Recently while driving to Bir Billing, we got a chance to stay in Nadaun. What a pleasant surprise it turned out to be. We had already driven over 400 kms from New Delhi when in the late evening we stopped at Nadaun, a small town in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh.
It lies on the banks of river Beas at the foothills of Shivalik range. Formerly it was one of the princely state of Kangra and was basically a trading town. People would come from nearby towns by boats, climb the stairs and camp in what is now know as the Ramlila Maidan, right at the top of stairs. Next morning they would shop in the bazaar and head back home.
Such was the aura of this town that Bulleh Shah in his famous poem “Bulla ki janna mein kaun” says “na mein rehnda vich nadaun’ and after that the saying gained prominence “Aaye Nadaun Jaaye Kaun”.
Steps leading to the docks on the river Beas.
View from the Ramlia maidan of the river.
The market in Nadaun is laid out lengthwise and you can practically find anything here from vegetables & fruits to clothes and jewellery. While we were there it was 2 days to Karvachauth, so the market was unusually busy.
Inside the market there is a shop which sells Kulcha Chana and Aloo tikki, which are also served with the chanas. The chanas are unbelievably good. I have tried chana in Old Delhi too but this was way above all that.
Had to grab this moment to click this shot.
Kucha chana (left) Aloo tikki (right) and the legendary chanas which are cooked overnight on a slow fire. The man behind these chanas.
Though by the time we hit the market on our return journey it was way past lunch time and the chanawallah had to literally scrap his bartan to give us chana. He however, made fresh tikkis for us.
While in the market, I came across some very interesting characters, one of them plays Ravan in the local Ramlila, and was kind of a local celebrity ( in a check shirt).
“Chana jor garam” don’t miss the kadahai on the thela.
We also visited a very old Shiv temple and left the town wishing for more. What an heavenly experience it was visiting this town and meeting incredible people during our stay.