Saturday, October 11, 2014

A visit to Fort of Sujanpur Tihra

Although my mind is always wandering, I don't consider myself that much of a wanderer. I belong to Himachal Pradesh and been feeling shameful to not have visited many of its famous places. Therefore, In the recent years, I found it interesting and mandatory to visit the holy and beautiful places in the Himachal Pradesh.

After coming over to NIT Hamirpur for my M.Tech. it had been a little difficult for me to find any time even for those past one day trips of the surrounding places, that I took while doing my job as a lecturer at JNGEC. Yesterday, I had a small talk with Tarun Sir, who is present in almost half of my earlier stories that I have posted here, and he advised me to visit the Dhanetha, a place near to Nadaun, in Hamirpur.

Dhaneta is famous for a fort, which I would visit later to find the fort at ruin. This post is not about that fort, that story is covered in my future post here:  A Visit of Solah Singi Fort of Una, Himachal Pradesh

He told me that the place is linked with the 'Abhimanyu Chakravyuh' from the 'Mahabharata', I googled for the place but didn't find any such stories, and neither any blog post kind of stuff. It seemed a little hard for me to take the risk, and then I thought of visiting the another place, which is quite nearer to NIT Hamirpur.

Reaching Sujanpur Fort from NIT Hamirpur 

Sujanpur Tihra, is a town located at a distance of about 24 km from Hamirpur, and is famous for the Katoch Fort, or popularly known as the Sujanpur Fort. I asked Naveen, my room-mate to come along, and on my bike, we started at 10:15 AM. The road was double lane, but was pot holed till half of our 24 km journey.
River Beas at the Sujanpur Tihra - Himachal Pradesh (Oct. 2014)

At 11:00 AM, we reached Sujanpur, totally refreshed by the fresh air and the view of river Beas at the entrance to the town. Watching the 1 km^2 ground, nearby to the Sainik School, made me remember my earlier visits to the place. One of them was with my brother in the year of 2010, in between the Holi fair, which is celebrated in the month of March each year, and continues for about 2 to 3 weeks at the same ground. This was the popular Himachali Singer Mr. Dheeraj Sharma, with whom my brother Sandeep Sharma had to perform in that musical night. 

That night, my brother played the octapad, an important instrument which gives the beats to the song, and therefore every orchestra has it. Dheeraj, in his melodious and powerful voice sung very enthusiastically. Among other songs, he sung Mohammad Rafi's "Aawaj mei na Dunga", and it suited very well on his voice. Naveen is from Bihar, and because he never visited the places of Himachal Pradesh, he was having a good time to know the place.

We took the single lane, 2 km long road from Sujanpur Bus Stand to reach the fort, which was located at the top of the hill, known as 'Tihra' or 'Tira' means the top of the hill. At the entrance, the presence of the board by the archaeological survey of India, tells the importance of this historical monument. Katoch dynasty is known to be the oldest in the whole world, because they say that the historical and the holy script known as "Rig Veda" has the mention of the Katoch dynasty.

Fort of Sujanpur Tihra(1) - Himachal Pradesh (October 2014)

Sujanpur Tihra - The fort we saw:

Katoch fort was built in the year 1750 AD by the Maharaja(King)  'Abhay Chandra', and got the  popularity country wide, when the Maharaja 'Sansar Chandra' of the ernest princely state Kangra formed his palace at the fort itself. Many parts of the fort got damaged in the year 1905 due to the Kangra earthquake. I observed that the construction was done with the small sized bricks and stones, and the walls were almost 1 meter thick, and in between the outer and inner walls, spaces were filled with rooms or entrances.
Fort of Sujanpur Tihra(2) - Himachal Pradesh (Oct 2014)

Roofs were almost nowhere to be found, but wherever remaining, they were also constructed with the bricks and maybe lime mortar. Fort walls extend to I guess half a kilometer long distance but, I am not sure about that.

Fort of Sujanpur Tihra(3) - Himachal Pradesh (Oct 2014)

Along with few girls and boys, who were there to have a outing on saturday, some men were busy with the stone and masonry work, which I suppose was carried out for the repairing and maintenance of the fort. One person was digging, a totally damaged wall, and a mason was placing the stone and the mortar. I located two temples within the fort area, one was Gauri-Shankar temple and another was without any sign board or notification board. One of them was perhaps the Murli-Manohar temple. They both seemed old enough, may be were built by the Raja(King) Sansar Chandra in the early 19th Century. 
A view of Chaugan from Fort of Sujanpur Tihra (Oct 2014)

There is a magnificent view at the fort of the Sujanpur town and its 'Chaugan'. The say that the grass present in this ground remains green throughout the year. In earlier times, the ground was divided into four parts, to be used by the four different casts of our earlier society, but now the times has changed, for the good. I tried my best to find the best clicks to post here. On the way back, we searched for the famous Nandikeshwar temple which is present in the market of the Sujanpur town itself. 

We visited the temple, but were not able to find any history or details about the temple, except few clicks with my camera.  It took another hour to reach back to my hostel at NIT, or may be less, because I was feeling huger for the food.

Update - 07th July 2015 : 
Later I visited the Narvdeshwar temple, and would find that the Nandikeshwar is different, and was not that much famous. Narvdeshwar temple is a historical master-piece built by the queen of Raja(king) Sansar Chand of Katoch dynasty.

Thanks for your kind visit, please come visit again!