Pragpur – it’s a small quaint village nestled in the western part of Himachal Pradesh. It is marked as one quintessential destination to unravel the Kangra Valley, deluged with ancient forts and traditional awe striking architectures.
The shades of Pipal and banyan trees encrust the highway coupled with the glistering routes of cobbled paths which welcome the entry into the village. Owing to its serene beauty and majestic aura, Pragpur was also classified as the first heritage zone of the country.
Pragpur offers a plethora of assorted vantage locations.
The area has several streams that gather their waters down from small hummocks and pour it right into the Beas River.
The narrow curving fields cuddle along the slopes supporting a mix of vegetation that offers a fascinating mix of tropical and sub-Himalayan varieties.
At a distance, like frozen wall covered with breathtaking murals embraced with snow, rise the majestic Dhauladhar Mountains.
Even the breeze here carries the warmth and amiability of the valley that leaves leaves one asking for more.
History of the Judge’s Court
At the heart of the medieval hamlet of Pragpur is a three hundred and fifty year old ancestral haveli known as the Judge’s Court. It is situated at an altitude of about 2000 ft. from the main Kangra Valley.
This is one of the major destinations in the country where rural tourism is being promoted. It was initially built for Justice Sir Jai Lal by his beloved father Bhandari Lal. The establishment of Judge’s Court has a very interesting history behind it.
Bhandari Ram Kuthiala who owned various shops and a huge land stretch in the village, sent his son Jai Lal to England for education. The boy went on to be knighted and soon became an eminent figure in the North Indian Judiciary.
In 1918, Bhandari Ram built a large manor for his son. Unfortunately, the house was rarely used. It was only about a decade or so that Sir Jai Lal’s grandson, Vijay Lal decided to return to his roots and renovate the haveli.
Rambling through the Judge’s Court
Vijay Lal along with his consort Rani restored the house with painstaking attention to original techniques and beautifully weaved them with modern plumbing and lighting expertise.
Today, the haveli which was once known as ‘Judge Sahib ki Kothi’ is known as ‘The Judge’s Court’.
The Judge’s Court is located in some eight acres of land and has a fairly eclectic character about it. The structure supports rammed-earth walls standing strong with the Lakhori bricks adding more to its local flavor. Its floor plan follows the layout of a colonial bungalow with some unique Saracen and local embellishments.
Judge Sahib ki Kothi-One of the Finest Country Hotels
Today the Judge’s Court is considered as one of best and magnificent country hotels in India.
A large splendid Country Manor (specifically designed in the Indo-European tradition) offers elegant accommodation of about 10 Double Rooms including 3 suits.
Needless to say, the rooms are luxurious with an elegant touch.
The most interesting fact about the rooms is that each one of them is known by their names, such as Dhauladhar, Hardinge, Kipling, Kangra and so on.
The food served here is prepared with the fruits and vegetables grown in the hotel orchids itself.
The guests here can munch upon the Indian and Continental flavors, prepared by the master chefs of the hotel. The best part is that guests get to have the fresh water from the ancestral spring in the mountains from where the water is directly piped for the hotel.
Though the hotel carries a predominant traditional touch, it is not completely devoid of recreational and adventurous activities.
The hotel is well equipped with a startling swimming pool, bar and restaurant. There are also adequate conference facilities for the corporate travelers, with elegant conference styled rooms and impeccable service.