Dagshai is one of the oldest cantonment towns in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on top of a 5689 feet (1734 mtr) 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.
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 Daag-e-Shahi. During the Moghul times a Daag-e-Shahi (royal mark) was put on the forehead of the criminals and sent packing to the then Dagshai village.
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.