The Chateau Garli - A beautiful hotel in Heritage Village around Great Himalayan Mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh

When someone mentions haveli, one tends to by default think of Rajasthan. One may also think of Gujarat and Haryana a bit, but usually one doesn't associate the term Haveli with Himachal Pradesh. However, there is a village in Himachal Pradesh that has several huge 20th century havelis in various stages of ruin.     Related Blogpost - 500 years old Mummy of Sangha Tenzin with teeth & hair at Gue Monastery


When someone mentions haveli, one tends to by default think of Rajasthan. One may also think of Gujarat and Haryana a bit, but usually one doesn't associate the term Haveli with Himachal Pradesh. However, there is a village in Himachal Pradesh that has several huge 20th century havelis in various stages of ruin. 


Related Blogpost - 500 years old Mummy of Sangha Tenzin with teeth & hair at Gue Monastery


This is the village Garli in Pragpur and one needs to take a detour from NH503, take right before you hit Amb. We reached here quite early in the morning, in about 3 hours from Chandigarh (we had started at 5, so traffic was very less). The roads are well-paved, though narrow at places.     Related Blogpost - 'The Shrikhand View' - A Royal Palace and Grand Heritage site in Sarahan town surrounded by snow covered Himalayan mountain range of Himachal Pradesh


This is the village Garli in Pragpur and one needs to take a detour from NH503, take right before you hit Amb. We reached here quite early in the morning, in about 3 hours from Chandigarh (we had started at 5, so traffic was very less). The roads are well-paved, though narrow at places. 


Related Blogpost - 'The Shrikhand View' - A Royal Palace and Grand Heritage site in Sarahan town surrounded by snow covered Himalayan mountain range of Himachal Pradesh


One can say that this village is a true hidden gem in plain sight. But we will talk about the village in another post. In this post, we will focus on one specific haveli here. This haveli is now known as Chateau Garli and is a heritage hotel now.   Related Blogpost - 'Dhauladhar Rangers' is re-defining camping experience around Himalayas

One can say that this village is a true hidden gem in plain sight. But we will talk about the village in another post. In this post, we will focus on one specific haveli here. This haveli is now known as Chateau Garli and is a heritage hotel now. 


The buildings in the Chateau can be divided in two categories. The older section is 100-years-old and was built by Lala Mela Ram Sud in 1921. At that time, during British rule, Suds were wealthy timber merchants who travelled extensively and therefore were exposed to various styles of architecture.    Related blogpost - DHAM - The comfort & simplicity of Himachali food tradition

The buildings in the Chateau can be divided in two categories. The older section is 100-years-old and was built by Lala Mela Ram Sud in 1921. At that time, during British rule, Suds were wealthy timber merchants who travelled extensively and therefore were exposed to various styles of architecture.  


This reflects in the havelis constructed by them. You can find traces of Kangri, Mughal, Rajasthani, Colonial, and Portuguese architecture in the Chateau as well. The haveli had fallen into disrepair because for more than 2 decades no one visited it. But then in 2012, Lala Mela Ram Sud's grandson, Mr Yatish C Sud, and his son and daughter, Amish Sud and Tarini Sud, decided to restore it.  Related Blogpost - Sheetalvan Resort surrounded by colorful orchards of Apples, Pears, Kiwis, Almonds & Cherries @ Kotgarh, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

This reflects in the havelis constructed by them. You can find traces of Kangri, Mughal, Rajasthani, Colonial, and Portuguese architecture in the Chateau as well. The haveli had fallen into disrepair because for more than 2 decades no one visited it. But then in 2012, Lala Mela Ram Sud's grandson, Mr Yatish C Sud, and his son and daughter, Amish Sud and Tarini Sud, decided to restore it.


Along with restoring the older section, they also constructed a newer section where they have tried to replicate the look and feel of the original older section. However, when you visit the two sections, you can make out the differences clearly.    Related Blogpost - Barot - A Time Capsule : by Vibha Malhotra, TOI

Along with restoring the older section, they also constructed a newer section where they have tried to replicate the look and feel of the original older section. However, when you visit the two sections, you can make out the differences clearly.  


While the newer section is a little more sunny, the older section has narrow wooden stairs that lead up to corridors that open into a chain of rooms. While the newer section is beautiful, the older section as a different charm to it.  Related Blogspot - The Sarahan Experience – A Spiritual Inquest and Much More || By Vibha Malhotra

While the newer section is a little more sunny, the older section has narrow wooden stairs that lead up to corridors that open into a chain of rooms. While the newer section is beautiful, the older section as a different charm to it.


The furniture reflects the times as well. Four-poster wooden beds with elaborate carvings remind you of the black-and-white era of Bollywood. There is a natural warmth that old-style wooden furniture adds to rooms of all sizes, and here there were plenty of it.   Related Blogpost - The Winged Wonders of Pong Wetlands - by Vibha Malhotra, TOI

The furniture reflects the times as well. Four-poster wooden beds with elaborate carvings remind you of the black-and-white era of Bollywood. There is a natural warmth that old-style wooden furniture adds to rooms of all sizes, and here there were plenty of it. 


Tall arched windows and deep bay windows are all adopted from British colonial architecture. They make the rooms bright during the day. At night, the property looks even more stunning when the lights inside are turned on. You will also notice beautiful Belgian Chandeliers that add to the haveli's sense of prosperity.   Related Blogpost - Pangna fort in Karsog valley of Mandi region in Himachal Pradesh, India

Tall arched windows and deep bay windows are all adopted from British colonial architecture. They make the rooms bright during the day. At night, the property looks even more stunning when the lights inside are turned on. You will also notice beautiful Belgian Chandeliers that add to the haveli's sense of prosperity. 


There are structures with walls made of dry grass and mud, a traditional Himachali style of building. Interesting swirls and block patters adorn these walls and some traditional brass utensils add to the Kangri feel of the place.   Related Blogpost - Enchanting Himachal and its charming songs

There are structures with walls made of dry grass and mud, a traditional Himachali style of building. Interesting swirls and block patters adorn these walls and some traditional brass utensils add to the Kangri feel of the place. 


The tiles on the roof are made of thin sections of slate stone, and thicker sections of the same slate stone, mined locally from Himachal Pradesh, are used to pave the paths. The door handles, locks are ornate, some in shape of a lion's face, and some shaped like peacock. One can spend hours exploring the property and admiring these subtle touches.  Related Blogpost - The Himalayan Village Resort @ Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India

The tiles on the roof are made of thin sections of slate stone, and thicker sections of the same slate stone, mined locally from Himachal Pradesh, are used to pave the paths. The door handles, locks are ornate, some in shape of a lion's face, and some shaped like peacock. One can spend hours exploring the property and admiring these subtle touches.

 

There are several types of rooms available in the property. Suites that have interconnected rooms, are also available and can be rented by families. We had reached here very early and the staff had only just started the daily sweeping and cleaning. But they were very warm and welcoming and assured us that breakfast will be ready in a jiffy. The property has a multi-cuisine restaurant and all options on the menu appeared sumptuous. However, this was just a stop on the way to Pong and we were short of time already. So we resisted the temptation to spend another hour here and headed our way. We would like to spend a night in this property whenever we head in that direction again. Hopefully it would be soon.

There are several types of rooms available in the property. Suites that have interconnected rooms, are also available and can be rented by families. We had reached here very early and the staff had only just started the daily sweeping and cleaning. But they were very warm and welcoming and assured us that breakfast will be ready in a jiffy. The property has a multi-cuisine restaurant and all options on the menu appeared sumptuous. However, this was just a stop on the way to Pong and we were short of time already. So we resisted the temptation to spend another hour here and headed our way. We would like to spend a night in this property whenever we head in that direction again. Hopefully it would be soon. 


If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling - 

1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.

2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin. 

3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem. 

4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits. 

5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite.

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