Review: Ballyhack Cottage, Shimla

photo 1The Ballyhack Cottage is arguably the best located property on Shimla’s famed Ridge – adjoining the Christ Church and minutes from the buzz of the Mall. Recently rebuilt, this five bedroom home has managed to tastefully incorporate the burnished wood sounds, smells and sights that usually age would accord such a place. It is, after all, set within the premises of the oldest surviving house built by the British, said to have been commissioned for then Governor General, Lord Amherst, in 1826. After a brief stint as the Christ Church Lodge, it passed into the hands of the present owners in 1946.

Of the two church-facing rooms, the well-appointed Family Suite comprising a total of 5 beds BR 5(including two at attic level), 2 bathrooms and an adjoining private terrace is billed top-dollar; worth every cent of it. Other than breakfast, meals (which, by the way, are finger-licking good), are exclusive of tariff and would require prior intimation. Guests are welcome to use the smallish apple orchard out back, as well as the lawn terraces offering matchless views of the Church, the Ridge and the Greater Himalayan Ranges.

photo 3Unless you can ‘manage’ a permit to drive up to the front porch of Ballyhack, you do well to park at the Cart Road Lift’s public parking lot. The cottage is a comfortable 10 minutes walk from there. In any case, it is unlikely you will even want your car after you have checked-in, and given the various traffic-free (well, nearly) walking possibilities from your temporary home, some thought. Strongly recommend the one that takes you along the Ridge to the erstwhile Viceregal Lodge (now Indian Institute of Advanced Studies), skirting Shimla’s many heritage buildings – Cecil Hotel, Telegraph Building, Gorton’s Castle, Vidhan Sabha, Peterhof et al.

photo 2

For details, contact Karandip Singh at+91 9815600076


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