Forts & Monuments

About Monuments in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is often referred to as the land of Gods. It has also gained popularity owing to the enchanting diversity. Taking a heritage tour of the famous monuments of Himachal Pradesh will give a proof of the existence of a culmination of the best features of all the worlds. From historical forts to colonial mansions, from religious temples to sacred monasteries: all will be found here. A trip to Himachal Pradesh will provide an opportunity to see the famous monuments that attract hordes of tourists. Himachal Pradesh is dotted with famous monuments that are an important part of every tour package to this region. A holiday in this region remains incomplete until the beautiful forts and palaces are paid a visit to. As one walks through these, awestruck at the height at which they have been constructed, the monumental heritage of Himachal Pradesh unfolds itself to the visitor.

About Forts in Himachal Pradesh

Throughout history, Himachal Pradesh has managed to enchant every ruler who has set eyes upon its picturesque land. He has been inspired to leave a mark on this place. A tour of these forts, or a holiday here will give the tourist enough to be wonderstruck about. The famous Kangra fort in the district of Kangna has a circumference of 4 kms., and various gates and shrines. As the oldest fort in Himachal Pradesh, it has carved a niche in the history of Himachal Pradesh. The Sujanpur Fort in the Kangra valley displays wall paintings. Other forts that are worth visiting here are Kuthar fort, in close vicinity from Shimla, and Kumru fort, located at about 229 kms from Shimla. Clusters of houses amidst fields and orchards surround this fort, making it a treat to the eyes.

Architecture Fusion in Himachal Pradesh

The monumental heritage of Himachal Pradesh is largely influenced by the history of this place. The culmination of multiple cultures has made the state’s monuments so diverse. Tourists find everything they come here looking for. The British landmarks simultaneously dominate and highlight the monumental attractions of the state as a result of the large period of time during which thy ruled in this region. However, significant glimpses of Mughal and Hindu influence on the architecture are also widely noticed. Even Buddhist architecture in the form of monasteries is seen here, owing to the state’s proximity with Tibet and the mere presence of Dalai Lama, the Buddhist chief monk. To understand and enjoy the true essence of Himachali culture and tradition, a tour of the monuments is needed.

Famous Forts and Monuments of Himachal Pradesh

War Memorial

Situated: (Shimla), Himachal Pradesh, India

In the Fond Memory of: After Independence War Fare Heroes of (Himachal Pradesh)

The immense city of Dharamsala full of filled tranquility among abundant foliage and tall pine trees holds a lot of history. At the entrance of the city lies the War Memorial to commemorate the Brave War Heroes of Himachal Pradesh in the era of Post independence, who sacrificed their lives during the Indo-China War, 1962, the Indo-Pak wars in the year 1947 and 1965 and then again in the year 1971, and the UN Peace Operations. Green lawns and exquisite landscaping enrich and adorn the structure of the War Memorial and elicits a true feeling of patriotism in the minds of the tourists. The restaurants located in the adjoining areas offer nice beverages to the visitors.

Rang Mahal

Location: Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

Houses: Himachal Emporium, Women’s College

Built By: Raja Umed Singh

Built in: Mid 18th Century

Hordes of tourists come to Chamba every year, to winess the beauty and historic content of the Rang Mahal. In the mid-eighteenth century, Umed Singh laid the foundation of the palace with the aim to serve as the king’s abode, and warehouse his precious treasure and the royal grain. The Rang Mahal of the fort is influenced by Mughal architecture. Traditional handicraft of Chamba, as old as 1000 years, is displayed on kerchiefs, handkerchiefs etc. with fine silk embroidery as executed by the local women, which available for purchase at the Himachal Emporium here. This government property is also used by the Department of Handicraft as a work-shop of slippers, shoes etc. bearing the traditional style of this place. Bits and pieces of historical items that were left in this palace are also housed by the other nuseums of the country. The beautiful and interesting paintings that tell the story of Lord Krishna make up the most extensive hill collection belonging to the Kangra School. But the main attraction of the palace remains the doors with carvings and paintings.

The visiting time for the tourists is from morning, 10 am to afternoon, 1 pm and it again opens from 2 pm to 5 pm in the evening.

Maharaja Palace

Region: Himachal Pradesh, Chail

Constructed In: 1891

Altitude Location: 2,250 meter

Special Feature: One tiniest hill resort of Himalaya

This is the smallest of the hill resorts of Himalaya.

Among the hill resorts of Himalaya, Chail, built on a height of two thousand two hundred fifty m., is the tiniest. On being barred from entering the Shimla, Patiala’s King Bhupinder Singh decided to get his own personal summer capital constructed at Chail which turned out to be the most perfect choice due to the regality that covers every bit of Chail as it stands bounded by a wall of tall deodar trees. Shimla is located just forty km. away and is a short journey from this here. From the downtown area of Chail, the highest point is around 1.5 km., the peak point being at 8000 feet. The Sidh Baba temple in the down area of Chail is very famous. Legends say that, the King’s palace was actually located here, among the wide deodar trees. One night, Sidh Baba, the sage, appeared in the dream of the Maharaja to tell him that this was the holy place where he used to meditate. The very next day, the King moved his palace away from this spot. He also had a beautiful temple constructed to pay respect to Sidh Baba.

The construction work of Maharaja Palace was completed in 1891. The splendid palace was furnished with delicate and classic finesse, complete with relaxed bug cottages and huts, tranquil walks through wide forests, children’s park, extensive lawns, sport facilities and lovers’ hill. This place is actually a resort which offers the facility to stay in one of the cottages or huts in the surrounding areas, at a low tariff. The entire Rajgarh cottage, with 4 rooms can be rented, with the kitchen and dining room. Monal Cottage, Wood Rose Cottage etc. are big double-roomed huts with kitchen. This is the perfect honeymoon spot for newly-wed couples. The hill resort also gives the exciting opportunity to go trekking and fishing, or enjoy cricket on the highest cricket pitch of the world. There is also a ground for the royal sport of polo.

Gurkha Castles

Region: Himachal Pradesh

Gurkha Castles is amongst the key historical tombstones of the Himachal, it has the potential to be the key factor of the heritage tourism of the state. Yet, the visitors and tourists neglect it. The ancient Arki, Kehloor, Hindoor, Bhagat, Sirmour, Jubbal, Mahlog, Kuthar and Kyonthal and other places, now collectively known as Bilaspur,Solan, Shimla and Sirmour districts, were once under the Gurkha rule. In 1815, David Ochterlony, a British Major started operations against the Gurkha rulers. Gurkha castles stand tall at Solan,Sirmour, Bilaspur and Shimla districts, commemorating the life and time of the Gurkha regime. The chief attractions are the forts of Malaon, Banasar, Subathu and Dhar, all under the boundaries of Solan district.

Most of the forts of Gurkha regime are said to have been constructed by the citizens of the captured cities who were enforced to do the hard work and not even paid for it. Mash dal, Lime grind and surkhi were used to build the stone walls of most of the forts. The Malaon castle at Solan, which is quite near to Nalagarh, was constructed by Amar Singh Thapa and commemorates territories of western hill's that had been detained and captured by the Gurkha rulers through the vast struggle among the Sirmour, Hindoor and Kangra states who tried to control Bara Thakurai, an insignificant state in the west of Garhwal. On January 16, 1815, Major David Ochterlony had the northern, eastern and southern parts sealed.

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