Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla opens doors for tourists

·4-min read
Visuals from Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Visuals from Indian Institute of Advanced Study

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], September 23 (ANI): The 18th-century British-era building of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in Shimla was opened for visitors almost after a gap of over five months.

Speaking to ANI, Akhilesh Pathak Information officer of IIAS said that the building was closed from April 2021 and now the building is now open for visitors from 10: 30 am to 4:30 pm. However, strict standard operating procedure (SOPs) is being implemented amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The IIAS was closed for tourists from March 22, 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic. Once things were normal we opened it on February 17, 2021, and were closed on April 4, 2021. Now from Saturday onwards we have opened it for tourists and people have started coming here. We are following the strict COVID-19 protocol and a maximum of 20 people are allowed in a group to enter the building. We are hopeful the people will keep visiting as they have started coming up. I don't have the exact data that how much loss and shortfall of visitors have happened due to pandemic but as per data available before COVID-19 there used to be over 1.5 lakhs visitors annually here," said Pathak.

Ankita Sarkar, a tourist from Kolkata said that for the past two years she was at her home and coming to Shimla in greenery and hills is very refreshing.

"Due to COVID, we were in our homes for the last two years. I am feeling happy to be here. It is very good that Advanced Study has been opened for tourists because this is a beautiful place to visit. It is an old British era building and we can learn the culture and architectural designs here. For COVID-19 here the protocols and restrictions are being followed and it is safe to be here. I would suggest everyone should come here. During the past two years students were busy with laptops and electronic gadgets and coming here in the greenery will be refreshing," said Ankita.

The local residents and students here are also happy to take a visit to the IIAS.

Kamini Bhatia says that she is very happy to come here after a long time as during the COVID period they were bored at home. "It is a very good experience that we happen to come here after a long time, our colleges have also started but they are also not on regular basis. But coming here gives us refreshment," she said.

Another local student, Vidushi Bhapta said that everyone should visit here as the place is very beautiful and refreshing.

"I would suggest that everyone should come forward to visit here. We all had a tough time and because of fear, it is not easy to come out. For the past two years, we were busy using laptops, computers and mobiles. Coming to places like this would make your mind fresh," said a local student.

Shimla was the summer capital of the British and 13 viceroys stayed in Vice Regal Lodge, this used to be the key centre of the British administration during the period between 1888 and 1946.

Lord Dufferin was the first Viceroy who wanted to live here but due to the architectural faults the building could not be completed in 1884 when it was started and in 1888, lord Dufferin had to move and Lord Mountbatten was the last occupant.

After Independence, it was named Rashtrapati Niwas and later in 1965, Dr S Radhakrishanan decided to start the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS).

It is spread here in over 110 acres of land. The majestic and iconic building is one of the most visited places in Shimla with nearly two lakh visitors annually.

The leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Master Tara Singh and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, attended the Simla conference called by Lord Wavell to find a way out for Pakistan.

In May 1947, Lord Mountbatten discussed the plan for Partition at the same table. Sir Cyril Radcliffe was given two months to chalk out the boundary between India and Pakistan; apart from the Redcliff line, this building has also witnessed the signing of the Mcmahon Line and also the Durand Line during the British era. Now it is the most visited and liked place by tourists in Shimla city. (ANI)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting