Famous Historical Buildings in Shimla | Famous Historical Buildings in Shimla
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The present-day Raj Bhavan was earlier known as the Barnes’ Court. it was occupied by Sir Edward Barnes in 1832. After a break, from 1849 to 1864, it was again the residence of various British Commanders-in- Chief, General Napier, General Gomm, General Anson, General Campbell and General Rose. It was here that the news of the Great Uprising of 1857 was given to General Anson.
The Punjab Government on 11th April,1878, asked for permission to purchase “Barnes Court”, as an official residence for the Lieutenant- Governor, Sir Robert Egerton, who first went regularly into residence at Barnes Court in 1879.
It acted as summer Raj Bhawan of Punjab upto 1966. After reorganization, when Simla was allotted to Himachal Pradesh, it was converted into a State Guest. In the late seventies, it was converted into a State Guest House-cum-Tourist Bungalow for some time.
In August,1972, after the 1971 war between India and Pakistan, Shimla Agreement was signed by Smt. Indira Gandhi and Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the then Prime Ministers of two countries.
As Peter Hoff was gutted in fire in 1981, Raj Bhavan housed therein was shifted to this building. On reconstruction of Peter Hoff, Raj Bhavan was shifted back to its new building in 1993. However, as it was too spacious for Raj Bhavan, it was again shifted back to Barnes Court building.
The Barnes Court building has been constructed in ‘ Tudor’ style of architecture. The doors and windows are made of teak wood. The paint on the walls of Ball Room at ground floor is of eastern ‘Moorish’ style.
Rothney Castle is near the Lakkar Bazar, on the road which leads to the Jakhoo Hill. This building was built by Colonel Rotheny in 1838. He is also known as the Father of Indian Ornithology. He sold this house to Dr. Carte who started the ‘Shimla Bank Corporation’ in the house in 1844.
Rothney Castle has a big historic significance in Indian History. It was the residence of the founder of the ‘Indian National Congress’ , Mr. A.O. Hume.
The Viceregal Lodge, Shimla commonly known as the Rashtrapati Niwas till 1960. It is located at on Observatory Hill. The construction of this building started in 1880 and was completed in 1888. It was built in Jacobethan style. It is designed by British architect Henry Irwin.
Viceregal Lodge was the official Residence of Indian viceroy during the summer months. In 1960 this building was handed over to the Indian Institute of Advance Study.
Earlier the Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor of Himachal Pradesh,was at Chauramaidan in Peterhoff building. The Peterhoff housed at least seven Viceroys and Governor General during the Raj. The first Viceroy to move into Peterhoff was the Earl of Elgin who arrived in Shimla on 4th April 1863. After independence the building served as Punjab High Court and it was here that the trial of Nathu Ram Godsey, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, took place in 1948-49. When Himachal became full fledged state the building became the Raj Bhavan. Unfortunately it burnt down in 1981 and Raj Bhavan shifted to Barnes Court building on 13-1-1981.
Bantony Castle :
Bantony Castle is located on Bantony Hill, Kalibari Road , Shimla. Bantony Castle was the summer palace of the Maharaja of Sirmaur. The main building is a two-story structure constructed in the mock Tudor style, part chalet and crowned with a sloping roof with mini-towers. It is now vested with Himachal’s Department of Language, Art and Culture.
The Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest church in entire northern India. It is situated on The Ridge. On 9 September in 1884, the foundation stone for the Christ Church was laid down by Rev Danial Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta. The Church was designed by Colonel J.T. Boileau in 1844. It took nearly 13 years to construct it. The church was consecrated on 10 January, 1857 by Bishop Reverend Thomas Daltrey, Bishop of Madras.
The architecture of this church got inspired by Neo-Gothic style. The clock installed in the church came as a donation from Col Dumbleton in the year 1860.
Ellerslie House is also known as the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat or the State Secretariat. This beautiful heritage building was designed by Lt. Colonel H.S. Abbott for the government use in 1886. Before construction, they had to dismantle the old building which had the same name and was used by the Military Department of Punjab Government.
The Himachal Pradesh Government took over this building in 1967. Today, all the government activities are conducted from the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat.
In July 1972, the initial meetings between the Indian and Pakistani delegation were conducted in one of the rooms in this Building.
Gorton Castle was constructed in the year 1904. The building was designed by British architect Sir Swinton Jacob. This building is now getting used as the AG office (Accountant General’s office) of the Himachal Pradesh.
The Town Hall Shimla was constructed in 1910 during the British Rule in India. The Town Hall is situated on the Mall Road. 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 Gaiety Theatre
The building opened its doors on May 30th, 1887. The first drama was recorded on June 9th, 1838. The foundation of the Amateur Dramatic Club was laid in 1887. It was constructed in the Gothic Style.
Legislative Assembly Building (Vidhan Sabha Bhavan) Or Council Chamber :
The Council Chamber building, constructed in 1925, was inaugurated by Lord Reading, the Viceroy, on August 21, 1925.
Rippon Hospital :
Rippon Hospital was designed by Henry Irwin and Completed in 1885 and Declared open by Lord Dufferin on May 14, 1885, hospital was named after lord Rippon.
Famous Historical Buildings in Shimla
Read Also : History of Himachal Pradesh