Thursday, October 22, 2009

The last day in Shimla

As a journey comes to an end theres always a hurry to fly back to ones nest, afterall home is where the world is, nothing can take the place of our comfort zone, our home, our space, where everything gives us a sense of belonging, right from the bent in the street to the gate that welcomes us with open arms :) But there was something that was still waiting for me in Shimla, it knew that I couldn't leave the royal destination without getting a royal touch together we made our way to the famous museum and the Viceroys palace, popularly known as the Viceregal Lodge.

Queen Victoria

"The Viceroys palace used to serve as the capital for the Viceroy in summers during the British Era. After independence, the Lodge remained the summer retreat of the President of India. In the early 60s the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, a leading philosopher and writer, and the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided to make it a scholars’ den where the best minds would find an ideal retreat. That’s when the Indian Institute of Advanced Study moved into the Lodge in 1965. Some of the interiors had to be changed to accommodate the needs of the Institute. The state drawing room, ballroom, and dining room, for example, have been converted into a library; the Viceroy’s office is now the IIAS Director’s office; and the conference hall is now a seminar room for research scholars.Without the large contingent of Viceregal attendants and the resources, the ambience of this large estate is very different from what it used to be in the days of the Raj. "
"This rambling Scottish baronial edifice was designed by Henry Irvine, architect to the Public Works Department of the colonial government in India. The south facing entrance portico sees the visitor into the reception hall.The hall is marked by a grand staircase which springs from the right and spirals up three full floors. Facing the main entrance is the grand fireplace.A gallery with well-appointed teak panelling is the central space of the building around which the other rooms are arranged.The state drawing room, ballroom, and the wood-panelled dining room – decorated with coats of arms of former Governor-Generals and Viceroys – lead to the gallery at the lower level.Verandas and terraces surround the entire building at different levels. Those at the lower level link the lodge to the magnificent grounds while those on other floors provide superb views of mountains. Way back in 1888 this Lodge had electric light – when nobody else in Shimla did – and, would you believe it, an indoor tennis court!The lodge had extensive facilities including huge kitchens; separate rooms for storing table linen, plates, china and glass; laundry; boilers for central heating and running hot and cold water in the bathrooms.Pretty much as in Delhi’s Viceregal Palace, the Viceroy hosted lavish parties and entertained the royal princes and nawabs (governors in the Mughal Empire) in style."
It surely was a royal encounter, some places speak through their architecture and this is one of them, it took me to the times when India was still in the making, an infant trying to walk its way to Independence, today I can proudly say that my country has come a long way, there are many things that need change but its progress through the years cannot be denied. My land today has given me the opportunity to hold my head high and enjoy the beauty of a place which would otherwise had been out of my reach.
India has been a home for innumerable cultures and has blended the goodness of all, the different architectures, be it British, Mughal or traditional Indian, every brick laid by the great artists is a masterpiece of its own kind.

On my way back from the Viceregal Lodge, I visited the Shimla State Museum, which houses a huge collection of magnificent paintings, sculptures, coins, handicrafts and photos.
From there I took off, tracing my steps back home.
However high an eagle may fly, it settles on its nest by the end of the day, and as I hit the plains from my flight to the beautiful mountains, I could feel the comfort of coming back home, as a caravan does once it reaches its destination.
The next day my drive from office and back was not the same, something had changed....for the better.


Being Pramoda... said...

hi..that shows the enjoyment that u have had during ur trip..well gal..thanks for postong the pics especially..

and yeah, home is where out comfort is..:) we alwasy hurry back to come home..:)

A New Beginning said...

Indeed Pramoda :)

Whirlwind said...

Glad to see you had a great vacation!!:-)

Rush said...

"India has been a home for innumerable cultures and has blended the goodness of all, the different architectures, be it British, Mughal or traditional Indian, every brick laid by the great artists is a masterpiece of its own kind."
the punchline of the day for me...loved it, i have been here....though very faint in memory as a little kid i enjoyed the garden outside than seeing the palace from within.

Mustaf said...

I could not follow your Shimla posts except the first one as I got myself busy, but hope you had a wondeful trip. But where ever we go, finally we crave to go back to where we belong, home, sweet home :)

A New Beginning said...

Yup Swetha, I sure did!
Yup Rush, but how did they alloe you in the garden? Do you know it has huge storage tanks inside it..yes..beneath the huge garden there are storage store rain water..isnt it amazing!!
The guard was whistling away to glory, nevertheless I filled my eyes with the green sure was refreshing:)
Yup Mustaf..home sweet home:)

AJai said...

What splendid places. Whatever you say about the brits... they surely lived in style. What beautiful buidlings... what history... wow!
i wanna go shimla... :)

A New Beginning said...

Ya Ajai, go there you'll enjoy your tour , its a beautiful place:)

Margaret Cloud said...

You are right, there is no place like home. A very interesting post, I enjoyed the history of the Viceroys palace and the pictures. Thank you for coming by, have a nice weekend.

RGB said...

It's as if we've travelled with you through your travelogue. Your vivid description of the place with those snapshots, have given us an insight of the destination. Where are you headed next?

A New Beginning said...

Very true Margaret, you too have a great week ahead!
RGB, Im glad you enjoyed, these are posts about a trip I had gone to a few months back, Im back to square one ;)Have a great week ahead!

manivannan said...

Sana...this series is simply one of your best posts!

Glad you got to see all those wonderful places! What I enjoyed most is your narration! It's just magical. Especially, the last paragraph was icing in the cake :-)


A New Beginning said...

Thanks Mani, I did enjoy my trip a lot!:)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Sana:)

I enjoyed your lovely narration of your trip to Shimla with very interesting photos. I don't think I will ever visit this place in my life time but you have given me a very vivid idea of the beautiful place. I was always fascinated by the name Shimla probably because the apples grown there are sold all over the country. My northern most visit is Delhi and I shudder at the cold climate because I always lived in the south where the climate is moderate and never goes to the extremes. Another name that always fascinated me is Meghalaya.

The British always lived in India in great style,pomp and splendor probably imitating the Indian Maharajas and they could have any number of servants here which is not possible in their own country.

As you have rightly pointed out we have made rapid advances in all fields of activity after Independence. Soon we will be a super power to be reckoned with in the world.

Many thanks for sharing your fantastic trip and reading your narration was a great joy.

Have a lovely day Sana:)

A New Beginning said...

Thanks Mr. Joseph, May you be blessed with a beautiful life ahead:)

Khaled KEM said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed reading your post and glad to hear that you enjoyed and benefited from your vocation.

All the best.


Princess said...

such lovely experience i'm glad you could get that..