Back during the British Raj, Shimla was a favorite destination of the British people who would come here to relax and escape the hot weather. The state capital of Himachal Pradesh, also known as Queen of Hills, still breaths with British colonial vibes which you will notice when you talk a walk across the city. When I visited Shimla and reached the Ridge, I felt the same. The Ridge Shimla is one of the main attractions.
Being centrally located, The Ridge Shimla serves a perfect place of exploring the city since it connects to several other parts, be it Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhoo Temple, etc. During the snowfall, the place looks no less than a carnival with people thronging around here, rejoicing the snow, clicking pictures, etc. I had never known the ridge in Shimla before. I have come unplanned without any research on this place.
The Ridge Shimla is one of the most happening places
The Ridge remains crowded with lots of people, tourists who come to Shimla to explore this beautiful hill town and the locals who run their business here, be it cab services or shops. When there is snowfall, the Ridge gets covered entirely with snow and gets crowded. In normal days, the place experiences a huge crowd during the evening hours when this place looks incredibly beautiful. People put their stalls, sell food items and souvenirs. I wasn’t carrying my camera this time. I had my camera broken days back and couldn’t get it repaired. However, I had bought Moto G8Plus recently and thus used this smartphone for all photography and videography during this trip.
An open road, spread in a large area, the Ridge is the hub of all the activities of the city. It stretches along Mall Road from east to west. The road connects to Lakkar Bazaar. At the west end, you will reach Scandal Point. Thus, the place serves the meeting point as well. The Ridge of Shimla is surrounded by buildings and markets since its proximity to the Mall Road which is yet another famous place to stroll around when you are in Shimla.
There are several British colonial structures around the ridge including the neo-gothic style Christ Church was built in 1844, Tudorbethan styled library built in 1910, the Town Hall building which was built around 1908-10, etc. Looking in the south, you will be astonished by the spectacular views of the green lush valleys whereas, in the north, you will get to see the breath-taking vistas of the snow-covered Himalayan foothills of the Sivalik Hills range. There is a nice platform which serves as viewpoints especially for the photographers who come here to capture the beauty of this area.
The Ridge was the main market and residential area before the British moved here
The ridge was the main marketing and residential area for the locals here before the British shifted their administrative center here. The Ridge was back then known as Uppar Bazaar. A large part of the town was destroyed by a major fire in 1876. British people had the idea of developing this place into their summer capital.
Large water tanks are made underneath the Ridge which supplied water to the British back then. The water reservoir built with a capacity of 1000000 served as the lifeline of the city being used as the main water source for the city. It is said that the reservoir was built using lime mortar around the 1890s.
The British then started their development plans for their settlement and thus forced natives to leave the area to shift on the other side of the hill. This area is traffic-free and the enchanting ambience brings peace of the mind. Since the ridge is the only largest flat area of Shimla, thus lots of cultural activities, celebrations, festivals, etc. take place here. The summer festival is the most famous here celebrated in May every year.
Take a walk across the ridge and you will smell the old British charm here. A delight for the tourists, the ridge offers some of the most captivating views of the city. While I was staring at the snow-capped mountains, I never realised how the time spent by. The sunset moment is such a beautiful thing you don’t wanna miss when the sky is painted in blue, crimson hues, spreading its vibrant colours everywhere. Sit on the benches placed near the church and enjoy your ice cream or Maggi.