1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Simla

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SIMLA, a town and district in British India, in the Delhi division of the Punjab. The town is the summer residence of the viceroy and staff of the supreme government, and also of the Punjab government. It is 58 m. by cart-road from the railway station of Kalka, which is 1116 m. from Calcutta. A metre-gauge railway, 68 m. long, was opened from Kalka to Simla in 1903. The population in 1901 was 13,960, but that was only the winter population, and the summer census of 1904 returned the number of 35,250. The sanatorium of Simla occupies a spur of the lower Himalaya, running E. and W. for about 6 m. The ridge culminates at the E. in the eminence of Jakko, in the vicinity of which bungalows are most numerous; the viceregal lodge stands on Observatory Hill. The E. of the station is known as Chota Simla and the W. as Boileauganj. The situation is one of great beauty; and the houses, built separately, lie at elevations between 6600 and 8000 ft. above sea-level. To the N., a beautiful wooded spur, branching from the main ridge, is known as Elysium. Three miles W. is the cantonment of Jutogh. The minor sanatoria of Kasauli, Sabathu, Dagshai and Solon he some distance to the S. The first European house at Simla was built in 1819, and the place was first visited by a governor-general in 1827. It has gradually become the permanent headquarters of many of the official establishments. During the season Simla is the focus of Indian society; and viceregal and other balls, and entertainments of every description, are frequent. Simla is the headquarters of a volunteer rifle corps, and there are numerous libraries and institutes, of which the chief is the United Service Institution, with a subsidy from government. The two chief medical institutions are the Ripon and Walker hospitals. There are a theatre, concert room and numerous churches. Educational institutions include Bishop Cotton's school for boys, the Mayo industrial school for girls, several aided schools for European boys and girls, and two Anglo-vernacular schools for natives. The Lawrence military asylums are at Sanawar, near Kasauli.

The District of Simla has an area of 101 sq. m., and had a population in 1901 of 40,351. The mountains of Simla and the surrounding native states compose the S. outliers of the great central chain of the E. Himalaya. They descend in a gradual series from the main chain to the general level of the Punjab plain, forming a transverse S.W. spur between the great basins of the Ganges and the Indus. S. and E. of Simla the hills between the Sutlej and the Tons centre in the great peak of Chor, 11,982 ft. above sea-level. Throughout all the hills forests of deodar abound, while rhododendrons clothe the slopes up to the limit of perpetual snow. The principal rivers are the Sutlej, Pabar, Giri, Gambhar and Sarsa.

The acquisition of the patches of territory forming the district dates from various times subsequent to the close of the Gurkha War in 1816, which left the British in possession of the whole tract of hill-country from the Gogra to the Sutlej. Kumaon and Dehra Dun were annexed to the British dominions; but the rest, with the exception of a few localities retained as military posts and a portion sold to the raja of Patiala, was restored to the hill rajas, from whom it had been wrested by the Gurkhas. Garhwal state became attached to the North- Western Provinces; but the remaining principalities rank among the dependencies of the Punjab, and are known collectively as the Simla Hill States, under the superintendence of the deputy-commissioner of Simla, subordinate to the commissioner at Umballa. The chief of the Simla Hill States—which number 28 in all—are Jubbal, Bashahr, Keonthal, Baghal, Bilaspur and Hindur.