Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Cradled in the lush hills of Himachal Pradesh, the sleepy district of Solan belies a vibrant history of many cultures. In the early nineteenth century, the British seized control of Solan from the Gurkhas and established a cantonment in the area. Folklore, however, speaks of an older history. The inhabitants of the region claim that the Pandavas made Solan their home during their period of exile. Ancient or not so ancient, Solan is home to several historical monuments that bear testimony to its rich past. The following heritage monuments of Solan, in particular, are a must-visit for all history buffs visiting the area:
The Pandava Cave, or Karol Tibba as it is referred to locally, is located on top of Mount Karol. Visiting the cave is, however, preceded by a 3–4 hour trek from the nearby village of Chambaghati. Visitors can drive to Chambaghati by car, which is located 6 km from the Solan city centre. Karol Tibba provides panoramic views of Solan and its neighbouring hills, so tireless enthusiasts can continue the trek to reach the serene temple located at Kali Ka Tibba. Please remember to carry plenty of water and flashlights to explore the cave during your visit.
Jaitak Fort witnessed the most decisive battle between the British and the Gurkhas in 1814 and 1815. Although the fort is located 84 km away from Solan, the journey to Jaitak Fort is picturesque along the SH2. The strategically situated fort commands views of the surrounding mountains, offers a quiet spot to spend the afternoon, and provides a slice of forgotten history. Permission to enter the fort is granted by the security personnel supervising its premises.
Located in Kasauli, the revered Christ Church is a remnant of British settlement in the region. This is the oldest church in Himachal Pradesh and its stained glass windows, intricate mirror work, and archaic bell tower continue to stand the test of time. The one-hour drive to Christ Church from the Solan city centre promises a delightful escapade for birdwatchers, history buffs, and Victorian architecture aficionados. Gallant tourists can also venture into the cemetery behind the church building, which contains graves dating back to the 1850s.
The Mohan Shakti Heritage Park, located on NH 22, houses beautiful, expansive grounds with sizable sculptures of animals and gods from Solan’s rich and varied heritage. Visitors can avail the services of a herbal therapy clinic, open theatre, and study centre by speaking with the concerned authorities. Mohan Shakti Heritage Park is a mere ten-minute drive from Solan and is a great destination for couples and families.
If you are keen to discover Solan’s historical legacy through its monuments, make sure to book your stay at Fortune Forest Hill Resort. Centrally located and affordable, this full-service hotel is the perfect base camp for solo travellers, families, and couples.