Thursday, June 4, 2015

Heritage buildings at Simla

I have always loved the hills but it has been quite a while.
This time, as soon as the hills appeared round the bends, I could somehow, feel their presence. 

It was as if these massive mounds of boulders and earth that are home to hundreds, thousands of plant and animal species, as if they were fulfilling their duties much like us lesser mortals, as if these mountains and ancient trees were living, breathing and we silently acknowledged each other. And I really, distinctly felt the warm hug of a welcome ...

As we ascended swiftly, suddenly my mind went blank. Stared out of the car window, bends and climbs, as if in a stupor

You, who walk with me in my living dream, you, who travel the same path with me in distant time

There are a just a handful of heritage buildings left in Shimla as I saw it, away from the urges of development as it is meant in modern terms

These are entirely woodbuilt, perched on steep hills and are extremely picturesque. This one has been taken over by the government, awaiting restoration and is definitely of sufficient vintage since the ground floor appears to have been built at least in the earlier parts of the 20th century

Inexplicably, this mansion set in sufficient acreage in a prominent part of Shimla seemed to be sadly decrepit and crumbling, a perfect setting for paranormal activities 

You, the other side of my existence, troubled as it might be, fraught with conflicts, questions and irreconcilable differences

It was extremely rewarding to find the Amateur Dramatics Club, founded in 1837 behind the Gaiety Theater and a bookshop selling only old books,some of them really old. And the popular cafes, favoured by the locals as well as the wandering soul. And the paratha stuffed with minced meat, served with a hot gravy and yogurt

Totally loved Shimla, its people and its produce in fruits. The apricots, the cherries were heavenly. Even though the density of population has to be seen to be believed, 

Finally, the temple dedicated to the Mother goddess Kali, a place for all people from the State of West Bengal to congregate. At one end of the Ridge, with a spectacular view

You, who take my breath away, you, who permeate my earth, you, who look down upon me in starched moonlight

One of those dark nights, lashed by storms and flashes of blue lightning. A bit of rain. Trees swaying madly with the wind, resenting the unrest. But the storm will subside, they will again be left standing peaceably, enjoying the sun.


  1. Hi,

    I left a comment yesterday but I'm not sure that your website took the comment. I'll try again:

    Simla looks and sounds like a fascinating place. I love the heritage buildings!
    The countryside on the way to Simla is varied and interesting. How far is it from where you live?

    1. Distances do not matter, do they?

      Am glad you took the trouble of reading this, Rita. I live in a Delhi suburb, about 250 kms to Chandigarh which takes four hours at night. From Chandigarh, it is about a hundred kms I guess, to Simla. Best way to travel to Simla is by the heritage train on narrow gauge, the Kalka Simla mountain line. It was heavily booked in advance, so I took to the road instead