In 1864, John Lawrence, Viceroy of India (1864-1869) declared Simla (present-day Shimla) the summer capital of India. The summer season for the Raj was between mid March and mid October.
Simla was far from the seat of power in Calcutta, but cool, healthy and strategically placed. The British loved the fresh mountain air, the beautiful valleys on one side and the Himalayan views on the other.
Today Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh State - located in the north-west of India's Himalayan region.
The Viceregal Lodge served as the residence of British Viceroy, Lord Dufferein. After independence it was used as the summer retreat of the President of India. Today it's India's Institute of Advanced Study - for post graduate students. This neo-Gothic building is sited about three miles from the main part of the Mall. It reminded me of Cragside in Northumberland. Not just because of its imposing architecture, but also because of the state-of-the-Victorian-art technology, with its own steam generator, and electric lights. The original light panel is still there. Since all these buildings, large and small, were made from local materials by local craftsmen, they also embrace elements of Indian design as well as making concessions to their environment. For example, in the intricate Kashmiri designs in the walnut ceiling of the lounge.
Christ Church is believed to be the second oldest church in North India. This pale yellow edifice dominates the skyline of the Mall.
Kali Bari Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shyamala, from which Shimla gets its name. It houses a shrine of the Hindu goddess Shyamala.
Shyamala has multiple aliases, including Kali and Durga. Kali is a central figure in late medieval Bengali devotional literature. She also has a central role in Tantric literature. The goal of the Kali devotee is to become reconciled with death and accept things as they are. The present temple was constructed during the days of the Ra, though the original shrine was thought to have been created much earlier by Bengali devotees.
Kali Bari Temple is very popular among Hindu pilgrims.
Main music: James Asher "Tigers of Raj gates of temple"