It is an unwritten law amongst Bengalis that we must visit a Kali or a Durga Temple wherever we can find one. In Shimla, that is not a problem – there is the famous Kalibari, built in 1845, and “dedicated to Goddess Kali who is also known as Shyamala. It is from the name of Goddess Shyamala that Shimla derives its name,” as its website states. The date on the gate is different, but we go by what is stated in the website.
We had the advantage of staying very close – about a 15 minute uphill walk from our hotel. The temple looked out upon two valleys on two sides of the city – it was a wonderful sight on a clear sunny day.
The other temple we visited was the Hanuman Temple at Jakhoo. This involved a longish stroll through to the other end of the Mall, through a couple of meandering little lanes, climbing into a gondola which took us on a new rope-way up the hill to the temple.
The temple is dominated by a huge statue to Lord Hanuman, which can be seen from almost the entire length of the Mall, and perhaps from many other places in the city as well. It is lit up at night, and it was fascinating to see the small orange shape way up in the hill, shining like a beacon in the night. My camera is not good enough to shoot a night picture, so this is the best I could do.
The place belongs to the local monkey population, and quite rightly so.
The return journey on the gondola was fascinating, swaying in the strong breeze, looking down on the city, and around to the beautiful little houses on the hillside.