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Bishop Cotton School, Shimla is located in the heart of the beautiful Shimla Hills, but within relatively easy reach of Chandigarh and Delhi. Our Cottonians come from all over India and from around the globe, as more parents live and work abroad.  Strengthened by a proud history that goes back over one hundred fifty years we have our eyes firmly set on the global legacy for the twenty first century.

Life in Boarding

‘A Home Away From Home’

From Classes III to VIII, the boys live in newly built dormitories above the Junior School under the direct care and supervision of Matrons and Wardens, and boys of the same age group are housed together.

The Junior and Middle School dormitories are called Linlithgow, Irons, Stooks, Lewis and Sinker. The school is currently aiming to phase out bunk beds and most boys enjoy a single bed of their own. Additionally, each boy has a locker for their personal possessions. Each dormitory has their own toilet and shower block, a linen room and a common room with a TV.

Junior Classes

The Junior School, Classes III to V, is overseen by the Junior School Co-ordinator. Matrons live next to the boys in the dormitories and look after their basic needs outside of lesson time. During the school day, the boys are under the care of Class Teachers, who function like House Tutors

Senior Classes

From Class IX onward the boys move up to the Main School and live with the other boys of their respective house. Each House is supervised by the Housemaster and a Warden who lives next to the dormitory. The Main School Matron is in charge of the box room and sees to the cleanliness of clothes, issue of personal items and other pastoral requirements


The boys are required to bathe every day. The school has an excellent supply of water and a filtration plant. The 8000-litre diesel boiler provides plentiful hot water as and when required. Dormitories have fixed bathing times in the morning and evening. Clothes are laundered on campus and boys are given a fresh set of clothes three times a week, and change their underwear and socks daily! Bed linen is changed at least once a week. The school barber cuts the boys hair, and each dormitory has a fixed day and time for this. The appearance of each boy is checked on a daily basis by the Matron or Warden and the Housemasters.


Sports plays a key part in the daily life of every boy at BCS. Boys are taught the fundamentals of fitness and health. In addition to basic physical training, they receive coaching in Cricket, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Tennis, Athletics, Boxing, Swimming, Table-Tennis, Rifle Shooting, Squash, Badminton, Scuba Diving, Mountaineering, Roller Skating and Karate

BCS History

Bishop Cotton School, Shimla is one of the oldest boys boarding schools in Asia and was the first ‘Public School’ in India. It was founded on 28th July 1859, by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton. George Cotton was a scholar at Westminster School and a graduate of Cambridge University. In 1836, Cotton began teaching at Rugby School under the tutelage of Doctor Thomas Arnold before moving on to be Master of Marlborough College. It was the young Mr Cotton who is spoken of as the ‘the model young master’ in Thomas Hughes’ famous book ‘Tom Brown’s School Days’.

As Bishop of Calcutta, on the 28th July 1859, Cotton conducted a service for the foundation of a public school at a hill station. Collections were made in most of the churches of the Diocese for this purpose. These funds were used to found the Bishop’s School at Jutogh, Shimla. The land and the buildings on it were a gift from the Viceroy. Three private houses were purchased by Bishop Cotton, out of the India Public School Fund, and the school opened for students on the 15th March 1863. Though mentioned in correspondence as the Shimla Public School, it never actually bore this name. 

The Boarding Experience

Most of our families have proactively made the decision to choose boarding because of the benefits it will bring their boys – independence, friendships, fitness and routines.  Other families understandably have specific reasons such as both parents (or single parents) are working long hours or their work requires the parents to move regularly disrupting their children’s education. Other families are concerned by the high pollution levels in modern cities as well as our current Covid-19 pandemic.

It was probably self-discipline that I really learnt at BCS. It has carried me and many other Cottonians through life’s up and downs, triumphs and vicissitudes

Ruskin BondChildren's Author

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2024 Registrations

Bishop Cotton School, Shimla will be holding physical entrance exams for admissions into the school for the next academic year starting from Class 4.  We currently have long waiting lists for the Middle school years and it is advisable to take entry earlier in the Junior school so as not be disappointed.  

BCS, Shimla invites applications to the Sixth Form (Classes 11 and 12). Candidates should be young men with varied academic, intellectual and sporting interests, who want to spend a fulfilling and challenging two-year course in one the country’s best all-boys schools. Added benefits include joining a strong fraternity/family with lifelong bonds and a bespoke Mentorship program with our newly opened Alumni office.

We have limited seats in all 3 academic streams running for the right candidate – Science, Commerce and Humanities. Please contact or ring our Admissions mobile: 078077 36880 for further details.  To start your admissions process electronically please apply via this website

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