Before Independence, Shimla was the most important British hill station and in the hot season, it used to be the summer capital of India. Shimla was the first discovered by the British in 1819 but it was not until 1822 that the first permanent house was erected there and not until many year later that Shimla became the semi-official capital. As the heat increased in the plains each year, rich people rushed to the cool mountain of Shimla. The style of social life during the summers was legendary and the town still has a bit of British air about it. As per provisional data of 2011 census Shimla urban agglomeration had a population of 171,817, out of which males were 94,797 and females were 77,020. The literacy rate was 94.14 percent.
Mall Road: The Mall is the main shopping street of Shimla. It also has many restaurants, clubs, banks, bars, Post Offices and tourist offices. The Gaiety Theatre is also situated there
Jakhu Temple: Jakhu is the highest peak and beautiful view of the snow covered mountain. At the top of the Hill, is an old temple of Lord Hanuman. The temple is at an altitude of 2,455 metres near the highest point of Shimla ridge.
Christ Church: Situated on The Ridge.
Jutogh: Located just 8 km away from the city centre, this army cantonment is near Totu, an important suburb of Shimla city.
Museum: The famous Museum of Shimla, which was opened in 1974, has tried to protect hill-out and the cultural wealth of the state.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study: This institute is housed at the former Viceregal Lodge, built in 1884-88.
Summer Hill: Situated at a distance of 5 km from The Ridge is the lovely township of Summer Hill, at a height of 6,500 ft on the Shimla-Kalka railway line. Mahatma Gandhi lived in these quiet surroundings during his visits to Shimla. Himachal Pradesh University is situated here.
Tara Devi: At a height of 1,851 metres and 11 km from the Shimla bus-stand. Tara Devi hill has a temple dedicated to the goddess of stars on top of the hill. There is a military Dairy Town here as well as the headquarters of Bharat Scouts and Guides.
Mashobra: This picnic spot has pleasant forest walks. It is at a 13 km from Shimla and at a height of 2,149 metres, site of the annual Sipi fair in June.
Kufri: Kufri is the best known Ski-resort in Himachal Pradesh. It is located at a distance of 16 km from Shimla at a height of 8,600 ft, Kufri is the local winter sports centre, and it also has a small zoo.
Chail: Chail was built as summer retreat by the Maharaja of Patiala during the British Raj, it is known for its cricket pitch, the highest in the world.
Fagu: There is a very fine view from this spot and a lot of snow during winters. It is at a distance of 22 Km from Shimla at a height of 2,510 Metres. Fagu also has a potato research centre.
Wild Flower Hall: On the road to Kufri, at a distance of 13 Km from Shimla and at a height of 2,593 metres, this was the former residence of Indian Commander-in-Chief, Lord Kitchener. However the present huge mansion, surrounded by pine trees, is not the actual one built for Kitchener. From here, one can have a fine view of Shimla and mountain peaks of the Pir Panjal and Badrinath ranges.