Delhi to Pragpur: 425km.
Driving time: Approximately 9 hours.
Trip set point: IOCL fuel station, Vir Service Station at Majnu-ka-Tilla in Delhi.
1.0 Traffic signal. Right goes to Wazirabad.
4.7 Traffic signal.
6.2 Traffic signal.
7.8 Traffic signal.
8.6 Karnal turn-off. Keep left.
8.8 Fork. Take the left down.
9.2 Traffic signal. Make a U-turn. You
are on the NH1 heading towards
23.3. A choice of petrol pumps situated
shoulder to shoulder.
43.2 Line of dhabas.
45.1 Barista outlet.
46.5 BPCL pump with Café Coffee Day.
79.6 Panipat turn-off on left. Continue
straight on bypass.
88.4 Toll — Rs 20.
114.0 Expect heavy traffic through Karnal.
139.3 Karnal toll plaza. Toll — Rs 78.
191.6 Left goes to Ambala. Continue straight on flyover.
196.6 Fork. Left goes to Chandigarh.
Take the right going to Amritsar.
205.3 Shambhu toll plaza. Toll — Rs 47.
263.9 Take a right at signal in Khanna,
278.9 Small roundabout. Take the
second exit to continue straight.
297.3 Bridge over the river Sutlej.
306.0 Take a right at Rahori.
313.7 Continue straight at Chowk.
314.3 Turn right.
314.9 Nawanshahr bus terminal.
324.3 Take left at T-junction.
324.4 Railway crossing.
324.5 Take right at T-junction.
360.0 Toll — Rs 40.
363.1 Hoshiarpur city limit begins. You could take the Hoshiarpur bypass but an enthusiastic traffic policeman directed us through this “short-cut”. Don’t take this road if it’s raining since it crosses a dry river bed.
364.8 Take a right at fork.
366.7 Intersection. Go straight. You can see a bad patch ahead on a dry river bed.
387.0 Tarmac village road.
369.6 T-junction and you are back on the main road. Turn right.
374.5 Hill ascent starts.
383.5 Punjab boundary ends.
388.0 Gagret tax barrier, Rs 30. Welcome to Himachal Pradesh.
395.9 At Mubarakpur turn right for Amb. Signboard points to Una.
397.3 Cross bridge.
400.1 Turn left.
417.8 Petrol pump on the left.
418.0 Take left. Straight goes to Shimla.
419.7 Road trifurcates. Take extreme left.
424.7 Sharp U-turn on your right is the gate to Judge’s Court.
If you are headed to Pragpur, you will be staying at Judge’s Court. This heritage property is by itself as much a destination as the area surrounding it. The large country manor with its large, lush lawn is an idyllic setting for a relaxed weekend. The property, which has been lovingly restored by Vijay Lal, opened its doors to guests in 1997. You could choose to stay in the ancestral haveli of the Lals for a taste of tradition, or in the more spacious English manor-style suites. It also has a small swimming pool, so remember to carry your swimsuit for this trip. With most of the ingredients drawn directly from the land, meal times here are to be looked forward to. While you can have the usual Continental and Indian cuisine, be sure to try out a Himachali meal, but you will have to ask for it in advance.
Pragpur is India’s first heritage village. Every tourist brochure will inform you about the village’s antiquity, the medieval ambience and a way of life preserved for over three centuries. But if you go there expecting a place frozen in time you will be disappointed.
The Italianate-styled mansions here are grander than the houses in Pragpur. Frame this world of Pragpur and Garli carefully through the viewfinder of your camera and you can edit out the unwanted. And capture a diorama that goes back 300 years. And there is a lot to be captured. Like the 100-year-old Butail Niwas built by Lala Buta Mal for his six sons. This houses six identical apartments built around a sunken
One of the first places you will visit at Pragpur is the taal or the pond at the centre of the village. In 1857 the Nehar Committee was formed to bring drinking water from Lag Baliana, which is four kilometres from Pragpur. When the spring water was first brought to Pragpur, it was through the hollow tree trunks, which was a precarious arrangement. So the Nehar Committee decided to import the finest pipes from England. The pipes landed in Calcutta and Bombay and
were brought up to Pragpur.Even today when a pipe needs replacement it is taken out of the stock. The pipes were bought in 1868! The elders in the village thought their progeny
might not be interested or have the money to replace the pipes in the future. The water pipes in Pragpur still bear the inscription ‘Made in Sheffield’.