Shimla – The Capital
Shimla is the capital town of Himachal Pradesh. It was formerly the summer capital during the British Rule. The city of Shimla built over several hills and connecting ridges. The important hills are Jakhu, Prospect Hill, Observatory Hill, Elysium Hill, and Summer Hill.
The scenery in the immediate neighbourhood of Town presents many magnificent views. The town has blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of. Dwelling on a scenic location, green pastures and snow-capped peaks surround the hilly town. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era create an aura, which is very different from other hill stations.
T retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, among them, are the stately Viceregal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts. The Mall, packed with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town.
The climate of the town is most beautiful and delightful, representing something like European conditions in India and providing a fantastic opportunity for the visitors to enjoy its scenic beauty all around the year.
The completion of the Kalka-Shimla narrow-gauge railway line, in 1903, gave a fillip to the town’s development. After Independence, Shimla was initially the capital of Punjab. Following the creation of Himachal Pradesh, in 1966, it designated the capital of the Himachal Pradesh.
History of Town
There is a great controversy over the origin of the name Shimla. Many versions are there to support its origin. According to one, the name Shimla derived from shyamalaya meaning ‘Blue house‘ said to be the name of the house built of the blue state by a faqir on jakhu. Other say that ‘Shumlah‘ ‘Shimlu‘ or ‘Shemlah‘ is the actual native word from which the station takes its present designation.
According to one version, Shimla pronounced as Shimla takes its name from Shimla meaning a blue female. Another name for well-known goddess kali. In the past, at a site very near to the ROTHNEY CASTLE, on the jakhu hillside. There was a small temple dedicated to this goddess. The version of the goddess kali seems to be the most appropriate and authentic, keeping in view the fact that the people of these hills and their ruling chiefs worshippers of shakti and shiva, both symbols of power.
History of Shimla goes back to the period of Anglo-Gurkha war at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1804 the Gurkhas, who had suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the Sikhs the battle of Kangra. A hill fortress about sixty miles from town, where according to some accounts they lost thousands of men in the fight. Gurkhas built many forts around Town. One of these strongholds, the Jagatgarh fortress, was the origin of the modern Jutogh, the well known military cantonment adjoining Town.
Shimla District in its present form came into existence from 1st September 1972 on the reorganisation of the districts of the state. After the reorganisation, the erstwhile Mahasu district lost its entity, and its significant portion merged with Town. Present-day Shimla District comprises of 19 former hill states mainly Balson, Bushahr, Bhaji and Koti, Darkoti, Tharoch & Dhadi, Kumharsain, Khaneti & Delath, Dhami, Jubbal, Keothal, Rawingarh, Ratesh, Sangri.
Shimla district derives its name from Shimla town, the district headquarters and now the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. The Shimla District comprises of 9 Sub-Divisions, 13 -Tehsils, 12 Sub Tehsils and 10 Blocks.