Monday, January 16

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), the holiday home for ancient spirits

After spending months of dreary routine, people love spending a couple of days pampering themselves to the freshness and calm of a nearby holiday destination - and Indians are no exception either. However, owing to the vastness of this golden land, the geographical variety changes the destination of 'Holiday Destination' in the various parts of the country - up in the north-west, it is the adventurous Great Indian Desert, the northern region adorned by the Great Himalayas, the east enjoying the mega-rivers & the Bay of Bengal while the west escaping to the serene coasts. Lots of other regions enjoy in more fascinating ways, but kind of time-consuming to focus on them.

The northern region of this country enjoys a fresh yet somewhat chilly weather, all thanks to the various mountain ranges (including the Himalayas). Himachal Pradesh is one such state surrounded and filled up to the brim with nature's treasures - hill ranges, flowered valleys and clear waters. The state capital - Shimla, was also the summer capital during the British reign. The city is completely picturesque - toy-like roofed houses overlooking the mountains and a culture warm & inviting to one & all.

The city is famous for its old holiday-homes, bungalows & off-side cabins and is well-publicized through Rudyard Kiplings 'My own True Ghost Story'. This tinsel town also serves as a heaven-like abode for many unpassed specters many of which have left a permanent mark on those who have come across it.

Throughout the old decades (since 1870s to 1950s), the Britons have claimed of experiencing lots of supernatural activities within the various ancient homes in and around the city. Once such Mrs Fordyce (refer Rudyard's book) who lived along with her unwell mother claimed to see a spirit standing against her dressing table at midnight - an old man leaning against a wooden stick. Another such Mr. J tells us how (in the old 1920s) he and his wife used to visit an old rented place down in the Dukhani hills. Mr. J apparently saw a sad old man in a dressing gown in his room one full moon night. Before Mr. J could reach for him (quite a set of guts he had on himself), the man escaped smoothly into the dark. The next day, a search was conducted around the house, where no footprints were detected. A local later told Mr. J that about 40 years ago, a man of exactly the same description had conducted suicide within the same room.

Kipling in My Own True Ghost  Story wrote that there were two ghosts in Shimla

Of the many famous paranormal spots in the city, the Charleville Mansion undoubtedly ranks into the top 5. For decades (as in, British decades), many Sirs and Madames have claimed seeing supernatural activities during their stay at this lavish yet supposedly cursed mansion. A certain Victor took his wife for a short stay into the mansion during his appointment within the railways. Fed up of the locals' warning of a particular room showing optimum poltergeist activity, this Victor sealed the room only to experience the room ruining and bringing itself down. During the same period, an Indian servant had seen an apparition of a Briton officer walking across a solid closed door.

Though the specters in Shimla have not been much of violent in nature, their presence itself has left many of their viewers into a trauma they can cherish for the rest of their life.

PS: More of Shimla coming up. 


  1. Tourists from all over the world come to India to explore its real and natural beauty. In this wonderful land, tourists can explore attractive valleys, rolling hills, verdant hill stations, postcard-perfect landscapes, cool & delightful climate, snow-capped mountain peaks, serene ambiance and so forth.