Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Visit of Solah Singi Fort of Una, Himachal Pradesh


I hope you doing good. In my last post, I took you to the historical monument of Katoch dynasty, the Sujanpur Tira Fort. Last week on 18th October, I visited another historical fort known as the Solah Singhi Fort.  

Solah Singi Dhar fort, Near to Bangana, Una

Forts are constructed at the strategic points, the top of the Solah Singi Dhar, which stretches from Talwara through Una and Hamirpur up to Sutlej. It is located only at a distance of about 2 km via road from Piplu, which is at a distance of about 4 km from Dhaneta, and where you can reach via a diversion at Rangas along the NH-88(Hamirpur to Una).

(Here is a link to the list of the Forts of Himachal Pradesh)

There are two main forts visible at a ridge distance of about 2 km, and I visited the one, which while facing the hill from the Jhateharh, was visible towards my left hand. Jhateharh do not have any food or lodging facility,  so take your food with you, because to reach the Solah Singhi Dhar Fort, you have to climb a rough mountain trek of about 1 km distance.

 One can start to climb from the Jatehar, which is the shortest path among three available, but path is steep and being covered by shrubs, becomes quite a challenge to cover it to reach the fort.

My journey from Hamirpur to Solah Singi Dhar Fort, Piplu, Una(H.P.) ( C- googlemaps)
Reaching Piplu from Hamirpur via Dhaneta, which is at a distance of thirty two kilometres, was almost a one hour journey. But the road becomes single lane, and curved, so it took time. I took a glance of the high standing fort on the top of the hill, and then after taking few guidelines about the trek from the Monu(local resident and shopkeeper), I started to climb along a trail with less grown grass and shrubs along it.

Trek filled with shrubs leading to the Solah Singi Fort

It is difficult to locate the trail, so one has to use the intuition and the quite visible fort as the aim, which stands high on the hill. If you are alone, make sure that you are a strong hearted person, otherwise you may need to come back.


For me, it was not much difficult, because I had been walking with the single aim of going on to the top and take these photos and share the story. I reached a gate on which was written " Baba Solah Singhi"  in Hindi, and the temple of the local deity could be seen almost at a vertical distance of about 60m from it. 

I first visited the Baba Solah Singi temple, which was a single roomed, pakka temple, constructed at the mid of the slope of the mountain. Taking the further climb, with a little difficulty to locate the trail, finally, I stepped on to the top of the hill. The fort had no signboard or any informatory board to tell its history. 

It was on the top, so I could locate myself easily with respect to the surroundings. The hill was simply acting as a wall between the two planes on the two sides. It was on the boundary of the Una and Hamirpur districts of Himachal Pradesh, but being new to the place, I could not locate the exact names of the geography.

The fort was constructed with the stone and may be mud, but also there was a concrete floor and also traces of mortars could be seen at various spots on walls. 

Might be a repairing work, because one of the research paper that I read says that the fort was constructed by the Katoch Kings in between 11th to 13th Century AD. It is a two storey fort, the walls were about one metre thick at places, with open entrances at regular intervals to peak into the view on either side of the hill.

A view of the adjacent Solh Singi Fort on the Solah Singi Dhar itself
I have described the fort of Sujanpur Tira, in my previous post, compared to it, this fort looked quite older.
I felt that the fort could have been in better condition and might have been a famous historical and tourist attraction, if it was taken care of. There was another fort visible to my eye along the ridge of the hill, which I didn't visit. It is reported that it is in more bad condition than the one, which I have posted the photos here.

The underground water tank looked quite impressive though, because creating such a thing on top of the hill is a wise and difficult task. I felt it risky to climb on the second story of the main chamber, but I climbed on the parallel chambers along the longer length of the fort.

There was no open space to roam around, only the steep hill slopes to roll onto, also being all alone, I  felt it safe to not stay for much longer time there. If you go to visit this fort, I advise you to go with a bunch of buddies and something home cooked to eat.



Thanks :)

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