South front of Viceregal Lodge, Palace of the Viceroy, at Simla the summer capital of India
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the Viceregal Lodge at Simla in Himachal Pradesh, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from the The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. The hill-station of Simla, now the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, was a popular resort with British residents of India in the 1820s. It also became the Presidency's summer capital when the Governor-General began to take his administration with him to the hills to escape the intense heat of Calcutta. This is a view of the Lodge situated on a hill with spectacular views. It was built for Viceroy Lord Dufferin in a gray stone in Elizabethan style, and completed in 1888. This is one of a series of 100 photographs designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect. The series was sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations to enable the 'traveller' to imagine that he was really 'touring' around India. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.