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History of Shimla

History of SHIMLA

History of Shimla

Shimla came into existence in 1819, after the Gurkha War, when a thickly wooded spot, then known for the temple of goddess `Shyamala' was discovered by the British. Its climate commanded itself to British officers on leave and remained a summer village of tents for about three years. It was only in the year 1822 that Captain Kennedy constructed the first double storey building here known as the Kennedy House. Lord Amherst, the first Governor General who visited Shimla, in 1827 stayed at the Kennedy House. It was during Lord William Bentinck's time that Shimla was truly acquired by the Government of India. The old Dak Bungalow of Shimla was demolished to provide a site for the Bentinck Castle, which is today the famous Grand Hotel. Soon Shimla became the summer capital of the British Indian Government. Lord Bentinck's successor Lord Auckland, chose a residence on the northern eastern spur of the Shimla range which was known as the Auckland House. The Auckland House, one of the oldest houses of Shimla, was a scenario of brilliant balls and theatricals.

The British made Shimla their summer capital in 1864 and it remained so until 1939. The summer exodus of the officials from the plains, however, ended after 1947. Shimla continued to serve as a temporary capital of the east Punjab until the new city of Chandigarh was completed. It has remained the capital of Himachal Pradesh ever since 1966.

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