Inscription crediting Henry Irwin as Architect. The Viceregal Lodge (now the Institute of Advanced Studies), Obervatory Hill, Shimla, India, by Henry Irwin. Completed 1888; tower height increased later by Lord Curzon. Local grey sandstone and light blue limestone, with iron girders, beams and trusse Photograph and caption 2008 by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link to this site.]

Built on a high 331-acre site, levelled for the purpose, this mock-Tudor or baronial-style building is visible from far down the hillside, and was intended as a proud symbol of Empire. Over the portico at the main entrance is a coat of arms with inscriptions above it naming the architect (Irwin), the executive and assistant engineers (F. B. Hebbert and others) and the Earl of Dufferin as the current Viceroy. Dufferin was the first to occupy the new Lodge. The columned arches along the façade are echoed in the arches of alternating widths supporting the verandas. Just visible to the left of the main entrance, on the first floor, is one of the unobtrusive external iron spiral staircases provided for the lowliest menial staff, the bathroom sweepers.

Related Material


Kanwar, Pamela. Imperial Simla: The Political Culture of the Raj. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. 2003. See especially the useful "Afterword" on "Imperial Simla's Built Heritage" added to this edition (294-317).

Guided tour of a limited portion of the interior.

Victorianism: An
Overview History British Empire>/ India

Last modified 22 March 2008