Simla: The British in India

From the 1830s until the end of British rule, Simla was the summer capital of successive Governors-General and Viceroys.

Whatever would ‘Dear Lord Curzon’ say if he came back to earth and visited Simla again? That great pro-consul, ‘who wore a purple prouder than that of any Caesar’, did some of his greatest work in Simla.

Night after night, until well into the small hours, he sat in his study in Viceregal Lodge, penning those formidable minutes that struck terror into the hearts of many a bureaucrat, and reduced many a recalcitrant Indian prince to a state of abject submission. Simla was probably at its zenith during his viceroyalty, and he would have found it hard to believe that it would change so much in the fifty odd years that have elapsed since he recouped his strength beneath the deodars; while as for Kipling—it is hard to imagine what he would find to write about in Simla today.

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