Pragpur is a heritage village situated near Kangra and houses the Judge's, Court Manor. The largely unaltered village, complete with an old world charm of small red brick shops and traditional rural houses is perfect for an undisturbed village tourism option. Reputed as India’s first heritage village, the tourists are pulled towards the magnetic authenticity of its cobbled streets, the ornamental village tank, slate-roofed and mud-plastered houses. Pragpur is also the base for the famous Kangra School of Painting. From exploring the local crafts to taking a stroll amidst the refreshing orchards, tourists visit this heritage village can be assured about having a once in a lifetime experience. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage are working on preserving and running the village in the same ethnic rural backdrop for the time to come. A variety of pocket-friendly accommodation options are available in the village.
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Best Time to Visit Pragpur
The ideal time to visit Pragpur is during summers and monsoons, as the temperature remains pleasant in the region in this period. The months from October to February are the preferable ones.
Places to Visit in Pragpur
The Judge’s Court: One of the grandest structures in Pragpur, the Judge’s Court is a 300-year-old ancestral home converted into a posh resort, set amidst an expansive property replete with litchi and mango orchards. It is a two-storey brick-red mansion with six spacious rooms furnished with colonial-era murals and furniture.
Taal: A cobbled lane that originates just outside the gates of the Judge’s Court leads to the ornamental water tank - Taal. It was built before 1868, and it forms the core of the village. The tank is surrounded by several old community structures like the Naun, Nehar Bhawan and Dhunichand Bhardial Serai. The village brotherhood identified as Nehar Committee initiated the creation of the lake and the body still holds the responsibility for this ancient water system.
House of Brij Bihari Lal Butel: This ancient structure that was built over a hundred years ago attracts a majority of the tourists. The compound has six identical buildings, which were made to accommodate the six sons of Lal Butel, and they are connected to a common sunken central courtyard. This courtyard was filled with water during the summer season to serve the purpose of a natural cooling system for the entire haveli.
Lala Rerumal Haveli: Another beautiful heritage building, this has a Mughal-style garden, a large water reservoir and a pleasant terrace. It was constructed in 1931 and houses an ancient Shakti Mandir with walls encrypted with Tankry script, old courtyards, Butail Mandir and Chaujjar Mansion.
Shri Kalinath Kaleshwar Shiva Temple: It is one of the oldest and most famous temples of Pragpur that is flocked by pilgrims and tourists during the occasion of Maha Shivratri every year. It is commonly referred to as Kaleshwar Mahadev or Kalesar by the locals, and it is situated 16 kilometres from the village on the banks of River Beas. This temple is renowned for its Shivalingam and holy pond, its rich ancient folklore and the display of exquisite stonework. According to mythology, it is believed that Pandavas has visited and stayed at this very place during their exile.
Dada Siba Temple: Built about 200 years ago, this Radha-Krishna temple stands on top of a hill surrounded by lush greenery. The walls and ceilings are adorned with miniature paintings and detailed mythological scenes from Ramayana. The fascinating murals have retained their vibrant colours through two centuries.
Things to Do in Pragpur
Fishing and Bird Watching: Pong Dam is the prime fishing spot near Pragpur, other than Viceroy’s Pool, and it has been declared as a National Wetland with a reported 27 species of fish and 220 species of birds. There is a lake behind this two-kilometre long dam, and migratory birds flock the shallow areas of the lake.
Train through Kangra Valley: This 20-minute ride between Jwalamukhi Road Station and Guler on the Kangra Valley narrow-gauge train is a great way to absorb the gentle pace of life in the region. The train passes through narrow passages and tunnels and suddenly opens out to soul-calming views of mustard fields, plunging gorges and luminous streams.
Water Sports: Swimming, water surfing and boating are some frequently undertaken tourist activities at the reservoir of the Maharana Pratap Sagar Dam.
Adventure Sports: Nature trails and trekking on the Kangra Valley are favourite activities in and around Pragpur.
History of Pragpur
In the late 16th century, the Patiala founded Pragpur to commemorate Princess Prag Dei of the Jaswan Royal Family. Since then, Pragpur has continued to exist as an ornamental village; the unchanged shops, old water tanks, narrow cobbled streets, lines of fort-like houses, villas and havelis, are proof of the village’s old charisma. Due to its pristine beauty and unique architecture, the State Government of Himachal Pradesh declared Pragpur as India’s first Heritage Village on 9th December 1997, as per the Constitution of India and the Panchayati Raj Act.
How to Reach Pragpur
Tourists can easily visit Pragpur via air, road and rail. Since Pragpur doesn't have its air base, the nearest accessible airport is situated at Shimla, known as the Jubbarhatti Airport. It is situated at a distance of 203 kilometres from Pragpur and tourists can easily avail taxi and cab services from the airport. Other ways of travelling by road include bus services from Chandigarh, Amritsar and Pathankot. The Una Railway Station is the nearest railhead to Pragpur, which is at a distance of 67 kilometres from the village. It is one of the major railway stations in India and is well connected to the other states.