From 1823 onwards, for some six decades the Governors-General and later Viceroys of India had shuttled from one unsuitable residence to another during their summer sojourns in Shimla. It was Lord Lytton (1876-80), who chose Observatory Hill for constructing the building that was to be the final Viceregal address in town.
The first designs for the new Viceregal residence were prepared by Captain H. H. Cole of the Royal Engineers. These were presented before the workaholic Viceroy, Lord Lytton at the Simla Fine Arts Exhibition of 1878. It was Lord Dufferin (1884-88), however, who took great personal interest in the matter. He persuaded the Secretary of State for India, Lord Randolph Churchill, to sanction the project that was finally to cost thirty-eight lakh rupees.
"The waters from one side of the hill flow down to the Bay of Bengal,"and the wash from the other heads towards the Arabian Sea.
Take some time out for Yoga and meditation and refresh your body, mind and soul. Enjoy beautiful views of mountains and valleys from the restaurant, Room and your personal gardens.
" The machinery of the Public Works Department was placed in high gear and"work on the site began in 1886.