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Valley of Flowers National Park
The Valley of Flowers National Park is situated in the western Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand. It appears on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. UNESCO considered it to be an "outstandingly beautiful high altitude Himalayan valley" as well as noting it was home to rare and endangered species. The Valley of Flowers became a national park in 1982 and was recognised by UNESCO in 1988. It sits next to the Nanda Devi National Park and together the two parks form the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Entry fees apply. The park is open from the end of May until Mid October from 6:00 to 18:00 daily. Accommodation is available in villages nearby.
The Ridge is a meeting area in the centre of Shimla which runs between Scandal Point and Christ Church. It's a large open area which is the watershed for the city and houses a large water reservoir that supplies the entire city. Standing at either side of the Ridge, visitors can see panoramic views of the mountains to either side. The Ridge has food stands, horse rides for children and other amusements. There are statues of important figures such as Mohatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi as well as the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. A Summer Festival is held on the ridge and it is also used for New Years Eve celebrations. The Ridge can only be reached on foot as the centre of the city is barred to vehicles.
Christ Church Shimla
Christ Church is the yellow church which stands on The Mall, next door to the library. It is one of the most prominent buildings in the city and can be seen for miles around due to its striking colour and its night-time floodlighting. The Church was designed by Colonel JT Boileau in 1844 and was used regularly after its consecration in 1857. Today with the departure of the British who made Shimla their summer capital, there are few remaining worshippers using the church although a service still takes place on Sundays. The church is famed for its stained glass windows. The church is not generally open except during services but the tourist office on The Mall may be able to advise visitors how to gain entry.
Kalka Shimla Railway
In the days of British rule in India, Shimla was the official Summer Capital of the administration. For more than a century the Kalka Shimla Railway has been a popular method for visitors to reach the city. The Kalka Shimla Railway is known as a 'Toy Train' - a narrow gauge mountain-climber. The railway stretches for almost 100 km and climbs to an altitude of almost 7000 feet, passing through 102 tunnels and over 864 bridges. A one-way fare in first class costs approximately €7 and includes tea and a snack. The journey from Kalka to Shimla takes around 5 hours and offers extensive views of the mountains and villages along the route. Seats can be booked on-line at the Indian Railways website - www.irctc.co.in The train arrives at Shimla station which is approximately 6 km from the city centre. Taxis are available at the station. The Kalka Shimla Railway is one of three narrow gauge railways included in the UNESCO World Heritage Inscription for 'Mountain Railways of India' along with the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway