Lord Amherst

And now he was here in Shimla to inspect the new retreat of the British officers. One morning when the Khansama had set up his table outside in the lawns of Kennedy’s House, Lord, looking towards the Himalayan ranges said, ‘The Emperor of China and I govern half of human race, and yet we find time for breakfast’.

Planning to for Simla

He remained too busy with Kennedy. They had several plans to set up the new retreat in the hills. Both these officers knew that the hills were going to have large number of Gora Sahibs and Mem Sahibs soon and there was going to be a massive change in the lifestyle of the hills. There was nothing there, accept the climate and the weather that could match to their European style of living. They had to bring everything from outside or create it there itself. They knew that very soon, more and more people were going to arrive every year so spend summer in the hills and that is why they negotiated the land with the local rulers.

Lord Amherst spent most of his evenings sitting in the lawns of Kennedy House and worked on various plans that he had. He liked the cool climate of the hills that kept him excited about the new retreat. When he returned to the plains he talked a lot about the pleasant climate of Shimla that actually convinced many people to rush to the hills during summer.

The locals were excited to have white men and women from foreign land and were keen to enjoy their presence. Every local hoped to get a job with some Sahib or the other.

His Visitors

During his stay at Kennedy House Lord Amherst had several visitors from the Royal Principalities in the vicinity of Shimla. Rajas of Garhwal, the rulers of Busshair, now called Rampur Busshair and even the Maharaja Ranjit Singh the ruler of Punjab paid him a visit in Shimla. Ranjit Singh already had helped the local rulers to get rid of Gurkha rule and then te British officers were invited to fight against Gurkhas.

Lord Amherst spent long days walking along the jungle trails bifurcating to every directions in the hills and with Kennedy as his assistant and his host he made several plans to carve a lovely hill station out of the forested slopes. He liked Shimla very much but in the month of June, just before the beginning of monsoon in 1827 he decided to leave for the plains because he believed that the rapid growth of weed in the hills would make him fall sick. During his travel to the plains through the hill trails on his mule, his medical officers and two other companions died in Pinjore due to cholera.

Later his wife Lady Amherst wrote in her diary that her husband was not the one who had invented Simla but certainly, he was one of the first visitors who set up the trend and made it a retreat. He never returned to Simla after 1827 and a year later, he was replaced and sent to East Indies. He lived at various places during is different positions as a British Aristocrat and passed away in `1857 in England.

Writer : Sumit Raj Vashisht

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