Shimla- The Summer Capital

Shimla, also known as Simla, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India. Once inconspicuous village in the lap of the Himalayas which went to become the summer capital of an empire that ruled one-fifth of the world's population.

 

Simla The Summer Capital officers purchased houses in Simla to stay in for the summer. The norm, however, was to rent out houses for the season. This concentration of British society attracted many members of Indian royal families to Simla. This became a cause of concern for the British authorities for two reasons. 

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The first was a matter of prestige as the Viceroy himself toured the Imperial summer capital almost unattended. In comparison, it seemed improper for a Native chief to surround himself with an entourage. The second was a matter of practicality. Due to the boisterous festivities and crowding common to Princely homes, British officials would not rent out houses in close proximity to properties owned by Indian Princes. In addition, those Native chiefs who rented their houses to British officials were suspected of extracting political favours from their tenants. The British authorities felt that Indian princes bought properties in Simla in a childish effort to outdo each other.