Shimla was annexed by the British in 1819, after the Gurkha war. At that time it was known for the temple of Hindu Goddess Shyamala Devi.
The former summer capital of the British in India, and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has got a scenic location, it is surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks . The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era creates an aura which is very different from other hills.
About centuries ago the area occupied by the modern day Shimla was dense forest. Only the Jakhu temple, which has stood the test of time and a few scattered houses comprised the signs of civilisation.
Shimla may have been called the summer capital, but for all practical purposes this was the real Capital of India as the Government of India stayed there for the better part of the year moving down to Kolkata and later to New Delhi only during the winter months. As the summer capital of the British Raj, Shimla came to be known as ‘the workshop of the Empire’.Ashok Kumar
In 1903, the British completed a narrow-gauge railway, whose diminutive locomotive led to its being called the “toy” train, to Shimla from Kalka. The UNESCO -recognized train route passes through 102 tunnels and crosses over 850 bridges. Before its advent, visitors had to travel the 69 kilometers from Kalka along a bridle path in two-wheeled carts pulled by pairs of ponies.
Shimla is a multi-hazard /multi-disaster prone City and it’s mainly because of its geo-climatic complexities and anthropogenic factors.
...when India became independent in 1947, Shimla was one of the most important hill stations of the world. After the partition of India in 1947, many of the Punjab Government offices from Lahore in Pakistan were shifted to Shimla. In 1966, with the re-organization of territory into Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Shimla became the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Since then, Shimla has flourished, as capital of the state and has continued to be an important tourist resort of India and the world.
Spread across seven hills in the northwest Himalayas among lush valleys and forests of oak, rhododendron and pine is the capital of Himachal Pradesh that was once the summer capital of colonial India. And today, there is still more than a hint of the Raj in the former hill station of Shimla.
In 1864, the place was declared colonial India’s official “summer capital.” Later, Shimla came to be known as the “Queen of Hills".
Though Shimla was formally acquired by the British in the tenure of Lord William Bentinck, but it was during Lord Aucklands’ time that Shimla began to come of age.
The British in India had called Shimla by various names Viceroy’s Shooting Box, Abode of the Little Tin Gods and even Mount Olympus.
In 1832, Shimla saw its first political meeting: between the Governor-General [Lord Peter Aoronson] and the emissaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
In November, 1903, the Shimla Railways was a monumental event that changed Shimla for ever.Raghuvendra Tanwar
If people enjoy walking, they’ll like Shimla.
The Vice Regal Lodge on the Observatory Hills, also known as Rashtrapati Niwas, was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin. It was the venue for many important decisions which changed the fate of the sub-continent. It is quite befittingly the only building in Shimla that occupies a hill by itself.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Shimla was taken from Jhind Rana in 1815 and given to the Patiala Raja for assistance rendered by him to the British in the Nepal war.
The city is a unique combination of hills, spurs and valleys to the North and East; a network ofmountain ranges which are crossed at a distance, by a magnificent crescent of new peaks, the mountains of Kullu and Spiti in North, the central range of the Eastern Himalayas in the east and South east. Shimla town occupies a unique place in the history of the Indian sub-continent. Emerging as a nostalgic reminder of their country, for the British officers, posted in the region, the town went on to occupy the centre stage during the hey days of the Raj .