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INDIA’S FIRST HERITAGE VILLAGE PRAGPUR.

Introduction

The scenic view Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh is no stranger to heritage and history, by a notification dated 9th December 1997 the State Government has classified Pragpur as a “Heritage Zone.”

India’s first village Pragpur is ideal for Village land nature Tourism and is being promoted as an example of community involvement in tourism. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage jointly with the government of Himachal Pradesh is developing and preserving Heritage Village Pragpur.

History of the village

This village was established in the memory of princesses Parag Devi of the Jaswant royal family at that time by Kuthiala Sood.
Parag pur village has been appreciated for its cultural roots that still hold with them since 1997, with its winding cobbled lane, mud-plastered walls, and slate-roofed houses, give an authentic look to the village. That you will not see anywhere else.

As per the folk story that the wealthy Kuthiala Sood community arrived and settled here in Parag in the early 19 century. These merchants travel all over the world that is why you see a lot of architectural significance techniques from, Rajput, British, Portuguese, and even Italian, they build mansions, schools, and hospitals in architectural styles that matched what they observed during their visits.

How the wealthy Kuthiala Sood community had developed in this village?

While per the folk story that the wealthy Kuthiala Sood community arrived and have settled here in Parag, in the early 19 century. these merchants had traveled all over the world that is why you see a lot of architectural significance style inspired by, Rajput, British, Portuguese, and even Italian, they built mansions, schools, and hospitals in architectural styles that matched what they observed during their visits.
Best Places of interest heritage village Paragpur.
Village Tour: Heritage Village Pragpur is ideal for Village land nature Tour and is being promoted as an example of community involvement in tourism. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage jointly with the government of Himachal Pradesh is developing and preserving Heritage Village Pragpur.
Jwalaji Mata: this temple is a famous religious place, 23 km from Pragpur.

Bagulamukhi temple; Devoted to the goddess Bagulamukhi. President of India Sh. Pranav Mukherjee has also paid his obedience to this temple.

Baba Sidh Chano temple: Sidh Chanu Temple: a famous pilgrimage place in Pragpur.

Dehra: A small town situated near Pragpur.

Chhinmastika Dham: also known as Chintapurani Mata Mandir; a famous religious place; 27 km from Pragpur.

Nearby markets: Garli, Dhalihara, Neharan Pukhar.
Accommodation in Pragpur village.
The Judges Court is a resort built in a typical Anglo-Indian style of architecture. It stands in 12 acres of greens and is just a short walk from the village core and the Taal. Apart from the Judge’s Court, which was built in 1918, Mr. Lal has restored his 300-year-old ancestral house.
The Judge’s Court’s elegant accommodation comprises 10 Double Rooms 3 of which are suites inclusive of the cottage in the ancestral courtyard.

The property is classified as “Heritage” and this makes it India’s first classified Heritage Country Manor with an ambiance reminiscent of the turn of the 20th Century.
Climate through out the year.
Spring Season: About mid-February to mid-April; the winter starts losing its bite around mid-February.

Summer Season: mid-April to the end of June; it is hot in summer and light cotton is recommended.

Rainy season:
July to September; still quite warm and humid; lots of rain.

Autumn Season:
October to November; days are pleasantly warm; nights are cool; one may need light woolens at night or early mornings.

Winter Season:
December-January; it is quite pleasant during the day and one may get by with one layer of woolens; the winter nights are cold and an extra layer of woolens is required.
How to reach this beautiful heritage village?
By Air: Pragpur is well connected by air, rail, and road. Gaggal is the nearest airport, around 55 km away. Pathankot is another airport, about 100 km away.

By Train: It is connected by the narrow gauge Kangra Railway, which starts at Pathankot. Nearest rail hubs are Guler or Jwalamukhi, both about 20 km away.

By Bus: 6 km from Kalhoa on National Highway 70, connecting Amb to Hamirpur.

Pragpur is well connected with all the advanced communication networks. BSNL and all other network companies have their network here. Nationalize banks, India post has their branches here. Many local administrative offices also situated here.

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Warm Regards
Raj

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Fascinating Story Of The Kohinoor Diamond.

The Kohinoor has a complex history that goes back to the 13th century. A large colorless diamond that weighed around 793 carats, Kohinoor originated in India’s Golconda mines when they were under the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.
 
Diamonds were mined from the region in and around Golconda, then cut and traded from there. The fortress city of Golconda was the market city for diamond trade and gems sold there came to be called Golcondas.

Golconda became synonymous with diamonds for Europe. 
By the 1880s, the Golconda diamonds had gained so much popularity for their size, weight, and quality that they became a coveted brand of diamonds.

The word ‘Golconda’ became synonymous with the best quality diamonds. Soon, Golconda became a generic term to denote a rich mine or source of immense wealth too. The Golcondas also earned immense wealth for India.

The legacy begins before Europe knew about it.

All the ancient lores of India – Veda, Purana, the epics, other legends, and folklore – speak of diamonds, its characteristics, and stories around them. In contrast, Europe learned of diamonds and its value only in the late 1600s just over 300 years ago. 

One of the earliest evidence of the importance given to diamonds and their mining in India can be gathered from the 
Arthashastra, a treatise on governance, administration, law, politics, strategy, and defense. The Arthashastra was authored by one of India’s renowned statesmen of the 4th century BCE, popularly known as Kautilya and Chanakya.

Diamonds find a specific mention among this list as a precious commodity for trade, treasury, savings, and adornment in the 4th century BCE itself. 

The Arthashastra was produced around 336 BCE, the same time when Alexander, the Macedonian had invaded and retreated from the North-Western parts of India. This work is at the same time so detailed as within India as well as outside. 
Golconda Fort
This diamond in her long history has traveled all over the world and been possessed by many rulers. She is known to have traveled back and forth within India and between India, Persia, Afghanistan – changing hands from one ruler to another.

Some of the well-known kings to have held her include, the Kakatiyas,
Allaudin Khilji
Raja Vikramaditya of Gwalior
the early Mughals, Babur and Humayun
the Shah of Iran, Shah Tehmasp 
the Nizam Shah and Qutub Shah dynasties of Ahmednagar and Golconda
the later Mughals from Shah Jahan onwards up to Muhammad Shah Rangila, 
Nadir Shah of Persia, who gave her the Persian name Kohinoor meaning “Mountain of Light” 
the Afghan General Ahmad Shah Abdali (Durrani) and from thereon to his successors up to Shah Shuja 
the Sher-e-Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and from thereon to his successors up to Maharaja Duleep Singh.
However, in all this journey, Kohinoor was never bought or sold but changed hands only due to inheritance or as a token of gift or due to extortion, looting, trickery, and treachery. 
In fact, it was only after reaching Persia, that she acquired the name Kohinoor
The diamond, which originally weighed 186 carats was cut down to 108 carats by the Queen and set in her crown. Since then, the Kohinoor continues to stay in the possession of the British Royalty locked away in the Tower of London. 

Even though Kohinoor has been with the British crown, she is still referred to as the ‘Star of India.’ Living up to her name, this ‘mountain of light’ illuminates a glorious history of the diamond trade in India.  The trail might have ended, yet the story of the Kohinoor diamond remains intriguing.   
An illustration of the Koh-i-Noor diamond (center), as it was worn before being signed over to the British. (Wikimedia Commons)
This made the Golconda diamonds, the purest diamonds of the world. Due to this purity, unlike Type 1 diamonds, they allowed ultraviolet rays and visible light to pass through them and this gave them a clear, transparent nature.

They were so clear and transparent that they looked like ice cubes. They gave an effect of water running through the gem. 

They were large in size too. They were weighed in units of rati where one rati was 7/8th of a carat. One of the stones from this region, the Great Mogul, is recorded to have weighed the equivalent of 787 carats. 
Golconda River
The Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking direction to the Union government for bringing back Kohinoor diamond.

It had also said Kohinoor was gifted as “compensation” in the 19th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the British for the help rendered by them in the Anglo-Sikh war.

Earlier the government told the apex court that 105.6-carat diamond was neither stolen not forcibly taken away by the British.

Rating: 5 out of 5.