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Gemoor Khar (Khar means a palace or manor house ) was the estate of Thakur Mangal Chand (1886 -1969), Rais and Ex Wazir of Lahaul . His father Thakur Hari Chand became the ruler of Lahaul in 1877 with his seat in Khangsar Khar (which is about 2 km from here as the crow flies) On Thakur Hari Chand’s death in 1900 Mangal Chands elder brother Rai Bahadur Thakur Amar Chand succeeded the Waziri who unfortunately died young . Thakur Mangal Chand acted as the Wazir of Lahaul till his nephew Thakur Pratap Chand came of age . Lahaul, being crucial to the British as it was en route to Leh and the Silk Route , was administered directly by them through the Wazir.

Gemoor Khar was a grand 5 storey manor house with large stables .It had more than 40 rooms to accommodate visiting guests . The Khar was practically the last outpost on the inhospitable route between Lahaul and Ladakh .It hummed with activity during the summer months with traders , officials , European explorers and scholars enjoying the hospitality of Thakur Mangal Chand , his wife Shema Palmo and his daughter in law Shema Sonam Youngzin . The Thakur himself was a man of many parts - explorer , administrator , painter , linguist , amchi and a progressive farmer. The family has been mentioned in various accounts of important travellers , the principal ones being Moorcraft who met Thakur Dharam Chand , the grand father of Thakur Mangal Chand in 1823. Some of the important visitors and writers to the Khar were Pandit Rahul Sanskritayan (Yatra ke Panne) , Nicholas Reorich , Theodore Roosevelt Jr (East Of The Sun And West Of The Moon), 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 more. Later in 1975 Mrs Indira Gandhi the then PM of India also visited the Khar.

The Thakurs of Lahaul (Kolong) are an old family with a lineage going 24 generations back. The founder was Rana Nil Pal , a Rajput prince who was driven out of his place in Bir in Mandi district by the Raja of Mandi across Bara Bangal into Lahoul in C 900. Here he fell in love with the daughter of the local chief who had no sons and married her thereby starting the lineage . (Antiquities of Western Tibet by AH Franke ) The family till today has both Buddhist as well as Hindu names .

Thakur Hari Chand made his fortune by trading in sapphire from Paddar in Jammu .His elder son Thakur Amar Chand fought the I World War in Mesopotamia along with his Lahauli troops . The members of this family were often the British Trade Agents in Gartok in Tibet , the prominent amongst them being Thakur Jai Chand a cousin of Thakur Mangal Chand

Later in 1948 the family played a very crucial role in saving Ladakh when the raiders from across the border attacked and took it by surprise . Major Thakur Khushal Chand , the elder son of Thakur Mangal Chand along with is cousin Major Thakur Prithi Chand and another close relative Subedar Thakur Bhim Chand were specially selected by General Thimayya and sent to Ladakh to defend it . The Thakurs had strong bonds with Ladakh as they married into its royal family and shared a common language and culture. ( Even today the Rani and Ex MP of Ladakh Diskit Wangmo is from this family and the Rimpoche incarnate of Rizong Gompa in Ladakh ie Tsultrim Nima is the eldest grandson of Thakur Mangal Chand ). They trained and raised local militia (which later became Ladakh Scouts) and through guerrilla tactics kept the enemy at bay till the reinforcements reached Ladakh . For their acts of bravery both the cousins were decorated with Maha Vir Chakra , the second highest wartime gallantry award in the country, and Bhim Chand was awarded Bar to Vir Chakra . The Chorten in Khalatse in Ladakh built by the family with support from people of Ladakh is a testimonial to their bravery and sacrifice. There will indeed be few families in the country more decorated than the Thakurs of Lahaul !

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 was built in 2003 to carry on with its tradition of hospitality and warmth for visiting travellers. The house was consecrated by HH Tri Galden Sres Rimpoche of Rizong in 2004.

The property is presently owned by Thakur Ashok Chand IAS the younger son of Col. Khushal Chand MVC and grandson of Thakur Mangal Chand .He retired as Education Secretary of India ,Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2014