Now VHP wants Shimla to be renamed as Shyamla

shimla-hpshimla Image source: Shimla district administration website

Days after Haryana government decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram stirring up a controversy, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has called for renaming Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla as Shyamla.

According to reports, VHP organising secretary Manoj Kumar had appealed to Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat to discuss the issue. This came a day after the right wing outfit mooted a proposal for renaming Dalhousie after Netaji Subhash Chander Bose and re-designating Shimla's historical Peterhoff building as Valmiki Sadan.

The Congress has, however, come against the proposals. A TOI report quotes Shimla mayor Sanjay Chauhan as saying, "Shimla's name has historical significance and it cannot be changed because it suits some organization."

Shimla was the summer capital of the British Raj during the latter half of the 19th century and the soldiers of the British army, merchants and civil servants dropped in here to get relief from the scorching heat of the plains.

According to the website of Shimla district administration, there is a great controversy over the origin of the name Shimla. According to one theory, the name was derived from 'Shyamalaya' meaning blue house said to be the name of house built of blue slate by a faqir on Jakhu. Another version says Shimla takes it name from 'Shamla' meaning a blue female, another name for Goddess Kali.

The Peterhoff housed at least seven viceroys and governors general during the British Raj. It has been built in typical Tudor style—all wooden frames and shingled eaves. After being destroyed in a fire in 1981, the building was rebuilt to a new design as a luxury hotel in 1991.

Dalhousie is named after the British governor General of the 19th century, Lord Dalhousie. The town has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Haryana Government had decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram and its neighbouing district Mewat as Nuh. A government spokesperson had said Haryana was a historic land mentioned in the Bhagwat Gita and Gurgaon had been a great centre of learning, where Guru Dronacharya used to provide education to the Pandavas and Kauravas.

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