Settlement began in 1806, and the town was originally a part of Nepal, until 1816.
Today, Shimla is known for how little it resembles an Indian town, with a very British Catholic cathedral, Tudor-style architecture scattered throughout the city, and major European influence. It is also quite cold for an Indian city, and is surrounded by snowy mountains, making it a popular skiing destination.
People Born in Shimla
Shimla in People's Lives
Rudyard Kipling: I first visited here in 1883, and was enchanted by both the town and the atmosphere of it. At the time, Shimla was considered a golden summer retreat for wealthy British-Indians, as well as the location where the Viceroy of India and his government would spend half the year, making it a place of "power and pleasure." From 1885 - 1888, I visited here every summer for one month, in which time my family would also vacation in the town. I always returned to my newspaper job in Lahore full of stories set in this city for my readers. I later wrote of these holidays: "Simla was... pure joy—every golden hour counted. It began in heat and discomfort, by rail and road. It ended in the cool evening, with a wood fire in one’s bedroom, and next morn—thirty more of them ahead!—the early cup of tea, the Mother who brought it in, and the long talks of us all together again." I also continued to gather literary acclaim while in this city: I casually wrote and published Departmental Ditties, a short collection of comedic prose and poetry about Englishmen in India, in 1886, to a clamor of praise. The books were rapidly sold out.