Friday, 4 August 2017

Bantony, heritage colonial building, now a heritage site, Simla


Bantony building Simla Castles of the Realm
Bantony building Simla Himachal Live
 When Simla became the summer capital of the Raj, subsequently the Indian elite comprising filthy rich Maharajahs and princes  were encouraged to buy lands on the hill.  The intention of the British rulers was to get the trust of the rich Indian rulers and with their help, they wanted to maintain a better relationship with the natives. Further, this would promote social intercourse between two ruling groups. 

Unrestrained by budget, Several Indian princes and zamindars  made a bee line to Simla and the surrounding areas and bought properties - estates, buildings, etc with considerable ease as they did not have any financial constraints. These estates in Simla, were not only an investment but also they could live here during the summer season Consequently in late 1800s a larger number of estates were owned by the Indian princes.The Raja of Cooch Behar,  the Maharajah of Faridkot owned two  the Raja of Nahan and others owned sizable properties on the hill. .

Among the countless colonial buildings in Simla, 'Bantony' is an interesting one Considered as the   residence of the Maharajah of Sirmur (Nahan)
British-era Bantony Castle Estate is located along the Mall Road, Simla. The ruler's coat-of-arms can still be seen in the cast-iron railings in front of the house. It is said the Maharajah would  stay here for weeks  during summer season. Like many buildings here, the design is part Tudor and Chalet often capped with slanting  roof with mini towers. The mini towers were in bad shape and were on the verge of collapse.
Bantony Estate is spread over around 20,000 square metre area between Circular Road and Mall Road.

The state government bought the property for Rs 27.84 crore with a view to preserving its heritage value.  Under the administration of Chief minister Virbhadra Singh said the old building of the Bantony castle would be refurbished and converted into a museum. A recreational park with a restaurant would also be developed in the area, he added.  Yet another proposal is to establish walking trails in this area, turning it into an exciting heritage zone so near the town. It would beneficial to the people living here and also to the tourists.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/british-era-bantony-castle-to-turn-into-heritage-museu

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/Govt.-buys-heritage-Bantony