Kangra At a Glance!

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About Kangra

it is situated at an altitude of 610 Meters above the sea level. A land of glorious history is famous for its beautiful ancient temples and picturesque surroundings. It lies between the beautiful Dhauladhar and Shivalik Ranges. The Kanga town was founded by Katoch Kshatruja Rajput of Chandervanshi Clan. The beautiful town has been sacked many times because of the wealth assembled within the Vajreshwari temple. A famous looter Mahmud of Ghazni got attracted towards the temple and looted it in 1009 A.D. Tughlaq who was the ruler of Delhi Sultanate also looted it in 1360. Kangra is famous for Kangra painting, the pictorial art of the district is one of the finest gift to the art world.

Tourist Attractions Type Interesting Facts
Dal Lake Adventure It is situated at an height of 1775 meters above the sea level at a road connecting the Mcleodganj and Naddi village. Its name is taken from the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. The Lake is surrounded by Deodar forests and offers an amazing sceneries and cool ambiance to enjoy. On the bank of Dal Lake there is a famous sacred temple of Lord Shiva. Because of this temple the lake is considered as the sanctified Lake. According to many famous legends and myths, fishes in the Lake are never caught or eaten as it is believed that the Lake is cursed.
A fair is organized on the month of September which is attended by the people of Gaddi tribe in a large number. The area around Dal Lake is a natural paradise. Dal Lake falls on the road to Naddi, one of the finest places in Dharamshala. Another road branches off from Dal Lake road to Strawberry Hills, a very fine place to explore around Dal Lake.
It is also a perfect picnic spot and one can also enjoy the boating and many other activities.
Mclodganj Leisure A number of residential buildings, restaurants, antique and curio shops, together with famous Tibetan institutions have lent importance to McLeod Ganj. The Buddha temple is situated opposite to the present abode of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and is worth a visit. The Tibetan Institute of performing Arts (TIPA) is 1km. walk from McLeod Ganj and preserves a number of musical dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet.
Kangra Fort Heritage It is the most prominent attractions of Kangra district.the fort is spread in an area of 4 Kms and is guarded by the high walls. Built by Bhuma Chand, it is the largest fort in Himalayas and the oldest dated fort in India. The fort of Kangra resisted Akbar’s siege in 1615. However, Akbar’s son Jehangir successfully subdued the fort in 1620, forcing the submission of the Raja of Chamba, the greatest of all the rajas in the region. Mughal Emperor Jahangir with the help of Suraj Mal garrisoned with his troops. The Katoch Kings repeatedly looted Mughal controlled regions, weakening the Mughal control and with the decline of Mughal power, Raja Sansar Chand-II succeeded in recovering the ancient fort of his ancestors, in 1789. Maharaja Sansar Chand fought multiple battles with Gurkhas on one side and Sikh King Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the other. Sansar Chand used to keep his neighboring Kings jailed, and this led to conspiracies against him. During a battle between the Sikhs and Katochs, the gates of the fort had been kept open for supplies.
The Gurkha army entered the opened scarcely armed gates in 1806. This forced an alliance between Maharaja Sansar Chand and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Subsequently in 1809 the Gurkha army was defeated and they had to retreat across Sutlej River. The Fort remained with the Katochs until 1828 when Ranjit Singh annexed it after Sansar Chand’s death. The fort was under the possession of different dynasties from Mahmud Ghazni to Ranjit Singh. Before handling it to the British Government Sikhs were the last Indian rulers who possessed this fort.
The entrance of the gate is known as Ranjit Singh gate designed with stoned carving. The next entrance gate is known as Jahangiri Darwaza followed by Ahni anad Amiri Darwazas.
There are three temples inside the fort called Ambika Devi Temple, Shitlamata Temple and Lakshmi Narayan Temple. There is also a temple dedicated to Jaina Tirthankaras where a stone image of Lord Adinath is installed. There are also remains of a historical mosque. The first attack on the fort was made by the Raja of Kashmir Shreshtha in 470 AD. The fort resist Akbar siege in 1615. Maharaja Sansar Chand fought multiple battles with Gurkhas. The Sikh king Maharaja Ranjit Singh also fought battle with Gurkhas. In 1809 the Gurkha army was defeated and the Gurkha army moving back across the Sutlej river.
The Kangra fort is now under the control of Archaeological Survey of India. The fort was badly damaged by earthquake on 4th April 1905.
Namgyal Monastery Pilgrimage It is a popular Tibetan Buddhist Monastery that was founded for the purpose to assist the Dalai Lama in his spiritual duties and other religious activities. The Monastery was first founded in 1575 at Patala Palace,Tibet it was then shifted to Dharamshala. The monastery currently houses around 200 Tibetan Monks who help to preserve the monastery’s ancient rituals, artistic skills and traditions.
It is also functioning as a center of learning and meditating on the profound Buddhist treatises. The monk of the Monastery goes through a strict course of training that includes studying philosophy, sacred arts, meditation and debates. The institute is one of its kinds in providing education which specializes in Tantra and Sutra. Getting admission in the institute is very tough. Men have to prove their mettle, by qualifying the difficult training. After the successful completion of training, young lamas are taken in. The process of study becomes tougher from this point onwards. The students have to spend for 13 years, following rigorous routine, and attaining knowledge. These 13 years lead to a Master of Sutra and Tantra degree, which is unique to Namgyal. The faculty here includes the leading spiritual leaders of Tibet, along with Dalai Lama.
Another peculiar thing about the institute is that Dalai Lama himself teaches the students, thus providing them with the most blessed knowledge. This is passed only to the students studying in this institute.
Masroor Rock Cut Temple Heritage It is located at an elevation of 235 Meters above the sea level is situated around 40 Kms from Kangra Township. It is a unique monolithu structure in the sub Himalayan Region and is one of the unexplored temples in Himachal Pradesh. The temple was built in 7th Century from the single rock with description of various deities. 14 temples are cut only from the outside, but central temple in this complex is also cut from inside. Overall, the complex consists of 15 shikara (tower) temples carved on the rock ridge over a ridge of 159 feet (48 m) length and width of 105 feet (32 m), with the central of Thakurdwara flanked by seven temples on either side which have carvings only on the outer surfaces.
The main shrines contain three stone images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, and in centre stand a figure of Shiva. The view of the clad Ranges of Dhauladhar is picturesque. In front of the temple there is a pond which remains filled with water throughout the year and reflects the magnificent image of these temples.
Kangra valley experienced an earthquake in 1905 and the temple suffered heavily damage and partly turned into ruins.
Heritage institutions have done much to preserve and renew this amazing structure.
Bir Biling Adventure Paragliding is special recreational adventure activity of flying Paraglider in air. Paragliding is very adventurous activity which requires special skills to experience safe. Paragliding can be done solo and Tandem. Bir Biling is the best spot for paragliding aero-sport in India and 2nd place for paragliding in world. It hosted Paragliding World cup in 2015. Many pilots from around the world from 140 countries participated in it. Mr. Arvind Paul was the 1st among Indian in paragliding World Cup and he is the one who handle all the paragliding flights. He makes sure all the safety measures during paragliding flights.
Himalayas and beautiful Kangra Valley on the other side. Bir Billing is regarded as one of the best adventure sport destination by Indians as well as foreigners.
Paragliding is possible throughout the year except the monsoons. Monsoon is here from July to late September.
Pragpur Heritage Village The area of Pragpur was part of the Principality of Jaswan whose chief, in the late 16th or early 17th Century charged a band of learned men, led by a Kuthiala Sood, to find a suitable place to commemorate Princess 'Prag' of his royal lineage. The Soods are a special community laying claim to being Agnivanshis - born of a sacred fire - with references to them in ancient Hindu texts like the Rig Veda. At the time when Simla was the summer capital of the British Raj the Soods from around Pragpur owned more than half of it, and they still continue to be the dominant community.
Pragpur is home to a country manor, designed in Indo-European tradition called the Judge’s Court. This structure was constructed in 1918 out of the vision of Justice Sir Jai Lal. It is spread in an area of 12 acres. It is now converted to a Heritage hotel by government.
Haripur Guler Heritage Guler State was a historical princely state in the area between 1405, when the state was founded, and 1813 when it was annexed by Punjab.
Guler was famous as the cradle of the Kangra paintings. Guler painting is the early phase of Kangra Kalam. Some Hindu artists who were trained in Mughal style sought the patronage of the Rajas of Guler in the Kangra Valley at the middle of the eighteenth century.
Haripur is a township in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Haripur Guler is twin townships carrying the heritage of Guler Riyasat. A river separates the two towns which further makes Pong wetland, a Ramsar Wetland Site, home to a large number of migratory birds in winters because of marshes and irrigated private land.
On the other side of Haripur town, Guler is situated which is connected from Pathankot station to Jogindernagar station by a railway gauge. The area is currently facing shortage of employment but it can be developed if state and centre authorities will look after the potential and the socio-cultural importance of the area.
HPCA stadium Adventure The stadium is situated at an elevation of 1457 Meters above the sea level. It is one of the most picturesque cricket stadium in the world beholding the beautiful snow capped Dhauladhar Ranges in the backdrop. the construction work of the stadium started in 2002 and it was inaugurated a year later in 2003. The first international match to be hosted on this stadium was the ODI match between England and India in January, 2013.
It offers one of the most stunning views to the visitors especially during winter season when the peaks are covered with snow.
Kalachakra Temple Pilgrimage The Kalachakra temple is located inside the Thekchen Chöling temple complex in Mcleodganj .The temple complex also houses the Namgyal monastery, the private chambers of his Holiness the Dalai Lama and the famous Tsuglakhang temple. Opened in the year 1992, the Kalachakra temple is a symbol of the concept in Buddhist religion known popularly as ‘The wheel of time’.
Kalachakra is a combination of two Sanskrit words Kala meaning time and Chakra meaning wheel. In the Buddhist tradition, there are important rituals associated with Kalachakra. At the temple, monks perform Kalachakra empowerment procedures that they believe would enhance the spirituality of the environment and further the cause of peace and harmony among human beings. Apart from being the site for Buddhist rites and rituals, the Kalachakra temple is also a regular venue for public meetings and discourses conducted by the Dalai Lama.
Jwalaji Temple Pilgrimage It is counted as one of the 51 Shakti Pitha located at a distance of around 40 Kms from Kangra valley. The flame lights up naturally through the natural rock walls adjacent to the mountains. Dedicated to Goddesses Jwalamukhi with flaming mouth, the temple is believed to have nine permanent flames named after the goddesses- Mahakali, Unpurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi.
It is said that centuries ago, a shepherd saw the flames for the first time and Raja Bhumi Chandra, the ruler of the area had the original temple built. The Mughal Emperor Akbar installed a gold parasol and Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the dome gilded. Across the courtyard is Devi’s bed chamber and above the temple is the shrine of Baba Gorakhnath.
Climate :
The valley enjoys alpine climate with mild summers and cold winters. The winters are from Mid November to March and summers from April to June and then Monsoon in July and August.
Best time to Visit :
Best time to visit Kangra is from March to October.