Ellerslie House ShimlaShimla was the summer capital of the British India. This was due to the fact that the British could not endure the hot summers of Kolkata, which was then capital of British India. After, they discovered the beauty and cool climate of Shimla, they started retreating to the Shimla every summer. Slowly, they started building simple Swiss-type cottages or German country houses in Shimla for the summer stay.
As they consolidated their stay in Shimla, the architect started replicating the Gothic or Elizabethan Style in the construction of the building. All these experimentation have been assimilated in the character of the Shimla. It has further enhanced the beauty of the city and has given this city its unique character.
Today, also you can see some of the finest examples of the British Colonial architecture in the city. One of them is the Ellerslie House, Shimla or Himachal Pradesh Secretariat as it is called today.
History of the Ellerslie HouseThe Ellerslie House or Himachal Pradesh Secretariat as it is known is the finest example of the British Colonial Architecture. This beautiful heritage building was designed by Lt. Colonel H.S. Abbott for the government use in 1886. Before construction, they had to dismantle the old building which had the same name and was used by the Military Department of Punjab Government. Due to this fact, today also it is known as the Ellerslie House by the people.
Today, also you can see this letter, which was written by the Major W.P Larson to the Secretary of Municipal Committee for the permission of the construction. He wrote in the letter that the committee is aware about the intention of the Punjab govt. to pull down the Ellerslie House. After that they are going to build a new building for the different departments for providing accommodation for the complete Punjab Secretariat. This permission was granted on 28 June 1899.
The building is constructed from the stone which was quarried from the Barnes Court which is also known today as the Raj Bhawan and Sanjauli. The stones and the bricks were cemented together with the lime mortar. The building covers the area of 8663 meters. This is 3 storied building, which have 143 rooms for various government departments and the 31 rooms for public service and 31 refreshment rooms. It also has a basement and sub basement.
The Himachal Pradesh Government took over this building in 1967. Today, all the government activities are conducted from the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat. As the Himachal Pradesh rules the state from this building, the present and future of the citizens of state is decided here. Also, the State Legistlaure or Vidhan Sabha conducts the regular meetings in this building.
One of political and historically significant events, which are prominent in the pages of country’s history, is the Shimla Agreement. In July 1972, the initial meetings between the Indian and Pakistani delegation were conducted in one of the rooms in this Building. That room was spruced up for the meetings and is now known as the Summit Hall.
How to Reach Ellerslie HouseEllerslie House is also known as the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat or the State Secretariat. It is very easy to travel for visiting the Elerslie House from the Shimla Railway Station. You can also reach the Ellerslie House by Shimla airport which is located nearby. You can take the private taxi or cab to the Elerslie House. The services of different buses such as the HPSTC or Private buses are also available for the tourists.
Elerslie House is located at the National Highway no. 22. To reach there, you have to take the Circular Road from the Railway Station. Then you can take National Highway 22. The total driving distance from the Railway Station to the Ellerslie House, Shimla is 5.4 km.