Kangra is located in the state of the western part of Himachal Pradesh, in northern India. The city is located at the southern end of the Terai Himalayas, which is run by the Beas River. It is located at an altitude of 734 meters on a short rail line southwest of Dharamshala. Kangra was also called Nagarkot during the past time, then it was the fortress of the Rajput kings. In 1009 AD, the Afghan conqueror Mahmud Ghaznavi sacked the city, and in 1360, Emperor Firoz Shah Tughlaq sacked it. Later he was under the control of the Mughals. Kangra became the center of the famous Kangra Valley painting style in the 18th and 19th centuries, also known as Rajput miniature painting. In 1905, an earthquake devastated the city; In this earthquake, the goddess temple, which was one of the oldest temples in northern India, was also destroyed, but was rebuilt.
The ancient name of the Kangra valley was Trigarta. In the Gupta period, this state was included in Kartarpur. At the time of Mahabharata, the king of the Kangra region was Susharma Chandra. He was a friend of the Kauravas. The Kangra volcano temple is famous on pilgrimage here. This temple is located at 2500 feet above sea level in Kangra Kot or Nagarkot. Here there is a confluence of Ban-Ganga and Patal Ganga, there are many ancient temples inside the fort of Nagarkot. Among these, the temples of Lakshmi Narayan, Ambika and Adinath Tirthankar are famous. Hearing the news of the immense wealth within the fort, Mahmoud Ghaznavi attacked Nagarkot in 1009 AD and sacked the city. Al Utabi, then a historian, wrote in Tarikhe-Yamini that the amount of Nagarkot was so high that many camel convoys were insufficient to transport it and it was not possible to get it off ships. The author could not describe it and mathematicians could not even estimate its value.
The Nagarkot invasion
In the 18th century, Firoz Tughlaq attacked Nagarkot and then destroyed and corrupted the volcanic temple here. But it was only after the fort was surrounded for about nine months that the king of the place, Rupchand, began negotiating a treaty with the Sultan. In the early fourteenth century, King Kangra fell into a well, hunting in the forests of Harishchandra Guler. Upon his return to the capital, his younger brother was placed on the throne of Kangra, but Harishchandra, who was passing by, was taken out of a pit by a merchant and returned to Kangra.
A view of Kangra
Harishchandra may have had a fight with his brother naturally, but he acted with generosity and intelligence and laid the foundations of the new kingdom, and allowed only the younger brother to rule over Kangra. During the time of Mughal emperor Akbar, the king of Kangra accepted his subjection. In 1619 AD, Jahangir took over the fort after a year of siege. He arrived in Kangra two years later with Nur Jahan, whose memorial is the Jahangir Darwaza of the fort.
In Jahangir Darwaza, a main arch has been built mixing three arches. The Mughal army men remained in Kangra for a long time. King Kangra Sansar Chandra was the last man of the Mughal state, who gave a great patronage to painting, which led to the birth of a new style of painting called Kangra. This style combines the local styles of Mughal and Kangra. Similarly, due to the contact of the state of Mughal, the state of Kangra was also very affected. Jahangir built a mosque in Nagarkot Fort, now only the walls remain. There is a beautiful bathhouse (Mughal-style hammam) near the Ranjit Singh gate, which is used both in winter and in summer.
According to the 2001 census, Kangra has a total population of 9,155.
Best time to visit Kangra
The best time to visit Kangra is during the month of September to June when at the time the temperature falls around 22-30 degrees Celsius. The temperature remains cool during that period and travellers can enjoy the sightseeing of Kangra without any burden.
How to reach Kangra
The closest airport to Kangra lies at Gaggal Airport in Kangra, at a distance of 10 km from the main city. Travellers can hire taxi or take other means of roadways to reach their last destination. Another airport near to Kangra lies at Amritsar Punjab at a distance of 145 km.
Kangra has its own Toy Rail station but the nearest station lies at Pathankot which is connected with the major cities of the country. It lies at a distance of 88 km from Kangra. From there you can easily get the means of roadways to reach Kangra Valley.
Himachal is well connected with roadways. So, daily bus services run from Delhi, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Chandigarh and other nearby states to Kangra. So travelers can sit on the government or private bus to reach Kangra.