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After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later made the capital of Himachal Pradesh.It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational centre of the state.Owing to its steep terrain, Shimla hosts the mountain biking race MTB Himalaya, which started in 2005 and is regarded as the biggest event of its kind in South Asia.Shimla also has the largest natural ice skating rink in South Asia.Shimla is also a district which is bounded by the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, districts of Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, Sirmaur in the south and Solan in the west.In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi.
By the late 1830s, the city also became a centre for theatre and art exhibitions.
By 1826, some officers had started spending their entire vacation in Shimla.
In 1827, Lord Amherst, the Governor-General of Bengal, visited Shimla and stayed in the Kennedy House.
Small hamlets were recorded prior to 1815 when British forces took control of the area.
The climatic conditions attracted the British to establish the city in the dense forests of Himalayas.
Three years later, his successor and the Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt Kennedy built the first pucca house in the area in 1822, near what is now the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly building.