After getting the glance of this pond in a picture that was hung in a photo exhibition titled "Incredible Himachal"that occurred at NIT Hamirpur last month, I had been constantly eager to visit Taal. Today, it was new for me to hear about a fort nearby to Hamirpur town, that too within a road distance of about 15 km only.
Taal and Tauni Devi TempleI had visited the Solah Singhi fort and the Sujanpur Fort, only two forts the nearest to it, I thought!. But this small and though weathered, and nearby to the Hamirpur town was a new finding for me.
Deepak, I and my two wheeled 100 cc engine, reached Taal at around 3:00 PM. This place is only at a distance of about 6 km from Didhvi Tikkar, which is again at a distance of about 7 to 8 km from Hamirpur town, I guess. Taal has a water pond that now was filled with polluted water though, having cemented circular peripheral walls.
To get a better view of the pond, we climbed to a nearby small temple of Mata Tauni Devi and Sheetla Devi up on the hilltop. After sneaking into every corners of the temple, we spotted a room with an open door. Nobody was in the outer room, and deliberately I uttered "I think some Babaji live here!" loudly, hoping that my words would be overheard, and Babaji would come out.
It worked!, Babaji gave us a brief introduction about the Taal and the Fort that I talked about in the first paragraph.
Fort:Fort was only at a road distance of about 2 km from Taal, 1 km on road and another the feet distance, half of which is through the bushy hill terrain though.
In case you want to visit this fort in Summer time, it is advisable to take a water bottle with you.We knew nothing about the fort, and what we found after reaching the top of the hill, was not enough to tell us anything about it. After entering through the gate(supposed) of the fort, we found grass and thorny bushes filled courtyard.
Floor was overlaid with the layers of the grass stems, and only after crossing the courtyard, we reached at a thick stone wall from where we could overlook a wide fresh water stream running at the base of the vertical cliff over which the wall rested. The height was more than 200 metres, I guess. There were strategic holes in the walls, made for pointing the guns at any incoming threat, I suppose.
They were similar to what I found on the walls of the Solah Singhi Fort and Kangra Fort as well. Being at the higher elevation, fort has a profound panoramic view of the surrounding geography and population.
Babaji had briefed about the King that lived here once, and also about his horses which used the Taal for their drinking purpose. I still not have found, which king lived here, so if you can enlighten me with more knowledge, that would be a great help in improving this article .