Know your location
» North India
» Himachal Pradesh
Also Known As: The Summer Refuge
Altitude: 2,159m.
Places of Interest: The Mall, Christ Church, Kufri, Narkanda
Best Time To Visit: April To August & December To January

Colonial shimla's pot pourri had some vital ingredients. There were 'Grass Widows' - unattached ladies spending a 'season' at Shimla while their husbands sweltered it out on the plains.

Then there were members of the 'Fishing Fleet' - young women who sailed out of England, usually chaperoned, in search of husbands. No dance was considered complete without numerous, cunningly devised 'Kala Jagahs' (dark places). In these nooks, one could sit with one's partner on a small sofa or even on a single armchair, and no word of criticism would be uttered.

But of all the clubs and societies that were unique to Shimla, the most enigmatic was the 'most noble order of the black hearts', only men were eligible for membership and they too could not commit the offence of "living in open matrimony." More staid were the Annandale Gymkhana Club and, the Amateur Dramatic Club - the latter still exists.

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