Fateh Veer Singh Guram, Travel @ The Hush Post: A small town located in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, Arki is quite famous for its magnificent palace. However, it is not just the palace that draws large crows to this erstwhile royal capital. There are a number of temples which adorn the hills around Arki, and these light up with joy and pomp during the very many festivals that are celebrated throughout the year.
Arki was the capital of the Baghal princely state. The town was founded by Rana Ajai Dev, who was a Panwar Rajput from the Dhar State of Madhya Pradesh. Baghal was founded in the 11 th century and Arki was made the capital in 1643.
The town of Arki has been planned meticulously by its ruler, Rana Kishan Singh, who ruled between 1840-1867. Many artisans and craftsmen came and settled in Arki, where the raja had provided them tax-free land.
The town has an average elevation of around 3200 feet.
Places to Visit:
The fort was built between 1695-1700 by the ruler of Arki, Rana Prithvi Singh, who was a descendant of Rana Sabha Chand. When the fort was taken over by the Gurkhas in 1806, the Rana had to flee to Nalagarh, and the Gurkhas made the fort their stronghold from where they made further advances into Himachal, till as far as Kangra.
The wall paintings on the fort are splendid, and the Diwan Khana contains some exquisite specimens of such paintings. It is believed that the paintings are around 300 years old.
Luturu Mahadev Temple:
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple was built by the Raja of Bhagal in 1621. Legend has it that Lord Shiva visited the raja in his dream and asked him to build the temple at its current location. This 370-year-old temple is built in the classic Shikhara style of architecture.
This temple has also been constructed in the classic Shikhara style of architecture. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the temple is considered to be one of the Shaktipeeths of Himachal Pradesh.
Laxmi Narayan Temple:
This is one of the oldest temples of the state, with some people saying it is over 1,000 years old. This temple has withstood numerous invasions and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, and Narasimhan. There are beautiful sculptures and figurines which adorn the temple.
Shakhni Mahadev Temple:
This temple too is built in the Shikhara style of architecture. Built in a cave, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva and one can enjoy magnificent views of the upper reaches of the Himalayas from here.
Best time to Visit:
Since Arki is located at a comfortable height of around 3200 metres, the temperature hovers around a comfortable 25-32 degrees in the summer months of April, May, June and mid-July. However, the area becomes prone to landslides in the monsoon season. The temperatures fall a little in the autumn months of September and October, and the area becomes chilly during the winter seasons
How to Reach:
Arki lies at a distance of 60 kilometres from district headquarters, Solan. The state capital, Shimla, lies at a distance of 39 kilometres.
Chandigarh and Delhi are at a distance of 88 kilometres and 340 kilometres, respectively.
The nearest railway station to Arki is in Shimla, as is the nearest airport.