Kandi Lodge: Witness India 's Checkered Colonial Past
Kandi Lodge and Punishment Point are completely off the tourist beat. Just a short walk away from Sterling Mussoorie, these places hold dark secrets of the British Raj.
The 2.5 km, early morning hike from Sterling Mussoorie to Kandi Lodge has a lot to offer. This fairly easy hike up a narrow paved road that weaves its way quietly through an ancient oak and cypress forest, is always ringing with the calls of busy birds. This is the road that leads to Kandi Lodge, a ruin shrouded in mist and myth. The derelict mansion stands on the edge of a cliff overlooking the village of Kandi. The doors are shuttered and the windows are locked. The cracks in its facade offer a glimpse into its history.
It is said that the place had a caretaker once. The stories died with him. Today, no one is quite sure who the place belongs to and how it came about. It is said to have belonged to an affluent Indian, and many recall Nehru as a frequent guest. Was Kandi Lodge a social point for Indians or a political one? We can only speculate. But what is certain is that the lodge was a witness to one of the darkest constructs of the Raj - the Punishment Point.
Whoever stayed at the Kandi Lodge must have heard many a tortured wail come up from the valley below and heard the desperate rattle of their windows. These were the agonized screams of the prisoners held by the British at Punishment Point. Locals say that they were mostly freedom fighters, brought in from the plains. The Kandi Lodge offers a bird's eye view of the place. It is a forbidden chapter in India's history and understandably closed to the public.
Good to know :
Sterling Mussoorie would be happy to organise this journey it for you.
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