Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh has charmed the visitors with its enchanting natural beauty and popular attractions like the Mall Road, Summer Hill, Jakhoo Temple and many more. There are many colonial structures and heritage sites in Shimla that are of great historical importance. Tourists can get amazing insights about the city by visiting these magnificent edifices or sites in personal, but one of the best ways to explore the rich culture and bygone era of the city is to walk into various prominent museums of Shimla. The museums educate the visitors about the history, people and tradition of Shimla by showcasing the precious age-old coins, manuscripts, dresses and weapons. Some of the popular museums in Shimla that take people to a memorable trip of past and present are:
Himachal State Museum, Shimla The Himachal State Museum is one of the popular attractions among tourists. It was established in the year 1974 and is strategically located near the Shimla railway station about 1 km away from the city. The main aim behind setting up this museum was to conserve the history, tradition and vivid culture of Shimla. Here various artifacts are preserved and displayed like the antique books, coins, paintings, jewelries and splendid handicraft items. There is a different section in the museum where beautiful Himachali dolls and toys are exhibited. This particular section is quite a hit, particularly among the little kids. The museum has been categorized into five galleries that display various things:
Pre-historic gallery: Ancient stone age devices and sculptures of extinct animals.
Wood carving gallery: Residue wood panels of prehistoric temples.
Archaeology gallery: Intricately carved sculptures and terracotta items belonging to Gupta, Maurya and Shunga dynasties.
Wall painting gallery: Beautiful paintings of Chamba Rang Mahal depicting the royal life of Raja Umed Singh.
Numismatic gallery: Primeval coins of Himachal Pradesh
Address: State Museum, Chaura Maidan Rd, Chaura Maidan, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Timing: 10:00 am to 5.00 pm (Tuesday to Sunday)
Closed: Monday and Public Holidays
Shimla Heritage Museum For all the art lovers and history buffs, this museum is a must visit place to know about the history and culture of Shimla during the pre-independence period. After the independence, the Britishers left behind many stunning paintings and pictures that give a very good insight of Shimla during the 18th century. Many buildings such as the Central Hotel, Barnes Court, Oakover, Gaiety Theatre, Nabha Estate and Vidhan Sabha that have been shown in the paintings are now an integral part of Shimla's heritage.
Army Heritage Museum The museum provides comprehensive information about the various regiments of Indian Army. The tourists certainly get enthralled after seeing the artifacts that have been preserved here. The surrender letter that Pakistan signed during the 1971 war is exhibited here. Moreover, the arms and weapons that were used in the war also displayed in the museum. There is also a distinct section in the museum where the uniforms and medals have been preserved. The medals were given by the Royal Army of Nepal to the Indian Army as a gift. The museum certainly ignites a sense of patriotism among the people and encourages them to join the Indian Army.
Address: Annandale, Near the Ridge, Shimla
Timing: 10 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm. During summers, the museum remains open till 4 pm.
Closed: Monday and Public Holidays