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Shimla District
ज़िला शिमला
The Queen of Hills
Located in the northwest part of the state
The northern state in India
Shimla District
Location of Shimla District
in Himachal Pradesh and India
Coordinates 31°6′12″N 77°10′20″E / 31.10333°N 77.17222°E / 31.10333; 77.17222
Country  India
State Himachal Pradesh
Headquarters Shimla
Largest city Shimla
Deputy Commissioner Joginder Singh Rana, IAS
Superintendent of Police Rajinder Mohan Sharma
Lok Sabha Constituencies Shimla
Vidhan Sabha Constituencies
7,22,502 (2001)
141 /km2 (365 /sq mi)
Sex ratio 896 /
• Male
• Female
• 87.19%
• 70.07%
Official languages Hindi
Ethnic groups (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area 5,131 km2 (1,981 sq mi)
• Summer
• Winter
ETh (Köppen)
     1,520 mm (59.8 in)
     17 °C (63 °F)
     22 °C (72 °F)
     4 °C (39 °F)
ISO 3166-2 IN-HP
Website Official website of Shimla district
Seal of Himachal Pradesh
Painting of Shimla in 1850

Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, lies between the longitude 77.00" and 78.19" east and latitude 30.45" and 31.44" north, has its headquarters at Shimla city. It is surrounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, Uttarakhand in the south, Sirmaur in the west. The elevation of the district ranges from 300 metres (984 ft) to 6,000 metres (19,685 ft). The topology is rugged and tough.

Shimla district derives its name from Shimla town which used to be a small village. Shimla district came into existence from 1 September 1972 on the reorganisation of the districts of the state.

The most commonly practised religion in the district is Hinduism. Hindi and Pahari are the languages spoken here. Agriculture is the major source of income.



History of Shimla goes back to the period of Anglo-Gurkha war[1] in the beginning of 19th century. In 1804 the Gurkhas, who had suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the Sikhs at the battle of Kangra, a hill fortress about sixty miles from Shimla, where according to some accounts they lost thousand of men in the fight and many others from disease, commenced to ravage the states and hills surrounding Shimla. Gurkhas built many forts around Shimla. One of these strongholds, the Jagatgarh fortress, was the origin of the modern Jutogh, the well known military cantonment adjoining Shimla. By 1808 the invaders had conquered all the fortified posts between the Jamuna and Satluj, and from their capital Arki began their ruthless rule over the neighbouring hill states, until at length the people in their wretchedness appealed to the British for help. A small British force under Major General 'Sir David Ochterlony' was despatched to liberate the hill men from Gurkhas. Majority of hill chiefs responded to the call and joined the British forces. The rivals were engaged in the toughest battle at 3750 ft high Ramgarh fort at Nalagarh. A decisive battle took place near the fort at Malaon in which superior guns of the British overpowered the enemy. The battle of Malaon on 15 May 1815 ended the dream of the Gurkhas, to rule over this part of the land for any longer. After few days, an official declaration was made according to which all Chieftains who had joined British in expelling the Gurkhas were restored with their land under the British protection. The maharaja of Patiala who has also rendered invaluable services to the British was rewarded with land in the neighbourhood of the area now comprising Shimla. After the defeat of Gurkhas they were forced to sign the Treaty of Sanjauli[2] . The company retained the strategic forts of Sabathu, Kotgarh, Ramgarh and Sandoch.

Present day Shimla District comprises 19 erstwhile hill states mainly Balson, Bushahr, Bhaji and Koti, Darkoti, Tharoch & Dhadi,Kumharsain, Khaneti & Delath, Dhami, Jubbal , Keothal, Rawingarh, Ratesh, Sangri.

Bushahr was one of the oldest of the hill states after Kashmir in the Western Himalayas. According to one legend. the Bushahr dynasty was founded by Pradhuman, the son of Lord Krishna. In order to marry the daughter of Banasur, the local chief of shonitpur(Sarahan), Pradhuman is said to have come to that place and after the death of Banasur in an encounter with him, he became the chief of Bushar and Kinnaur regions, since Banasur has no son. According to C.F.Kennedy, Bushar was founded by Danbar Singh an immigrant Rajput from Deccan in 1412 A.D. In 1914 Britishers recognised Padam Singh as legitimate heir and was crowned Raja of Rampur Bushahr. Ultimately in March, 1948 Rampur Bushahr became part and parcel of province of Himachal Pradesh.

Jubbal one of the Shimla Hill States with an area of 288 Sq miles was originally tributary to Sirmaur, but after Gurkha war, it became independent. Raja Karam Chand was the founder of the Jubbal State. Jubbal merged with the Indian Union after independence and became a part of Himachal Pradesh on 15 April 1948. at the time of merger Dig Vijay Singh was the ruler of the state.

Shimla District in its present form came into existence from 1 September 1972 on the reorganisation of the districts of the state. After the reorganisation, the erstwhile Mahasu district lost its entity and its major portion was merged with Shimla. Shimla district derives its name from Shimla town, the district headquarters and now state capital of Himachal Pradesh.


Kalka-Shimla train
Jubbarhatti Airport

By Train

Shimla is connected to Kalka (96 kms) on Meter Gauge and it takes around 6 Hrs from KALKA to reach SHIMLA[3]. There are 3-4 trains daily from Kalka to Shimla and vice-versa. Shivalik Express is luxury Deluxe Train on this route with less halts and pantry facility. One can also travel through Rail car (one of its kind mainly running on this route in India only). The overnight Kalka Mail from Delhi reaches Kalka in the early morning and that is the time to catch connecting trains on the splendid narrow-gauge train to Shimla. There are 103 tunnels on the route with longest being 1.2 K.M. long.

By Road

Shimla is connected by road to all the major towns. Distance between the Major Towns and Shimla :-

By Air

Shimla Airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 kms from city and is connected to Chandigarh, Kullu, Delhi. It has daily flights from Delhi and Kullu. On Tuesday and Thursday Jagson Airlines flies Delhi-Shimla-Kullu-Gaggal and return. Archana and KCV fly between Delhi and Shimla on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Local Transportation

Local bus services is frequent in Shimla City from 7 am to 9 pm and buses are available to all the places in the City. Buses runs mainly on the Ring Road (Covering Main Bus Stand, Lift, Chota Shimla, Kasumpti, Sanjauli, Lakkar Bazaar Bus Stand, Victory Tunnel, Boileauganj, Summer Hill. Taxis are freely available from all the points in Shimla for local travel and site seen. Daily Tourist Buses are run by HPTDC for local sight seen and booking in them can be done at the Tourist Information Centre on the Mall. Shimla City is placed on hill top and all the major places like Mall, Ridge, Kali Bari, Lakkar Bazaar are located on it, to reach these places one has to walk on foot from the ring road on steep hill and its the only mode of travel on hill slopes. One can avail the facility of lift run by HP tourism from cart road, which links the Cart Road to Mall. Taxi Service from Mall Road to Bus Stand, Sanjauli to Lakkar Bazaar (Near Ridge, Shimla),Kasumpti to Shimla Club(Near Ridge).

Fairs and Festivals

Bharara Fair :[4] This fair is held in village Bharara near Kumarsain and people of all castes and creed participate. The fair is held on the 1st of Jaistha(May), It is being celebrated from ancient times. Devta Koteshwar is brought in the fair and goats are sacrificed in its honour as a mark of respect. The fair is cultural and recreational and Natti dances are performed. People also enjoy 'Hindola' ride.

Bhoj Fair : This fair is held in village Guman in Rohru tehsil in the month of November. for three days in honour of Devta Bansor, Parshu Ram and Kilbaru. Devta Bansor is the presiding deity.Beside paying homage to the deities 'Natti' dances are performed by the people. The fair attracts a huge crowd.

People Dancing at Lavi Fair Rampur

Lavi Fair : Lavi fair of Rampur is the most important fair of the district and state. It is a commercial fair held on the 25th of Kartika (November). It is said that the fair was related to the signing of trade treaty between the erstwhile Bushahr State and Tibet.. The shepherds of Kinnaur migrate to warmer places before the on set of winter and on their way they halt at Rampur. The woollen goods,dry fruits and medicinal herbs brought by them are purchased by the people and the traders of the plains and foodgrains,clothes and utensils are sold. It is a very old fair and entirely related to the sale and purchase of goods. 'Natti' dances and cultural shows are the main attractions.

Mahasu Jatar : This fair is celebrated at a place about 6 Kms from Shimla-Kotkhai road near Mahasu village on the 3rd Tuesday in the month of Baisakha(May) for two days. The fair is a very old one and is held in front of the Durga Devi temple by a large gathering who throng the place from the neighbouring areas. It is believed that a Rana of Badoli lived in Chakroth near Mahasu. He had built Durga temple there. After the abolition of his jagir the Rana left the village and the villagers of Mahasu constructed a temple of Durga in their own village and to commemorate the occasion they started the fair. 'Natti' dances and folk songs are performed. Archery game is the main attraction of entertainment. At the end of the fair a goat is sacrificed.

Pathar-Ka-Khel-Halog : This fair is held in village Halog of tehsil Shimla. Halog was the capital of erstwhile Dhami state. The fair is held on the second day of Diwali in the month of Kartik(November). In ancient times human sacrifice,it is said, used to be offered to goddess Kali every year at the spot where the fair is now held. It is also said that on this day the widow of a ruler of the state performed 'Satti' and that before doing so she had ordered to make human sacrifice henceforth. Human sacrifice was stopped after sometimes. Stone throwing fight between two parties is the main attraction of the fair and whatever blood oozes out from the wounds caused by injuries on the bodies of the participants is collected and offered to the Kali. Apart from the stone throwing game the 'hindola' ride is also enjoyed.

Sipi Fair : This fair is held every year in Sihpur below Mashobra on the 1st of Jaistha(may) in honour of Sip Devta. It is very old fair and the Rana of Koti used to be the chief visitor. Thousands of people of the surrounding areas participate in the fair. A goat is slaughtered in honour of the deity. Archery game is played besides several cultural programmes, variety shows, 'Karyala', Performance of the jugglers, magicians and acrobats provide additional entertainment to the spectators.

Shimla Summer Festival

Summer Festival : It is held every year in the month of May at Shimla. It is variety cultural function with performance of local folks, cultural program by school children and daily performance by some famous personality. It is held on the famous ridge ground.

Winter sports festival : 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 and carries on to February. Clear skies and low temperatures provide series of uninterrupted sessions. There are two sessions every day, in the morning and in the evening depending upon the frozen ice on the ground. The hanging balloon on the Municipal Building adjacent to scandal point works as signal, whether the skating is going to be held on that day or not.Membership is available for the season as well as for shorter terms and even for single sessions. Skates are available at the rink.Fancy dress carnivals, 'gymkhanas' ice-hockey and dances enliven every season.

Rohru Fair : This fair is held in Rohru on the 9th and 10th of Baiskha (April) on the banks of river Pabbar in honour of Devta Shikru. People of nearby villages are the devotees of the Devta. It is very old fair and is held to commemorate the supremacy of the deity. This fair is also a commercial one and apart from the performance of 'Natti' dances and cultural activities,brisk trading is also done. Men and Women costumed in their best attire participate in the fair.

Temples of Shimla District

Bheemakali Temple, Sarahan

The Bheemakali Temple[5], reputed to be at least 800 years old, is dedicated to Goddess Durga or Bheemakali and is considered one of the significant Shakti Peeths of Shaivite Hindus. The temple is Tibetan in its architectural style, with Buddhist and Hindu influences and bronze statues of both religions in the shrines. It has slanted slate roofs, golden towers, pagodas and a carved silver door. Dussehra is celebrated in a grand way at both the Bheemakali Temple and in the village of Sarahan, with animal sacrifice playing a big role in the festivities. Bheemakali Temple regarded as one of the fifty one sacred Shaktipeeths.


Shri Sankat Mochan temple is situated at a distance of about 5 K.m from Shimla and is located at Taradevi on the Kalka - Shimla National Highway. This temple is very easily approachable and is one of the most sought after site to be visited not only by the devotees and pilgrims but also by the tourists of all age groups visiting Shimla, the Hill capital of Himachal Pradesh.

Hatkoti Temple

Along the River Pabbar, 104 km from Shimla, is the temple dedicated to Durga and Shiva. The gods are said to have fought a pitched battle at this spot. Famous for ancient temple of Mata Hateswari in the midst of paddy fields on the right bank of the Pabber river.


Ma Bhagwati Tara Devi temple is located on Tarav Parvat in the western side of Shimla Town about 15 km from Shimla situated by the side of Kalka- Shimla National Highway near Shoghi. The road meandering uphill through the sweet smelling pine forests and lush green meadows with the cool gentle breeze touching one softly infusing a freshness and vigor in the devotees, pilgrims and tourists visiting this holy shrine. The location of the temple on the Hill top makes it appear that the goddess Ma Tara Devi seems to keep everyone under the protective gaze, showering innumerable blessings on her worshippers. The picturesque view from the temple is indeed breath taking and captivating with the superb panorama of the lofty and majestic forested mountains around, which offers a calm peaceful and tranquil countryside, a site that has a soothing and rejuvenating effect, being away from the din, pollution and the taxing effect of a fast urban life style.


This temple of lord Hanuman is situated at the height of about 8500 ft. in the east of historical ridge ground in Shimla city. This temple is very easily approachable and is one of the most sought after site to be visited not only by the devotees and pilgrims but also by the tourists of all age groups visiting Shimla, the Hill capital of Himachal Pradesh.

Shimla district Profile

View of a Himalayan valley
Ridge Shimla
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies,Shimla
Sheep flock
Dhami village near Shimla

As of Census of India 2001[7]


Persons - 722,502
Males - 380,996
Females - 341,506
Sex ratio (females per 1000 males) - 896
Growth (1991–2001) - 16.90%
Rural - 555,269
Urban - 167,233
Sex ratio (0–6 years) - 929
Scheduled Caste population - 188,787
Percentage to total population - 26.13%
Scheduled Tribe population - 4,112
Percentage to total population - 0 .57%

Number of households - 1 54,693
Household size (per household) - 5

Literacy and Educational level

Persons - 504,330
Males - 293,745
Females - 210,585

Literacy rate
Persons - 79.12
Males - 87.19
Females - 70.07

Educational Level attained
Total - 504,330
Without level - 11,640
Below primary - 9 7,060
Primary - 1 14,805
Middle - 7 8,995
Matric/Higher Secondary/Diploma - 1 53,284
Graduate and above - 4 8,464

Age groups
0 – 4 years - 5 9,305
5 – 14 years - 1 49,801
15 – 59 years - 4 55,784
60 years and above (Incl. A.N.S.) - 5 7,612

Religions (Largest three)

1.Hindus - 704,150
2.Muslims - 8,493
3.Sikhs - 4,825

Important Towns (Largest three)
1.Shimla (M Corp.) - 142,555
2.Rohru (NP) - 6,607
3.Rampur (M Cl) - 5,653

Total inhabited villages - 2 ,520

Type of house
(% of households occupying)
Permanent - 83.2
Semi-permanent - 14.6
Temporary - 2.2


  1. ^ History of Shimla
  2. ^ Negi, S.S., (1994) Discovering the Himalaya Indus Publishing. ISBN 8173870799
  3. ^ Shimla Access
  4. ^ Fairs and Festivals
  5. ^ Bheemakali Temple
  6. ^ Temples of Shimla District
  7. ^ Census of India

External links


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