Post Office & Ridge, 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. Simla, now the capital of Himachal Pradesh state, is a gateway for the north-western Himalayan region. 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 is an active market town made up of a warren of twisting backstreets. In the 19th century it was a popular retreat for the residents of the plains and there were several European schools, a barracks and a sanatorium here. Deriving its name from the mountain goddess Shyamla Devi, it was discovered by the British in 1819 after it had been recovered from the Gurkhas of Nepal, and by the 1820s it was on its way to becoming the largest of Indian hill-stations. It became the summer capital of the British administration in India.