Shimla is arguably the most well-known hill station in India. The town is exclusively a legacy of British rule; up until the early 1800s there was little here besides dense forest, with the first ‘pukka’ house constructed by a British civil servant in 1822. Word quickly spread throughout the ranks of a refreshingly cool climate, and a forested outlook similar that ‘back home’. By the end of the 1820s several dignitaries were taking entire summers in Shimla, with each summer seeing further construction of houses, roads, and urban amenities. By the mid-18th century the British had named Shimla as their summer capital, a title it kept right up until Independence. Hallmarks of British rule are found throughout with Anglican churches and Georgian manor houses now bumping shoulders with the usual temples and busy marketplaces which make up a bustling Indian town. Shimla is reached by the famous Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge railway – which passes through some 107 tunnels and 864 bridges – and serves as an excellent gateway into the dramatic scenery of the Indian Himalaya.

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