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Shimla

Shimla pronunciation originally called Simla, is a city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is also the capital of the state and a municipality within the Shimla district. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the erstwhile British Raj in India. A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills" (a term coined by the British). Located in north-west Himalayas at an altitude of 2,130 metres (6,988 ft), the city of Shimla, draped in forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak, experiences pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The city is famous for its buildings styled in tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture reminiscent of the colonial era. Shimla is connected to the city of Kalka by one of the longest narrow gauge railway routes in India. Shimla is approximately 115 km (71.4 miles) from Chandigarh, the nearest major city, and 365 km (226.8 miles) from New Delhi, the national capital. The city is named after the goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Kali.

History

Shimla was discovered by the British in 1819 after the Gurkha War. At that time it was known for the temple of Hindu Goddess Shyamala Devi. Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt Kennedy built the first British summer home in the town in 1822. Shimla, or Simla as it was called until recently, had already caught the eye of Lord William Bentinck

By the latter half of the 19th century the town had become the summer capital of the British Raj. British soldiers, merchants, and civil servants moved here each year to escape from the heat during summer in the Indo-Gangetic plain. The Kalka-Shimla railway line, constructed in 1906, added to its accessibility and popularity. The railway route, touted as an engineering feat, came to be known as the "British Jewel of the Orient". In addition, Shimla was also the capital of the undivided state of Punjab in 1871 and remained so until the construction of the new city of Chandigarh (the present-day capital of Punjab). Upon the formation of the state of Himachal Pradesh in 1971, Shimla was named its capital.

Pre-independence structures still dot Shimla; buildings such as the Viceregal lodge, Auckland House, Gorton Castle, Peterhoff house, and Gaiety Theatre are reminders of British rule in India

Economy

Employment is largely driven by the government and tourism. Being the administrative capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, the city houses several central and state government offices. Government jobs account for almost half (47%) of the working population. Direct hospitality industry personnel such as tour guides, hotel and restaurant employees, etc., are few (10%) but high-profile. Individual crafts and small scale industries, such as tourist souvenir production and horticultural produce processing, comprise most of the remainder.

In addition to being the local hub of transportation and trade, Shimla is the area's healthcare center, hosting a medical college and four major hospitals: the Indira Gandhi Hospital (formerly known as Snowden Hospital,) Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital (formerly called Ripon Hospital,) Kamala Nehru Hospital, and Indus Hospital. The city's development plan aims make Shimla an attractive health tourism spot

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  Facts about Shimla
 
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