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Shimla is one of the most popular hill stations of India. Shimla is a famous holiday destination for the people who look for some leisurely days amongst the nature and at the same time would like to enjoy the place completely by visiting various places of interest especially the ones that are the testaments of glorious past and have been designed and created by the best people of that era. Shimla has many monuments and buildings that have been designed and constructed by the best architects during the British rule in India. One such is the Town Hall in Shimla, which is now the renovated building housing the Shimla Municipal Corporation.
About Town Hall Shimla
The Town Hall Shimla was constructed in 1910 during the British Rule in India. The British had made Shimla, the summer capital of the nation. During summers, government officials used to come and stay in Shiml and lots of administrative jobs used to be done here at Shimla. To accomplish those jobs and to provide residences to the government officials, several constructions were made. Shimla Municipal Board was formed in 1851 and during the summer months (when Shimla used to be the summer capital of British-Ruled India), different functions of the municipality i.e. roads, sanitation, water supply, drainage, tax collection were handled by Shimla Municipal Board. The foundation stone of the Town Hall was laid by the Shimla Municipal Board.
The Town Hall is situated on the Mall Road, the most important landmark of Shimla. The building has huge steps at its entrance. These steps are not only used by the visitors to sit and chat and have some moments of relaxation but the grand entrance of the building is the favorite place for the visitors for taking snaps.
The building of Town Hall has different offices of Shimla Municipal Corporation running in it and it also houses a library which can be visited while one is walking along the Mall Road towards the Ridge in the upper areas. The library within the Town Hall has been operational since the British Raj. There have been renovations in this colonial structure but the originality f the structure has been kept to keep its historical association as it is.
History of the Town Hall Shimla
The Town Hall used to be the center of Shimla City during later years of 18 AD. The Town Hall was designed by Henry Irwin, the renowned architect who had designed many other building in colonial India. The original Town Hall building was built in 1860. In the original construction it had every small element that was needed to cater the then British Society in the town. The renowned Gaiety Theater was within the Town Hall and along with that the Town Hall also had a library, a huge hall, a drawing room, card-room, ballroom, armory, police station and a retiring-room. The building had an outward appearance of a cathedral but the building had all the components of amusement in its inside.
The stones used for constructing the building were “Barog Stones”. Along with the stones, timbers were used and the roofs were made with grey slates. The roofs were slanting so that snow or water could not get accumulated. The windows were wide and made with glasses thereby the building had enough provision of natural light and during the extreme winter months, the building remained warm and cozy.
The upper stories of the Town Hall got damaged so badly that they needed to be demolished and rebuilt. This was done in 1910-11.
Important Places around the Town Hall
As the location of the Town Hall is just at the place where The Mall Road meets the Ridge, visitors get to see many other important buildings and monuments around it. The famous Gaiety Theater is just beside the Town Hall. There is another popular heritage site near it, the Christ Church, an edifice of British Shimla.
The Mall, famous market place and the most important landmark of Shimla is also very close to the Town Hall. The important market places like Lakkar Bazaar, the Lower Bazaar etc. can also be reached easily from here. What used to be a popular hang-out place for the British in Shimla still remains a popular and must-visit place for the local people of Shimla and the tourists as well.
How to Reach the Town Hall
Shimla Town Hall is located at the center of the town, on the Mall Road. It can be reached very easily from any part of Shimla. No vehicles are allowed on this road so people have to come walking to this place and it is a wonderful journey.
To come to the city from Shimla Railway Station and the Airport, there are conveyances like buses, government as well as private ones. Taxis can also be taken on rent to reach to the city. The nearest railway station is the Shimla Railway Station, connected to the Kalka Railway Station by narrow gauge. From Kalka, several express, mail, super-fast trains run to various other cities and town of India.
The nearest airport is the Jubbarhatti Airport, only 23 km away from the city center. Regular domestic flights are available from this airport to major cities of India.