Subscribe

The history of Viceregal Lodge in a timeline.

Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla © Himanshu Khagta
Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla © Himanshu Khagta

The 110 acre Viceregal Lodge, that is now known as the Indian Institute of Advance Studies or Rashtrapati Niwas is the best place to end your walk from the The mall road. Though you can easily get here in a car, but that would make you one of those tourists who pay 20 bucks to see a zoomed in version of the beautiful Himalayan cedar though a cheap monocular mounted on a tripod in the shade of a Himalayan cedar of the way to Kufri. I really appreciate you for contributing to the local economy. Viceregal Lodge may be one of the best looking building in Shimla, but I always appreciate this place for the delicious maggie you get in the small shop near the HPMC juice shop inside the estate. There is also a coffee shop on the entry gate, that has a nice sitting area but their food and beverages are below average. I will give that place one star and a cabbage.

Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla © Himanshu Khagta
Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla © Himanshu Khagta

Here is a timeline of the history of this magnificent building.

  • 1878 – Captain H. H. Cole of the Royal Engineers prepared the first design for the New Viceregal Lodge.
  • Lord Randolph Churchill, Secretary of State of India sanctioned the project that would cost thirty-eight lakh rupees.
  • Henry Irwin was appointed architect and chief superintendent of works.
  • 1886 – PWD started working on the site, to create a wide plateau by cutting  the top of Observatory Hill.
  • 1888 – Lord and Lady Dufferin moved into the building after the construction was nearly complete.
  • 1888-94 – Marquess of Landsdowne occupied Viceregal Lodge. 
  • 1894-99 – Earl of Elgin occupied the lodge.
  • 1899-1905 – Marquess Curzon, occupied the lodge. In the tenure of Lord Curzon, the height of the tower was increased.
  • 1905-10 – Earl of Minto occupied the lodge.
  • 1910-15 – Lord Hardinge of Penshurst occupied the lodge.
  • 1916-21 – Viscount Chelmsford occupied the lodge.
  • 1921-26 – Marquess of Reading occupied the lodge.
  • 1926-31 – Lord Irwin, Earl of Halifax occupied the lodge.
  • 1927 – A public entry building was added in Lord Irwin’s tenure.
  • 1931-36 – Marquess of Willingdon occupied the lodge.
  • 1936-43 – Marquess of Linlithgow occupied the lodge.
  • 1943-47 – Earl Wavell occupied the lodge.
  • 14 June 1945 – Lord Wavell, the Viceroy called for ‘The Simla Conference’.
  • 25 June 1945 – ‘The Simla Conference’ was held in the Lodge.
  • March 1946 – A Cabinet Mission was sent to negotiate and work out the modalities by which power could finally be transferred to the Indians.
  • 5 March 1946 – Conference between the Congress, Muslim League and the British took place at the lodge.
  • 1947 –  Earl Mountbatten occupied the lodge.
  • 1947 – The Viceregal Estate was passed into the hands of the President of India and the building was renamed ‘Rashtrapati Niwas’.
  • 6 October 1964 – Indian Institute of Advanced Study Society under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.