Ummid Assistant

Hajj committee's IAS coaching cell invites applications for new batch

AMU Centre for Distance Education to add five more study centres

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home National

Will British era building soon be Shimla spa?

Wednesday July 27, 2011 07:18:40 PM, Vishal Gulati, IANS

A prime British-era property Bantony Estate stands tall near Scandal Point in Shimla.

(Photo: Kumar Lalit)

Shimla: Yet another piece of this erstwhile Indian summer capital's colonial past is in danger of being lost, with a prime British era property expected to give way to an ultra-luxurious spa.

Officials of the Tourism Department told IANS that London-based businessman Ranjay Trehan has moved a case for seeking a no-objection certificate under Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act to convert the Bantony Estate near Scandal Point to a spa.

He has also sought permission from the Shimla Municipal Corporation in this regard.

Municipal corporation commissioner A.N. Sharma told IANS that a request has been received. "Since the building lies in the town's heritage zone, giving permission to raise a new structure on the existing one is not possible at all," he added.

Bantony, located in the heart of the town, was the summer palace of the erstwhile Maharaja of Sirmaur, whose coat-of-arms can still be seen in the cast-iron railings in front of the house.

E.J. Buck's 1904 book "Simla Past & Present" notes that "the Maharaja always comes up to Simla for several weeks during the season, and is by no means the least enlightened of the Chiefs of India."

It is this very Bantony Estate that former five-time chief minister and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh has cited as one that top functionaries of the state's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was trying to grab.

Without naming anybody, Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Virbhadra Singh said here in April that the building has been purchased by a private party.

"The previous Congress regime was trying to use the heritage property for public purposes. Now, a private party has taken control over it. One day you will find it will be deliberately put on fire (to build a new structure there)," the minister alleged.

State Congress spokesperson Kuldeep Pathania said the party would not allow the government to change land use laws in the heritage zone of Shimla.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Tuesday directed the principal secretary, urban development, to initiate the procedure for acquisition of Bantony Estate and land in the heritage zone of Shimla.

Like many buildings in Shimla, Bantony's architectural style is somewhat eclectic-part mock-Tudor, part chalet and crowned with sloping roofs with mini-towers. The architect is said to be T.E.G. Cooper.

The exotic cast-iron railing with coat-of-arms of Sirmaur state at every span of six feet - mostly vandalised - and the original gate outside the building built in Nahan Foundry, were erected in 1902-03.

Before its construction in 1880, the place had a rickety cottage belonging to Capt A. Gordon and housing some army officers.

Since 1957 the building, now in an advanced state of decay, had been the headquarters of state police. It was formally vacated this year after a court case.

According to the municipal corporation, due to inadequate repairs, lack of financial resources of the owners and limited understanding of heritage preservation, the building is in a dilapidated state.

The corporation warns that if preventive measures are not taken to preserve it, Bantony Estate would soon be just a name in the history books.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at







  Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page



Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Top Stories

India, Pakistan ease Kashmir travel, trade

ndia and Pakistan Wednesday agreed to simplify travel procedures and increase the frequency of bus services for people of the divided Jammu and Kashmir. This is among the Kashmir-related 

The Hina factor in India-Pakistan talks

  India, Pakistan agree on cross-Kashmir linkages, set positive tone


  Most Read

Yeddyurappa can be tried for corruption, says Hegde

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa can be prosecuted for corruption, Lokayukta N. Santosh Reddy said 

Hegde submits mining report, Yeddyurappa's fate uncertain

Reforms on track, inflation a problem: Mukherjee

 India's ambitious economic reforms agenda, that was set exactly 20 years ago, is on track and much of it just requires legislative action, which can take time due to the process involved, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said. However, he seemed to throw up his hands on 


  News Pick

Court verdict on 2008 blasts Aug 8

A Mumbai court will Aug 8 deliver its verdict in cases related to two blasts in Maharashtra's Thane and Raigad districts in 2008 in which six people, some allegedly linked to Hindu group Sanatan Sanstha, are the accused. Though 

A new, safe Egypt woos Indian travellers

Want to visit the "new" Egypt? Five months after the uprising in the north African country, its battered tourism sector is looking at Asia, especially India, as its market of the future. "India and Asia, especially South Asia 

IGNOU launches courses for nurses, teachers, parents

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Wednesday launched three courses focusing on raising more educational avenues for medical, nursing and teaching personnel, an official said. The two certificate courses 

India fails to clear bills, Iran stops oil sale

ran has stopped selling crude oil to India as New Delhi is yet to pay around $8 billion to Tehran, a top Iranian official said Tuesday. "India is indebted $7.9 billion 


Picture of the Day

Jamia Millia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jang conferring the title 'Nishan-e-Azad' on Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Faisal Hasan Trad on July 20, 2011.



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes










Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.