Shimla is the perfect example of an Indian hill station.
Its lush greenery is much talked about, its weather, of course, is
the ideal respite from the heat of the plains and its main street
is crowded, both with shops and people. But just like every hill
station in India, it’s got its own story to tell. With its roads and
lanes, some tiny and narrow, others bold and spectacular, there’s
a lot to love about the beautiful hill station of Shimla…
A place for the Raj
Annexed by the British in the early 1800s, it wasn’t long before
Shimla attracted the attention of the viceroys. By the 1860s,
Sir John Lawrence, then Viceroy of India, started moving the
administration from Calcutta to Shimla — despite the more
than 1,500km-long journey — every summer. Then, in 1876,
Viceroy Lord Lytton made the effort to plan the town and
prepare to build a viceregal lodge befitting the summer capital
The imposing lodge can still be seen, sitting regally atop Observatory Hill and the majestic Entrance Hall and gardens are open to the public. Post-independence, the lodge became a summer retreat for the President of India. However, from 1965, the Viceregal Lodge has accommodated the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and has since counted eminent individuals among its fellows, including Burmese Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Sun Kyi.
Another place worth visiting is Gorton Castle. Built over 100
years ago in the neo-Gothic style, this three-storey castle is
famous for it balconies with intricate Rajasthani jaali work.
Once the Civil Secretariat of the Imperial Government of India,
this majestic building now houses offices of the Accountant
General of Himachal Pradesh.
The hub: Chances are, if someone’s been to Shimla, one of the first things