Shimla Heritage Walk

Shimla Heritage Walk makes you go through the lovely history of Shimla and introduces you to its pleasant past. When the British officers decided to carve a resort from a lovely spur, perhaps they were aware of the future of this place that lay in the hands of walkers.

People say that the local authorities have spoilt Shimla with over construction and it has defaced it completely, but it is not true. The old Shimla still holds its age-old ambiance. The lovely buildings purposely built to add various feathers to their Victorian look still make you feel as if you are walking through an old European town.

Designed by Sumit Raj, your perfect host and founder of Shimla Walks, the Heritage Walk is the best way to explore Shimla’s past and present. Covering some of the most prominent structures in the town, this walking tour makes you go through a variety of colonial architectural sites. Shimla displays a variety of Victorian and post-Victorian architecture designs through its different edifices. If the building of the State Library is a perfect example of Moc Tudor’s style of architecture then the Gaiety Theatre is Neo-Gothic. Next to that is the building of the Town Hall, a perfect example of European Architecture.

Bantony is an important building on the Heritage Walk of Shimla


This building is a marvel in itself and provides a look of an old English House. originally the Raja of Sirmour, a princely state in the foothills, built it as his summer house. Later he gave it to the Indian Government. Till a few years ago it had started losing its appearance but thanks to the authorities to have it restored. Soon it is going to e open to the tourists. A museum is being built in it.

Railway Board Building is a marvel example of French Mansard style of architecture in Shimla

Railway Board Building


Don’t miss a chance to glance at the Railway Board building. Could you imagine that they prepared the whole skeleton of cast iron and steel, of this lovely structure, originally in Scotland, shipped it to Bombay, now Mumbai, transported it to Kalka by a railway train, and then transported it to Shimla on mules? And then was assembled to erect this immense structure.

Step ahead and have a close look at the building. You cannot ignore the nuts and the bolts which are holding the entire structure. In 1896 it was possible for them. The building has many lovely stories attached to it. The best of them is about the death of its original owner M. Goad whose spirit still haunts its corridors.

Gorton Castle in Shimla is the office of Accountant General

Gorton Castle

Next to this is a piece of history that cannot ignore. The marvelous mansion is called Gorton Castle, better known as AG (Accountant General’s) Office. Originally Mr. Swinton Jacob designed it for the owner Mr. James Walker, this house was to be donated to the Shimla community to be used as a hospital or a church. But Lord Ripon, the Viceroy then, insisted to use it as a Government building.

Unfortunately, a fire broke out on the morning of 29th January 2014, and the top two stories of this building were lost. Due to the vehicles parked on the premises, the fires tenders failed to approach the building and we lost such a piece of heritage.

Move on and enjoy the forested road leading to Cecil Hotel. But on the way there is a building of Vidhan Sabha – the Council Chamber followed by Kennedy Cottage and Knock-Drin. Near Kennedy Cottage was built the Kennedy House, by Captain Charles Pratt Kennedy in 1822. This house became the first English house of the hills but was lost in a fire in 1975.
RaiBahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi started his career as a hotelier from Hotel Cecil in Shimla

Hotel Cecil – earlier Tendrills Cottage

This amazing, 150-year-old, structure has a lot of stories attached to it. Originally it was a  small house called Tendrils Cottage and Kipling family when arrived Shimla occupied it for two weeks. Later the manager of United Service Club purchased Tendrils Cottage and pulled that to the ground to raise the present structure. Later it became the property of Mr. Ronald Hotz a photographer from Shimla, buried in Sanjauli Cemetery in Shimla, who named it Cecil after his daughter’s name.

In 1942 this was purchased by a young worker of the hotel Mohan Singh Oberoi who later became the father of the hospitality industry in India. Today Oberoi Group has nearly 50 hotels across the globe and are the best ones in India.

Indian Institute of Advanced Study is the new name of the Viceregal Lodge in Shimla. es

Viceregal Lodge

Viceregal Lodge was the seat of the Imperial Government during the summer (1864 – 1947) when Shimla was the Summer Capital of India. The final draft of the Indian independence was discussed here between Lord Mountbatten, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The lower portion and some other rooms of the building are open to the public.

Shimla Heritage Walk does not end here. It returns to the town from the other side of Mount Pleasant covering Peterhof, The lower Mall, and finally the telegraph office from where we enter the Mall road. To know more details about Shimla Heritage Walk please do visit Shimla and book your walk at Shimla Heritage Zone

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Written by

Written by

Sumit Raj

Better known as Summit is the founder of Shimla Walks and a qualified tourism professional from Delhi University. Summit is a published author with six books to his credit, now. His seventh on titled as ‘Shimla Walks’ is on the way and to be released soon. Summit loves Himalaya and says that ‘Mountains travel in his veins with blood’.

One of his books that he wrote on Kalka Shimla Railway, named as A Journey to Shimla – by Toy Train can be read on Kindle.

Contact Him : +917018703170, +91 9459519620

WhatsApp : +91 7018703170

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