What is the history of the property? The landmark Judge’s Court was created at the time when the Raj was at its apex by Jai Lal, leading advocate at Simla from where, for six months the Empire ruled South-East Asia and the Middle East and the ‘rupaiya’ was the currency. He was a Viceroyalty invitee to the 1911 Durbar at Delhi. He went on to become a Judge of the High Court of Lahore with jurisdiction over a vast province stretching from Peshawar to Delhi. He had as friends Rajas, Ranas, Maharajas, Governors and Viceroys earning many citations and medals including the title of Rai Bahdur later culminating in a Knighthood. As Mr. Justice Sir Jai Lal he was recognized as the Uncrowned King of Simla.
What was the era and/or the architectural style in which the property was built? The building is a perfect example of homogeneous merger of Hindu and Islamic architecture sublimated to Western utility and embellishment reminiscent of London, Berlin and Rome.
Is the property surrounded by other historic buildings? Pragpur and its sister village Gali are both notified Heritage Villages having exquisite built heritage resembling buildings at Simla from where they derived their inspiration.
Has restoration work taken place? Partly
Are there any elements of particular historical importance at the building? Yes at Dada Siba where the Temple has exquisite wall and ceiling paintings. Also nearby historic temple complexes of Chintpuri, Dharamsala Mahanta, Jwalamukhi, Baglamukhi, Chinor etc the magnificent Kangra Fort, and the river fort of Kotla as well as ruins of Sola Singhi and Guler.
Are there any important guests or previous owners worth mentioning? Yes Mr and Mrs. Keshub Mahindra, Dr and Mrs. Kuldip Narang, various Modi Brothers Kamal Morarka, William Dalrymple, Chetan Bhagat, Kilachand, Ambassadors of Belgium,Ireland, Algeria and many others High Commissioners of UK, Australia, Sri Lanka and many others. President of India Mr Pranab Mukhrjee, Governors such as Ms. Rama Devi, Kokje and Chief Ministers such as Raja Bir Bhadra, Prem Kumar Dhumal, ministers such as Anurag Thakur.
Are there any significant events that took place at the property in the past? Receptions to Governors, Supreme and High Court Judges, Chief Ministers
Has the property received any certifications for its historical status? Listed by INTACH
Would you describe your property as (or has it ever been in the past) a:
✔ Country Manor
Is there anything that you would like to highlight, add or clarify? Heritage Village Pragpur is located at the crossroads of history. In mythological Bharat the area was known as Trigart whose rulers trace their ancestry to 240 generations before the Makhbarat and arguably this makes the Katoche;s of Kangra as the oldest ruling dynasty of the world. Alexander the Great's army turned back from a place less than 25 km as a crow flies and Babur on his 5th and successful incursion marched less that 10 km as a crow flies. Simla would not have been what it turned had it not been for the Sood Communiuty of Pragpur and surrounding areas who owned more than half of Simla.
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