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India >> North >> Himachal Pradesh >> Arki
Arki Himachal Pradesh, North
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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Arki meaning a sunny place, is tiny town in the district of Solan in Himachal Pradesh and close to the popular hill station of Shimla. Cradled between the Western Himalaya and the Shivalik Range, this hidden retreat has now opened its doors to the discerning traveller. Due to its high altitude it enjoys pleasant weather during summers and receives moderate rainfall in the months of July and August. It is surprising that rocky mountains, deep valleys and  scanty vegetation surrounds the town.

 

The town with a significant historical past was the capital of the erstwhile hill state of Baghal (the land of leopards). The fort-palace is noteworthy for its sheer beauty highlighting its simple architecture. From the premises of the fort one can enjoy panoramic view of snowy mountain ranges and spot some distant hill towns. A part of the fort is converted into a heritage hotel.

 

Arki offers an interesting mix of outdoors and history. It is known for its annual Fair, the caves and cave temples among which Lutru Mahadev and Mutru Mahadev are very famous. The fort, caves, treks through jungle trails, bird watching, walks, the chir pines and the deodars makes this tiny place captivating and a popular destination.

 Orientation

Leisure travellers with an eye for art and history can look forward to an excellent holiday, in clean and friendly environment. The fort perched on the rugged mountainside is a reminder of a turbulent past; it was a stronghold of the invading Gurkha legions that waged endless wars and continuous turmoil in this region (that now comprises of hill-states of Himachal and Uttarakhand). For the art aficionados there is an extensive collection of exquisite and rare miniature paintings adoring the walls of its Diwan-i-Khas.

 

Arki, basically geared for leisure trips, has come up with ideas to woo the energetic trippers; with forests trails, dozens of caves to explore, a variety of challenging treks and bird watching. It has its share of beautiful man-made creations; the ancient shrines, the fort-palace with grand chambers and lovely gardens.

 

Arki Fort

Built by Rana Prithvi Singh, Arki Fort is packed with great history of blood shed and power struggle. Till 1815 this bastion was the strong hold of the Gurkhas, from here they led their wars against the British. Later, the erstwhile Baghal rulers introduced a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. The fort has a great influence of Rajasthani style of architecture. Unique vibrant paintings in Pahari style, depicting the lifestyle of the hill people, adorn the walls of the fort.

The fort is a private property of the descendants of the Arki rulers, who dwell in one portion of the fort while a part of it is converted into a heritage hotel. Its beautifully decorated rooms house spectacular paintings of its vivid landscape. The heritage hotel wing helps in its upkeeps and fading elegance.

 

The forts artistic grandeur and historical excellence is a royal treat to its visitors.

 

Arki Palace

Once a magnificent citadel on the backdrop of a woody hillside, Arki Palace is known for its lovely frescos of the Arki Kalam style. This massive architectural wonder, displays splendid craftsmanship with intricately designed roofs and motifs depicting various themes of importance. Though in ruins and parts under restoration, the murals and the wall paintings are unique. The murals portray interesting range of scenes from the Puranas to folklores, while a major section of the palace that garners attention are its brilliantly painted walls depicting Kalidasas Kumarasambhava.

 

It is unbelievable that this 18th century palace built by Raja Prithvi Singh, is a relic of its past glory, once a hub of various artistic activities, all that remains unscathed are its sylvan surroundings. A portion of the palace has been converted into a heritage hotel, showcasing its past regal grandeur. From palace one gets a spectacular view of the snow capped mountains and as darkness sets, the view of tiny glowing and twinkling lights, dotting the town below is beautiful.

 

Diwan-i-Khas

Diwan-i-Khas or the Audience Hall was built by Ram Shara Singh, one of the great patrons of arts among the Arki rulers. This ornamental room is kaleidoscopic with various exquisite art forms adorning its walls from intricate wall friezes and miniature paintings of the Kangra, Arki, Rajasthani, Kullu and European styles. Also known are its beautiful frescos, which depicts some Chinese and European scenes, while the others are from Punjabi folklore and the Puranas. The murals are fascinating, an amazing collection of themes ranging from Indian mythology to contemporary European cities; from simple floral motifs, animals, birds to intricate scenes of fantasy, love and war.

 

This treasure trove of fabulous works of art is a standing testimony to the glorious artistic past of Arki.

 

Luturu Mahadev Temple

The temple, an architectural marvel dedicated to lord Shiva, was built in 1621 high up on the craggy mountainside. It is believed to be constructed after lord Shiva appeared in the ruling Raja of Bhagal dream, asking him to build a temple. It's a marvellous piece of Shikhara style architecture and building it in such inhospitable terrain was indeed a herculean feat. As the temple is situated at a considerable elevation and can be easily spotted from any angle of the town below. The steep climb up through the rugged country is arduous, nevertheless it doesn't hamper the spiritual fervour of the devotees who come here in thousands.

 

The Sair Fair is a two days annual event held at Arki on sakranti of Ashwin (16/17 September). One of the main draws of the fair is the traditional buffalo fights. The locals train their buffaloes for the event. Every year thousands of people attend this fair. The visitors look forward to the variety entertainment programmes by night.

 Getting there

Location

 

40 km west of Shimla, in the Himalayan foothills.

 

Distances / Route

 

NH22 to Dharampur and state road to Arki via Sabathu, Kainchi Morh and Kunihar.

 Fast Facts
Name Arki Best Time To Visit Throughout the year
Location Himachal Pradesh   North   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Hill Station
Temperature Summar   24-30C      Winter   4-8C      Rainy   20-26C
 Map
 
  Contact for your holiday plan at this destination [ Click Here ]