After the #DoorsOfIndia North Zone campaign began in Amritsar, there was a lot of excitement among the followers as the doors in focus moved to the Himalayas, in Himachal Pradesh.
From Panchkula, the road wound past Shimla on the NH-22 and we were welcomed by a slightly cold weather, a typical autumn chill in the air. After a long drive that took almost 12 hours, we reached Rampur Bushahr.
The Blue Door of Padam Palace in Rampur Bushahr
At Rampur Bushahr, our featured door is the door of Padam Palace, which is home to the royal family of the princely state of Rampur Bushahr. Regular readers of this blog might know that Himachal Pradesh is also my most favourite state in India!
Incidentally, before the Doors Of India journey, I was on a road trip in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley to document the autumn colours of the land and had stood in the glorious lawns of the Padam Palace hardly 10 days ago. It felt like a sort of homecoming when I stood in front of the blue door of the palace.
The architecture style of the Padam Palace is mixed; with Indo-Saracenic designs and construction in Himachali architectural style. Construction of Padam Palace began in 1919 and was completed in 1930.
Interesting features of Padam Palace :
– No concrete has been used in the construction. A local paste made from black gram (maah ki daal ka lep) was used for cementing the stone blocks.
– There is a wooden structure built on a platform in the lawn called as Machhkhandi. It was used for seating the royal family during celebrations of festivals.
The main entrance door of the Padam Palace is a wooden door and is blue in colour. On top of the door is the logo of the rulers of the erstwhile Kingdom of Rampur Bushahr. It has pretty designs and is adorned with colourful Belgian glass. Standing outside the blue door of the Padam Palace it seemed that I was lost in a time warp.
Watch the full video :
The Silver Door of Bhimakali Temple, Sarahan
Bhimakali temple in Sarahan is one of the most important and ancient religious spots in Himachal Pradesh. From Rampur, we began early and reached Sarahan at 9 am.
Bhimakali Temple is constructed in tower temple style and dominates the skyline of Sarahan. In the temple complex, there are other smaller temples with intricately sculpted doors. At Bhimakali temple, the tallest towers are at the centre and one of them is originally believed to have been made in the 12th Century.
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhimakali which is the deity of the family that ruled the Bushahr Kingdom. Sarahan was the capital of princely state after the capital was shifted here from Kamroo. Among important features are brilliant wood carvings on top of the tower temple in which the deity of Bhimakali is housed.
The temple compound features a carved silver door with statues of various deities and inscriptions written in Devanagari script. From here, we enter another courtyard that also has a silver door with rich engravings and carvings; and this doorway is flanked by statues of two lions on each side.
Link to the video :
The door of Kamroo Fort, near Sangla in Baspa Valley
We reached Kinnaur after almost 10 hours of a gorgeous drive from Rampur Bushahr. Kamroo village holds a special significance as rulers of the kingdom of Bushahr are believed to have originated from Kamroo. Our door in focus here is the door of the 800-year-old Kamroo Fort. Kamroo is the also the old capital of Bushahr before it was shifted to Sarahan.
We walk to Kamroo Fort from the parking place with spectacular views of Sangla Valley on our right. After crossing the Badri Vishal Temple, we enter the doorway of the Kamroo Fort. An intricate wooden door welcomes us and and immediately beyond that is a metal door bound by chains. Kamroo fort is a huge structure towering over the whole Sangla Valley. It is five stories tall and was made in the 12th Century.
It is compulsory for all visitors to wear Himachali Basheri cap and waistbands before entering the fort. In the Fort courtyard, the temple of Kamakhya Devi stands; it is believed that the idol was brought from Assam several centuries ago. The weather is threatening and we can see that its snowing on nearby peaks! The wind blows carrying cold with it and we scramble indoors when it rains…
Video link of Kamroo Fort :
Badrinarayan Temple, Batseri – Kinnaur
The weather has definitely become much cooler and we are told that there has been fresh snowfall on higher peaks near Chitkul. With freezing hands and toes, we reach Batseri to document the door of the Badrinarayan Temple.
Once in Batseri, apple orchards line the path to the village. The doors to the orchards are old and rustic, and have pretty handles. The views are majestic with snow clad Himalayas having fresh snow on them.
Badrinarayan Temple in Batseri was originally built in the 15th Century and is built in the traditional Himachali style. The roof of the temple is especially pleasing and can be seen from afar.
A signboard on the temple states : ‘According to the villagers, the temple was gutted in a fire in 1997 but the deity was intact. Thereby the villagers began the construction of the existing temple in 1998, and it was completed in 2006. The temple is completely made of Deodhar wood (literally, wood of the Gods).’
The temple is entirely made out of wood and there are representations of the four religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam.
For more : Watch this video.
Thanks to the entire team that worked on the #DoorsOfIndia project to make it happen. Mentioning the names would make this a tedious exercise but I mean everyone that was involved.
Did you like the concept of this innovative campaign? As a professional travel blogger and influencer, I am elated to have been a part of this. Would love to work on more meaningful travel projects like these in the future.