Walking tour of Colonial Shimla
Shimla is such a delight to walk around, working your way from Christ Church along the Mall to the Viceregal Lodge. Christ Church was consecrated in 1857 and contains some superb stained glass windows. Do look out for the pew where the Viceroy sat. Outside you reach ‘Scandal Point’, and the story goes that it was here that the Maharaja of Patiala eloped with the daughter of the Viceroy. Unfortunately, the story isn’t true, and it is more likely that Scandal Point was a place that British couples used to share illicit conversations after a walk along the Mall. You walk down the Mall and reach the Gaiety Theatre, opened in 1877, and you can wander in to have a look around. You then continue down the Mall, seeing some of the old British buildings all with a story to tell: Shimla’s General Post Office, Bantony, Betink’s Castle, Shimla Imperial Bank, Railway Board Building, Gorton Castle, Knockdrin, Kennedy Castle and Sanatorium. You then reach the Cecil Hotel where you can stop for tea. Continue to the Shimla Viceregal Lodge, completed in 1888 and where the Viceroy ran India during the summer months. It was here that many of the discussions about Indian Independence were held. You’ll then be wanting some lunch, so we suggest heading to Chapslee for lunch, formerly the summer residence of the Maharaja of Kapurthala, and a superb example of colonial architecture and design.