Joginder Nagar Valley
||This article possibly contains original research. (April 2012)|
Joginder Nagar Valley is a valley in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The valley contains the town of Joginder Nagar and various other villages surrounded by mountains on all sides. The valley falls in the mid-hill zone (900 to 2700 metres) of the Dhauladhar mountain range in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas.
- 1 Haulage way system (4 km)
- 2 Winch Camp (7 km)
- 3 Barot
- 4 Bir-Billing (16 km)
- 5 Ghornala
- 6 Shanan Power House (3 km)
- 7 Railway Track (0 km)
- 8 High Peaks (5–20km)
- 9 Baba Balakrupi Temple (2km)
- 10 Jhalwan (2 km)
- 11 Bhalaridha (8 km)
- 12 Lakshminarayana Temple (5 km)
- 13 Bassi Power House (6 km)
- 14 Chauntra (10km)
- 15 Banar Baba Temple (12 km)
- 16 Maheshwari Mata Temple (Gaddwali Mata) (13 km)
- 17 Baijnath Temple (20 km)
- 18 Machchiyal Lake (6 km)
- 19 Chaturbhuja Temple (25km)
- 20 Siqandar Dhar and Forts (15km by road, 8 km by trekking)
- 21 See also
- 22 References
Haulage way system (4 km)
Here is a haulage way system in Jogindernagar which is perhaps its only kind of track in the world. There are different haulage way stations in this particular transportation system starting from Buffer stop (4,150 feet). Next is Adit Junction set at an altitude of 6,000 feet (1,800 m) is locally called as 18 number as it is imprinted over there. The water rushes down from the reservoir at Barot in the Uhl river through penstock pipes going down nearly a thousand meters (3,280 feet). The loading capacity of haulage way cars are 15, 10, 5 tons. Higher the capacity, lower the speed. Haulage Way System or Trolley at Jogindernagar is one of its own kind in the world.
Winch Camp (7 km)
The next is Winch Camp situated at an altitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 m). The height of the peak is near about 8,800 feet (2,700 m). On the way to Winch camp there are thick forests of Rhododendron (Burans or locally known as Brah ka fool) from which people prepare delicious sauce having a great medicinal use. From this place one is able to see kilometres of distance including Beas River, Mandi Hills, Kangra district and Hamirpur boundaries etc. In winter season there is heavy snowfall over these mountains which sometimes even scales up to 2 feet (0.61 m) or above. At this time local people, tourists, students from schools and colleges step onto these marvelous mountains for having the gorgeous pleasure of snowfall on their feet. On the other side of the mountain is Headgear, the next haulage way station at an altitude of 8,300 feet (2,500 m). This spot packs outstanding scenery of Himalayan ranges, including Dhauladhar, which are about 16,000 feet (4,900 m) or above from the sea level. From Headgear haulage way car descends the steep hill having a large gradient. This steep hill is known as ‘Khooni Ghati’ means ‘Valley of death’ as it is locally said that there had been any accident over here but nobody is sure in this regard. Further coming station is Katheru set up at an altitude of 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above sea level. The next short journey track is called as Zero Point at 6,050 feet (1,840 m).
Two reservoirs of the power project are located in Barot. It has a trout breeding centre. Across the river Uhl is the Nargu Wild Life Sanctuary home to the ghoral, Himalayan black bear, leopard, Monal, kite, monkey, kasturi deer, wild cat, nilgai, kakkar and a variety of pheasants. Every year, hundreds of tourists from nearby places and states like Punjab, Haryana visit it. There is also a high altitude panoramic lake at an height of 14,000 (4,150 m) feet known as Dianasur lake where holy journeys are started in the month of August and September. Lord Hanuman is believed to have stopped over this place while killing an evil witch. There are many varieties of herbs and flowers over these mountains having great importance and medicinal use. There are many temples of local Devtas (Gods) in this valley known as Chauhar Valley. Proper arrangements of staying are available in rest houses being run by government and hotels being run by local bodies. One government school, computer and music centre as well is located here. Population of Barot is a thousand approximately. This is a very beautiful place.
Bir-Billing (16 km)
The town of Bir attracts visitors for ecotourism, courses in meditation and philosophy, and eco-volunteering. The main ecotourism attractions are paragliding, trekking, and meditation retreats in the wooded rural setting. Another attraction of Bir is the Bir Tibetan Colony, with several monasteries and fine works of art.
The area is becoming a popular destination for more adventurous paraglider pilots. It offers reliable and wide-ranging conditions in a wide range of environments, from the relative security of the largely wooded Dhauladar range to the more extreme flying of the snowfields to the north.
An FAI category two paragliding competition is organized annually by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation at Bir-Billing (31 km from Jogindernagar) in the month of October or November. Billing (2440m) is the launch spot from where paragliders take off for landing at Chowgan, where this competition is held. Every year, about a hundred participants from all over the world take part in this particular competition. The event attracts many viewers, including international tourists. Weather conditions at that time of year are very reliable and the competition has been virtually unaffected by adverse weather (2001-2012.) Competitors take off from Billing and fly over the mountains of Baijnath and Jogindernagar.
The competition was first established by the Chief Minister of the State of Himachal Pradesh. Several world records have been made by international paragliders here.
At the western side of the Jogindernagar Valley lies the village of Ghornala, approximately midway between Bir and Baijnath. Ghornala is emerging as a centre for low-key ecotourism, meditation studies, and volunteering, with the primary attractions being the Dharmalaya Institute for Compassionate Living and Ghornala Resort.
Shanan Power House (3 km)
Jogindernagar is the only city in Asia continent having three Power houses simultaneously. The vision of the hydel project scheme was to construct five power stations using the same water that is drawn from the Uhl River. Shanan Power House of Jogindernagar is one of the oldest Hydro-electric power houses of India. This power house was built by Col. Batty, an English engineer and his team. Most of the credit of creation of Jogindernagar and to make it a popular town goes to him. Afterwards more high capacity turbines were built here but unfortunately, being this power house in HP it is still under Punjab State Govt. Shanan Power House at Jogindernagar is one of the first Hydro-electric Powerhouses of India and perhaps one of the oldest in the world.
Railway Track (0 km)
Joginder Nagar is well connected with a narrow gauge railway line. This railway track was built during 1926–1929 and was opened for transporting raw material for construction of Shanan Power House on April 1, 1929. This railway line has been nominated for inclusion in UNESCO's cultural heritage list. Proposals for extending this railway track up to Leh have been made. The proposed 460 km long railway line will pass from Joginder Nagar, Manali, Keylong, Pang and will go up to Leh. There was a steam engine which has been replaced by diesel engine. Jogindernagar-Pathankot is the longest railway line track of Himachal Pradesh.
High Peaks (5–20km)
The highest peaks of Jogindernagar are Winch Camp (8,820 feet), Jhatingari (6,725 feet), Siqander Dhar (6,010 feet), Siyuri Dhar(5500 feet), Banderi (5,225 feet). In Siqandar Dhar peak as well as Banderi some ancient forts are constructed by Rajas of that period. There is heavy snowfall over these mountains during winter particularly Winch Camp and Jhatingari in the months November to March. The temperature drops as low as -6 degree Celsius in upper reaches and up to -2 degree Celsius in the town and nearby areas in peak winter nights. The town witnesses light snowfall rarely which melts instantly (as seen in 2008 and 2011).
Baba Balakrupi Temple (2km)
This temple is situated in Garoru village which is also called as Balakrupi after this temple. (The name “Balakrupi” which means “Incarnation as a Male Child” was given to Lord Balak Nath who according to an ancient belief was the re-incarnation of Lord Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva.
Balkarupi temple which is 2 km from Jogindernagar is a very ancient. Baba Balak Nath who is one of the 9 “Nathas” and 84 “Sidhas” is one of the most prominent deities of North Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. A small temple of Baba Balak Nath is situated at the very courtyard of every Hindu house of Himachal Pradesh.
An annual fair is held here at Balakrupi on every Saturday of a particular month. In Balakrupi temple a special tradition of cutting down the hair of 2 and half year old child known as Mundan Sanskar’ is done.
Jhalwan (2 km)
This village is situated beside national highway 19. It has only Govt. revenue training centre of the state near Jhlawan (3 km from Jogindernagar). At nearby Bhatta a residential colony for Uhl Stage III employees is situated. The temple of Chamunda Mata, the Goddess of war is situated here. Devotees from distant villages come here. Here one temple of Lord Shiva is situated at Bagh. The residential colony near Bhatta is made in modern style
Bhalaridha (8 km)
This village is situated beside Rana Khadd near Yora and Sainthal. It is part of Main Bharola gram panchayat. The word Bhalaridha consists of two words "Bhalla" means Watch or View and "Ridha" means Hill it was earlier known as Pipal Ka Behdoo. So this village is populated on a small hill surrounded by 3 water streams named Balohal, Sukkar & Bajgar khad. This village is connected with road leads to all directions of the valley from this village. There is Middle school and Sharda Mata Temple. This village is well cultivated and famous for all types of Ayurvadic Medicines. The population of this Village is about 850 persons.
Lakshminarayana Temple (5 km)
In a nearby village known as Ner (6 km from Jogindernagar) is a hundreds of year old temple of Lord Lakshminarayana. Lord Vishnu is said to have meditated here for 300 years and is built by Pandavas. This temple came into the minds of people when an industrialist from other state dreamt of meeting God and God said him to take care of the temple. Industrialist donated thousand of rupees for the repair of this temple. It is said that the idol of God on that night moved inches from its original place and bells started ringing automatically.
Bassi Power House (6 km)
The generation cost of Bassi Power Project at Jogindernagar is the cheapest in the country. Its capacity is 60 MW. HPSEB has constructed a housing colony for its employees working in the Bassi Power House having almost all modern amenities. There is also a temple of Baba Balakanath known as Chapru Baba which is situated at a distance of 2 K.M. from Bassi Colony on a steep hill gradient in between tranquility of forest. The pilgrims come from distant places to visit the holy temple. It is said that one (late) Pt. Accharu Ram, a retired forest ranger and a land lord from the Mandi State had constructed a big house known as KOTHI (which is visible from the Bassi Colony) settled there and he had a dream where Lord Baba Balaknath directed him to construct a temple. From Kothi one can go to Chaprot by foot as well as Chapru Baba Temple. Descendants of Pandit Accharu Ram are respectfully called as BAJIYA by the local folks which means land lord in local dialect. Chaprot is situated on the top of the hill surrounding Bassi which is a tail water reservoir of Uhl river coming from Shanan Power House and a famous picnic spot. Chaprot supplies water to Bassi Power House through colossal Pipes that cross chapru village and ultimately flow into the Machyal Khad.
It’s a beautiful town situated at an altitude of 4,250 feet (1,300 m) above sea level. There are many beautiful Buddhist monasteries and a large Institution of Tibetans. This town is also showered with tea orchards. An annual fair is held here at nearby ground. About 10 government and privately managed educational institution are giving best education/services to the scholars.
Banar Baba Temple (12 km)
A temple at an altitude of 5,500 feet (1,700 m) above sea level is held sacred to Banar Baba or Baba Balaknath and situated in Banar village at a steep rocky mountain. It is said[by whom?] that various kind of skin diseases can be cured by taking a bath near a waterfall in Banar village.
Maheshwari Mata Temple (Gaddwali Mata) (13 km)
This temple, popularly known as the Gaddwali Mata Temple, is situated in an old fort at an altitude of 4,776 feet (1,456 m) on the top of the hill (Sikander Dhar Ahju). Thousands of people every year come to pray to the goddess. A small fair is held in Navratra Period. From this place one can see vast valley of Joginder Nagar(Mandi)& backside valley of Palmpur(Kangra).Another fort is also located there at a distance of 500 meters.
Baijnath Temple (20 km)
20 km from Joginder Nagar is this exquisite temple where Lord Shiva is worshipped as Vaidyanath - ‘The Lord of Physicians’. The original temple was built in 804 AD. Here King Ravana is said to have supplicated Lord Shiva for this boon of immortality.
Machchiyal Lake (6 km)
6 km from the Hotel Uhl is this small lake held sacred to Machendru Devta means the God of Fish. Fish are fed and worshipped here especially on Saturday and Tuesday. Fishing is strictly prohibited here. A fair in the month of April is held here every year. A bridge over Gugli Khadd, a small river, is situated here. Out flowing water of Uhl river from Bassi Power house meets into Gugli Khadd. Some beautiful temples of Machendru Devta are lying beside the lake with very old idols of God of Fish. A comparatively large lake is 1.5 km away from sacred lake which is 200 m lengthy and 20–50 m broad. There are thousands of Mahashir fishes here. The first Mahashir fish farm of India is proposed to build at upper Machchiyal.A Basakhi fair is celebrated 13 April to 15 April.
Chaturbhuja Temple (25km)
This is a very ancient temple said to be built by Pandavas is situated at an altitude of 4,830 feet (1,470 m) held sacred to Goddess Chaturbhuja, a form of Goddess Durga, is situated in Basahi Dhar. It’s an enchanting temple along with 100 feet (30 m) high TV tower. A big fair is held here in Navaratra Period.
Siqandar Dhar and Forts (15km by road, 8 km by trekking)
Siqandar Dhar is one of the highest peaks of Jogindernagar lying at 6,010 feet (1,830 m) from sea level and is a small mountain range of 30 km from North-west to South-east. Certain beautiful villages, temples and fort are lying here. Thick rhododendron forests can be found home to various wildlife species.