[General view of] Simla.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph with a view of Simla (Shimla), Himachal Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. Shimla in the Himalayan foothills was originally a small village named after the goddess Shamla Devi, an incarnation of Kali. When the British discovered it in about 1819 after recovering the region from the Gurkhas, they developed it as a summer resort, attracted by its temperate climate and spectacular scenery. It is built across a range of hills and connecting ridges with spectacular views of rows of snow capped peaks disappearing in the distance. It became the summer capital of India endowed with grand buildings for the British administration's annual residency away from the heat of the plains, and it was also called the 'English Convalescent Station' since sanatoria were built here.