I had seen, as dawn was breaking
and I staggered to my rest.
Tara Devi softly shaking.
From the Cart road to the crest
I had seen the spur of Jakko
heave and quiver, swell and sink,
Was it earthquake or tobacco,
day or dawn, or night of drink?
Resting on seven small hills, with a stunning panorama of the snow-capped Western Himalayan range, the story of Shimla begun in early 1800’s with the intrusions of Gurkhas from Gangetic plains into Himachal. Divided into small princely states, the wealth and peace was massively plundered by Gurkhas. Helpless local rulers, asked for help from East India Company and Gurkhas were pushed back.
Shimla – derived its name from ‘Shyamalaya’ meaning blue house said to be the name of house built of blue slate by a faqir on Jakhu. According to one version Shimla takes its name from ‘Shamla’ meaning a blue female another name for Goddess Kali. The place was on the Jakhu hillside, there was a temple of Goddess Kali. During the British period the image of the Goddess was shifted to a new place, now famous Kali Bari Temple.
British decided to camp on the hills of Shimla in summers to beat the scorching heat of plains in India. Acknowledged as ‘Queen of Hills’, Shimla and later became the summer capital of British India, the town is embraced with some fine examples of architectural styles from all around the world and these buildings still peek into the bygone glory of the era.
Shimla – The nostalgia of Raj.