Hanumangarh, the name itself optimistically describes the sacredness of the place. Don’t be confused with the Hanumangarh located in Rajasthan. The Hanumangarh we are going to describe is in Himachal Pradesh. Situated in the lap of Dhauladhar Ranges, Hanumangarh is a great place for adventure enthusiasts. Hanumangarh is the summit of the mountain located just located at 5 km from the Rajgundha Valley. Primarily, Rajgundha and Kukargundha are twin villages that provide a decent view of the environment. The upper-side of the village is called the Rajgundha(main village) and lower-side(Kukkar-Gundha). The Upper-Rajgundha consists of a total of 30 houses and the Lower-Rajgundha consists of 25 houses. These two are well connected with another village but have no connectivity to the road. The only way to get here is via trekking. The valley is full of flora and fauna. One can observe a variety of birds and trees here. Earlier, the valley was under the wildlife sanctuary but now the village area is converted into agricultural land. The houses here are built in the traditional way using mud and stone. The primary source of people here is agriculture. The people here live for only 6 months and then migrate to another place to save their cattle from heavy snowfall during the winter season.
A Glimpse of the Valley :
Both the upper and lower Rajgundha are at a distance of 15-20 minutes. The peak of the valley is referred to as “Hanuman Garh”. Hanumangarh is situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The place is located above an elevation of 3080 meters above sea level. The place offers a complete 360 view of the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. The Hanumangarh is the tallest mountain peak around and during clear weather, it offers an enormous view of the nearby places such as Badagran, Nalhota, Thati, Kothi Kohad, and Bir. One of the special things about this place is that the surrounding passes here like Nohru Pass, Thamsar Pass, Jalsu Pass, Chainna Pass, and Sari Pass are clearly visible from the valley.
There is not even a single house in Hanumangarh, the place is miles far and miles away from civilization. The place is tranquil and alone, even the nearest human population is 5 km away in the Rajgundha. The main Hanumangarh is constituted of the Hanumangarh Fort and a Lord Hanuman Temple. The Hanumangarh Fort dissipates as time passes and now only remains of the Fort have been left. The Temple here is devoted to the Lord Hanuman, who is said to be protecting the place against bad evils. The fort and temple belonged to the Bhangaliya king who was a divine-soul and true devotee of the Lord Hanuman. He used to pray regularly and light up a huge Lamp(Diya) of pure ghee as an offering to his God.
Historical Significance :
There are a number of legends behind the Hanumangarh Fort. Earlier, the Hanumanagrh was ruled by the Bhangalia King belonging to the Bhangalia clan of the Chota and the Bara Bhangal. The Bhangaliya King sister was married to the king of Mandi. Once Mandi’s King and his wife(Bhangaliya King’s sister) were discussing about the Bhangal region, but in the middle of the conversation, the wife praised the Bhangaliya King a number of times. This makes Mandi’s King envious of the well flourishing prosperity and wealth of the Bhangaliya King. So, he decided to destroy the empire and the fame of the Bhangaliya King to show his dominance. The Mandi’s King wanted to capture all the villages and areas under the Bhangalia King. So, once Mandi’s King deceived the Bhangalia King by spreading the fake news of his wife (Bhangalia King’s sister) illness. So, Bhanagaliya King started his journey down riding his horse, but the horse was not willing to move even a little inch. The Bhangalia King at that time was anxious about his sister’s health, so he forced his horse to move.
After reaching Mandi, at the entry bridge, the horse again resisted entering Mandi. But again the Bhangaliya King forced the horse to accompany him with the remaining journey. The horse was behaving this way as he sub-consciously feared that something wrong was going to happen. The horse fear was then transmuted into existence when after entering the gate of the Mandi Fort, the Bhangalia King’s head had been slaughtered by the Mandi’s King. The king’s head had been hanged at the top of the entry gate, and the Mandi King was repeatedly admiring his dexterity and dominance over the Bhangalia King. The Bhangalia King head was then buried under the famous clock tower of Mandi’s Indira Market.
After this immoral act of the Mandi’s King the whole Mandi Valley get cursed. The curse of killing a divine soul had to be beared by the Mandi people due to which the people continuously start dying at a young age. The worried Mandi king then gets in touch with a priest. After analyzing the whole situation, the priest asked Mandi King to treat the departed King Bhangalia with honor. But the curse of killing a pure soul was to be bear by the people of Mandi. There were deaths in the town, so eventually, the Mandi King visited a priest. This priest after analyzing the situation, the priest asked to Honor King Bhangaliya. So carrying the same tradition every year, during the Shivratri(Hindu Festival) a procession of horses leads their way ahead to a temple which belonged to the Bhangaliya King.
Best time to visit :
The climate here remains cold throughout the whole year. The valley maintains natural beauty throughout the year and provides different experiences in different seasons which has been described below:
Summer Season: The valley is definitely a good place and experiences a cool temperature throughout the whole year. It is a great place for those who want to escape the scorching heat during summer. The summer season here starts from March to June. You can experience cool and calm air during the season and can wander between the green fields which pleasures your mind and body. The temperature rises here during summer days. You could wear half-sized clothes during the day but it is advisable to carry some warm clothes as the temperature may decrease during the night and early mornings. During this season, whenever it rains, it gets accompanied by hailstones.
Monsoon Season: The monsoon season marks its presence from July and ends till mid-September. The monsoon season here is accompanied by heavy rains. The roads get closed and bridges over the river get collapsed due to heavy rainfall and a number of landslides occur during the season. The temperature during monsoon rises down as compared to the summer. Trekking here is possible during the monsoon season but depends upon the weather as landslides may happen due to hefty rain. Despite weather conditions, monsoon season here is regarded as the best season for the professional trekkers admiring to take the Thamsar Pass trek.
Winter Season: The winter season starts here in October and ends in February. During the winter season, the climate here become coldest through the year. The period during the winter season is great to experience Hanumangarh. The whole valley is covered with snow and the weather becomes pleasant. The temperature here during the winter season gets lowered down, but not as much that you cannot tolerate. The months of January and February get a number of snowfalls and the valley gets completely covered by the snow up to 8-10 inches. Warm clothes and snowshoes are compulsory in this winter season. You can enjoy the snow trek here which is a mind-blowing experience. But if the density of snow is high, then the trekking activity gets postponed.
How to Reach :
There are no roads connecting Hanumangarh Valley to other villages. The only way to reach here is via trekking. To reach Hanumangarh, you have to reach Rajgundha first. Hanumangarh is 5 km away from the Rajgundha. After reaching Rajgundha, there are two ways to choose from to reach Hanumangarh. The first one is through a local road which is wider and fairly constructed. The other one passes directly through an uphill. Both the ways are surrounded by dense forests. So, to reach Rajgundha you have to visit either Billing or Barot to start trekking. The route for the trekking is:
a)Billing – Rajgundha – Hanumangarh
b)Barot – Rajgundha – Hanumangarh
The Billing – Hanumangarh trek route covers a distance of around 19 km and the second one i.e, Barot – Hanumangarh covers a distance of 12 km. The information on to reach either Barot or Billing is described below:
1)How to reach Bir Billing: To visit Billing, you have to first reach Bir. Billing is about 14 km from Bir. After reaching Bir, you can directly hire a cab to reach Billing which will take around 45-60 minutes. This will cost you around 500-1000 INR. However, if you are heading up in your own car, then you can simply park it on the Billing site. You will be charged for parking there but it is mostly safe. Now finally from Billing, you can head over to the Rajgundha which is 14 km from the Billing. In order to find more information on how to reach Bir-Billing, then you can read our descriptive article on Bir.
2)How to reach Barot: If you are planning to opt for Barot to Rajgundha, then you need to reach Barot first. The steps to reach Barot are discussed below. After reaching Barot, you have to hire a taxi up to BadaGraan village which is around 20km from the Barot. It will cost you near about 600-800 INR and a time period of about 50-60 minutes. After reaching Barot, you can start the trek up to Rajgundha which is a 7 km trek. In order to find more information on how to reach Barot, then you can read our descriptive article on Barot.
Why to Visit?
If one wants to satisfy the wanderlust in him, then the place is a must to visit. This beautiful offbeat location is a once must visit by trekking enthusiasts. The place offers a tranquil environment for travelers with a great essence of natural beauty. The place is close to a number of other great travel destinations such as Barot, Bir Billing, Rajgundha, and a number of other trekking trails. The place offers an enormous view of the nearest destinations. This place maintains a pleasant environment throughout the year which is great for people wanting to explore nature to its fullest far from any disturbances.
ATM and Cash Availability :
There is no single ATM in Hanumangarh. The nearest ATM to Hanumangarh is at Multhan located in Barot which is a 20km trek from here. So, carry a sufficient amount of cash with you before heading towards Hanumangarh.
Network Availability :
There is low network coverage in the Hanumangarh. For important calls, just attend them in the Rajgundha. At Rajgundha, the two ISP’s Jio and BSNL works fine.