This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Aakash Mehrotra from the blog www.handofcolors.me
Today's destination: Pragpur and Garli, Himachal Pradesh!
Nearest Airport: Kangra Airport, DHM
Nearest Railway Station: Raimehtpur, MTPR or Ambh/Pathankot
Prerequisites - NA
Packing - Pack according to the weather, warm clothes preferable
Time of the year - Round the year
Length of the itinerary: 2 days
Aakash takes us to the first heritage villages of India, Pragpur and Garli in Himachal Pradesh. We discuss the origin of the village in the 1600s, the origin of the name Pragpur and the connection to the Sood community from Sirhind, Punjab.
The villages prospered during the time of the British as the merchants here were instrumental in providing the timber and raw materials for building the summer capital of Shimla.
The Beas river in the vicinity, the ample availability of timber and the good weather in the foothills helped the traders set up the operation.
The village has a unique identity with an amalgamation of different architectural styles that the traders and merchants were exposed to during their travels. The mansions are inspired by Rajputana architecture, Mughal as well as British architecture and are reminiscent of the mansions of Shekhawati region in Rajasthan.
The unique mansions, some of which date back to the 1600-1700s have still been maintained, and the villages were given the heritage village tag in 1997.
Some of the unique mansion and havelis in Pragpur and Garli one should check out include The Judge’s court, Lala Rerumal Haveli, Butel Niwas, Santri ki Kothi, Nalke vali kothi, Melaram ki Kothi, Chateau Garli.
If you are in the mood to splurge, the Judge’s court and Chateau Garli are two heritage properties which will give you a wonderful experience living in these mansions. There are also other lodges or serais that are more economical options.
In addition to the mansions, one can also enjoy the sights and sounds of Himachal - from the Beas river to the majestic Dauladhar ranges.
If one wants to extend the itinerary, other places of interest include a visit to the nearby religious places like the Jwalamukhi temple, Dada Sibba temple for the murals, and the unique Kangra style of art. Visiting the villages during the occasion of Lodi or Nakki ka mela - the wrestling festival that happens in September might be a good option.
Aakash’s blog: https://handofcolors.me
Link to Aakashs’ episode on Nagaland: https://themusafirstories.com/podcasts/tms006-explore-nagaland-with-aakash-mehrotra/
Link to Aakashs’ episode on Landour: https://podcasts.apple.com/ng/podcast/71-explore-landour-with-aakash-mehrotra/id1209849464?i=1000456649557
Image credit - Aakash Mehrotra, Hand of Colors
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