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WHY DID THE BRITISH BUILD HILL STATIONS IN INDIA?

BHAIRABI SULEKHA

KAPIL

SAURABH

• The adjustment to its tropical climate, was the main reason. The REASONS FOR BUILDING HILL STATIONS harder one tries to fight the heat –not to mention the dust – of the tropics, the more unbearable it becomes. Soon, however, one succumbs to exhaustion from heat, to sunburn or worse still, heat stroke. Enduring the heat, season after season, and for years after years on end, simply wears one down. Lifestyle and clothing can either ease or aggravate these conditions. British decisions about their dress code and where and how they resided in the plains did not in any way mitigate their physical discomfort. •Most of the British women that came to India came with their native fashionable attires. In India, that relaxing climate-both physically and culturally- was found only in the highlands, where their precious attire could be worn and appreciated. •Use of punkhas could lighten the discomfort of the tropical climate, but it could not be eliminated. So instead of adjustment, escape was the only route. •True relief from the heat and dust of the plains could only be found on the shady slopes of the mountains. •When the British gained control over the mountainous regions of India, they considered those cooler, more salubrious heights as a particularly important prize. •Plus, having discovered climate and landscape similar to their own

•The main characteristic of the hill station was the temporary patronage of its occupants. The origin of these settlements and the motivation for them is complex.

• They began as “health sanitaria” according to this view, expected states of health could be attained more satisfactorily at higher elevations in the” •The hill stations were used as resorts and sanatoria by civilian hills.” members of the colonial community and subsequently, many were built as cantonments for European troops. The temporary patronage of military and civilian populations was followed by the establishment of “European” institutions such as hospitals, convalescent homes, orphanages, hotels and missionary head quarters. In some cases the hill station acted as an alternative “summer capital” for provincial centre on the plains. t from European troops, the main patrons & beneficiaries of the hill station were omen & to a lesser extent the children of the colonial community. Freedom from rmal domestic & economic roles.

porary residence in the hills provided not only a cooler and healthier climate but n opportunity to strengthen ones cultural identity and participate in familiar unity roles.

out the existence in India of an European military force, the modern hill d not have developed.

TYPICAL CONSITUENTS OF A HILL STATION .

•Apart from the occasional rickshaw this was primarily a pedestrian thoroughfare •From here other Cart roads either branched off. consisting of small blocks with sloping roofs. came out to take the fresh air. having a shop on the roadside. living upper storey and a little go-down •Other civic facilities such as the church.THE MALL •The Mall was the place to see and to be seen. •It was known as the Thandi Sarak' or 'Breezy Lane' due to its openness and the daylong breeze which blows through it. • The Mall is a typical English kind of a shopping lane with purely English type of architecture. gentlemen and ladies. the post office and the town hall were located around it. of the Road with their backs turned . the court house. dressed in their best. Morning and evening. to make a circuitous route round the peaks on which the settlement was sited & then returned to the mall Beginning of built mass on •The shops are only on one side the mall.

In its original RIDGE state this ground was a full-fledged topographical feature with an oblongated crest. used for cultural Gatherings. •The Ridge is a commanding site having unique view of distant. •Ridge.THE •The open space. just above the Mall is called the Ridge. which runs parallel to shopping stretch of Mall road. . It is a place of congregation and socio-cultural space for National and State level events. runs at a higher altitude.

resting on wooden frames there under dominated the townscape of Shimla. •Roofs were designed so that snow would not stay on them for long. •Angular form to allow the rainwater to run down BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL GRAMMER SCHOOL KAITHU ROOF OF U. sloping roofs were constructed. Major typical roof types of prominent buildings are as under: TOWN HALL •Considering the climate.ROOFING SYSTEM:SLOPING ROOFS Slanting slate and tin roofed structures.S CLUB . Ventilators were provided at upper levels for less heat and more light.

clubs. recreating “a home away from home”. schools. fashioned after metropolitan models. riginally it accommodated the sons of the ritish officials in civil service as students Auckland House School St. Thus they built churches. they were “boarded” in hill stations schools. CHURCH The institution of religion was most clearly expressed in the church. in all hill stations the most visible symbol in the cultural landscape SCHOOLS THE CHRIST CHURCH ST. Where children were not at home. Edward’s School .The home sick British modeled Shimla on an English town. and town halls. bandstands. MICHAEL’S CATHEDRAL •A further socially important function of the hill station was in providing for the educational needs of the community. he need for a school for the education of European and glo-Indian Community he children of all ranks of the British my could get access to this school.

•Bay windows •Extended roof overhangs •Glazed verandahs and parlours were provided to let in sunlight. •These made chimneys a regular feature of building facades Dining room at Aira Holme timber bracings . •Timber bracings in walls not only added to the aesthetic beauty of the buildings but also helped in countering the wind and seismic loads •Roofs were designed so that snow would not stay Extended roof overhangs on them for long.CLIMATE RESPONSIVE ARCHITECTURE The colonial buildings were designed to suit the local climate besides orienting the buildings according to the sun. •Fire places were very common in houses which were associated with ornate mantle pieces.

NAINITAL (the resort town) .

had been built. St. HISTORY . a Britisher. as a suitable site for a summer resort. the town also became the summer residence of the Governor of the United Provinces. it was recommended by Lord Barron. he recorded that "houses were rapidly springing up in most parts of the settlement: some towards the crest of the limitary ranges were nearly 7.The first recorded discovery goes back to the year 1841 when Mr."Soon. in 1841. The Church. P. John in the Wilderness. . when a Captain Madden of the Bengal Artillery visited Naini Tal.. In 1846.. the place developed to become the summer headquarters of the provincial government. The cultural landscape underwent rapid development in the 19th century. Later.500 feet above sea level: the rugged and woody Ayarpatta was being gradually planted and that the favourite sites were on the undulating tract of forest land which stretched back from the head of the lake to the base of China and Deopatta (Camel's Hump). the town became a health resort favoured both by British soldiers and by colonial officials and their families trying to escape the heat of the plains. Later in 1862. Barron of Shahajahanpur was so moved by the scenic splendour of the place that he had a house constructed by the name "Pilgrim Cottage and gradually a township sprung up around the lake.

" The total number of dead and missing were 108 Indian and 43 British nationals.. ... At a quarter to two the landslip occurred burying those in and around the buildings mentioned above.. The Assembly Rooms and the Naina Devi Temple were both destroyed in the disaster. .." of Naini Tal. .at the north end of the town.THE LANDSLIP OF 1880 Before the landslip "General view of the north end "Naini Tal. some endangering the Victoria Hotel. To prevent further disasters. (which) was not the only building threatened . landslip in 1880. and the downpour still lasted and continued for hours after the slip. 20 to 25 inches fell during the 40 hours ending on Saturday morning.. A recreation area known as 'The Flats' was later built on the site and a new temple was also erected." Two days preceding the slip there was heavy rain. and in 1879. This heavy fall naturally brought down streams of water from the hill side. the Volunteer Orderly Room and the Hindu (Naina Devi) temple were scenes of labour with a view to diverting streams. storm water drains were constructed and building byelaws were made stricter The first known landslide had occurred in 1866. Alma Hill." 1875 "the great slip occurred on Saturday 18 September 1880 . Bell's shop.

 Market buildings are 2-3 storey high. with shops below and residence above.  Built form is a mix of Western colonial and Indian styles.  The Mall is in the waterside promenade. corrugated iron sheets or slate tiles for roofs are used for construction.Architectural character  Different spaces have architectural character. foamed cement concrete blocks. .  Local sandstone. a distinct of a nature  The Tallital and Mallital ends are characterized by dense construction and informal open spaces.

.THE MALL & markets  Forms a MAJOR artery of circulation in Nainital  Houses commercial functions like hotels. restaurants. The North Mall running along one side of the lake. shops etc. connect the two parts. and the South Mall along the other. at the lower and upper ends of the lake. Tallital and Mallital.  Unique because of proximity to lake giving it an open character with built on one side and a vast unobstructed view of the lake on the other  Nainital is divided into two segments.

Joseph's College established 1888 •Some other schools formed were: Philander Smith's College Wellesley School All Saints Diocesan High School for Girls Petersfield College for Girls. students in these schools consisted largely of children of British colonial officials or soldiers •Four schools from the British period continue to exist today: Diocesan Boys' School. Mary's Convent High School established 1878  St.EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS •Nainital is famous for its prestigious public schools . later named Sherwood College. •These schools were earlier only for boarders but now some of the public schools are also having day scholars . established 1867 All Saints' College. Sherwood College St. Mary's Convent High School St. Joseph's College . •During the Victorian and Edwardian eras. established 1869 St.

later on it was separated for boys •the school acquire the luxurious surroundings of 'Sherwood ' Estate •The school enjoyed so magnificent an estate with its wide open spaces. •In 1873 the school was transferred to Sherwood. . established by the colonial government for the education of British children in India. •It was established in 1869. •It is a boarding school.SHERWOOD COLLEGE •It is located on Ayarpatta hill in Nainital. Uttranchal •The first boys school. named Diocesan Boy’s School. •In the beginning it was a mixed school started by Miss Bradbury . rolling lawns. huge orchards and a shooting-range (now the Golf Links) offering a range of over 600 yards. by Bishop MIlman of Calcutta. oldest European school in Nainital.

during the Easter weekend of 1981. electricity came to Sherwood . Cloud' – served as temporary Accommodation •The Great war of 1914-18 saw Sherwoodians distinguishing themselves in the armed forces •In 1922. Here cholera and enteric swept through the school •For want of anything more suitable. a hundred years later. a similar cyclone brought devastation of a similar kith disastrous consequences on the school •1881 is memorable for another reason : The school colours. Sherwood Estate. borrowed from the Sherwood Foresters. but next year a violent cyclone tore off the roofs of the buildings and for some weeks some of the boys were farmed out at the Military camp while the others lived in tents on the school grounds. 'Snow view' and 'St. •By a strange co-incidence. three houses on Alma hill . was the year of the great landslide. bottle-green and white. situated in the South of Nainital was unaffected. •It was decided to move the school to the 'health resort' of Khurpatal. Maroon. and 'elite regiment of the British Army' •The boys were told to evacuate the building which was on fire.•1880.'Tonnochy'.

in the fitness of things.000/. 1937 A beautiful stained stained glass-window depicting the Good Shepherd was erected on the occasion of School's Diamond Jubilee in 1929. 75.was formally opened by Sir Harry Haig Governor of the U. on June 5. This was completed in 1927. Dixon so much a part of Sherwood that. the senior wing came to be known as Dixon wing. Barnbas. the Marathon run and prohibited 'lupping' of the juniors. •The new building which cost the unbelievable sum of Rs.P. •In 1937.•The Horsman brothers. both old Sherwoodians. It now accommodates a beautiful School Hall above with a seating capacity of 600 and a well equipped gymnasium below. • Rev. Allwyn Binns introduced the Cock-House system. the name was changed from the Diocesan Boys' School to Sherwood College • The Binns block was built on the northern side of the back 'quad' and in the following year. 60.000/made possible the construction of the junior wing known as Horsman Wing. •1932 marked the end of an era with the departure of the great Mr. . thereby earning their undying gratitude. a noble edifice. 1913. replaced the old tin-shed which gloried in the name of 'The Pavilion'. which was dedicated to their father. the Apostle of Learning. •The college chapel dedicated on October 1. With their generous contribution of Rs. named Milman Hall after the founder. was re-dedicated to St.

• In 1948. many Sherwoodians came forward to make their own contributions. small. •In 1947. there was the luxury of a swimming-pool built on the 7. . however. the Old Sherwoodians Society had a beautiful plaque fabricated bearing the legend 'Sacred to the memory of Old Sherwoodians who made the Supreme Sacrifice in World War II'.•With the outbreak of the Second World War. a number of additions were made including an upper storey which was added to the infirmary and the foundation-stone of the study block (now called Llewelyn Block) was laid. Its lists the names of those who fell in action. •In addition.000 man-hours of sweat of the boys who provided the labour force. there were many heroes from the school.

• Mother Salesia Reiner. •The school is only for girls . MARY’S CONVENT HIGH SCHOOL •Situated at Ramnee Park.ST. The institution has both boarding & day scholars mode. planned a foundation in Nainital to help the sisters whose health had suffered hazardously from the heat of the plains •A team of 9 sisters started a school with a few day scholars . on a gently sloping hill with 26 acres of ground •A Roman Catholic institution was established by mother Salesia Reiner in 1878.

000 meters above mean sea level •It has six playing fields.ST. •Situated at an altitude of about 2. Roman Catholic institution COLLEGE FRONT •In 1892 four Christian Brothers took over formal charge of this College and thus began the involvement of the Christian Brothers in the running of the school. a gymnasium and a swimming pool to provide sufficient scope for physical development VIEW FROM A CLIFF: TIFFIN TOP COLLEGE FRONT COVERED WITH SNOW . JOSEPH’S COLLEGE •St Joseph's College Nainital is a residential school providing public school education exclusively meant for boys •It was established in 1888.

near St. •The school was built in it’s present site in 1892 on Ayarpatta hill .ALL SAINT’S COLLEGE •It was started in July 1869 by Miss Bradbury . 6800 feet above the sea level. but higher up the hill: this is an old established school WILLESLAY SCHOOL •The school was built on Ayarpatta hill •This American institution is an English medium girls school PHILANDER SMITH’S COLLEGE •It is an old institution •Oak Openings under a new name. •This educational institution is an English medium residential-cum-day girls college under the management of All Saints College Society. PETERSFIELD GIRLS COLLEGE •It is situated in the heart of the station. •situated near the Convent. John's Church .

the bishop of Calcutta who came to Nainital in 1844.ST. ST. Located on the north end of town (Mallital). JOHN’S IN THE WILDERNESS TODAY .when the place was still very much a wilderness It is one of the earliest buildings erected in Nainital and possibly the finest church in any Indian Hill station The other two main churches in the Central Nainital are the Methodist Church on the Mall near the Flats and the Roman Catholic Church of St Francis. John's Church was built in 1847. JOHN’S CHURCH • • • • • • • St. also on the Mall. about half a mile north-west of the Naina Devi temple A brass memorial commemorates those who were buried in a huge landslide The few bodies that could be uncovered from the rubble were buried in the graveyard here The church was named by Daniel Wilson. JOHN’S IN THE WILDERNESS ST.

G. are two prominent administrative zones: cretariat area: this area had a great administrative importance during the Br All offices of the secretariat of U. As strative offices are scattered. since the very beginning has been enjoying the administrative importance. such as. urt area: lying on Ayarpatta hill at the Talli Tal side. it is very difficult to demarcate this zone clearly. Within a radius of 120 m almost all the imp c rative offices are located here. This area still has many offices in ts vicinity. D. office of the Superintendent of police. Some of the imp offices are Commissioner’s Offic Magistrate’s office. .T. The Municipal Office.P.Administrative area l. hill umaon university Office etc. government used to shift here from Lucknow during summer. Malli Tal Police nd Head Post & telegraph office are located in near the market. Railways office etc A large number of administrative offices are widely d in Nainital. the court area is now c ost important administrative zone.

GURNEY HOUSE •The former house. Raj Bhavan is the official guest house for the governor of Uttarakhand and for visiting state guests. •The complex consists of a two-storied mansion with 113 rooms. •The house is now a museum of Corbett memorabilia. of Jim Corbett. . •Originally built as the summer residence of the governor of the North West Province. oak. and golf links.W. Stevens. The spot commands a sectional view of the town and the nearby region. it later became the summer residence for the Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces.292 m is a memorial to an English lady believed to have been killed in an air crash. The peak was known as Ayarpatta Hill.GOVERNER’S HOUSE •Governor’s House (also Raj Bhavan) •It was built in 1899 and designed in the Victorian Gothic domestic style (also called "domestic Gothic") by the architect F. •Currently. a large garden. a swimming pool. Dorothy's seat is also known as Tiffin Top. •The surrounding hillside is rich with deodar. pine and rhododendron. is located on Ayarpatta Hill. DOROTHY’S SEAT At a height of 2.

SHIMLA .

• It included all that British society needed: a theatre. a library. a Masonic Hall with a vaulted entrance. two reading rooms and a hall for holding public meetings. exhibitions and durbars and a police station and weapons for protection. • Town Hall were places where large assemblies could meet to exercise their right of discussing public questions. • The first floor contains the gallery of the theatre. • The town Hall housed the volunteers armoury in two large rooms and a basement. designed by Henry Irwin in the Gothic style. • The town hall was completed in 1888. from several English residents. TOWN HALL . the municipal offices and the Police station.• The proposal for a town Hall on the ridge came in 1880. balls. but combined simplicity with majesty as it was an index of the affluence and importance of the people for whose use it was erected. • The exterior was usually not highly decorated. • The ground floor consisted of the Gaiety Theatre. They felt a large building would serve all the purposes which a town hall did in England. The armoury was to meant to store two light machine guns and 700 rifles. a large hall for suppers. the library.

Longitudinal cracks in the concrete vaulting. 1884. The additional space. • The estimates drawn up were grossly inaccurate.• The new town Hall planed in 1884 was to be completed by the summer of 1885.It was not the most durable of structures. Extra funds were required because of expenditure on earthwork on wages paid to labour and on the foundations & construction of the tower. • In the early 20th century officials recorded that the building had been “badly bungled”. a police reporting room had been added and an upper storey above the theatre was designed as a drawing room. a tower. owing to the weak foundations. the stone used was of the worst and the design was faulty. it was discovered that its hastily completed roofing leaked after a heavy snowfall.and an inward . This. • Within two months it became apparent that. • He recommended that an additional storey be built to restore the balance. It was to cover an area of 1602 sq yards and costs 150000 rs. planned to be the architectural focus of the building. In winter. but construction began on 22 nd October. since they were made on the basis of incomplete drawings. even before the working plans were completed or subsoil tested. would have to be shifted from the centre to the north. A corrugated iron roof replaced the leaking tile roof in the eastern part. would afford extra accommodation for a volunteers armoury & corridors around the theatre. • By June 1886.west corner. according to Irwin upset the architectural balance of the building.

secondly for a temporary roof to be installed above the theatre and that no part of the existing structure be incorporated in a new building since the could not be strengthened. but the old dismantled town hall was preserved.housing the gaiety Theatre. . •New municipal offices were constructed.mmittee of experts in 1912 made three recommendations: first dismantling of er floors.

D.C. and the management has remained in the hands of the officers of the Indian Army. time and again from financial ruin. took place in the year 1888 and since then plays have been staged in the Gaiety with unfailing regularity until the year 1947.C. Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year and its God-Father was Lord Bill Beresford (18891910) who saved the Simla A.THE GAIETY THEATRE The present Gaiety Theatre situated on the Mall was opened on the 30th of May 1887. activity. made exclusively of wood and wood-pa netting originally had a lavish decoration of stucco and mud-plaster relief work. During the hectic period of World War II (1939-45) charity and fund-raising shows marked the AD.C. . and after India won her freedom in the year 1947 the stage had been almost totally used for Indian dramas. The small semi-circular Victorian Theatre. To overcome the deficit of the Club a levy of a Gold Mohur was added on to the usual subscription fee of the members in the year 1893 and the boxes of the Theatre used to be auctioned for the first three nights of the plays. concerts and poetic symposiums. The formal inauguration of the Simla A. which made it free from reverberation of sound and rendered it a superb acoustic quality.D.

Ground Floor Plan Section.Gaiety Theatre .

• The U. • Spread over twenty eight acres. extensive wine cellars. it installed its private electric plant. five lawn tennis courts. but also residential accommodation to unmarried officers or those who are living without their families. two squash courts. • It was a male preserve. it had eighty three fully-furnished residential units with running hot and cold water.S Club was the most exclusive and wealthiest in Shimla. a soda water factory. the Chalet was constructed to enable members to entertain ladies. UNITED SERVICE CLUB . women were not permitted even as guests. In 1901.• Clubs provided not only places for social intercourse and sports. and stables for seventy horses.

MORNING ROOM quet lawn. & transformed it into otel 1976. ssentially oriented east west. blue ttery jardinières from Multan. This arrangement permits guests to oy the sun. arble statuary and collections of Indian object arts. Peshwa vases. LIVING ROOM FORMAL DINING ROOM BREAKFAST ROOM .NTERIOR OF CHAPSLEE eneral Peter Innes of the Bengal Army purchased Secretary’s ging in1848 and changed its name to Chapslee he kapurthala family resides at Chapslee. richly decorated with eirlooms such as Gobelin tapestries. sits on the crest of a small hill. rare textiles and cabinetry m the Doge’s palace in Venice. & tennis court. hapslee is very well maintained. Persian carpets. he southern side of the slope accommodates a garden terrace. Chandeliers from Morano.

To begin with. in addition. it contained the general guidelines prescribed by the Army sanitary commission on the principle of construction for barracks for Single and Married men. standard plans were issued. PLANS COPIED FROM COLONEL CROMMELINS MEMORANDUM MODIFIED PLANS PROPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA . Plans of model barracks suitable for different localities were provided.MILITARY BARRACKS Issued by the public works department in 1864 as part of the proceeding of the Governor general of India in council.

PROPOSED REARRANGEMENTS OF MESS ROOMS & SERGEANTS QRS. determined all designs. One significant design recommendation concerning the ample amount of pure air available Per soldier. For the hill station it is between 1408 and 1232 cubic feet. but the prescribed range was fairly broad. .The size of the rooms and the optimum number of the occupants in each barrack were suggested. however. 16 to 20 soldiers per room and 40 to 100 soldiers for the barracks.

12 feet wide at the front and on the sides and 10 feet at the back. like the Walker Hospital in Simla and the Eden Hospital in Darjleeng or local stone and brick. The slandered plans. Buildings were Built entirely of wood. Giving a distinct identity to each structure. were used to build military Barracks. An important feature of all types of barracks was the open wrap-around veranda. . measuring about 16’X14’ and 14’X10’.Accommodation for the married military staff was organized around 8 to 10 multiple units of two rooms. The outside treatment of the buildings is skillfully handled. based on the commotion's guidelines. hospitals or sanatoria in hill stations. The general design approach of the military barracks was straightforward and Deliberately kept simple to permit to use of a variety of local materials. like the convalescent depot at Sabathu and the barrack at Dalhausie.