McleodGanj.Dharamsala.Kangra valley

"Close to Heaven"

 

  
 
 
 


 


 

Sidhbari - Khaniyara - Yol - Gopalpur Information

Sidhbari
Sidhbari is a small town, situated in the foothills of Dhauladhar mountains, in Himachal Pradesh. It derives it's name from a sage, Baba Sidh. This small town is hustling with the activity because of lots of landmarks features. Sidhbari is where is located the Karmapa (Ogyen Trinley Dorje)'s temporary residence, at Gyuto Monastery.Sidhbari is about six kilometers from Dharamsala, the place where the 14th Dalai Lama lives.Very near to this village is Chinmaya Ashram or Sandeepany Himalayas. In this Ashram, is the Samadhi of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, founder of Chinmaya Mission. Pincode: 176057

The 17th Karmapa " Ogyen Trinley Dorje "

Karmapa means "the one who carries out buddha-activity" or "the embodiment of all the activities of the buddhas." In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously arrange to be reborn as a teacher who can carry on the teachings of a predecessor in a prior life. Pursuant to this tradition, the Karmapas have incarnated in this form of manifestation body (Skt. nirmanakaya), for seventeen lifetimes, as of the present, and all have played the most important role in preserving and propagating the Buddhist teachings of Tibet.

Prior to the birth of the first Karmapa, the arrival of a Buddhist master who would be known as the Karmapa had been prophesied by the historic Buddha Shakyamuni and the great tantric master of India, Guru Padmasambhava. Throughout the centuries, Karmapas have been the central figure in the continuation of the vajrayana lineage in general and Kagyu lineage in particular, and have played a very important role in the preservation of the study and practice lineages of Buddhism.

 

Schedule of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

Since from 21st of January, 2009, His Holiness has resumed his normal schedule in Dharamsala.

Typical Dharamsala schedule: When in residence at his temporary camp at the Gyuto Tantric University in the Dharamsala area, His Holiness's schedule is typically very tight since he is devoting almost all of his time to studies, which include the process of transmission and empowerment from his teachers, as well as Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice.
However, His Holiness has earmarked a portion of his time for public audiences and has a limited amount of time for private audiences. When his travel and study schedule permits, His Holiness holds public audiences in Sidbhari at Gyuto Tantric College, for which prior appointments are not necessary. The public audiences usually include a brief teaching granted during the audience time. The typical schedule for his public audiences are between 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm Wednesday and Saturday. His Holiness currently holds regular public audiences on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
His Holiness will be departing Gyuto In May for a trip abroad. We will have information here about when he will no longer be available for interviews. The website devoted to His Holiness trip abroad is www.karmapavisit.org.
The audiences take place at the temporary Kagyu camp at the Gyuto Tantric University near Dharamsala. For an audience contact:

  1. Lama Phuntsok, Private Secretary
    Cell phone: 91-9816474363
  2. Thubten Sherab, Secretary (audience)
    Cell phone: 91-9418294401
    audience2karmapa@gmail.com
    cro2karmapa@gmail.com

Visiting His Holiness Karmapa Lama

When his travel and personal schedule permits, His Holiness holds regular public audience. Before seeking to attend a public audience with His Holiness, please check his schedule, which is available here. If you would like to attend, we would recommend that you also please confirm the schedule with the Kagyu Office.
For additional information about meeting His Holiness, please see the information page for the Kagyu Office or contact appointments@kagyuoffice.org.


Gyuto Tantric University, outside Dharamsala, India, is nestled in the foothills leading to the Himalayan mountain range

Administrative Structures of the Office of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Temporary Residence
The following officials at the temporary residence at Gyuto Monastery, Sidhbari, Dharamsala, manage the office of His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa:
Tsurphu Labrang Dharamshala (Karmapa's office of Administration)
Mailing Address:
Camp: Gyuto Tantric University
P. O. Sidhbari-176 057
Dharamshala, District Kangra (H.P.) India
Tel: 91-1892-235154 or 91-1892-235307
Fax: 91-1982-235744
1. Ven. Drupon Rinpoche, General Secretary
Cell phone: 91-9418390690
Email: gs2karmapa@gmail.com or gs2karmapa@yahoo.com
2. Mr. Gonpo Tsering, Secretary (English) Cell phone: 91-9816045556
Audience
1. Lama Phuntsok, Private Secretary Cell phone: 91-9816474363
2. Thubten Sherab, Secretary (audience) Cell phone: 91-9418294401

Center Relations Office
Tel: 91-1892-236726
Chemed Choegyal Cell phone: 91-9816315336
Tashi Paljor Cell phone: 91-9816944004
email: cro2karmapa@yahoo.com

Website: www.kagyuoffice.org

Gyuto Tantric Monastic University

P.O. Sidhbari-176057, Dharamsala,
Distt Kangra (H.P.) INDIA
Tel: 91 (1892) 236154/234608
Fax: 91 (1892) 234609
Email: gyutotantricuniv@yahoo.com
Website: www.gyutomonastery.com

Norbulingka Institute, Sidhbari

Norbulingka stands on terraced ground in the Kangra Valley below the hill-station of Dharamsala, in the mountainous north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Dharamsala denotes a place of shelter, usually for pilgrims. During the British Raj, it was host to ailing soldiers and administrative officers and British wives and children escaping the heat of the plains in the summer. At independence in 1947, India was partitioned and many people left Dharamsala for the newly created Pakistan, while others travelling in the opposite direction settled in Dharamsala and rebuilt their lives. Barely twelve years later, in 1960, His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet was invited to take up temporary residence in Dharamsala and eventually it became the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.


Insitute
Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down tradition and restoring standards by providing training, education and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which Tibetan community and family values can flourish. It reconciles the traditional creatively and respectfully with the modern, and seeks to create an international awareness of Tibetan values and their expression in art and literature.

Gardens
Walk through the traditional Tibetan gateway to the Norbulingka and enter a world apart from the hustle and bustle outside. Making use of the existing rocks, trees, flowing water and the terracing of the land, we have created a semblance of a Japanese garden around the Institute buildings, where nature flourishes and tranquillity prevails.

Temple
The Deden Tsuglagkhang is an elegant stone structure built on traditional Tibetan lines. Its principal focus is a 14 ft gilded copper statue of the Buddha that was made by the Norbulingka Sculpture Studio, which is surrounded by elaborate paintings and murals executed by our Thangka Painters.


Doll Museum
The Losel Doll Museum houses a unique collection of 150 costumed dolls depicting the regional, official and monastic costumes of Tibet. These were created by a group of artistic monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery that has been re-established in South India.


Norling Café
Norling Café serves a wide range of delicious Italian, Tibetan, Chinese & Indian dishes. Delightful cakes, real coffee, local tea and fresh juices are always available. We have tables indoors, on the roof and out in the shade of the garden.
Tibetan Research
Tibetan Literary &
Cultural Research Centre (LCRC)
Started in June 1997 with a team of ten young writers, the LCRC at present comprises 17 members, most of whom have been trained in Tibet. The team produces a monthly cultural newspaper (Nor-de), and is also researching and preparing a comprehensive multi-volume encyclopaedia on Tibetan culture in Tibetan.

Contact : Postal Address

Norbulingka Institute
PO Sidhpur
(Nr Dharamsala)
Distt Kangra
HP 176057 E-mail : info@norbulingka.com Telephone : +91 1892 246405 Mobile :+91 98160 36410

Guest House : Norling Guest House
Website : http://www.norbulingka.com

 

Chinmaya Tapovan Trust

Chinmaya Tapovan is a modern day ashram situated at the foothills of the majestic Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas. It is about 10 km from Dharamsala, in Himachal Pradesh.
Situated on the banks of Bindu Saras, the ashram was founded by late Swami Chimayananda, a great exponent of the Gita. The ashram complex has a 9 m high image of Lord Hanuman, a Ram temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation center.

The Samadhi of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda is in Sidhbari.
Devotees from all corners of the globe come to meditate, worship, and bask in the presence of the master, whose mortal remains are buried under the sculpted image. The Bhu Samadhi of Pujya Gurudev was done on 9th August 1993.
Built in traditional Kerala style, the Samadhi Sthala houses Swamiji's ashtadhatu pratima, or sculpture made of eight metals. Worship and aarti is offered twice daily.

The Samadhi is the most revered and intense abode of silence and the focal point for ashram residents and visitors.
  • Name of deity: Samadhi Sthala of Pujya Gurudev

Contact:

Sandeepany Himalayas
Chinmaya Tapovan Trust
Sidhbari 176 057
Kangra District
Himachal Pradesh
India
Ph: +91-1892-234 324
Fax: +91-1892-236 199

 


Nistha Charitable Trust

Nistha a charitable trust situated in Sidhbari. The main objective for which the Trust has been established is to work for the benefit and development of society as a whole by improving the welfare of families with particular focus on women and children. This objective is served through activities in the fields of health, education and environment.
Health Clinic
In Patients Facility
School Children's Nutritional Enhancement Programme
Health Education
Combating Water Borne Disease
Education
Dissemination through Participation
Reaching out for New Knowledge
Environment
Generating Awareness
Participatory Garbage Management
Control of Plastic Waste
Agricultural Issues

Upcoming Events

October 15 - 24, 2009 Nishtha Fifth Transcultural Homeopathic Dialogue led by Dr. Nandita Shah
Nishtha fifth trans-cultural homeopathic seminar offers you a unique opportunity, through homeopathic practice, to plunge into the very heart of Indian culture. You will experience a different way of thinking and expression, and thereby gain a particular access to India with all its cultural diversity and beauty. Through training in our Clinic you will have a unique opportunity to treat and assist needy local people and to gain insight into their culture and way of life.
Himachal Pradesh is a stunningly beautiful and culturally fascinating mountainous region of North India. In order for participants to make the most of their visit to India, an optional 12 day jeep safari of the region from 3rd - 15th October, preceeding the seminar, is being offered.
Nishtha Rural Health, Education and Environment Centre

Address:

VPO Rakkar, Sidhbari,
Distt. Kangra - 176057
Himachal Pradesh, India
Telephone:
+91-1892-236597
+91-1892-246228
Email: contact@nishtha-hp.org
nishtha@sancharnet.in

Schools in Sidhbari- Dharamsala

Sacred Heart High School is one of the most reputed convent schools across Dharamshala, siatuted at Sidhpur Dari Dharamsla, in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. This school is also one of the oldest in the area, as well.Built in 1968 close to the Dhauladhar mountain range, it is affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education.

Address: P.O Sidhpur, (Via) Dari , Kangra Distt. City: Dharamsala State: Himachal Pradesh Pincode: 176 057 Telephone Number: 01892-22428 Email: shhs_sidhpur@yahoo.com

St. Mary's High School, Sidhpur

This project was started and is supported by the Institute of Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, a Belgian congregation started by Rev. Fr. Joseph Triest. In order to look after the orphans and widows of the French Revolution, Fr. Triest, a humble Diocesan priest started the congregation in 1803 in Ghent. This congregation is known for its service to the poorest of the poor. 
The work of the congregation spread to both African and Asian countries around 1901. It came to India in 1901 and started with the school in Dalhousie, a town of Himachal Pradesh. From here it has spread to various parts of India. Our main focus is education, specially of the poor. 
In earlier years, the institute had many European sisters who were involved also in raising funds for the work. We need to continue the good work that our worthy founder and the earlier sisters handed down to us.

Contact   saintmarysindia@yahoo.com Phone no is +91 1892 227413
Postal Address: St. Mary's High School, VPO Sidhpur, Tehsil Dharamsala
Himachal Pradesh, INDIA 176057

 

AADHUNIK PUBLIC SCHOOL
SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
(Affiliated to C.B.S.E.)
SIDHBARI , DHARAMSALA
H.P. - PIN 176057
INDIA
TEL : (01892) - 236298 , 234550, 09318705048

College for Higher Tibetan Studies - Sarah
The College for Higher Tibetan Studies is a branch college under the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics at Dharamsala. Under the guidance and with seed money from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the late Ven. Rev Lobsang Gyatso la selflessly and voluntarily took the task of establishing this institution in 1991. After completion, His Holiness formally inaugurated the institution on the 13th of August 1998.
In 1997, the first batch Bachelor in Tibetan studies program (Thorim Rigney Rabjampa) was introduced and in keeping with the needs of the Tibetan community, primary and secondary teachers training coursese were also given to this group. Thus in the year 2001, 17th of August, Education minister Mrs. Rinchen Khando la conferred them the of degree ‘Bachelor of Tibetan studies' program as well as their Secondary Teachers Training course. During the function, she announced the new name of this institution :
‘The College for Higher Tibetan Studies'
and approved it on behalf of the Department of Education, and recognized it as a standard college for imparting Tibetan studies.
On 1st January 2001, Mrs. Rinchen Khando la, (former Education Minister) and Ven. Karma Gelek, (former General Secretary, Department of Religious and Culture) presided over a special function held in this college, to witness the formal signing of an agreement between prestigious Emory University in Atlanta Georgia USA and the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics regarding an exchange program. The performance of the Emory students in their studies during the exchange period will be recognized as an equivalent to that of Emory University.

COLLEGE FOR HIGHER TIBETAN STUDIES
P.O. Sarah, Dharamsala 176 215
District Kangra, H.P.
India
Email Us: chts_info@yahoo.com
Visit Us: www.ibdindia.org
New Phone Numbers:
Principal: 01892-203205
Office: 01892-203347
Account Section: 10892-204333
(HEAD OFFICE)
INSTITUTE OF BUDDHIST DIALECTICS
P.O. McLeod Ganj
Dharamsala 176 219
District Kangra, H.P.
India


Phone: 01892 221215/221452

Email Us: ibdoffice@rediffmail.com

 

Bank In Sidhbari : State Bank Of Patiala Branch SIDHBARI Address: PO SADHBARI TEH KANGRA HP-176057 City: SIDHBARI District: KANGRA State: Himachal Pradesh Fax: 2223670,2213266(Fax) Email: cmadmnop@sbp.co.in IFSC Code: STBP0000441 Website: http://www.sbp.co.in

 

Khaniyara – Khanyara

Khaniyara is a charming village situated just 8 km from Dharamsala, in Himachal Pradesh. The place is noted for its scenic beauty and is a much visited pilgrim spot. Khaniyara is the starting point of the trek route to Bharmaur. Major point of attraction here is the Aghanjar Mahadev Temple. The Indru Nag Temple, situated on the way to the village, is also frequented by devotees.
Khaniyara is also well connected by roads to Norbulingka, Chinmaya Tapovan and Dharamsala.


Aghanjar Mahadev Temple : This temple is located at a distance of 8.5 km from Dharamshala and just a few meters from the Khaniyara village, famous for its scenic beauties. Once when Arjun, of Mahabarat, was on his way to the Kailash Mountains. Lord Shiva appeared in front of Arjun and blessed him with the Boon of Victory over the Kauravas. At this place Baba Ganga Bharati has fired "Akhand Dhuni" (Sacred Fire).

The Indru Nag Temple : This Temple is located on way to Khaniyara Village about 3 kms from Kotwali Bazaar. 2 kms road route upto the village Chola and 1 km trek route to the Indrunag temple. This temple is dedicated to Nag, the Lord of Snakes, and the Lord of Rains. In the Month of July many devotees of the local areas visit the Temple.

 

Gopalpur

Nature Park Gopalpur is located near Palampur in Himachal Pradesh and it has one of the most Himalayan Nature Parks. Sprawling acres of greenery nestled amidst the snowy Dhauladhar Range of the Himalayas allures tourists to the Nature Park in Gopalpur. Covered by the dense forests of Deodar, Kail, Horse chestnut, Walnut and Maple add to the beauty of the green Nature Park in Gopalpur. The Alpine Forests etched on the slopes of Himalayas makes it a dream destination for the tourists.
Walk through the Nature Park in Gopalpur and you can come across a rich variety of flora and fauna. One can get a glimpse of the Musk deer, Monal and Black bear in Nature Park Gopalpur.
The Nature Park Gopalpur generates awareness about wildlife amongst the tourist. One of the most beautiful Himalayan Nature Parks, the Gopalpur Nature Park educates the visitors and refreshes their senses amidst the green mountain valleys.


How to Reach Nature Park Gopalpur:
Airport :- Gaggal Airport is the nearest airport.
Railhead :- Pathankot Railway Station is the nearest railhead.
The Nature Park Gopalpur is on the Palampur- Dharamshala highway and one can opt for different transportation facilities like buses and taxis in order to reach the park. The tourists also take buses and taxis to reach Nature Park Gopalpur


TIBETAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGE GOPALPUR ( TCV)
The intense overcrowding problem in all our villages and schools coupled with the constant arrival of children from Tibet necessitated a new village in the early 90’s for a long term solution. With the acceptance and support from SOS Kinderdorf International, construction work began on a war footing. The children for this village were housed temporarily at TCV,(Bir). The number of children quickly increased and soon became quite unmanageable. Hence, makeshift, temporary accommodation and schooling had to be started early on even in the mist of its construction. Thus, SOS Tibetan Children’s Village at Gopalpur formally became operational in 1997. Spread over a thirty-acre estate in lush green environment with a majestic mountain backdrop, it is now home for the many children coming across the border. Currently there are now 1500 children. it is a self-contained, children’s community with 32 homes ,a medical centre and the hostels for the boys and the girls. This project is funded by the schweizer freunde Der SOS-kinderdofer. While the attached school complex is built with funding support from Stiftelsen SOS-Barnebyer -Norge.

Contact Address:

Director
Tibetan SOS Children's Village
Village Darati, P.O. Chachian- 176059
District Kangra
H.P. India
Telephone: 0091-1894-252269/252268
Fax: 0091-1894-252268
E-mail: lhasaphun@yahoo.co.uk
Website:http://www.gopur.org

 

 

Yol (Yol Cantt)

Yol is a cantonment town in Kangra district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

History

The town gets its name from YOL (Young Officers Leave camp), a small town established by British Indian Army around 1849 is a cantonment area.

Geography : Yol is located at 32°10′N 76°12′E / 32.17°N 76.2°E . It has an average elevation of 1221 metres (4006 feet).

Demographics :

As of 2001 India census, Yol had a population of 10,772. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Yol has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 74%. In Yol, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

It has a interesting history. It started around world war II as a POW(Prisionor of war) camp and mainly Italian prisionars were stationed here. But unlike other camps here prisionars were allowed to move anywhere , even to outside villages. The prisoners enjoyed their stay here. Later on it was used for many purposes and recently it houses one of the youngest battalians of Indian Army named Rising Star.


Yol 01892-236041 Police Station Number

Kendriya Vidyalaya Yol Cantt was established in defence sector in the year 1975 and is situated in the lap of Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalaya, on Dharamsala - Palampur road in the district of Kangra (HP).

Principal
Kendriya Vidyalaya Yol Cantt

PO: Yol Cantt
Tehsil: Dharamshala
District: Kangra (HP)
PIN: 176052
Phone / Fax Number
01892—236167 (Phone)

 

Golf Course (Yol Cantt.)

A mini forest of pine trees, which is a few hundred yards away, is a very good picnic spot with absolutely no noise around. Article

-Article-

Yol: Once a haven for prisoners of war

By Rajendra Rajan

ONCE a tiny principality of a few hamlets. Yol today is a small township bustling with life. The old grey buildings with coloured rooftops provide a glimpse of the British style of architecture. The beautiful heritage can be seen protruding from the relatively dense green cover. The mighty and picturesque Dhauladhars in the backdrop lend an idyllic charm to the town.
Yol is situated at the foothills of the Dhauladhars and has attained a prestigious place in the annals of Indo-British history. The town is about 10 km from Dharamsala. The neat and clean environs of Yol are one of its most striking features. The Army formations, over the years, have preserved the pristine glory of the place.
A peep into the history of Yol will reveal that prior to 40s, the area surrounding the town was called Mujetha Ka Balla. In local parlance, it means a barren land where munj grass grew. The green pastures covering the foothills of the Dhauladhar range were used by local shepherds for grazing their cattle. The paths used by the shepherds for grazing cattle were known as jhoel. A small brook was called khol. When the Britishers lodged the Italian prisoners of war in Yol in 1942, the area started becoming popular. In addition to the Italian POWs, political and other prisoners were also lodged here. Italian POWs first used Yol as an abbreviation of Your Own Lines. Later, when the Army formations started making the place their base, it acquired a new name — Young Officers Leave Camp.
In olden times, Yol and its adjoining villages were called Papi Nagri. According to a legend, the king of the area fell in love with a damsel. The girl, however, did not want to marry him. He tried to abduct her, but she ran away and transformed herself into a rock near a temple at Narwana.
Later, a huge landslide caused a lot of destruction in the area. A number of villages were destroyed by the landslide.
Yol has a strong connection with World War II. More than 11,000 Italian prisoners of war were brought and confined here by the British rulers. The POWs were captured by the British army from different parts of the world. Apart from soldiers, the prisoners included doctors, professors and writers. The camp was set up in 1942 on the slopes between Khas-Yol and Narwana villages. The barracks built for the POWs were spread over 770 acres. Mostly wood was used for the construction of these barracks. The camp was set up in a record time of six months. The construction work started in April 1941 and was completed in October in the same year. It was an ideal place for the POWs, as the Italians soon acclimatised to the cold climes of Yol.
Almost all the barracks and other buildings constructed during the 40s at Yol have withstood the onslaught of weather and time. The barracks at Yol are a legacy of the British rule in India. Today, these stand as a mute witness to the memories of thousands of POWs who spent over four years there. The entire stretch of about 10 km between Dharamsala and Yol is replete with numerous stories and legends about the lifestyle of Italian POWs. They were lodged in four camps and one of the commandants (appointed out of the POWs themselves) was Chachera Lavera. He used to exercise strict control over the movements of other prisoners. However, it is said that almost all prisoners of war, except the hardcore ones, had the full liberty to move around. They were free to roam around and could even walk miles together on the outskirsts of the camp. It is heartening to note that they ‘enjoyed’ their stay in India though they were thousands of miles away from their country.
Eightyeight-year-old Vidyawati Thapa, a resident of Dari village near Dharamsala, spoke of an Italian POW who got friendly with her husband, Ram Kishan Thapa. The Italian often visited their house and cooked food for himself in the courtyard of their house. He cooked in a makeshift hearth. "My husband developed gout in his right foot. The Italian brought medicine for him from the camp and soon my husband was cured. I have forgotten his name, but he had got close to our family. Despite the language problem, many a POW succeeded in developing good family relations with the locals. So much so that a few POWs got a piece of land leased out for themselves to grow vegetables, with only a verbal understanding. I have seen two Italians growing tomatoes in one of the fields at Dari village. I feel they were not happy with the food served to them in the camp."
Ninetytwo-year-old Brigadier (retd) Sher Jung Thapa has also closely watched the activities of POWs in Yol. He says, "I saw a few POWs selling their rugs to get Indian currency. They would even sell fruits given to them in ration. They reportedly even went to the extent of brewing local liquor within the four walls of their camp. Their frequent visits to the villages evoked a lot of anxiety and inquisitiveness among the locals. Mostly, I saw them in a holiday mood, as if they had come to India for a picnic. They behaved like tourists and resentment or remorse about their being away from their homeland eluded their faces. I remember that two POWs had deserted the camp and they crossed over to Tibet and one of them later wrote a book on Tibet."
It is believed that one of the prisoners tried to escape by jumping over the stockade. But he was soon shot dead by British soldiers. The dead Italian was buried outside the stockade and a stone slab was erected, with an inscription in Italian that said, "I fell here". The lone grave of the Italian POW can still be seen inside Yol cantonment.
While on the one hand it is said that POWs at Yol had freedom to roam around without fear, on the other hand separate barracks for hardcore prisoners were created within the camp. They were isolated and kept in enclosed barracks surrounded by a high wall, called stockade. A huge rock with iron chains inside the Army formation is still intact. It is believed that hardcore POWs and Indian political prisoners were tortured there.
One of the most notable remnants is a memorial erected by the POWs. It was raised with the help of locally available slates. No cement or mortar has been used to build the memorial. A pair of big slates atop symbolises the freedom that Italian prisoners kept yearning for. At the centre of the memorial there is an inscription written on a big grey slate and tied with chains. It states: "The rather uncommon stone relic was made by the Italian prisoners housed in the Yol POW camp from 1941 to 1946. The topmost pair of stones are symbolic of men’s unsatiated thirst for freedom, depicted here as a pair of wings of a bird, struggling to free itself from captivity. The rest of the structure represents prison walls.... This beautiful idea enshrines the tribute which this band of Italians, although captives, left behind this emblem of human spirit, for posterity to uphold and emulate.... To this day it stands undisturbed by fellow soldiers and spared even by the unforging fury of both nature and time."
The authorities at Yol Camp had also made arrangements for the entertainment of POWs. Sham Lal Maini, a leading industrialist, financer and distributor of Indian films in the forties, was instrumental in opening the first cinema hall at Yol Camp. Indian and Foreign films were shown to the POWs in batches as the capacity of the cinema hall was small and only 200 persons could be accommodated.
Another building of historical importance near Yol is "Phansighar" and is situated in Tokabani village. Today, Phansighar is in a dilapidated condition and has been encroached upon by villagers. They use it as a cowshed. Though locals call it Phansighar, it appears to be a dumping place for garbage. How this building, made from pucca bricks, came to be known as Phansighar remains a mystery.
Yol Camp was used as a refugee camp for rehabilitating people uprooted from western Pakistan after Independence of the country. More than 20,000 refugees had taken shelter at the camp. According to locals, once a dispute between the refugees led to police firing in which some refugees and one police officer was killed. In 1947-48, a part of Yol Camp was used by the Jammu and Kashmir militia as a training centre. After shifting the militia camp, a part of Yol Camp was given to an Army unit in 1957. Gradually, the refugees were taken out of Yol Camp and settled in other parts of Kangra district. Most of them have settled in the Narwana, Sidhwari, Dharamsala region, and Yol.
The entire belt of 10 km between Dharamsala and Yol has been covered by haphazard constructions. The mushrooming of pucca houses with cement rooftops are in fact not in harmony with the hill architecture. However, a quaint mixture of old hill architecture with slates, rooftops and concrete housing structures can be seen from Dharamsala up to the Yol cantonment
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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