Photographer's Note

t was the British Governor General of India Lord Dalhousie (1848-1856) who ordered work to begin on the Hindustan Tibet Road in June 1850. Various reasons are cited for the building of the road that connected Kalka and Shimla to the Tibetan border. The system of begari prevalent in the hills, where unpaid labourers were pressed into service – including for the transport of timber and files to Shimla – is said to have upset the Governor General so deeply that he wanted to improve the road these men trudged. Lord Dalhousie also wanted to create trade ties with Tibet and this is felt to be the real reason for initiating the road and for his own trip to Kalpa in Kinnaur. The immense machinery at the disposal of the East India Company was pressed into service and halfway down the nineteenth century, work on what was then styled as the Great Hindustan Tibet Road began under the charge of the Commander-in-chief Sir Charles Napier. Beyond Shimla, to the Shipki pass on the border, the route took 228 miles.

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Additional Photos by dwaipayan das (adidas5nb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 971] (5743)
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