Royale Retreat Hotel



Shimla is renowned for quite a number of architectural marvels built during the British era. One such sensation is the Viceregal Lodge. Do not get carried away by the suffix attached to the name as it nowhere resembles a lodge that many readers would have pictured in their minds. The lodge is built on Observatory hill, one of the seven hills in Shimla.

The Viceregal Lodge is an architectural fusion of the elf’s castle in Lord of the Rings and the Scottish baronial castle. The lodge was built in the year 1888 and has been the humble abode of the famous British Viceroys until the unfolding of World War 2. The building has earned the name ‘Rashtrapathi Niwas’ due to the stature of the guests it hosted. The lodge also has historical significance attached to it as it was the host of two crucial conferences that sealed the partition of India.

The opulent interiors of the lodge make it one of the most charming colonial buildings in India. The Viceregal Lodge was made from local sandstone and designed in a Jacobethan style. The architectural marvel was designed by none other than Henry Irwin, the man with the architectural magic.

The lodge is now the abode of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. The grand scale of the building is an awe factor for the visitors due to its grandiose. The Scottish architectural tradition can be witnessed in the ornate balconies and the high-columned arches. The building consists of fireplaces, teak-paneled halls, and authentic colonial furniture.

The photos of the colonial powers ruling over India have been displayed at the conference halls and libraries. The manicured lawns and the mesmerizing gardens of the Viceregal Lodge is a place to be in. Visitors can enjoy the magnificent panoramic views by sipping the mind refreshing beverages from the adjacent cafeteria.