The Great Lift

Warning: This post may contain references to the World of Warcraft.

Shimla is a vertical town, often alarmingly so. To get from the lower level (the ‘Middle Bazaar’) to the upper level (Mall Road) is quite a climb. To help people, the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Association has created the Lift, a two-stage elevator that connects the lower expanses of Shimla to the upper.

It costs Rs7 per person, or about $0.15 (luggage is extra.) You take the lift up half way, then walk along a covered bridge to a second lift that takes you the rest of the way. The lift runs until 9pm.  After that you need to take the steps.

the lower great lift / shimla, india

Dan & I are both fairly certain that this Lift was the inspiration for the Great Lift in Azeroth.  It used to connect the Barrens to the Thousand Needles. (The latter was flooded by the recent Cataclysm, rendering the Great Lift useless.) And even if Shimla’s Lift wasn’t an inspiration for Azeroth’s, I like to think it was. It was fun riding up and down an actual Great Lift after having done it so many times in the electronic world.

The other striking thing about the Shimla Lift is the amount of litter that has accumulated below its walkways. Look at the left half of this picture showing the upper portion of of the Lift:

the upper great lift / shimla, india

At the very bottom of the picture is the walkway from the lower Lift. See all of the debris that has collected on the roof of the walkway? (As always, click to zoom the image to full-screen.) Down below here is a canyon with a stream, but it’s hard to see a beautiful canyon when it’s filled with trash. Just after I took this picture, someone walked up to the railing at the top of the photo and dumped a garbage can over the side. Paper and soda cans rained down to the stream bed.

Given that the Lift is run by the state Tourism Bureau, I’m astounded that they haven’t done anything about this, but there seems to be little social shame in littering. It’s just accepted. Bleah!

— Ron

What do you think?

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