Scandal Point

The British families would start arriving here by the end of March and lived here for nearly six months, till October and the natives from the villages worked for them Khansama – the cook, gardeners, rickshaw bearers, porters, domestic help and the server who was also known as Chhota Haziri.

In most cases men left their families here in Shimla and went away to work so that the families could have good summer in the comfortable weather.

It is said that it was only after 1903 when a new place with a peculiar name came up in Shimla and soon found the popularity, of course due to its name as Scandal Point. What was it called before that, is not known. Shimla, by 1903 already had grown a lot with a total population of around 38000 inhabitants. Out of this around twenty thousand were the locals and the rest of them Europeans. So that means the place was already there but no one called it with its present name. This being a cross road, ad always been a happening place of this hill station but how such a popular place can be there without a name.

A Pointless Scandal

The legend says that the Maharaja of Patiala who was known for his sex games with his five queens and his 350 concubines (Do not mistake it with 365 queens that actually were his father Maharaja Rajinder Singh’s, not his) once abducted the daughter of the Viceroy Lord Curzon from here and took her to his palace in Chail, but the story goes without any evidence. There are many twists and turn in this rumor told by the local with a smile. The incident happened somewhere during Lord Curzon’s time in India as a Viceroy (1899 – 1905). He had two daughters, Irene 4 years and Cynthia or better known as Cimmie – 2 years. The third Alexandra or better known as Baba by the Indian servants. The Maharaja was only eight years of age when he was placed on throne and was only twelve year old when the incident of abduction of the girl is told to have taken place.

Some also associate this story with his father but actually he was no more in this world when Lord Curzon arrived in India.

Anyway, we have got a story to tell and a rumor to discuss that is the matter of interest for everyone. The name – Scandal Point is only for the public and is not an official address. The Maharaja must have been glad to have his name associated with the girl. Sitting in heaven he must be happy to know that someone in Shimla is still writing about him and someone somewhere in the world is still amused to read about him. Although there is no evidence but his descendants sitting in Patiala, now in Punjab feel proud to have got associated to this incident.


So this pointless scandal of Scandal Point will remain as it is remain and the Tour Guides, I am sure, will keep sharing this humorous incident with their clients, because they have to add spice to their tours. The gentry of Shimla was a mixture of Indians and European and so there was a lot of mixing of two genders of both communities. Because this is the most happening place in Shimla and I have already mentioned in the beginning of this article that the British families lived here and the men had to go back so various unexpected meetings took paces here. All the scandalous incidents took place here which lead to the extra marital affairs and beyond that. And the place got its name – Scandal Point.

Scandal Point – Shimla


I find the tall and handsome looking policeman who mans a gazebo in the middle of this area, in his golden uniform with a turret on his turban and with thick mustaches, the more handsome man than the Maharaja. During the tourist season most of the tourist women want to have a photo with him. His job is to organist the crowd that gathers around the area and also help tourists guiding them to their hotels and other places. Also he tackles the hooligans arriving from the plains of Northern India and behave awkwardly.

Many times I have been approached by some touts asking me if I need a taxi to go to Kufri to see snow? Surprising, isn’t it. They hardly understand any difference between a local and a tourist. Normally their targets are the newly married couples who come here on their honeymoon or some other tourists, families or singles.

Meet me at Scandal

The most common meeting place Scandal Point also has another story of some ghosts hovering around the point. I hardly saw them there but one day, when I was in the process of writing my story Shimla Bazaar I walked to the Mall at three in the morning to have a feel of it without anyone. I already had learnt about the one who keeps moving around that area, sometimes to be seen standing next to the pole some sometime sitting on a bench. I looked for him but failed. I went to Scandal Point and stood there for a while. Some horrible sounds surrounded me. It sounded like I was surrounded by lots of people talking to each other. Their language was not understandable but a noise of people was surely there. I stopped there, looked around expected them to appear but nothing happened. The sound remained there and I decided to move on.
Scandal Point is the most interesting place of Shimla and most common meeting place as well. Meet me at Scandal, these four words are uttered several times a day. I stand there sometimes and observe the movement of the people. Scandal Point has its own features and attractions.

Most of the time I notice the tour guides informing their clients about the Scandal behind the point and all of them talk about the abduction of the girl.

I know, I have mentioned it in many of my articles and denied the reality. But who cares? They have to add a spice and thrill to their tour so I move on.

Sumit Raj

Writer : Sumit Raj

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