Formerly- Barnes Court
Location- Chhota Shimla
Year of completion- 1902
Architectural style- (Neo Tudor timber framed building) Typical English country
Now- Official Residence of Governor of Himachal Pradesh
Known as- Heritage site and major tourist attraction
Shimla boasts of some of the finest colonial architecture. Barnes Court or
Shimla Rajbhawan as it is known today is and evocative example of distinctive
timber architecture (domestic style of architecture) which is not a commonality
among governmental buildings but is a preferred by commoners and adorns the
Anglo Saxon country landscape. This pristine colonial abode is the official
residence of the Himachal Pradesh. A splendid example of Neo Tudor timber
architecture, the overall layout and the ambience transports tourists and gives
a feeling that they are actually travelling in a simple English village.
The Shimla Bhawan as it is called today was originally called Barnes Court after
Sir Edward Barnes who was the Commander in chief then. This heritage building is
known for its large and at the same time spacious interiors. The Ball room can
well be called the center of attraction of this building. In the days of the
British rule, this mansion served as the residence of field marshals and higher
officials of the army Lord Napier of Magdala, Sir Collin Campbell and Sir Hugh
Rose. The Raj Bhavan is well maintained and manages large footfalls of tourists
due to the patronage of the Himachal Pradesh and still offers the aura and the
charm and glory of bygone era. The entire Raj Bhavan reverberates with ambience
that is distinctively English.
This quintessential Anglo residence also holds a distinctive place in history.
It was the place where the Shimla Peace Accord took Place. During the meeting
Indian Prime Minister Indira and Pakistani Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
signed an agreement that mandated that the countries would rule out all
impending disputes through bilateral trade.
The prestigious Raj Bhawan building can only be visited by tourists who have
secured prior permission from the secretariat of the Governor of Shimla.