(Last Updated on : 07/05/2013)
Shimla District is an administrative district of Himachal Pradesh
and Shimla city is the district headquarters. Shimla
was the summer capital of India under British
rule. Shimla has seen many important historical events such as the famous Shimla Agreement
between India and Pakistan which was signed here.
Shimla District is also famous for its natural beauty, architectural buildings, wooden crafts and apples. The district derives its name from the administrative headquarters. Average altitude of the district is 2202 metres above the sea level. Main language spoken in this district is Himachali or Pahari language.
Shimla District is located between 77 degree and 78 degree 19 minutes east longitude and 30 degree 45 minutes and 31 degree 44 minutes north latitude. This administrative district of Himachal Pradesh is bounded in the north by Mandi
, in the east by Kinnaur, in the south by Uttarakhand
and in the west by Sirmaur. The town of Shimla is built over several hills and connecting ridges. The important hills are Jakhu (8050 feet), Prospect Hill (7140 feet), Observatory Hill (7050 feet), Elysium Hill (7400 feet), and Summer Hill (6900 feet).
History of Shimla District
There is a great controversy over the origin of the name Shimla. It is said that the name Shimla was derived from 'Shyamalaya' meaning blue house said to be the name of house built of blue slate by a faqir on Jakhu. According to one version Shimla takes it name from 'Shamla' another name for Goddess Kali
. The place was on the Jakhu Hills
and there was a temple of Goddess Kali. Shimla remained unnoticed during the Gurkha War
. In 1864 Shimla was declared as the summer capital of India. After Independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab
and was later named as the capital of Himachal Pradesh. In 1903, a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla.
Geography of Shimla District
Shimla District has been blessed with all the natural bounties. This hilly district is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. Shimla is situated in the Shivalik range
of Himalayas with combination of low lying hills to gigantic mountains. Shimla district is full of thickly populated pine trees and small rivulets, rivers in deep gorges and placid mountains lakes, mountain sides draped in snow, and green alpine meadows, all form a part of this immense spectrum. Winters are generally cold and chilly winds from the upper Himalayas makes the place really cold. Around the last week of December, this district receives heavy snowfall. Temperature varies from 15 degree Celsius to 27 degree Celsius in summers and in winters it ranges from zero to 17 degree Celsius. Major rivers flowing through the district are Sutlej River
and Giri rivers.
Demography of Shimla District
According to the Population Census in the year 2011, Shimla District had population of 813,384 of which male and female were 424,486 and 388,898 respectively. The population of Shimla District constituted 11.86 percent of total population of Himachal Pradesh. The average literacy rate of Shimla in 2011 was 84.55 compared to 79.12 of 2001. If things are looked out at gender wise, male and female literacy were 90.73 and 77.80 respectively. The total literate in Shimla District were 619,427 of which male and female were 347,013 and 272,414 respectively. In 2001, Shimla District had 504,330 in its district.
Culture of Shimla District
Culture of Shimla District is diverse and colourful. Several fairs and festivals are organised here and people actively participate in those fairs. Summer festival and winter sports festival of Shimla District also attract travellers from adjoining areas. Summer festival is held every year in the month of May at Shimla. It is very popular and includes cultural function with performance of local folks and school children and also by some famous personalities. Ice-skating in Shimla is a big attraction for the sports-lovers during winter. Shimla is the only place in Asia which has the privilege of having a natural Ice-skating rink of the kind and offers a popular pastime to the participants and on lookers alike. Ice-skating normally begins in early December.
Tourism in Shimla District
Shimla is one of the most popular hill stations of the country. There are several tourist spots in this district that are worth exploring. Like for instance, the travellers can visit its popular pilgrimage sites - Christ Church and St. Michael's Cathedral, Sankat Mochan Temple, Jakhu Temple, Kali Bari, Tara Devi Temple and more. Other main attractions of Shimla District include Mall, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Annandale, Potter Hill, Viceregal Lodge, Himachal State Museum and Library. The fairs and festivals are added attractions offered by Shimla District. Shimla is an ideal destination for adventure lovers.
Shimla is ideally located, and though there is an air service to the town, it is best reached by road that includes the charms of the Himalayan countryside at its best.