This building, modeled down to the finest detail on a Scottish Baronial home, was completed in 1888 to serve as the Viceregal Lodge from where the whole of the enormous British Imperial Indian subcontinent was ruled during the summer months of March to October each year.
Located in Shimla, distantly remote by at least 6 hours and 225 miles from the administrative capital in New Delhi, Shimla is situated at a giddy 2076m (6,800 feet) above sea level, which offered the colonists a welcome cool climate during the sweltering Indian summer down on the plains.
It was the first government building to have electricity, European style kitchens and laundries housed in their own five-storey wing. The whole estate covered 331 acres and required a staff of 800, including 40 gardeners, to maintain.
It witnessed many events of historical importance in the struggle for Indian independence and the negotiations which led to Indian Partition (from the country that would become Pakistan). Crucial meetings between the British and Mahatma Ghandi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammed Jinah took place here.