Shimla is well connected by air, road and rail with all parts of Himachal Pradesh, and the neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashimir and the Union territory of Chandigarh. Covering the area of 18 sq. km. at a height of 7,238 ft. Shimla is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and numerous attractions make it one of Indian's most popular and biggest hill-stations.
A narrow-railway links Kalka with Shimla. This important rail-link was built in 1924 and its "toy trains" still ply between the two stations, passing through 105 tunnels and beautiful rail-road stations. Half-way through the journey, after Solan, the lights of Shimla flow in the distance, looking like glimmering jewels studding the dark green of the mountains. The train takes six hours, and at every stop on the journey are smiling faces giving a warm welcome.
Situated in the North-West Himalayas, the climate of Shimla varies from a maximum of 10-11 degrees in winter to a maximum of 25-26 degrees in summers. Shimla never allows the gods to raise the temperature above that limit and the gods always oblige. Shimla changes its moods with the seasons. In spring we see flowers of all kinds, both wild and cultivated, smiling in each garden. During the monsoon, we see some of the best sunsets in the world.
Winter in Shimla is known as the season of "Long moon-night." It becomes a frost glistening silent city. A gathering of dark clouds tells us of the approach of snow generally a slight fall first, followed by a heavier one when the snowflakes sweep down through the fine-needles bending long branches to the ground. The following morning sees the town as a fantastic fairyland of white beauty.
Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has got a scenic location, it is surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era creates an aura which is very different from other hill stations. Shimla has all the facilities required for tourists but they can be very expensive particularly during the peak season. often it becomes difficult to find accommodation here during the peak season. And remember water is a perennial problem in Shimla.
Shimla in itself is a very small town and is very well maintained and neatly kept city. In central part of the town is Mall which almost divides the city in two parts. In the center of the city is the famous scandal point which was immortalized by Rudyard Kipling. From Christ Church to the Scandal point is the Ridge area. The Ridge is a place where all tourist flock and spend time. From the ridge one can hire a pony to other places in Shimla.
Just below the ridge is the Tibetan market where one can purchase foreign items which often are fake. Shimla has got a big but very unorganized bus stand on the cart Road. A lift has been provided from the Cart Road to the eastern Mall road. This lift carries people from lower to upper Shimla. The rest of Shimla is connected by unnamed and steep lanes and steps.