Camp Potters Hill

by SumitVashisht /
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Aug 26, 2009 / 1 comments

Like Rome Shimla is also called the City of Seven Hills. They are the Jakhoo, Elisiyum Hill, Bantony, Inverarm, Observatory Hill, Summer Hill and Prospectus Hill. Potters Hill is mentioned only with a small reference in "Simla - Past and Present" by Mr. E.J. Buck.

Machan - Used as a Conference Hall

How the hill got its name is not told in that book either. It just says, while telling about the springs of Shimla, that people living in the Summer Hill area used to get water from a Baoli - the spring, near the Cremation Ground just below Potters Hill.

The story goes like this. When it was decided to errect a suitable place for the Viceroy to live in, the proposal of construction of Viceregal Lodge came up. The observatory Hill was decided as the site and the work got started under the amzing supervision of Mr. Henry Irwin as the chief architect and Lord Dufferin the then Viceroy. Till then all the Viceroys who came to Shimla lived in Peterhoff - now a Hotel run by the State Tourism Department.

The construction work of Viceregal Lodge began in 1884 and no one knew at that time that the building was going to be a marvel example of Baronial - Scottish architecture. It took 4 years to complete this palace on the Observatory Hill and now the question was how to cover up the rooftop. A suggestion came that locally made tiles should be used. A hill nearby had clay in abundence. So a number of potters families were called from all over the country and were setteled at the hill. They were required to prepare tiles for the building. The very first problem that the potters faced was that there was no water at the hill. So a pond was prepared, that is still there, to collect rain water.

A Hut at Camp Potters Hilling

The building got completed in 1888. The Viceroy moved into his new house and all the workers who had spent along time in its construction went back to their native villages. But the potters decided to settel here and make pottery. This is how the hill recieved its name.

The descendents of the Potteres families lived here till early ninties of the last caentury but the name of the places remained burried in the books and no one knew it by its original name till February 2003. That time it was decided to use the place as campsite. The State Forest department took the initiative and decided to lease out the land to some local entrepreneur.

Now the place has been named as Camp Potters Hill and this is te most luxurious campsite in the State. A number of Multinational Companies use this place for the outdoor training programs for their executives. Camp Potters Hill also organises Summer Education Camps for the School Children form different parts of the country.

Camp Potters Hill has 11 Huts - all equal to each other, prepared by fixing wooden board on iron fram. The rooftop is covered by tin sheet that is hidden byt a flap of tent that makes it look like a tent from outside. In the room all basic ameneties such as proper beds and attached washrooms with running hot & cold water, western toilets and electricity are there. Apart form this the campite also has seve lSwis tents all with the same ameneties but none of the accomodation unit has luxury like televisions anf refridgerators as they are not the necessity of the place. A full running Kitchen is there with professional staff and it serves well prepared North Indian food to its guests.

The resort is set up in the middle of the forest that is more than 150 acres in area and has a number of HImalayan trees such as Cedar, Oak, Pine, Rhododendrhon, Rebiniya, Weeping Willow and some medicinal shrubs. You may decide to go for a Nature walk around the camp where you might see some Himalayn birds such as Red Jungle Fowl, Blue Magpie, Silver Pheasent, Woodpecker and Parakeets. A call of Hog deer or barking deer is a part of the sonds you hear in the forest. 

Bonfire at Camp Potters Hill

IN the evening bonfire is setup in the middle of the forest and food is served in a buffet style. Locale cuisine is also available with folk dance that is performed by the locale artists.

For more details you may contact at [email protected]


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