Gaiety Theatre


Lovingly restored between 2004 and 2009 and hoping for Unesco status, this remarkable 320-seater theatre opened in 1877, originally as part of a bigger grandiose civic centre. It's long been a focus of Shimla social life, and Rudyard Kipling, Baden-Powell, Shashi Kapoor and Michael Palin are among those who have trodden its Burmese teak boards.

It's worth the entry fee to admire the unusual gilt-patterned interior and to hear the (included) historical commentary by dapper and unstoppably fluent guide Mr R Gautam. There's also an exhibition of old photos and a church-like vaulted gallery (separately entered from The Ridge side, free).

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