ Church. You can even opt for a guided walk service if you want that extra dose of storytelling and information. Listen to fascinating tales about Shimla’s colonial past, its role as British India’s summer capital, and the significance behind each architectural gem. It’s a chance to connect with the city’s rich history and gain a deeper understanding of its vibrant culture. You’ll love it!
Discover the lesser-known Temples
Shimla is home to several off-the-beaten-path temples that are worth exploring. Take your time and visit these sacred sites to experience the spiritual side of the city. Head up the hill to Kamna Devi Temple, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Shimla. Then, venture to Tara Devi Temple, nestled amidst lush greenery, and feel the peace and tranquillity wash over you. These lesser-known temples not only offer a spiritual experience but also give you a glimpse into local customs and rituals. It’s a serene and calming adventure you won’t forget.
Treat your taste buds to the flavours of Shimla’s cuisine
To truly understand a culture, you’ve got to savour its culinary delights. And Shimla has a rich culinary heritage that’s sure to leave you wanting more. Indulge in traditional Himachali dishes like Madra, a lip-smacking chickpea curry that’s bursting with flavours. Don’t miss out on Chha Gosht, a succulent lamb dish cooked in buttermilk that’ll make your taste buds dance with joy. And if you’re up for a delightful rice dish, Tudkiya Bhat is a must-try. It’s spiced rice cooked with lentils, and it’s absolutely delicious.
Try the delicious Apple Cider
But wait, there’s more! Shimla is famous for its juicy and crisp apples, so don’t forget to wash down all that amazing food with a glass of refreshing local apple cider. It’s the perfect way to quench your thirst and experience the flavours that define Shimla’s cuisine. A culinary journey through the local dishes will give you a whole new appreciation for the flavours and ingredients that make Shimla’s cuisine so unique.
So there you have it, from indulging in a Pahadi breakfast to exploring the streets of Old Shimla, trekking to Jakhu Temple, going on a heritage walk, visiting hidden temples, and indulging in the tantalizing local cuisine, you’ll truly experience the magic of this enchanting hill station. So pack your bags, get ready to make unforgettable memories, and get ready to embrace Shimla like a local!