The Indian Institute of Advanced Study

When you visit Shimla in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, you're met by seven hills dotted with varying landmarks. Atop Observatory Hill is the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Here, professionals research various topics in a structure that was constructed in the early 1960s. Learn about this Indo-Gothic property and why it's perfect for any visitor's itinerary.

Remarking on Its History

Originally, this structure was a home for the Viceroy of India between 1884 and 1888. After India parted from Britain, the property became the Indian president's summer retreat. Over time, the government decided to transform the aging property into a research facility.

In 1964, the Ministry of Education started this transformation. Near the end of 1965, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study was ready to serve the public and government bodies. Today, it remains an important contributor to India's body of knowledge.

Looking at the Building's Advanced Infrastructure

With a revivalist architectural style, the Institute reflects both its Indian and British roots. Designed by a British architect named Henry Irwin, the property offers several floors and detailed exterior elements as it stands out on the hillside. Inside, Irwin safeguarded the property from fires with wax-tipped water ducts. At the time, this mechanism was highly advanced for any structure in India.

Also, this building was the first in the area to be electrified in 1888. Indeed, the steam engines imported from Britain made the electricity possible. Lastly, the property also has a hidden water tank under the lawn. With every rainstorm, the tank captures the runoff for applications around the property.

Taking a Tour

Experience the Institute with a knowledgeable guide by your side. Purchase tickets for guided tours daily. Between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis.

During these tours, the guides discuss the facility's history, mission and advancements. Typically, each tour runs about 30 minutes long. If you're visiting the Institute for the first time, this tour is a thorough introduction to the entire property. For your convenience, guides offer tours in either English or Hindi languages.

Getting to the Site

Because the Institute is about 3 kilometers from Mall Road, most visitors pay a driver to take them to the site. There's a main parking lot where you can disembark and walk up to the Institute. Wear comfortable shoes because the property is steep in some areas.

Typically, the property is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you visit during national holidays, there may be closures, too. Remember, the Institute is still an active research facility, so be respectful of the workers within.

The Indian Institute of Advanced Study is a unique landmark with a mixture of history found in its fixtures, furniture and advancements into the future as researchers work on their projects. For visitors, a self-guided tour of the entire property can take around 2 hours. Explore this Indian highlight as you enjoy the charming town of Shimla.

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2 Nights / 3 Days

Weekend Getaway to Shimla

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Enchanting Trip to Shimla
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Enchanting Trip to Shimla

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Spectacular Shimla Manali Trip
4 Nights / 5 Days

Spectacular Shimla Manali Trip

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Fabulous Shimla & Dharamshala Trip
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Fabulous Shimla & Dharamshala Trip

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