So far, I have been having a truly exciting stay at Shimla and exploring this destination has also given me an insight into the fascinating lifestyle of the people of Shimla. Apart from t being the summer capital of British India, there are many pilgrimage sites that are easily accessible from here. This hill station is home to some of the top boarding schools in India, and the residents of Shimla do give importance to education. While this hill station is developing rapidly, it has still maintained its culture and old- world charm which is very evident in the day to day life here. The local Pahari people are the major inhabitants of Shimla, and there are people from other religions and cultures who stay here, giving Shimla a very cosmopolitan feel. Agriculture and rearing livestock is the most practiced occupations here; and that is one of the reasons one can witness sprawling orchards and fruit- laden trees on a visit to Shimla.
The wood and metal art here is exquisite and fine, and the designs often represent local themes. Even the embroidery and shawls are very famous, so it is very common for those who visit Shimla to take such items back as mementos. Most people claim that the Shimla summer festival is one of the best events to experience the folk dances and music of this region. This event is held during the peak tourist season, and given that we were traveling nowhere close to that time, we were content with our daily experiences of Pahari culture. The people are very hospitable and helpful, and have a serene demeanor akin to the tranquil mountains that surround them.
For a person from the city, this hospitality and peacefulness was certainly a welcome break from the hectic city lifestyle that we all have become so used to. There are restaurants, shopping centers, cinema halls and all sorts of modern amenities in Shimla, yet there is an aura of calmness that soothes the senses. Our little group also had the opportunity to sample some traditional Pahari food; fresh and bursting with such flavor that we could not help but lick our fingers clean!