Shimla takes its name from its patron goddess, called Shamla Devi. The town was 'discovered' by British surveyors in 1817. The gleaming reports of its beauty and favourable climate soon spread, and by the 1830s Shimla was - for most of the British people living there - the most fashionable summer resort in India. In 1864, it came as little surprise when the Government of India declared Shimla as their official headquarters during the hot season.
Shimla is still a very popular tourist destination today. This is due in part to some of the fantastic sights that can be seen in the town, from the wonderful views of the surrounding Himalayas to some of the man-made marvels. These include the Viceregal Lodge, the single most impressive colonial monument in the town. It was built to house the government - which it did until the end of British rule in the 1940s. The ornate building is the only one to occupy a hill of its own.
Other popular attractions in the town include Scandal Point, so-called because it was where people would meet traditionally to gossip, and the famous Gaiety Theatre.