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Heritage Sites in Shimla

Shimla was a small village when it was discovered by the British. The small village was then transformed into a well planned city and became the “Queen of the Hills” and was the summer capital of the British India. The British have ruled out country for more than 200 years. Shimla City has many heritage sites and visitors get an opportunity to have rare glimpse of glorious past of the British Rule in India. Not only popular among the history buffs but these heritage sites have been all-time favorite for the tourists of all genres.

Heritage of Shimla

Shimla Heritage Tour for a person starts with the heritage train journey and it continues with other places. Shimla is bestowed with many heritage sites and tourists can start their Shimla journey by enjoying the ride of Shimla-Kalka Heritage train. The Kalka-Shimla Railway Line is a narrow gauge line of 762 mm covering rail route through the mountains while traveling form Kalka to Shimla. While you are traveling in this heritage train, you would be able to get charming feast of picturesque surroundings of the Himalayas. After entering Shimla, right from the Mall, to the Scandal Point, then Gaiety Culture Complex to the Christ Church, heritage walk continues in Shimla taking people on an enjoyable journey of the past.

The Scandal Point in Shimla

This is a heritage site from where one could get to see the wonderful valleys of Shimla. The name of this place has been originated from an incident that involved the Maharaja of Patiala and Viceroy’s daughter. Both had planned to elope and they had met at this point thereby the point has been named as “Scandal Point”.

Scandal Point, Shimla
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While tourists are walking round the Mall, they can spend some wonderful moments at this point.

The General Post Office in Shimla

Located by the side of the Scandal Point is the age old building of Shimla General Post Office, a popular heritage site that visitors would never like to miss. This general post office was built in 1882 and is the oldest post office in North India. Earlier this building was known as the Conny Cottage. The first post master was Mr. F. Dalton and the last British Post Master of this post office was Mr. L.G. Pigott (in 1946). The first post master of the Indian origin was Mr. A.K. Hazari who became the post mast of Shimla GPO in 1947.

General Post Office, Shimla
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When there were no rail or road links with Shimla, mails were sent from Ambala to Shimla through special vehicles called “Dak Gari”. Later on, mails were carried by the postal employees on ponies, elephants and horses.

Catholic Church on the Ridge

Catholic Church, ShimlaThe Christ Church, the Catholic Church located on the Ridge was constructed in the year 1846 and was sanctified by the Bishop of Calcutta in the year 1857. It was constructed to serve the British people residing in Shimla at that time.

The church has become a must-visit site for its amazing architecture that followed Neo-Gothic style. The eastern part of the church has colored-glass windows that symbolizes the virtues of Christianity e.g. faith, humility, patience, fortitude, charity, hope.  Anyone can have the sight of this age-old church from miles away.

Town Hall in Shimla

Town Hall was constructed in 1910 and it was preserved in its original look with little bit of renovations that were needed. During the British Era, it was the municipal corporation of Shimla. Visitors can walk down to this heritage site while they are walking and wandering in the Mall. The entrance of Town Hall has large steps showcasing the erstwhile glory of the British time.

Town Hall, Shimla
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All the works of the Municipal Board of Shimla that was established in 1851 used to be done from this building, Town Hall. A library is also in the close vicinity that was built during the British Era.

Photo Gallery in Shimla

The Photo Gallery is located in the near vicinity of the Summer Hill showcasing the culture, beautiful landscapes, wildlife and beauty of this city. There are about 20,000 photographs of the state displayed here in this photo gallery. The photographs are taken by the famous photographer Inder Pal. People get mesmerized when they step into this gallery and look at this precious collection of photographs. Visitors have to take the Chaura Maidan Road from the Railway Station and then turn to Shangti Road to reach this photo gallery.

Gaiety Theater in Shimla

While you are walking in the Mall area of Shimla, you must not miss out the century old heritage site that still remains the main hub of social and cultural functions of Shimla. Considered as the pride of Shimla, this theater was opened in 1887. The Gaiety Cultural Complex has amphitheater, multi-purpose theater and places to organize stage shows.

Gaiety Theater, Shimlafiles.prokerala.com/news/photos/imgs/800/artistes-perform-at-the-british-era-gaiety-35092.jpg

Since its construction, people of Shimla have been lucky enough to watch shows performed by eminent performers here at this theater.

Shimla Heritage Museum

Located near the US Club in the close vicinity of the HPTDC life, Shimla Heritage Museum remains opened for the visitors 10 AM to 8 PM. This museum has many items that provide the visitors glimpse of British Rule in India. The building itself is considered as a heritage building for its classic architecture based on the British style. Every room of this museum has collectibles that have many stories to tell to the visitor and that is why the museum works on the theme – “Har Ghar Kuchh Kehta Hai”.

Kali Bari Temple

One of the oldest temples of Shimla, the Kali Bari Temple was constructed in 1845. The goddess is worshiped as Shyamala Devi here. This form is an incarnation of Goddess Kali and it is very fearsome. The idol is made of wood and the main altar of this Hindu Shrine was installed by the Bengali Devotees. The Goddess is also worshiped as other incarnations like Sati, Meenakshi, Chamunda, Chinnamasta, Himavati, Bhavani, Tara, Parvati and Uma at this temple.

Kali Bari Temple, Shimla

On the occasions like Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Navratri, thousands of devotees flock here to offer their prayers.

Combermere Bridge in Shimla

Combermere Bridge, ShimlaThis bridge is built across a gulf and a water tank at the top of the hill.

The bridge was constructed at the request of the commander-in-chief of Indian Army, Lord Combereme, in the year 1928.

Presently the tank is at the location of Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, Shimla.

Gorton Castle in Shimla

With a roof made of red galvanized iron, Gorton Castle gives a look and feel of fairytale. Amongst the dense forest of Deodar Tress, this bright castle is visible form far off.  This castle showcasing the Neo-Gothic architecture was built during the years 1901-1904. During the British Rule, this castle had Health, Education, Finance, land and legislative departments working from here. Now the castle is the office of Accountant General of Himachal Pradesh State.

The Railway Board Building

While travelers are walking to the Mall, they will come across an unusual building made of steel and cast iron. This structure was considered as one of the most important buildings of British Shimla. The building was constructed in 1896 and had fire-resistant and safety features. It had the offices of Railway Board, a part of Department of Commerce, and PWD’s Secretary. This heritage building was built by Richardson and Cruddas, a Bombay based Company. The building had 3 levels below the road and 4 levels above the road.

The Railway Board Building
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Initially the building was known with the name Public Works Department Secretariat Offices and in the year 1923, the name Railway Board was assigned to it.


Ellerslie is also called Raj Bhawan and it is the secretariat of Himachal Pradesh. Vidhan Sabha assemblies are conduted here. The construction of this building was done in the early years of 19th century and the designer was Lt. Col. HES. The building had three stories and has 143 main rooms and 31 rooms meant for public services. There is a basement in this building and the interior construction was done with brick and lime mortar. In the year 1967, this building came under the control of Government of Himachal Pradesh. This building can be easily reached as it is located on National Highway 22.

Vice Regal Lodge

During the regime of Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin in the period of 1884-88, this lodge was designed and built under the supervision of Heny Irwin, a famous architect of that time. The architecture of this building was based on Neo-Gothic style. Spread in an area of about 123 acres, the building was the first one in Shimla to have electric lights. In the year 1945, Shimla Conference was held here and the building had also witnessed many other historical events (partition of India decision). 

Vice Regal Lodge, Shimla
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After India’s independence, the building was renamed as Rastrapati Niwas as it became the property of the India’s President.

Vidhan Sabha of Shimla

Vidhan Sabha of Shimla was earlier known as the Council Chamber. This building has a glorified past that has made it one of the most popular heritage sites of Shimla. The construction of this edifice was completed in the 1925 and was inaugurated on 27th August, 1925, by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Reading. Shimla was made the summer capital of the British India and Council Chamber was used as the accommodation for the Central Assembly. The construction of this building started in 1920 near another popular site, the Kennedy House.

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