Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."

It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.

Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.

More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.

Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....

31 May 2006

Numbers, mere numbers!

In Shimla, there are:
103 tunnels between Kalka & Shimla.
2 little Tibetan monasteries at Sanjauli & Kasumpti.
7 Hills:
- Elysium , where Auckland House school and Longwood, a housing estate, are located.
- Inverarm: You have to huff and puff up a steep little road to reach the State Museum on the Chaura Maidan (which is neither "chaura" nor a "maidan" !). Do look out for Chaura Maidan's tiny and utterly winsome post office at the foot of the hill. The Museum is open between 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. and is closed on Monday and public holidays.
- Jakhoo is Shimla highest peak and is best known for its monkeys & the temple dedicated to Hanuman (the monkey god from the Hindu epic Ramayana. The best way to access this is from the Ridge on foot, but you can also drive up.
- Bantony (the location of the crumbling Grand Hotel.
- Prospect Hill offers a splendid view if you're ready to walk for just 15 minutes beyond the suburb of Boileauganj. The Kamna Devi temple is also located here.
- Summer Hill has to have one of the prettiest little railway stations in India. Trundle down the hill and you may yet chance upon an Arcadian vision!
- Observatory Hill is home to the Viceregal Lodge. Enough said.

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