After a busy day in two fantastic indoor places of visit, the Annandale, Shimla was on my mind. The climate turned out surprisingly to be pleasant. Annandale was initially made to act as the playground of Shimla. It was just a small trip on a bus to reach there.
It is at a distance of 2 to 4 km from the Ridge and is situated at a tall location of 6,117 ft. It is a very vast, big and a very pretty ground, which looked to be well-maintained and very neat. But the ground is prohibited from playing now. This is because of the Indian Army who is the custodian of that ground. That ground, as I later found out, was actually a part of the suburban village of Kaithu. The original name of that place was Annadale and not Annandale. Lord William Beresford introduced an improvement scheme, which was ambitious in many ways as the total cost of removing a large piece of the mountain cost about nearly Rs 80,000 in that time’s valuation. A large amount of money was handsomely donated by the Indian Rajas. I too felt like I was back in time and amongst cricketers and Army racers who used the ground for such purposes. I tried to visualize the pavilion, a polo field and myself sitting in the stands with other people of that time, who were polo fans like me. The ground also has a tremendous amount of aesthetic value and I put that to good use using my camera. Presently the races and the cricket matches do not exist from any calendar year. The Annandale, Shimla ground is now being used as a helipad and Sports, parades and army exercises and occasional functions like Dussehra Festival celebrations. The very first fancy fair was held in Annandale in the year 1839.
After I had reached a point where I was completely satisfied with Annandale, Shimla, I was amazed to note and realize that I learnt so much from absolutely an empty open-aired space. It was an experience enriching. But it was only appropriate now that I choose to take on a different path and leave Annandale. Next up was the Dorje Drak.