The Woodville Palace Shimla


Woodville Palace, located 7000 feet above sea level and half a mile away from the Shimla mall, has its share of timeless romantic history. Its history seeks to trace the grace and grandeur of the Indian Kings as well as the lifestyle of the British Raj and therein lies the essence of Woodville.

Woodville Palace, located 7000 feet above sea level and half a mile away from the Shimla mall, has its share of timeless romantic history. Its history seeks to trace the grace and grandeur of the Indian Kings as well as the lifestyle of the British Raj and therein lies the essence of Woodville.

Woodville’s past stares you in the face from the moment you walkinto the reception and glance at Raja Rana Sir Bhagat Chand’s (Knight Commander of the Star of India ) intimidating portrait. The number of secrets and the untold tales in its furniture, décor and antiques may never rise to the surface but what comes across is a vintage tradition that the Royal family of Jubbal has upheld over the decades and across generations going back a thousand years.

Raja Rana Sir Bhagat Chand (K.C.S.I.) of Jubbal State 1888-1951

Snuggled in the heart of the deodar pine forest and with the Himalayas as a backdrop, the history of Woodville Palace, with its gabled roofs and turrets, is as romantic as its locale. General Sir William Rose Mansfield, Commander-in-chief of the Imperial British Army, was the first recorded owner of Woodville. Documents prove that Sir William purchased the property from Major-General Sir Arthur Milford Beecher on February 2, 1866, for an exorbitant sum of Rs 22,000, and from then on Woodville became the official summer residence of the Commander-in-Chiefs of India. In 1876, Woodville was sold to Mrs Henrietta Ruth Maria Alexander, who followed the tradition and leased out the property to the Commanders-in-Chief of India for the next six years.General Sir Frederick Paul Haines spent five summers at Woodville, Handing over to General Sir Donald Martin Stewart,who stayed but one season before shifting in 1882 to Snowdon, which thereafter beacame the official Commander -in-Chief’s residence in Simla, remaining so until the conclusion of the British Raj in India in 1947.

The same year that General Stewart moved, Mrs Alexander sold her property to another Memsahib, Mrs Eliza Maria Walker, wife of Sir James Lewis Walker, the first Manager and later Chairman of the Alliance Bank of Simla, the hill station’s leading financial institution. Mrs Walker retained ownership of Woodville for five years until her death. She died in London , England , leaving her Simla Estate to her husband. Sir James Walker retained Woodville until 1919 when he sold the property to the Alliance Bank of Simla for Rupees 125,000 –

a considerbale amount in those days. In 1922, the Alliance Bank moved its headquarters to Kolkata, leading to its collapse and closure in 1923. Woodville was put on sale, as part of liquidation of the Bank’s assets. Wishing to purchase the property in 1926, His Highness Maharaja Sir Bhagvat Singh (Grand Commander of the Indian Empire and Great Commander of the Star of India) of Gondal State, Gujrat, Western India, approached the Alliance Bank of Simla, and purchased the property for the princely sum of Rupees 1,50,000. The Maharaja gifted Woodville to his daughter, Rani Leila Ba of Jubbal, in 1930.

Nobody resided in Woodville for about twelve years. In 1938, the old Victorian building was demolished by the Raja Rana of Jubbal State, ( now in Himachal Pradesh ) Sir Bhagat Chand, and the present magnificent summer Palace was constructed at a cost of Rupees 500,000 . The Jubbal Royal Family resided in the new Palace until 1977, when Raj Kumar Uday Singh , the grandson of Raja Rana Sir Bhagat Chand, converted part of Woodville into a Heritage Hotel.

About Jubbal:

The Jubbal Royal Family belong to the Rathore clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs who were renowned for their chivalry and bravery and can trace thier origins upto two thousand years.

Raja Bhagat Chand, K.C.S.I., one of the most enlightened rulers amongst the Simla Hill States, represented the Simla Hill States in the Council of Princes from 1921-1924. He was made a C.S.I. (Companion of the Star of India) in 1928 and a K.C.S.I. ( Knight Commander of the Star of India) in 1936 for meritorious services.

Jubbal State had an area of 288 square miles and was famous for its dense forests of ‘deodar’ trees. Today, Jubbal is reupted for its apple orchards which provide its residents thier main source of income. The town of Jubbal is about 100 kilometres from Simla.

Jubbal has also given the state of Himachal Pradesh a Chief Minister. He was the late Mr.Ram Lal who was the Chief Minister from 1975 to 1977 and again from 1980 to 1982. Later, he became the Governor of the state of Andhra Pradesh from 1982 to 1984.

Built over four acres of serene natural beauty and ensconced with roses, deodars and pine forests serving as a backdrop, Woodville Palace is built in the style of an English Country Manor and houses thirty-one rooms. The rooms are furnished impaired style of the 1930’s and beautifully capture that time for its guests. Each room has a separate theme and no two rooms are decorated alike.

Heritage Wing

Princely Suite

Majestic Suite

Deluxe Room

The various rooms and suites at Woodville Palace include :

Deluxe Bedroom

Imperial Room

Majestic Suite

Royal Suite

Princely Suite

The most amazing aspect of Woodville is that no two rooms would necessarily be similar. The rooms are a perfect blend of vintage ambience and modern amenities. Each room seems to tell tales and whisper unheard secrets of the bygone eras with their décor. The rooms and corridors are lined with Persian carpets and lithographs which are over a century old. The finest rosewood, teakwood and ebony furniture welcome guests with the same hospitality as the hotel staff.

With 31 rooms, Woodville also offers standard facilities such as television, telephones, intercoms and running hot and cold-water facilities, which are expected of a heritage hotel of this caliber. You can also enjoy a glass of wine standing in the balconies of these rooms and viewing the scenic landscapes and enjoying the cool breeze.

Activities at Woodville Palace and in and around Shimla

Woodville offers a number of activities for its guests. The palace hotel has the facilities for Billiards, Table Tennis and Badminton for sports lovers. Woodville also has an extensive library for the avid reader to peruse at leisure.

For those close to nature, Woodville is the ultimate holiday destination. We have our own private deodar and pine forests, which are home to rare species of flora and fauna. Walk into these forests and you will find the air filled with the musical sound of rare birds serenading nature. The sprawling rose-scented lawns and gardens remain unrivalled in Shimla in their beauty and the relaxation they offer.

The walk from Woodville towards the Raj Bhawan is a real treat for nature lovers. On the way, you can see lush green forest blazing with Rhododendrons. The juice of rhododendrons, easily available in Shimla, is divine and otherwise very rare.

Shimla also offers a number of outdoor activities that can be easily accessed from Woodville Palace.


Shimla to Kullu over the Jalori Pass (3300mt above sea level) and the Bashleo Pass (3250m above sea level) and from Sarahan to Sangla are some popular treks conducted by local guides and mountaineering institutes. Trekking to Hatu peak, located at 3400m sea lever can be fun too. However, nothing can be as exciting as trekking to the snowy peaks of Narkanda.


Experience the fun of rafting at Tattapanni, famous for its hot sulphur springs that are also believed to have certain curative properties. About 1½ hours away from Shimla, Tattapanni is also known for its Shivaji Caves. Woodville makes arrangements for rafting for adventure sports lovers.


Skiing slopes at Narkanda and Kufri are open from January till mid March.


Naldehra offers a well-maintained and scenic nine-hole golf course.


Rohru and Seema are popular angling grounds for good catches of Himachali trout, a local delicacy.

The packages are on MAP and applicable from 1st October, 2012 to 15th March,2013.


Deluxe Room : INR    13500/-
Imperial Room : INR    14999/-
Majestic Suite : INR   18999/-
Princely Suite : INR   23500/-
      Royal Suite :   INR  23500/-

Extra Bed @ Rs 2500/-


An excursion to the grand viceregal lodge, the abode of the viceroys in British India.

Evening tea, savovry & sancks in the lush green environs of the garden restraurant..

Extra :- Binefires & bbqs on special request .

20% discount at the Hollywood Bar.

The above rates are inclusive of a Double room, American breakfast, one Major Meal.

Taxes are extra @ 17.42

Packages will not be aplicable from 20th Deceber to 8th of Jan.2013

Adventure on request on Extra Charge Basis :

Horse Riding.

Hikes and Treks.

River Rafting.

Chauffeur driven cars are available for Sight Seeing on applicable

season rates. The charges for pick up from Bus Stand to Woodville is

Rs. 250/- and from Railway Station Rs. 300/- and Sight seeing charges

varies from Rs. 800/- to Rs. 2,000/- depends on the time and the distance.