The Fort Palace of the Rana Sahib of Khaneti, at Khaneti Deori.
Set amidst the Apple belt it is really a charming place with an old world grace. In the olden days the State of Khaneti was bound by Rampur Bushahr on one side and Kotkhai on the other side. Apples is the main business here and you can see that Apple has really paid off well. This whole belt around Khaneti Kotkhai Kiyari Kotgarh is one of the most prosperous in Himachal. And it shows. With almost zero dependence on tourism.
The Kotkhai Fort.
The front part of the Fort is purported to be the oldest and is almost 600 years old. The small structure next to it is where the entrance is from. Once inside the complex the main Door is a good 10" thick with old coins stuck to it.
The Red building on the right hand side is a School run by the Royal Family of Kotkhai and members of the Family are even teaching at the same School. It was indeed a very pleasant experience meeting one of the family members who graciously showed us around.
But as it happens there are ugly new multistory structures coming up all around thanks to all the Apple money that's coming in. Some of the villages around here are the richest in the country, with unbelievable houses and heated indoor swimming pools.
However education is still given a priority in this area and you are still judged by how big and well stocked your Library is. Atleast that used to be the case. For how long is anyone's guess.
The Diwan e Khaas at the Fort Palace of Kotkhai.
Both the Diwan e Aam and the Diwan e Khaas are still a living testimony to the olden days here. And they are still used.
The best feature was ofcourse the absolutely mind blowing elaborate wood carvings almost everywhere. The photo doesn't really do justice to this work of art.
On display were swords and shields and a great collection of Khukris (the region was ruled by Gurkhas after being conquered by Amar Singh Thapa) and Kataars. Also there were matchlocks and trophies. A tribute to an Era gone by.
The impressive Citadel, the Fort of Kotkhai. Another mostly unknown marvel of Himachali Architecture.
Parts of the Fort are upto 600 hundred years old and the family of the present Rana, Sh. Tribhuwan Singh still resides in the Fort. We were lucky enough to get a small tour of the Fort by the Raj Kumari, elder sister of the Rana ji himself. More amazing pics from the place later.
The Durbar Palace of the Rana Sahib of Theog. A marvel of Himachali Architecture in an unexplored part of Himachal.
The grand entrance to the former Durbar Palace of the Rana Sahib of Theog. A fine piece of Himachali Architecture. Still used by members of the Royal Family. Don't miss the old hunting trophies on the entrance and the heavy wooden door which was around 10" in thickness.
We were first told that we could only take pics from outside but then we managed to sweet talk them into letting us inside to see the intricate wood work which was remarkable to say the least.