Houses on hillside, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. Shimla, also known as Simla, is the capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, located in northern India. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, and is still a major attraction for domestic Indian tourism. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational centre of the hilly regions of the state. As of 2011, the city had 171,817 residents, and was one of the least populous capital cities in India.