Our Heritage

Blog about Heritage, Monuments, Ruins and much more…

Archive for the tag “Kangra”

Dalai Lama Temple, McLeodganj

HH_DalaiLamaIt was my pleasure, that I got a chance to visit His Holiness Dalai Lama’s temple at McLeodganj. I have been to Dharamshal and McLeodganj many times. But I went to temple only twice. I hope to see His Holiness some day as well.

When I went there in 2007 with my friend Vinay, we decided to stop for a cup of coffee outside the temple. When we finished our coffee, we saw hundreds of  Buddhist monks coming out of the temple. We felt so sorry because we had missed a chance to see the ceremony and wasted 30 minutes. We could have probably seen Dalai Lama as well.

Here are some pictures from that mighty place…

BuddhaStatue DalaiLamaTemple_Hall DalaiLamaTemple_Interior DalaiLamaTemple_2

TempleLawn Temple_inside

Temple TempleLawn_Flag

TibetianMeuseum

There is this nice museum outside the temple. This museum contains many artifacts and literature from Tibet. The walls of this museum are covered with banners telling the sad story of how China attacked on Tibet and conquered the land.

Tibet was having very small force. These peace loving people were forced to fight against huge army of china. Then the Tibetan government, including Dalai Lama, were forced to leave their homeland. Indian government then gave them place in Dharamshala, and today, this place is as peaceful as heaven.

A Must Visit Place…

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Ekasham Shailkritya Mandir Samooh, Masroor

Ekasham Shailkritya Mandir Samooh, or the Rock Cut Temples of Masroor, Kangra are one of the most magnificent temples I ever visited. It is an outstanding example of monolithic temples in Himalyan region. The entire complex comprises of more than 15 temple shikhars and a large water pond. The beauty of this place is that everything here has been craved out of sand stone rocks. There was a huge hill, and people of 8th or 9th Century, beautifully carved that hill into a series of temples.

Masroor-Temple

Unfortunately, this entire complex was destroyed in a very major earthquake, that almost devastated entire Kangra valley in 1905. Archeological Survey of India has tried its best to save this place. In 1914, this place was declared as a national monument.

Masroor-Temple-back

You can find debris of this majestic Temple all around the complex. One can image, how beautiful this place might be around 1200 years ago, when people were not advance enough to work on such huge projects. This could have been the wonder of that time.

It is a real sad thing to see this nice place destroyed due to earthquake .

Masroor-Temple-Thakurdwara In the center of the complex, stands the principal and the most elaborately carved shrine, the thakurdwara, enshrining the black stone image of lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana, facing east. I must mention that at this place, I saw the largest lizard in my life. I first thought it to be a small Comodo Dragon, but later realized that it is just a large himalyan species from lizard family.

Masroor-Inside_Temple

This place is few Km away from the main Kangra City. It lies in a village called Masroor. It took us around 2-3 hours to reach there from McLeodganj (Dharamshala) by car. We passed the Main Kangra Bus Stop and Kangra Airport on way to this place.

Masroor-Temple-Climb Masroor-Temple-inside Masroor-Temple-side

Masroor-Temple-History

Galu Devi Temple, near Dharamkot

Galu-Devi-Temple

I went there in 2007. When you start from McLeodganj towards dharamkot, you will find a pleasant scenic view. Soon you will reach Dharamkot, which is a really nice place to be. You cross dharamkot and reach at a height of 2130 mts. and find yourself in a ridge covered with high trees and hills. A small temple of Galu Devi stands there. This is the place, where vehicles stop, and a tough journey of Triund starts. This time, we came back from Galu Devi, but I hope, that next time, I will reach Triund. Here are few pics from this nice small place…

At-Galu-Devi-Hill At-Galu-Devi-Temple

McLeodganj-from-Galu-DeviThis picture is of McLeodganj, as it is seen from Galu Devi Hill top

On-Way-to-Galu-Devi-TempleAh, picture I took on way to Dharamkot. The road is very narrow, but it is a different experience all together. You will surely love it.

Bhagsu Fall (McLeodganj-Dharamshala)

BhagsuFall Ah, finally I got a chance to write about this mesmerizing place. It is far from the road, but still attracts several tourists. However, most tourists stop at the beginning of journey and find themselves happy with the downstream in foots of fall. Very few try to climb to rocks and reach the heart of Bhagsu Fall.

I have made it a point that whenever I go to McLeodganj, I visit this remote place. It is roughly 2-3 KM. from the town. We easily get taxi or rikshaw to there, but I prefer walking along the road.

OnWayToBhagsu My best two visits to this place were with my friend Vinay and with my cousin Satpal. We had real fun. The trekking from McLeodganj to Bhagsu is very interesting in itself. You continuously get a view of Kangra valley as the hill is facing towards Dharamshala. When me, Vinay and one of our other friend were traveling on this lonely road, we found several nice spots to stop and click. There are very small tea stalls and snack shops after every few short while.

Bhagsu-Gate Once you cross the small market of Bhagsu Village, you will find yourself at a gate built by Army. Next to it is Lord Shiva’s Temple. When you cross the temple, you will find yourself at  a small water pond, and people bathing in the cold water.

BhagsuWaterPond

Once you cross this Water Pond, you will see a very beautiful scene, that will hold you there for a long time. Fall is at distance, and the way is breathtaking.

BhagsuFall_Distant

BhagsuFall_PathWe had real fun while climbing up the rocks through that small path constructed several years back. Stones on that path keep slipping into deep trench. This path is not for weak people, or for those who fear height. But let me tell you, it is not difficult to climb it. Its just that you need a little courage and energy.

Once you reach the heart of water fall, you find crystal clear water, with green shadow from trees all around it. Water is very cold and so wonderful, that you can spend several hours in it. In-fact, the journey will make you so much tired that you will find this water to be the most precious reward you were working for.

BhagsuFall-2 A_Must_Do_Thing Vinay_in_Water

When you are done with the cold effect, the best thing to do is to have a bowl of maggi noodles Happy or a cup of nice coffee.

MaggiNoodles MaggiTime

Bhagsu Now look at this picture. The hut vinay is pointing to is actually more than 1 Km. away from this place and it is where you start you trekking.

After that point, you won’t find anything to eat or drink unless you reach the top. When you reach Bhagsu Fall, the broken path vanishes completely, and you have to climb couple of rocks to reach the top.

BhagsuRocks

But this easy climbing is more interesting then entire journey. The only problem is when you start back because you are already so tired, and after this long rest, you feel like sleeping. You are not in a position to climb back. But there is no choice, and you must walk your way back through those same rocks and cover the long path.

In a nutshell, this is an indispensable place for tourists.

Happy Voyage

The Kangra Fort

10th February 2007, I celebrated by 24th birthday at a very nice place, that has been ruled by rulers like Mohd. Ghazni, Mohd.Tughlaq, Firoz Shah, Jahangir, Katoch Kings, Raja Sansar Chand, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and finally Queen Victoria. I am talking about the Fort of Trigarta (now known as Kangra).

Kangra-Fort

Trigarta (Kangra) was one of the most powerful hill state of Punjab, and this fort made it undefeatable. Entire kangra valley is occupying the lower parts of Beas and its tributaries and during pre-mohammadan period, it made a part of kingdom of Jalandhar (Punjab Empire). The Kangra Fort is renowned for its strength, stability, strong fortification and impregnability. The walls stand upwards covering a 4 KM circuit, occupying a long narrow strip between Ban Ganga and Manjhi rivers. The cliff along the wall is 300 feet deep.

Kangra-Fort-(river1) Kangra-Fort-(river2) Kangra-Fort-(river3)

Kangra-Fort-(Entry)The only entrance to Fort is from the city side, and that too is very narrow for anyone to pass without encountering hidden soldiers. The long pathway is also having enough room for small army divisions to hide after every few meters.

Kangra-Fort-(Path)

This fort has nice engravings on all walls and has a small temple also inside. Besides, there is a big temple at the City Entrance.

Kangra-Fort-(temple) Kangra-Fort-(top)

Unfortunately this place was destroyed in early 1900 due to a massive earthquake, that destroyed entire Kangra Valley. There are several debris and broken walls that you can see. But this fort still stands as the crown of Kangra.

If you are visiting this place, don’t miss the museum at the foot of fort.

Sobha Singh’s Art Gallery

Sir Sobha Singh is a renowned artist in sikh community. His paintings of sikh gurus are most famous. He was born on 29th November, 1901 at Sri Hargobindpur, Gurdaspur in the family of a Ramgharia Soldier named S. Deva Singh. He himself server british army in baghdad and mesopotamia (now iraq). After independence, he came to Himachal. In 1949, he settled at Andretta near Palampur in Kangra Valley of Himachal, India.

SobhaSinghsResidence SobhaSinghsResidence2

(Residence of S. Sobha Singh at Andretta, Palampur. The street is called S. Sobha Singh Marg)

 

Prithvi-Raj-Kapoor

His murals are displayed at the Indian Parliament. Once of his creations is gracing his residence’s entrance…

(Prithvi Raj Kapoor, created by S. Sobha Singh)

 

 

 

Guru-Nanak

His most famous painting include Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal and Sikh Gurus. All his work is shown in his little house, that his daughter is now taking care of. One of his paintings, that is now no where to be found was once painted by my dad, when he saw it in a news paper. Unique thing about this picture is that in this, guru nanak is not wearing a turban. Instead, he is having a selli topi on his head. Most sikhs may not be pleased with this picture, but we must not forget the fact that Guru Nanak actually blended into the place where he went. He dressed like locals and gave gurbani in the local language.

 

When we reached Sobha Singh’s Art Gallery, after crossing mesmerizing tea gardens of Palampur and heavenly valley of Kangra, we were greeted by S. Sobha Singh’s Daughter, who now takes care of her father’s work. She was very kind to show us his work. There is a room full of this original work and a live size statue of him. There is one unfinished painting with a color dipped dry brush in his bed room. On the wall, hangs his honor, that President Giani Zail Singh gave him. I don’t remember if it was Bharat Ratan or Padma Bhushan.

I saw some really nice things in there, and recommend all art lovers to visit this mecca of artists.

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