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Gemoor Khar and The Thakurs of Lahoul

Gemoor Khar , established in 1920, was the estate of Thakur Mangal Chand (1886 -1969) Rais and Ex Wazir of Lahaul . The Khar, meaning manor house, was a grand 5 storey mansion with more than 40 rooms and large stables . This was practically the last outpost on this inhospitable but important trade route connecting India to the Silk Route via Ladakh and Karakorum Pass.

During the summer months the place hummed with activity, with trader, officials, European explorers and scholars stopping over to relax and enjoy the hospitality of the Thakur and to prepare themselves for the arduous journey ahead.

Pandit Rahul Sanskritayan the renowned Tibetologist mentions about the family in his book “Yatra Ke Panne” . So do Nichlos Roerich (Shambala), Theodore Roosevelt Jr (East of the Sun and West of the Moon) , Moorcroft (Moorcroft and Trebeck) , Huge Whistler (In the High Himalayas ) , Tyacke R (In Quest of Game In Kullu ), Wilson Andrew (The Abode of Snow), AP Harcourt (Himalayan District of Kooloo Lahoul and Spiti) , GC Bruce (Twenty Years in Himalayas) GD Khosla (The Himalayan Circuit ) and many others. Mrs Indira Gandhi the PM visited the Khar in 1975.

Unfortunately the Khar was damaged due to earthquake and seepage from the hill side and had to be pulled down in 1986. The estate in its present form as a summer retreat (family generally stays in Manali) was built in 2003 to carry on with its tradition of hospitality and warmth for the visiting travellers.

The property is presently owned by Thakur Ashok Chand IAS , who retired as Education Secretary to Government of India in 2014, and his wife Sarojini Thakur IAS . They have two sons Khushal Chand Thakur and Rohan Chand Thakur IAS.

Thakur Amar Chand ruler of Lahoul with his younger brother Thakur Mangal Chand ​

Thakur Mangal Chand with his wife Shema Palmo and son Khushal

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