Established in the year 1920, Andretta is an artist's colony situated in Himachal Pradesh near Palampur in the Kangra District. The city has now become a famous tourists attraction because of its beauty and peaceful environment. Andretta has attracted a number of artists including theatre practitioners, painters and even pottery makers.
A young women named Noorah Richard established the town of Andretta. She was an Irish-born actress and theatre practitioner who got married to Phillip Richard. She stayed for some time in Lahore. But after her husband's death, she came to Andretta, near Palampur and made this place as her home. She built a Kangra-style mud house by using mud, slate and bamboo and named it as 'Chameli Niwas' In 1935, the district commissioner of Kangra gave Richards 15 acres of land and this led to the existence of woodland Estate. She even used to invite Punjabi theatres, amateurs and professionals to perform here. Slowly the place started attracting tourists especially artists from around the world.
In this artist colony of Andretta, there is a small residency of Mirage which is preffered by most of the tourists. This residency offers a number of functions such as hosting travellers, Yoga groups, and the workshops of different artists. We can even find here a museum of Indian furniture and artefacts.
Apart from that, Andretta is a peaceful village and preferred by nature lovers. We often call it as birders paradise as it has 550 different species of birds, including cuckoo, flycatcher, minivet and resident or altitude migrant species of thrush, barbet, woodpecker, robins, bulbuls, fantail, tits, sunbirds, kingfisher, owl, craks, warbler, finch, redstart, chat and babbler.
Some nearby attractions around Andretta include the Bajinath Temple which is amongst the oldest temples in north India dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Jwalamukhi Mata Temple which is recognised as one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of India.
The temperature of Andretta is classified as warm and temperate. one can experience a good deal of rainfall in summers whereas winters here have very little rainfall. On an average, the temperature remains highest in June whereas it remains coldest in the month of January. Most of the rainfall falls in the month of August whereas the least amount of rainfall occurs in November. The average annual temperature remains 20.5 degree Celsius.
HOW TO REACH ANDRETTA
The nearest airport Andretta is Dharamshala (Gaggal Airport). It s at a distance of 45 km from Andretta. Daily flight from Delhi are available for Dharamshala.
Nearest railway station to Andretta is Pathankot. Regular trains are available from Delhi to Pathankot. From Pathankot, you can take toy trains uptil Panchrukhi (2 km from Andretta).
Andretta is only 535 km away from Delhi. Frequent bus services are available between from Delhi to Palampur. The village of Andretta is just 12 km away from Palampur. Bus services from Palampur to Andretta are very frequent.
WHAT TO DO IN ANDRETTA
• Delight in theatres and plays organised by artists and appreciate their art.
• Get immersed in the beauty of nature and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Andretta.
• Visit the famous Andretta Pottery and craft Society and try your hand at pottery
• Have a look at small family-run gallery of Shobha Singh's works in Andretta and buy prints of Some of his paintings here.