OVERVIEW | A Heritage Himalayan Homestay
A New Zealander's vision, The Mirage is a multi-function residency hosting travelers, yoga groups and artist/acting workshops. It is situated in a cluster of traditional Himachali mud houses which have lovingly been restored to an inviting homestay with fully modern amenities.
Set amongst dense foliage in the artist's colony of Andretta, against a backdrop of jungle & bamboo groves of the Shivalik Hills, The Mirage is a veritable museum of hand picked Indian furniture and artefacts with the mighty Dhauladhar range and its snow-capped peaks looming like a curtain across the Kangra Valley.
Andretta artists colony was started some 75 years ago by an Irish woman named Norah Richards, who acquired the land from the District Commissioner of Kangra in 1935. A fascinating story which links Andretta today directly to Bollywood via some of Indian cinema's greatest actors, Norah Richards was brought to Andretta at the insistence of Jaya Dayal of Lahore University, the man who built the Mirage in 1948. According to the late cine actor Shammi Kapoor, "he was in love with her & she with Shakespeare". (Google "Andretta Artists Village" for the full story)
Down the path from the Mirage is the Andretta Pottery, a famous institution founded by one of Norah's artist friends, Sardar Gurcharan Singh, the master of blue pottery in India at the time, and now run by his son Mansimran Singh & his wife Mary. He & Mary run long term residential pottery courses for students from all over the world. Go to www.andrettapottery.com for more on that story.