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Presidency: Bengal
Coordinates: 30.97°N 76.99°E
Altitude: 1,265 m (4,150 ft)
Present Day Details
Place Name: Sabathu
State/Province: Himachal Pradesh
Country: India
Transport links

Subathu was a hill cantonment in Simla District, Punjab. Together with Kasauli and Dagshai, it was created by the British Army in the mid-19th century for the families and some of the troops to escape to in the hot weather which was so unhealthy in the plains. They are on the ridges of wooded hills about 20 kms into the Himalayas on the road between Chandigarh and Simla.[1] Kasauli is the major town in the area.

A photograph of a plaque [2] advises that Subathu was established as a Military Garrison (6th Native Infantry) in 1815 to oppose the forces of General Amar Singh Thapa located at Maulan Fort. In the olden days the route to Simla was via Subathu.

Subathu is close to Kasauli, but at a considerably lower level. Subathu lay in the ‘malarial belt’ and the disease in 1841 claimed the life the Letitia, the daughter of Sir Henry Lawrence (of Indian Mutiny fame). After this tragedy, Lawrence’s wife, Honoria, could not bear to live in the place any longer. By that time the Kasauli hill had also been surveyed and they decided to move to its healthier climate. The Lawrences built ‘Sunnyside’, the first European residence on the hill [at Kasauli] and Lawrence’s wife Honoria wrote in a letter, "From our house we can see the burial ground at Subathoo where the mortal remains of our little angel lie. It is on a solitary hill above Subathoo, ten miles from Kussowlie."[3]

Spelling Variants

Modern name: Sabathu
Variants: Subathu/Subathoo/Soobathoo/Sabhathu

First World War

There was a Young Officers’ School at Subathu c 1917-1919. This appears to have been associated with a similar School at Ambala[4] and it seems likely that Subathu was the summer location of this School.

External links

"Museum that showcases heroic deeds of Gurkhas by R D [probably Romesh Dutt] February 20, 1999. The Tribune. Located at Subathu.
Cemetery in Subathu, now an archived webpage. With inscriptions.

Historical books online


  1. Kennedy, David. Re: HURST Rootsweb India Mailing List 2 September 1998, now archived.
  2. From a webpage no longer accessible
  3. "Kasauli: of Bun-Samosas and Rissoles" by Raaja Bhasin
  4. "School of Instruction for Officers, Sabathu & Ambala, 1917 to 1919" September 13, 2012. Gill family’s service in the First World War. gillww1