Shimla or Simla (as it was earlier called) was one of the military posts established after the Anglo Gurkha war fought between East India Company and Gurkha forces in 1814-1816.
Simla was discovered by an English officer, possibly Capt. Alexander Gerard, while moving from Sabathu to Kotgarh with his contingent in 1816. He was surprised by the cool temperature of the hill and informed his superiors about it.
The first temporary house or hut was built in Shimla by Lieutenant Ross the Assistant Political Agent to the Hill States in 1819, a thatched bungalow with its walls of spars, grass, and mud. The First permanent structural house of Shimla, The Kennedy House was built in 1822 by Charles Pratt Kennedy, the political officer to the hill states.
The origin of the name is attributed to various theories. The most popular and widely accepted is that the name if derived from the Shyamla i.e. the name of the goddess Kali. The second version is that it is derived from the name of the village called shemalaya, or semla.
It was spelled Simla and changed to Shimla in 1980
Shimla is situated on Seven Hills.
1. Prospect Hill – On this hill, Kamna Devi Temple is situated.
2. Summer Hill – On this hill, Himachal Pradesh University is situated
3. Observatory Hill – On this hill, The Vice Regal Lodge or the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies is Situated.
4. Inveram (Mount Pleasant) – On this hill, The State Museum is Situated
5. Bantony Hill – On this hill, The Grand Hotel is situated
6. Jakhu Hill – The temple of Lord Hanuman
7. The Elysium Spur – The hill which houses the Auckland House School and Longwood.
Lord Amherst, Governor General of India, and Lord Combermere, the commander-in-Chief visited Shimla in 1827.
The core area to set up the town was acquired from Patiala and Keonthal by Lord Bentick in 1830.
Banking in Shimla was started as earlier as 1845 by the name of Simla Bank.
The government school was established in Kaithu in 1848, imparting education in English, Persian, Urdu, and Hindi.
Municipal Governance was introduced in 1851.
Bishop Cotton School was set up at Jutogh by the name of Shimla Public School in 1863. In 1864 its name was changed to Bishops School. In the later year, it was shifted to its current location near Knollswood.
In 1864, Shimla was officially declared the summer capital of the British Empire by the then Viceroy John Lawrence.
In 1871 the state government of Punjab also started shifting to Shimla from Lahore.
In 1880 piped water was made available in Shimla.
Shimla Kalka railway started functioning in 1903.
In 1922, one of the world’s early automatic exchanges started functioning in Shimla.
Shimla was the state capital of Punjab from 1947 to 1956
Shimla was transferred to Himachal Pradesh and became its Capital.