Dagshai also known as Daagh-e-Shahi is one of the oldest cantonment towns in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on top of a 5,689-foot (1,734-m) high hillock that stands sphinx-like astride the Kalka-Shimla Highway at a point about 11 km from Solan. It was founded in 1847 by the East India Company by securing free of cost five villages from Maharaja of Patiala aka Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. The name of these villages were Dabbi, Badhtiala, Chunawad, Jawag and Dagshai.


Dagshai & Kumarhatti
Kumarhatti Dagshai Railway Station
Location in Himachal Pradesh, India
Dagshai (India)
Coordinates: 30.88°N 77.05°E / 30.88; 77.05
Country India
StateHimachal Pradesh
1,734 m (5,689 ft)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationHP

The new cantonment was named after the last named village, as it was the largest and most strategically located.

The name Dagshai, according to a popular local legend was derived from Daagh-e-Shahi. During the Moghul times a Daagh-e-Shahi (royal mark) was put on the forehead of the criminals and sent packing to the then Dagshai village.


Built by the British as a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients, it has a British era graveyard overlooking a valley. It is on the same height as Lawrence School Sanawar near Kasauli, and is a short drive from Dharampur on the Chandigarh Simla highway. It is some 65 kilometers from Chandigarh. Unlike Kasauli it is to the right of the highway while driving towards Simla. There are two roads up, both steep. And after snow, snow chains are a must to drive up to Dagshai or getting down from it. There is an army unit stationed there, a residential only Army Public School, Dagshai and a private school called Dagshai Public School.

There is a very small civilian town, and the two schools take up most of this hilltop station. There are no hotels in Dagshai, but the place has a lot of picnic spots with grand views. From some spots one can see the entire Panchkula and Chandigarh lights at night. Also, one is able to see Timber Trail Heights and Timber Trail Resorts, Parwanoo There is a railway station on the Kalka Simla line at Kumar Hatti, from where Dagshai is about 1.5 kilometers uphill. The next towns in the direction towards Simla are Barog and Solan. Solan is some 11 km from Kumar Hatti by road, and Dagshai is some 3 km from Kumar Hatti. From Kumar Hatti there is also a road to Sarahan and Nahan.

Dagshai Central Jail

The Dagshai Central Jail now being used as office for Junior Engineer and Godown by the Military Engineering Service (MES) was built in 1849. This jail came into limelight when a number of Irish freedom fighters were executed here prompting Mahatma Gandhi to rush to an on the spot assessment of the situation. Four revolutionaries of Komagata Maru incident were also executed at Dagshai. Presently this jail is being maintained by MES under GE S/H Kasauli. This has now been converted into a museum.

Irish soldiers' mutiny, 1920

Following a large scale mutiny of Irish soldiers in the British service at 1920, in support of the independence struggle then unfolding in their homeland, dozens of mutineers were incarcerated at Dagshai Prison. On 2 November 1920, mutineer leader James Daly - a 21-year-old private - was shot by a firing squad in the prison courtyard, the last member of the British Forces to be executed for mutiny. He was buried at the Dagshai graveyard until 1970, when his remains were repatriated to Ireland and given a funeral with full military honours (See The Connaught Rangers#Mutiny in India, 1920).


Dagshai is located at 30.88°N 77.05°E / 30.88; 77.05.[1] It has an average elevation of 1,734 metres (5,689 ft).


As of 2001 India census,[2] Dagshai had a population of 2751. Males constitute 62% of the population and females 38%. Dagshai has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 88% and, female literacy is 73%. In Dagshai, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Religion (2011)

Sr No Religion Percentage as per 2011 Census[3]
1 Hindu 94.01%
2 Muslim 0.65%
3 Christian 1.65%
4 Sikh 3.00%
5 Buddhist 0.62%
6 Jain 0.03%
7 Not stated 0.03%

Residential schools

  • Army Public School, Dagshai (ranked 9th among top boarding schools)
  • Dagshai Public School (a residential school,started way back in 1957, and affiliated with ICSE).
  • Sarvahitkari Shiksha Niketan
  • VC children primary school


  1. Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Dagshai
  2. "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  3. "Dagshai Religion data census 2011". census2011.co.in. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
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