Pragpur, a quaint little village
in Himachal Pradesh’s scenic Kangra Valley, grew to become the primary village in India
to be branded a heritage village. Pragpur was based within the late 16th century
by the Kuthiala Soods in reminiscence of Princess Prag Dei of the Jaswan royal
household. With its winding lanes, wood slate-roofed homes, the village appears to be like
nothing lower than a miniature portray set on an aisle. Because the story goes, in
the early 19th century the affluent Kuthiala Sood group arrived and
settled right here. These retailers who have been nicely uncovered to structure and humanities
outdoors the world, returned to Pragpur to construct buildings, chateaus and mansions
in architectural types they noticed outdoors. With their efforts, Pragpur
regularly reworked right into a grand show of immaculate magnificence and spectacular
structure that advanced as an ideal mix of Portuguese, Rajput and British
types. This jogged my memory of the distinctive manner during which Shekhawati
architecture of the havelis, cenotaphs, and stepwells has
advanced, with designs
taken from different cultures the merchants acquired uncovered to.
To expertise the allure of
Pragpur, take a stroll by the village. The sq. formed water pond, within the
center of the village, will lure you to spend a while round it. A village
stroll introduces you to the architectural magnificence strewn throughout Pragpur. Constructed
earlier than 1868, the Taal is within the middle of the village and is surrounded by
a number of previous group constructions just like the Nehar Bhawan, Naun, and Dhunichand
Bhardial Serai. The village market by the pond is a bustling place and has an
unlikely allure lacking from most villages. At a stone throw away distance is
the Lala Rerumal’s haveli, with parts of Mughal-styled structure, and has
a big water reservoir. Historical temples, courtyards, even age-old home windows and
doorways with intricate carvings, go away an eternal impression on the
vacationers. Most of those homes exhibit fancy tile-work, decorative towers, and
stained glass home windows. It’s like a world merged with previous Himachali
structure, the place you see an overuse of wooden and pillars. Apparently, the
rooftops of those buildings have gables and slanted slopes, which is kind of
distinctive contemplating it seldom snows within the Himalayan foothills. The slanted
slopes is a ubiquitous function within the uphill Kangra and Kullu valley. The
village committee is entrusted with restoring and conserving these
One other jewel within the Pragpur
cultural mélange is the Judges Courtroom.
The Choose’s Courtroom, the 300-year-old ancestral
home of Vijai and Rani Lal, has now been transformed right into a heritage resort.
Vijai Lal is the grandson of Justice Sir Jai Lal, the second Indian to turn into a
Choose of the Punjab Excessive Courtroom. The story goes that for years the ancestral
property was left unattended, earlier than being restored and was a heritage
resort. Aside, from a pleasant stay-over, this two-storey brick-red mansion, steeped
in historical past, presents an perception into lifetime of some of the influential households
with roots in Pragpur.
As you stroll, Pragpur appears a busy
and affluent village, with a cultural historical past value falling in love with. The
cultural historical past appears nicely veneered with modern allure. All one wants is
a pleasant little stroll to dwell this expertise.
Garli: The subsequent cease
At some three kilometers from
Pragpur, Garli is actually the subsequent cease from Pragpur, on Shimla route. Throughout
their migration from Punjab, some Sood households settled in Garli, and began
buying and selling in timber. Some households who moved uphill used the Beas River to
transport the logs downhill to Garli. Quickly Garli had advanced into a significant hub
for timber enterprise. With timber, got here cash, and with cash prosperity. The
previous heritage buildings, some now transformed into heritage motels, reside
tell-tales of these affluent days.
A singular function of structure
in Garli is the Anglo Islamic structure of the mansions, marked by ethereal
areas within the mansion, intricate carvings on the doorways and home windows, courtyards
outdoors the principle constructing, and in depth use of pillars. Most of those non-public
marvels lie in varied levels of decay. Most buildings deserted or occupied by
the tenants and divided into many households. The maintenance is sort of nil. Nonetheless,
the out shells of those constructions by no means fail to fascinate the vacationers, and
the higher turrets of those previous buildings appear to dominate your complete village.
One of many marvels within the village
– the Chateau Garli was restored and
transformed right into a heritage resort. The constructing was restored to its age-old glory
by rigorously recreating the colonial, Portuguese, Mughal, Rajasthani and Kangri
architectural influences. The Chateau is a advantageous imprint of this heritage. The
village of Garli presents expertise by time.
As I wandered by the village
lanes, I got here throughout many architectural marvels now left to smash. One of many
buildings the Bishnu Sagar, a splendid instance of the dexterity in artwork and
design that referred to as Garli it’s residence, lies deserted as we speak. And it isn’t the one
one, there are scores of such buildings left deserted as we speak. And whereas Pragpur
has labored to revive the previous buildings, Garli presents a unique aspect of the
story. Nonetheless, the village serves as a gorgeous reminder of our previous.
The village leaves you with a mixture of feelings. The sheer awe of the historic
allure, and historical past, the delight of hospitality, the bliss of pure magnificence
with Dhauladhar Vary rising as a backdrop to this quaint village, to a way
of pity for the mesmerizing buildings that stands as lovely ruins as we speak.
Provided that the federal government or non-public sector has stepped ahead to revive the previous
buildings, most likely convert them into museums or homestays.
Easy methods to attain
Garli and Pragpur are nicely
linked by roads from Chandigarh, Pathankot, and Delhi. There are common
buses from Chandigarh and Delhi, going to Dharamsala passing by Pragpur. The
nearest railhead Amb is sort of 28 kilometers that get trains from Delhi. And
the closest airport is at Gaggal, about 50 kilometers from away.
The place to remain
Pragpur has many funds choices
to remain. For a luxurious keep, one can choose to remain at Chateau Garli or Choose’s