Indian Institute of Advanced Study, earlier known as Viceregal Lodge, served some time as Rashtrapati Niwas, as the summer residence of our President , currently houses scholars for research purposes. This imperial building takes you back in time and has got huge history associated with it. There’s a guided tour, about 20 min, which takes you through photo galleries, explains the rain harvesting mechanism used there, the fire extinguishing system established, the history of the building , the electrical fittings of the imperial times . The tour also takes you through the still functioning clock of those times, the antique furniture, the Kashmiri wood work of the ceiling and even the Partition table, on which the papers of our partition, were drafted. The top floors are now occupied with scholars and are not open for tourists . The ground floor has got a library too, which has got around 1,85,000 books, which is also not open for the tourists 😦
But this place has to be seen for its majesty and history.
Jhakoo temple, according to legend, is the place where Lord Hanuman rested while carrying Sanjeevani mountain in Ramayana. This place is filled with so many monkeys that they are found in almost equal number as the tourists. We were advised to leave all our things, including spectacles in the cab, to stay safe from them. We did as suggested, except that V put his hands in the pocket of his jackets to keep them warm. One of the monkeys came to him, reached his pocket and only when he took his hands out of the pocket and assured that it’s empty, the dear monkey decided to leave us. Coming back to the temple, this is a very old temple but the 108 feet Hanuman statue is a new addition, one that is unveiled by Abhishek Bachchan and Manisha Koirala.
See those completely dried up trees ? They are none other than Apple trees, which are all dried up now. Leaves start showing up in April and they are going to be full of fruits by July, is what we were told. Also, a single tree is going to bear both red and green apples, of different sizes 🙂
Naldehra can be reached on horses, and this offers some scenic views, a perfect picnic spot, a look at golf course, some adventurous zip line activity and that experience of being on the top of a mountain , breathing in the fresh air ! See that road in the last quadrant, that’s the one which takes you to the China border, this is what that horse rider told me 🙂
Will be back with you with little more later !!!