History associated with Hill states has always fascinated me. Sometimes I feel so grateful to almighty god for blessing me and granting me a life so peaceful in the lap of Himalayas, the place where I belong to and my parents who brought me up so well that I am able to write the below . As it is a sensitive topic, which I would express, as told to me by elderly people of my family and temple priest of Pangna Fort. I request that kindly correct me if you find any wrong information. I would be taking it down. No harm intended.
So it was the MEGA DIWALI holidays which are always awaited for a family get together. My mother who is a Government servant had initially expressed her intention to visit her native village Pangna, the very next day of Diwali, SAIR which is also celebrated with great pomp and special BABRU (sweet chapatti) - BHALLE are prepared and distributed on that particular day. So we started the uphill drive from Sundernagar with my younger brother on wheel early morning as I wanted to observe the mountains and villages on the way to Pangna. The road to Pangna or Karsog also serves as an alternative route to Shimla. One prefers this route if intended travel is towards Shimla or beyond towards Rampur Bushahar & Kinnaur. The single lane and semi metalled road makes it a bumpy ride which is neutralized by the natural beauty and views waiting for you with every curve you negotiate.
I wanted to stop every 10 km but time commitments deterred us from making frequent stops. First stop was opposite village Brokhari. The architecture is something most of would have came across in earlier posts or might have had a close look as homes across all hill states are comparable on same grounds.
After a brief stop and clicking pictures we had to continue the journey which by now had become downhill slope. The
best thing that I love driving in hills is mix of circumstances and one never knows what waits next moment. As I had visited earlier few times, I had pre decided the location where I would be stopping next for clicking the Pangna village view. Luckily it was a semi cloudy bright sunny day.
The village is still quite small but civilization and modernization has made it’s inroads and old structures which still stand have been covered by tall buildings. That view did left me a bit dazzled as I had a picture from my last
trip some 4 years ago. With a confusing mind setup, we moved downwards into the village. My happiness knew no bounds when I saw a smile on my mother’s face as she reconnected to her childhood and told us what earlier times used to be like when only one bus would ply for major towns Mandi or Shimla.
The Pangna Fort stands tall overlooking entire village. It’s built on a 50 feet stone platform which separates it from village spread in all directions. The seven storey structure is 60 feet tall and constructed only using stones and wood. The fort was built sometime in 1211 AD by then ruler of erstwhile SUKET Riyasat, Vir Sen. Only the top floor is accessible now which houses the temple of MATA MAHAMAYA, a powerful deity and cameras are not allowed. The stairs are of discontinued pattern similar to something like modern video games (as versed by temple priest himself on a lighter note). The stairs are wooden planks 3-4 four at a time with total elevation around 6-10 feet per floor. It requires certain amount of physical endurance and focus as wooden stairs are not of same size and slope. The history associated with fort is described below.
However it was abandoned later as a resultant of some wrong allegations. The story behind abandoning the fort states that once the Princess (daughter of then ruling king) (name and year unknown) was playing with her female friends (sakhiyaan). The female friends however had all been dressed up like boys. This is when some Minister of Suket Riyasat (kingdom) saw them and complained to the king that his daughter and then princess had been seen playing with boys, which was not acceptable. This annoyed the king and he summoned his daughter. The PRINCESS tried a lot to convince and prove to the KING that wrong allegations are being implicated on her daughter, which were falsely proved in court of king later on. It was when she was confined in small room (Kothri).
As a consequence the princess consumed poison which was before consumption powdered using a stone and stone base (Sil-Batta) which still lies in the fort complex. The princess asked for a death wish that her body be buried in courtyard right outside the room she was confined. She added that her body should be taken out exactly after six months. If she had lied that she was actually playing with
female friends, her body would be decomposed by worms. BUT, if she was true her body would be intact even after 6 months of burial.
After six months the body was taken out and it was found to be intact with no earth worms or signs of decomposition. This left the KING with a heavy heart and the body was again buried in the same place in courtyard. Soon, SEVEN
different trees came out of that particular grave which are worshipped today also along with MATA HATYA.
Pangna also houses 9 dry water bodies (Bawadis), the 9th one was recently excavated in 2011 when some local family planned to build a house and while digging they came across some stones which were lead down stepwise and
led to a Water BAWADI. Links to News Articles published in 2011 :-
I hope to come across these on my next trip to Pangna. We had a real great time at native home, only a partial portion of old home stands as major portion had been engulfed in fire around 40 years ago and everything had been turned into ashes. That’s an emotional experience my grandparents managed well that time in1970’s.
With this I would like to end this photo journey, with inputs from many sources, people from family and Pangna Village. Thanks for sparing time to read the post.
Signing off- Karan K Gupta. (firstname.lastname@example.org)