General Information

Location : In the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

Altitude : 2,130 m above sea level

Temperature : Between sub zero in winters and 30 C in summer. Through out the year.

Climate : Being a hilly region, here Climate is generally unpredictable. Generally Summer
Starts from March-April onwards and extend till Oct-November. It is very very cold in
Winter. The temperature in winter falls below O degree centigrade.

Population: 142,161

STD Code: 0177

Languages: Hindi, Himachali, Garhwali, English

Best season to visit: May-July and September-November. In Oct-November weather is cool and
enjoyable. The weather is generally cool at day and night. enjoy the snowfall during winter
season that starts from December and may extend till March. It is generally not preferable
to visit shimla during rainy season that may span to March to July for most of the time you
will be confined to your rooms.

Tourist Attractions : The Mall, Viceregal lodge, Himachal State Museum, Jakhoo Hill,
Annandale, Glen, Summer Hill, Chadwick Falls, Prospect Hill, Sanjauli, Temples, Daranghati

Best Buys : Wooden Articles, Toys, Kullu and Kinnauri Shawls, Caps, Tibetan Carpets and
other handicraft articles.

Best Activities : Trekking, Skiing, Golfing, Fishing

Nearby Tourist Destinations : Chail, Kasauli, Kufri, Solan, Nahan, Narkanda, Renuka Lake,
Sarahan, Sirmour, Mashobra & Craignano, Naldehra, Rampur, Sarol, Dharamshala.

Clothing : Light Woollens/Heavy Woollens

History: The British discovered Shimla in the form of a little village in 1819. Until then,
it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. It was during Lord William Bentinck’s time that
Shimla was truly acquired by the Government of India. The British persuaded the local Raja
to part with the land in 1830, and the settlement became the subcontinent’s most
fashionable summer resort. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of India. After
the independence of India, Shimla became the capital of Punjab until 1966, when it came
under Himachal Pradesh.

During the “Hot Weather”, Shimla was also the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief,
India, the head of the Indian Army, and many Departments of the Government. The summer
capital of the regional Government of the Punjab moved from Murree, in modern-day Pakistan,
to Shimla in 1876. They were joined by many of the British wives and daughters of the men
who remained on the plains. Together these formed Shimla Society, which, according to
Charles Allen,”was as close as British India ever came to having an upper crust.” This may
have been helped by the fact that it was very expensive, having an ideal climate and thus
being desirable, as well as having limited accommodation. British soldiers, merchants and
civil servants moved here each year to escape from the heat during summer in the Indo-
Gangetic plain. The presence of many bachelors and unattached men, as well as the many
women passing the hot weather there, gave Shimla a reputation for adultery, and at least
gossip about adultery: as Rudyard Kipling said in a letter cited by Allen, it had a
reputation for “frivolity, gossip and intrigue”.
The area of present-day Shimla was invaded and captured by Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal in 1806.
The British East India Company took control of the territory as per the Sugauli Treaty
after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). The Gurkha leaders were quelled by storming the
fort of Malaun under the command of David Ochterlony in May 1815. In a diary entry dated 30
August 1817, the Gerard brothers, who surveyed the area, describe Shimla as “a middling-
sized village where a fakir is situated to give water to the travellers”. In 1819,
Lieutenant Ross, the Assistant Political Agent in the Hill States, set up a wood cottage in
Shimla. Three years later, his successor and the Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt
Kennedy built the first pucca house in the area in 1822, near what is now the Himachal
Pradesh Legislative Assembly building. The accounts of the Britain-like climate started
attracting several British officers to the area during the hot Indian summers. By 1826,
some officers had started spending their entire vacation in Shimla. In 1827, Lord Amherst,
the Governor-General of Bengal, visited Shimla and stayed in the Kennedy House. A year
later, Lord Combermere, the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in India, stayed at
the same residence. During his stay, a three-mile road and a bridge were constructed near
Jakhu. In 1830, the British acquired the surrounding land from the chiefs of Keonthal and
Patiala in exchange for the Rawin pargana and a portion of the Bharauli pargana. The
settlement grew rapidly after this, from 30 houses in 1830 to 1,141 houses in 1881.

The 500-foot (150 m) Lower Bazaar tunnel was built in 1905 and christened Khachhar Surang.
The Elysium tunnel (now known as the Auckland Tunnel), about 120 feet (37 m) in length, was
also built in 1905

The Kalka–Shimla railway line, constructed in 1906, added to Shimla’s accessibility and
popularity. The railway route from Kalka to Shimla, with more than 806 bridges and 103
tunnels, was touted as an engineering feat and came to be known as the “British Jewel of
the Orient”. In 2008, it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mountain
railways of India.In addition, Shimla was the capital of the undivided state of Punjab in
1871, and remained so until the construction of the new city of Chandigarh (the present-day
capital of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana). Upon the formation of the state of
Himachal Pradesh in 1971, Shimla was named its capital.

After independence the Chief Commissioner’s Province of H.P. came into being on 15 April
1948 as a result of integration of 28 petty princely states (including feudatory princes
and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya, known in full as the Shimla
Hills States & four Punjab southern hill states by issue of the Himachal Pradesh
(Administration) Order, 1948 under Sections 3 & 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act,
1947 (later renamed as the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 vide A.O. of 1950). The State of
Bilaspur was merged in the Himachal Pradesh on 1 April 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and
Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the
implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lt. Governor was appointed. Legislative
Assembly was elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory on 1 November
1956.Following area of Punjab State namely Shimla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti
Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some
area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of
Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Tehsil of Pathankot District; were
merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966 on enactment of Punjab Reorganisation Act,
1966 by the Parliament. On 18 December 1970, the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed
by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged
as the eighteenth state of the Indian Union.

Pre-independence structures still dot Shimla; buildings such as the former Viceregal Lodge,
Auckland House, Christ Church, Gorton Castle, Shimla Town Hall and the Gaiety Theatre are
reminders of British rule in India. The original Peterhoff, another Viceregal
residence, burned down in 1981. British Shimla extended about a mile and a half along the
ridge between Jakhoo Hill and Prospect Hill. The central spine was the Mall, which ran
along the length of the ridge, with a Mall Extension southwards, closed to all carriages
except those of the Viceroy and his wife.