The first of the cascades
Artist: Scott, AE (fl. 1829 - 1874)
This is plate 4 from AE Scott's 'Simla Scenes'. In the 19th century the area around Shimla was favoured by the British because it ideally suited the popular Victorian taste for the romantic pastoral. It was chosen as the summer capital of British India because of its pleasant climate and the spectacular views it provided of forests of pines, firs and cedars, with rows of snow capped peaks disappearing in the distance. In particular, it became a venue for leisure activities and the area rapidly acquired a reputation as a sanatorium.
In this spectacular view, we are shown one of the many waterfalls which issue from the mountains around Shimla. By the mid-19th-century some of the waterfalls were adorned with weeping willows. Legend has it that these were grown from cuttings taken from the trees above Napoleon's grave on the island of St Helena. This legend stems from their being planted in Shimla by Dr O'Meara, the dental surgeon of Simla whose uncle had tended Napoleon on St Helena.