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Shimla A British Himalayan Town

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Item Code: UAT196
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Author: Sumit Raj Vashisht
Language: English
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9788176467278
Pages: 142
Other Details 11.50 X 8.50 inch
Weight 860 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description
About the Book

Mussoorrie ends with 'ee' which sounds feminie, so presumably it is called as the Queen of Hill Station. On the other hand, Shimla, its original name ends with 'aa' which has a masculine connotation, so it can aptly be hailed as the King of the hills. Therefore the author of the book, 'Shimla A British Himalayn Town' does full justice to its erstwhile royal grandeur. Shimla Past and Present, written by Mr. E. J. Buck, is a great effort to describe old time Shimla, but it covers the period only upto 1925. Though, certain Shimla lovers have since come out with some publications highlighting certain facets of this lovely town, a volume encompassing its life and ecology was the cry of the hour. Mr. Sumit Raj Vashisht's aforesaid book fills this void. Infact, it describes Shimla's people, buildings, roads, flora and fauna in a style which keeps the reader absorbed as well as much informed and enriched. One may say that the book links up the past with the present. It tells all that one needed to know about Shimla, giving one a panoramic view. I recommend this interesting book equally to an individual, a tourist or as a valuable addition to the shelves of any library. Brig. Rajit Banerji (Retd.)

About the Author

Sumit Raj Vashisht was born in Shimla in 1967, His father, a railway engineer and at the other hand a well known Urdu Poet under his pen name Talat Irfani, was never interested in leaving Shimla but had to move first to Rohtak and then to Delhi, after his transfer. Sumit's education was devided into these three towns but he says that Mountains are ingrained in him and he was made only for them, so he could not adopt the culture of the plains. Although his life remained divided into the abovesaid three towns but Shimla is always his first choice. After finishing his Post Graduate Diploma in Tourism from Delhi University he jumped into the field of tourism industry and returned to his beloved hometown Shimla in 2000. Here in Shimla he works as a Heritage Guide and a Tour Companion to the hidden valleys of Indian Western Himalayas. In his words "It is impossible for me to live away from the mountains. I always wanted to spend my life as a Himalayan Wanderer. The organization called family is not for me. I want to go and touch every single particle of the Himalayas and get its blessings. All the forests in the Himalayas want me to visit them and all the birds want to sing for me. Mountains travel with blood in my veins and when I inhale they enter my mind and body". He can be contacted through internet.


I remain deeply indebted to Mr. Yashpal Bhardwaj of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Shimla at whose invaluable suggestion undertook this venture which today has fructified in the form of this book which I am emboldened to present to the wonderful people of Shimla. I am fortunate to benefit by his unstinted and ever available support and encouragement. I cannot but mention a special word of thanks to two of my good friends, Anil Shakya (better known as Shang) and Raj Chauhan his business partner, for the extensive assistance that was forthcoming form them in the shape of books, periodicals, photographs, office space and much use of their computer. My special thanks also go to Brigadier Ranjit Banerji, since retired, who is not only my friend but also a mentor and guide in that he burnt a large quantity of midnight oil in editing the book in particular refining its language and its flow.


A few years ago Mr. Yashpal Bhardwaj met me one evening on the Mall and happened to remark, "Someone should write a book on Shimla which highlights its past and present". After a pause he added. "A few photographs exemplifying the same would greatly add to its visual quality." I took his words to heart and that was the day that this humble endeavour was born. Although writing has always been my passion yet till then I had never authoured any book. My writings were only confined to an odd short story or a few articles. When Shang and Raj Chauhan, my two friends in Shimla who some of the town's leading Travel Agents, offered me an opportunity to work as a Heritage Tour Guide I was not certain that I would be able to meet the professional standards expected of me. Heretofore, I embarked upon digging out interesting historical facts and anecdotes connected with Shimla, the town that I am deeply endeared to. Thus began the quest whose end product is before your eyes. Each day, with a backpack I would go out to visit one or the other historical buildings in Shimla, find its history, meet an old resident, walk through the a street on which other heritage buildings were located, click photographs, visit libraries, and laden with the day's treasure return home to record each detail. After a couple of months of this hectic activity I gained sufficient confidence to take foreign clients, a number of them who had either been former residents of Shimla or had closed relatives who had lived there in in times bygone. Furthermore, some of them had actually been born here and in due course taken up various posts or vocations till they moved back to England after India's independence. During my work as a Heritage Tour Guide I happened to mention my intent of writing a book on Shimla to some of my British clients, I was greatly heartened by the encouraging response that I received from them even to the extent that some of them gave me a few photographs of old Shimla and its people from their personal collection. My visits to some of Shimla's museums, old cemeteries, buildings of yesteryears and still existent virgin forests, trails, and villages have greatly helped in adding to the store house of my knowledge which faithfully place on record in the book that you are about to go through.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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