India Journals

Pragpur and Garli: A Step Back in Time

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A January 2009 trip to India by phileasfogg

The Pragpur Taal Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India More Photos
Quote: The twin villages of Pragpur and Garli in Himachal Pradesh are a well-preserved memory of days gone by, with old mansions, cobbled streets and more.

Pragpur: One Side of the Coin...

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Story/Tip

The Asho Spiritual Healing Centre Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
My left foot doesn’t like Pragpur. Really.For some odd reason, both times I’ve gone to Pragpur, my left foot has rebelled. The first time was in November 2005, when Pragpur was the last destination on an itinerary which took us to Palampur and Dharamshala. It was raining in Dharamshala, and I slipped on an algae-covered path. Took a toss and cracked my ankle, so even though we stayed a night in Pragpur on our way back to Delhi, I saw nothing of Pragpur except our room at The Judge’s Court.Ever since, I’ve wanted to go back to Pragpur. So, about three years after that first debacle, we planned a long weekend at Pragpur. And my luck being what it is, the evening before we were to leave,...Read More

...And Garli: The Other Side

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Story/Tip

An old mansion in Garli Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
I hadn’t even known of Garli’s existence until my sister—a historian—told me. She’d attended a lecture by a conservation architect on Pragpur and Garli, and had heard that Garli was actually richer in heritage buildings than Pragpur. So Tarun and I decided to add Garli to our itinerary. Day 1 we’d spend exploring Pragpur; day 2 would be devoted to Garli.Garli is about 4 km from Pragpur. Both villages form part of the same designated Heritage Conservation Zone, which means that there are strict laws in place to protect old buildings and regulate all development in the area. I’d assumed (a stupid thing to do, in hindsight) that Garli would be a village in limbo—a hamlet stuck in the late 1800’...Read More

The Pragpur Taal

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Attraction | "From Manchester to Himachal"

Peach blossom in Pragpur Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
Pragpur’s off the beaten track, so there isn’t much tourist literature floating about. But almost all of it mentions the Pragpur Taal. As it happened, we arrived at the Taal by accident. "This looks like an interesting little lane," I said to Tarun as we strolled past one of the narrow cobbled streets; he agreed that it looked promising and we ducked into the lane—only to find ourselves at the Taal.The Taal (literally `lake’ in Hindi) is an artificial water body, a large square tank lying behind a row of houses parallel to the main bazaar. It was created in the 1880’s under the aegis of the Pragpur Nehar Committee (a nehar, by the way, is a brook), with water being diverted from the nearby v...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2009

The Minerva Senior Secondary Girls' School

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Attraction | "An Interesting School - and an Impressive Mansion"

Garli mansion Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
One of the most prominent heritage buildings in Garli is the Minerva Senior Secondary Girls’ School. I hadn’t expected a school named after the Roman goddess of wisdom to be tucked away in a Kangra village, but this one helped reinforce my increasing suspicion that Garli isn’t your run-of-the-mill hill village.The Minerva Girls’ School lies just below Garli’s main street. A wide staircase of shallow steps leads down to the school, which is in the form of two large double-storeyed buildings approximately perpendicular to each other. The building that faces the road has a façade of solid wall from top to bottom; the other one has a verandah on the ground floor, with classrooms behind and above. The b...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 3, 2009

Judge's Court (The)

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Hotel | "Of Orchards, Sunlit Lawns and Big Buffets"

Judge's Court (The)  Photo, India, Asia
Quote:
I’d stayed a night at The Judge’s Court in 2005, when a disastrous trip left me with a broken ankle. That experience was surreal. The inebriated manager dispensed unwanted advice; the dinner menu veered madly from delicious to awful; and all I got to see was frayed bedsheets and plastic flowers.Time for another review, then.The Judge’s Court was built in 1918 by a magistrate, Justice Sri Jai Lal. Set in 12 acres of land, the mansion reflects the higgledy-pigglediness that characterises Pragpur and Garli. The façade—brick red and white—combines traditional c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2009

Judge's Court (The)
Jai Bhawan
Pragpur
+91 (1970) 245035