During the days of the Raj, the Imperial Government used to decamp from Calcutta to Simla (Shimla) for 6 months of the year, to escape the fierce heat of the Indian plains. Rudyard Kipling captured the unique flavour of Simla life in his classic 'Plain Tales from the Hills', and even today there are clear reminders of that era, in the form of the Mall, Christ Church, the Town Hall and the Post Office, as well as many mock-Tudor lesser buildings in the Upper Town and the impressive Viceregal Lodge (below right). Simla is a place to stroll through and enjoy, with (weather-permitting) views of the distant snow-capped Himalayan peaks. One popular early morning walk (fairly strenuous) is the summit of Jakhu Hill for one of the finest views of the mountains. Below: Simla at dusk.