The Telegraph Office building Simla - one of the oldest automated phone exchanges!!

1922 Shimla, India - The Telegraph Office -Pinterest

Designed by the Scottish architect Scott Begg in 1922, the Telegraph Office building, on the Mall in Simla, Himachal Pradesh  is presently being occupied by BSNL  Hence, it goes by the name of BSNL building. It is a beautiful over ambitiously designed colonial building in which the Government telegraphic office functioned and made first link with the outside world from here. Begg was a consulting architect with the Government of India.  After replacing the old wooden spired structure, Begg built  this  brick building on a stone base. The grey ashlar stone work of the base is both attractive  as well as earthquake proof. The red brick color gives a pleasing appearance to  the building on  the Mall Road. 

Shimla, India - The Telegraph Office -Alamy

Though the building is stately and extravacant in design, no body can question its functionality. An interesting fact is the Simla Telegraph Office that later functioned was one of the world’s first automatic telephone exchanges with a capacity for 2,000 lines. A telephone exchange was established in the  1930s  that was  connected to England and the then Viceroy was the first person to speak down the line.

01. Latin inscription on the west side of the building reads as : "Molem aedificii multi construxerunt : rationem exegit I. Begg". ("Many men created the work of this stone building: the work was directed by J. Begg.)".
02. Scott Begg  also designed the Telegraph Office at Rangoon and Rangoon's Custom House as well.