Vice Regal Lodge (indian Institute Of Advanced Study)

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Vice Regal Lodge (Indian Institute Of Advanced Study)


The renowned heritage building of the Vice Regal Lodge in Shimla is also known as the Rashtrapati Niwas. Situated on the Observatory Hill of Shimla this building was designed by British architecture Henry Irwin and is built in Jacobethan style during the regime of Lord Dufferin, the then Viceroy of India. The designer used only local woods like pine and cedar to construct this marvel. The construction of the building was started in the year 1880 was after its completion in 1888 it was occupied by Lord Dufferin on July 23, 1888. The offers a spectacular view of the beautiful Shimla snow capped mountain ranges and sunset from its terrace.

It also houses articles and photographs going back to the times of the British rule in India. The Lodge is surrounded with pine trees, beautiful gardens on all sides that feature some of the rare species of trees and plants like maidenhair tree, Japanese maple and white mulberry.

The Lodge features extensive facilities like a state drawing room, ballroom, and the wood-panelled dining room all decorated with coats of arms of former Governor-Generals and Viceroys, huge kitchens, separate rooms for storing table linen, plates, china and glass and an enormous wine cellar. The Viceroy at that time used to host lavish parties and entertained the royal princes and nawabs in this Lodge.

The Vice Regal Lodge was the centre of many momentous decisions as it was the venue of the Shimla Conference in 1945. In 1947, the decision to partition India and carve out the states of Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), was taken here.

The lodge remained summer retreat of the President of India after independence and in the early 60s the President of India, Dr S. Radhakrishnan and the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru took a decision of making this Lodge a scholars’ den. They converted the Lodge into the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in 1965.

Some of the interiors were changed then to accommodate the needs of the Institute so, for example, the state drawing room, ballroom, and dining room, for example, have been converted into a library and the conference hall is now a seminar room for research scholars. Today research scholars from all over the world visit this place for debates and discussions.

Best time to visit

Summer time is the peak tourist season in Shimla but you can visit the Vice Regal Lodge throughout the year.


The designers Henry Irwin and Capt HH Cole designed the building in the Elizabethan style.


You can visit to the Vice Regal Lodge between 9:00 am to 8:30 pm on any weekday.

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