This film is part of Free

Simla and Lahore

Evocative observational scenes of Simla (Shimla) and Lahore, including the gorgeous Shalimar Gardens and Anarkali Bazar.

Amateur film 1933 12 mins Silent


In this evocative observational film Simla (Shimla) is framed by misty pines and we see hardworking hill people carrying headloads. In Lahore, now in Pakistan, you see the British enjoying themselves in the famous Shalimar Gardens, amid beautiful pavilions, fountains and a shimmering lake. At Lahore is also the busy Anarkali Bazaar, with a Bata shop, ghoda gadis (horse carriages), and a poetic shot of a buffalo cart with an outsize hay load, trundling past three domes, as dust from the street obliterates them completely.

These marvellous images of Simla and Lahore not only evoke nostalgia, but given the right-wing nationalism in the Indian sub-continent, offer a rare chance to see the glories of these cities in India and Pakistan that are officially hostile today, making it difficult to get visas to each other's nations. You see the garden parties in Lahore, with people in formal suits and sola topees, women in saris and high heels, a military parade by the fountains. And the streets outside are alive with working animals - sheep, horses, buffalos, camels and donkeys. It is a lovely record of its elegance and culture, beauty and commerce. Meenakshi Shedde