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Timings : 24 hours

Time Required : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Bantony Castle, Shimla Overview

The Bantony Estate is a heritage site built during the British era and is located on Bantony Hill of Shimla. The estate consists of the Bantony Castle and the Bantony Cottage. The estate now comes under the Heritage Zone of Shimla and is included in the Shimla Heritage walk for tourists. The beautiful wooden architecture of the building amidst the sprawling lawns is a site worth exploring.

Although the Bantony Castle is in the process of refurbishment and renovation, some parts are still in ruins. Tourists often speak about the melancholic vibe these portions of the estate posses. The potential of this heritage monument as a tourist attraction cannot be denied, and hence, the government purchased the property from the owners to rebuild it for the generation of today to get a glimpse into the British colonial era.

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Architecture of Bantony Castle

The estate covers over 20,000 square metres of land in Shimla. The Bantony Castle is a two-storey building with towers, sloping roofs and a chalet. The building is a perfect example of the Tudor Revival architecture or the mock Tudor architecture. The building gate is made of cast iron. The front side of the castle has a cast iron railing with the coat of arms belonging to the state of Sirmaur. The castle area will now be utilised as a Heritage Museum and will have artefacts and items belonging to the colonial era.

History

Bantony Castle was built over 125 years ago on the estate which was the Summer Palace of Maharaja of Sirmaur. Before the castle was built, the estate had only a cottage that belonged to Captain A Gordon. Portions of the property were later sold to locals. Due to high repair expenses, the condition of the estate was deteriorating day by day. An NRI wanted to buy the estate and open a Hotel. However, the deal never got through, and the castle and the property around it were left to deplete. In 2017, the Indian Government proposed refurbishing the Bantony estate and opening it to the public as a Heritage Museum. They bought the property for around INR 280 million. The foundation stone to commence the restoration was laid by Virbhadra Singh, the then Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. The estimated cost of the renovation was about INR 3.6 million including the development of a restaurant and a recreational park.

How To Reach Bantony Castle

Bantony Estate is located on Bantony Hill, Kalibari Road, Shimla. It is easily accessible by road and tourists can walk or rent an auto-rickshaw to reach the estate from any part of the city. Those exploring by private/self-driven vehicles can take the route via Cart road and Mall road.

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