Photos

Photographer's Note

On the Observatory Hills is located the Viceregal Lodge. Also known as Rashtrapati Niwas, it was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin, was the venue for many important decisions, which changed the fate of the sub-continent. It is quite befittingly the only building in Shimla that occupies a hill by itself. This rambling Scottish baronial edifice was designed by Henry Irvine, architect to the Public Works Department of the colonial government in India. The south facing entrance portico sees the visitor into the reception hall. The hall is marked by a grand staircase which springs from the right and spirals up three full floors. Facing the main entrance is the grand fireplace. A gallery with well-appointed teak panelling is the central space of the building around which the other rooms are arranged. The state drawing room, ballroom, and the wood-panelled dining room - decorated with coats of arms of former Governor-Generals and Viceroys - lead to the gallery at the lower level. Verandas and terraces surround the entire building at different levels. Those at the lower level link the lodge to the magnificent grounds while those on other floors provide superb views of mountains. Way back in 1888 this Lodge had electric light – when nobody else in Shimla did – and, would you believe it, an indoor tennis court! The lodge had extensive facilities including huge kitchens; separate rooms for storing table linen, plates, china and glass; laundry; an enormous wine cellar; a room for empty cases; boilers for central heating and running hot and cold water in the bathrooms. Pretty much as in Delhi’s Viceregal Palace, the Viceroy hosted lavish parties and entertained the royal princes and nawabs in style. Several momentous decisions were taken in this building. This was the venue of the Simla Conference in 1945. In 1947 , the decision to partition India and carve out the states of Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) , was also taken here.

After independence, the Lodge remained the summer retreat of the President of India. In the early 60s the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, a leading philosopher and writer, and the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided to make it a scholars’ den where the best minds would find an ideal retreat. That’s when the Indian Institute of Advanced Study moved into the Lodge in 1965.Obviously enough, some of the interiors had to be changed to accommodate the needs of the Institute. The state drawing room, ballroom, and dining room, for example, have been converted into a library; the Viceroy’s office is now the IIAS Director’s office; and the conference hall is now a seminar room for research scholars. Without the large contingent of Viceregal attendants and the resources, the ambience of this large estate is very different from what it used to be in the days of the Raj.The institute seems like the perfect setting for lively intellectual debates and discussions. The list of Fellows of the Institute includes names the Burmese Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Sun Kyi, who was a fellow here in 1986.

Source: http://hpshimla.nic.in/sml_heritage.htm

gracious trouve(nt) cette note utile

Photo Information
  • Copyright: rishabh nath (rishabh6296) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 48 W: 0 N: 65] (706)
  • Genre: Lieux
  • Medium: Couleur
  • Date Taken: 2006-11-15
  • Categories: Châteaux
  • Exposition: f/2.7
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Versions: version originale
  • Date Submitted: 2007-10-07 19:52
Viewed: 3972
Points: 2
Discussions
  • None
Additional Photos by rishabh nath (rishabh6296) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 48 W: 0 N: 65] (706)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH