Kangra Tourism, Kangra Hotels, Tourism in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India

 

Kangra :

photo : kangra dhauladhar viewKangra which was known anciently as Trigarta is one of the most picturesque valleys in Himachal Pradesh. It is sheltered by the massive Dhauladhar range of mountains, rich in culture and history. The history of Kangra valley dates back to vedic times, more than 3,500 years ago. It finds mention in the Puranas the Mahabharta and in Rajtarangani. Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys in the Himalayas. It is sheltered by the Dhauladhar and this majestic mountain range surpasses all others in its grandeur. The famous Bajeshwari Devi temple is located in the town. Kangra was revaged by foriegn aggression a number of times. Despite all this, the arts and crafts of the region continues to develop and find lyrical expression. Kangra town is situated at the confluence of the Baner and Majhi streams, overlooking the Banganga torrent is famous for temples, forts and now a speedily emerging as a business centre.

 
 
 

Tourism in Kangra

photo : Bajeshwari Devi Temple Sheltered by the massive Dhauladhar Mountain range and being one of the most picturesque valleys in Himachal, Kangra has much to offer to tourists. Kangra is very famous for its important temples, many of them are Shaktipeeth, i.e. Jwalamukhi temple, Bajeshwari or Bajreshwari temple, Chamuna devi temple, Masroor rock temple. These temples are one of the prime attractions of Kangra, visited by thousands and thousands of people every year. A number of fairs and festivals are celebrated in Kangra every year i.e. Jwalamukhi fair, Dal fair, Sayar fair, Baisakhi festival, Chet, Spring festival, Haryali, Sair, Navratras, Shivratri and Nawala festivals. Most of the fairs and festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm in Kangra valley.





photo : Maharana Pratap Sagar There are some very beautiful and gorgeous lakes in Kangra i.e. Maharana Pratap Sagar, Dal lake and Kareri lake. Maharana Pratap Sagar was declared wildlife sanctuary in 1983. Kangra is very well connected with a huge network of roads and has some famous places to explore i.e. Kangra Fort, Taragarh Palace, Chinmaya Tapovana, Nadaun, Trilokpur and Kathgarh. There is a wildlife sanctuary in Kangra named Pong Lake Sanctuary spread along with the Maharana Pratap Sagar lake, which has emerged as favourite place of many migratory birds. About 16 to 20 thousand migratory birds, belonging to 54 species, visit the lake every year.

Tourism in Kangra area is mainly related with religious tourism activities as it has some very important temples around. There are two other important Hill stations in district Kangra known as Dharamsala and Palampur. All in all, Kangra with a numerous important temples is a great destination for people looking to go on a religious holiday escape.

 
 
 

Kangra Access Routes


Delhi to Kangra :

Delhi to Kangra
this access route leads via Chandigarh - Solan - Shimla - Bilaspur - Hamirpur - Jwalaji - Kangra

Delhi to Kangra
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal- Kurukshetra - Ambala - Ludhiana - Jallander - Pathankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Delhi to Kangra
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal- Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Delhi to Kangra
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Delhi to Kangra
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Pathankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Shimla to Kangra :

Shimla to Kangra
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Shimla to Kangra
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Shimla to Kangra
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Shimla to Kangra
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Pathankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Shimla to Kangra
this route leads via Solan - Nalagarh - Kiratpur - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Shimla to Kangra
this route leads via Bilaspur - Hamirpur - Jwalaji - Kangra

Chandigarh to Kangra :

Chandigarh to Kangra
this access route leads via Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Chandigarh to Kangra
this access route leads via Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra

Chandigarh to Kangra
this access route leads via Solan - Shimla - Bilaspur - Hamirpur - Jwalaji - Kangra

Air Route :

The nearest Airport is atGaggal, 13 Kms from Dharamshala and 8 Kms from Kangra Town. The schedule ofJagson Airlines flights are on every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday byroute Gaggal-Bhunter-Delhi. For further enquiry contact Gaggal Airport on Phone:+91-1892-232374

Train Route :

The nearest railway station is at Kangra, 17 KMsfrom Dharamshala connected to Pathankot through narrow gauge line. And thenearest broad gauge railway station is Pathankot which about 88 Km fromDharamshala, which is linked by direct trains to Amritsar, Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta. Regular bus service is available from Pathankot to Kangra. any other kind of transportation is easily available.

The narrow gauge line from Pathankot passes through Kangra, Maranda(Palampur), Baijnath and reaches Joginder Nagar. The railway reservation facility is also available at Dharamshala.(Contact Telephone No. 01892-226711)

Trains and Their timings

 
 
 

Kangra Quick Facts


Location
The district lies between 31°40' and 32°25' East Longitudes and 70°35' and 77°05' North Latitudes. It is bounded on the South-West by Una district, on the North-West by district Gurdaspur of Punjab, on the North by Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts, on the East by Kullu and Mandi districts, and on the South it touches Hamirpur district.

Headquarter
Dharamsala ( Dharamshala ) (altitude 1597 metres )

Altitude
650 meters.

Important Distances
Chandigarh 239 km., Delhi 514 km., Nangal 145 km., Jalandhar 166 km., Hoshiarpur 128 km., Mandi 147 km., Jwalamukhi 55 km., Kullu 214 km., Manali 252 km., Chamba 192 km. and Shimla 322 km.

Area
5,739 Sq. km.

STD Codes
+91-1892 or 01892

Police Assistance
+91-1892-224883

Hospital Services
+91-1892-222189

Fire Services
+91-1892-224992

Kangra Airport
+91-1892-232374

Railway Reservation
+91-1892-226711

DFO Forest Department
+91-1892-224887

Climate
The summer temperatures range between 25° C and 38° C, while the winter temperatures usually remain between 20° C and 32° C.

Population
Total population of Kangra is 13,39,030 (according to Census 2001)

Best time to visit
All seasons however You’d enjoy the winter months in Kangra as temperatures drop low.

 
 
 

Kangra Famous Places

photo : Kangra FortKangra Fort :
The historic fort of Kangra was built by Bhuma Chand. This fort had been the centre of attraction for the rulers of northern India, since a long time. The first attack on the fort was made by the Raja of Kashmir 'Shreshtha' in 470 A.D. In 1846 Kangra fort fell into the hands of the British. Kangra fort is located on the bank of the river Banganga at the height of 350 feet. In the foreyard of the fort are the temple of 'Laxmi Narayan' and 'Adinath' located in the Kangra fort is dedicated to Jainism. Inside the fort are two ponds one of them is called 'Kapur Sagar'. At present the fort is under the control of 'Archaeological Survey of India'. It was badly damaged in 1905 earthquake.

photo : Taragarh Palace Taragarh Palace :
Muslims used this place to propagate the ideas of Islam and in 1933 the 'Nawab of Bhavalpur' built a palace there, which was named as Alhilal. Till 1947, the place remained as the Summer capital of the Nawab. From 1947-49 it was used as warehouse by the Punjab government. In 1949 it came in the possession of 'Maharani Tara' the wife of Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and mother of Raja Karan Singh. In 1951 it was converted into a Motel Taragarh Palace.

Chinmaya Tapovana :
10 km. from Kangra. Situated on a hillock is the recently established 'Ashram' complex by Swami Chinmayananda, who was a great exponent of the Gita. It is a beautiful place to visit. There is also a larger than life statue of Hanuman and also a very big Shivling which can be seen from far.

Nadaun :
10 km. from Jwalamukhi and 40 km. from Kangra. A lovely place for a quiet weekend. The Beas river which flows nearby provides excellent Mahasheer fishing. Theere is a temple dedicated to Shiva.

photo : Trilokpur Temple Trilokpur :
It is 41 km. from Kangra. The natural cave has attractive pillars of limestone on the floor of the cave by the percolation of water from the roof. It is something like stalagmites. The cave is dedicated to Shiva. It is a very sacred place. There are two restaurants in trilokpur and various other local Dhabas. It is also used as a halting place for tourists exploring Himachal on vehicles.




photo : KathgarhKathgarh :
It is a village situated 7 kms. from Indora on the meeting point of the Beas and the Choch rivers. There is an old temple, built in Mughal style, housing 6 feet long and 5 feet round 'Shivalinga' The 'Linga' here is of its own kind not found anywhere in the world. The Linga inside the temple is made of wood and it automatically breaks into two pieces and then the two equal pieces are put in the right place and it again retain its original state.








 
 
 

Kangra Famous Temples

photo : Jwalamukhi TempleJwalamukhi :
30 km. from Kangra and 56 km. from Dharamshala. This place is famous for Jwalamukhi, the 'Flamming Goddess'. It is one of the most popular Hindu temple in Northern India. There is no idol and the flame is considered a manifestation of the Goddess. The eternal flame issues from the rock sanctum and is constantly fed by the priests. Two important fairs are held during the Navratras, in early April and in mid October.



photo : Bajreshwari Devi Temple Bajreshwari Devi Temple :
Just outside the town is the temple dedicated to Brajeshwari Devi. Known once for its legendary wealth, this temple was subject to successive depredation by invaders from the North. Mohammed of Ghazni is known to have departed with a king's ransom in gold, silver and jewels in 1009. Destroyed completely in 1905 by an earthquake, it was rebuilt in 1920. This is a very important temple situated in the heart of Kangra Town. It is visited by a large number of visitors from near and far. One can have a breath taking view of snow clad Dhauladhar Mountains from the temple.






photo : Chamunda Devi Temple Chamunda Devi Temple :
It is 15 km. from Kangra. This temple is situated on the right bank of the 'Baner' stream with the Dhauladhar as a backdrop, this has an idol of goddess Chamunda, who, it is said, was given the boon to fulfil the desires of those who worshipped her. On the back of the temple is a cave niche where a stone 'Lingam' under a boulder represents Nandi Keshwar ( Shiva ). It is one of the most famous temples of district Kangra visited a large number of visitors from near and far. It is also suitably located near Dharamsala or Dharamshala.


photo : Masroor Rock TempleMasroor Rock Temple :
40 km. from Kangra. Masroor is known for its monolithic temples. There are 15 monolithic rock-cut temples in the Indo-Aryan style, richly carved. The temples, partly ruined now, are profusely decorated with sculptural ornamentation conceived in the same manner as the great temple of Kailash at Ellora in Maharashtra. The main shrine contains three stone images of Ram, Lakshman and Sita. In the intervening portions of the rocks are sculpted a series of temples unique in the entire Himalayan region and comparable to the monolithic temples of Mahabalipuram, Ellora and Dhamnar caves.In the centre of the complex stands the principal and most elaborately carved shrine - the Thakurdwara - enshrining black stone images of Ram, Lakshman and Sita facing east. The Masroor temple has an adjoining tank - large and rectangular - hewn from sandstone. It is nearly 50 m in length and is reputed to have water throughout the year.





 
 
 

Kangra Famous Lakes

photo : Maharana Pratap Sagar LakeMaharana Pratap Sagar :
In district Kangra. 170 km from Chandigarh, 110 km from Amritsar, 55 km from the district headquarters at Dharamshala. The closest railway stations are at Mukerian - 30 km, and Pathankot - 32 km.The settlements of Nagrota Surian and Jawali - which are located on the Sagar's periphery - are connected by the charming narrow gauge Kangra Railway Line that connects Pathankot to Jogindernagar. The closest airport is at Gaggal - 40 km. The lake is well served by a network of roads. Named in the honour of the great patriot Maharan Pratap, the Maharana Pratap Sagar was once known as the Pong Dam Reservoir. India knows the Maharan as a man who struggled valiantly for his knigdom of Mewar - as for the principle of independence. It is made of Beas River. In 1960, a dam was built on the Beas river and this dam resulted in a huge Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake (once known as Pong Lake). This huge mass of water varies from 180 sq. km. to 400 sq. km. This lake was declared sanctuary in 1983. Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake has emerged as favourite place of many migratory birds. About 16 to 20 thousand migratory birds, belonging to 54 species, visit the lake every year. . The Dam was completed in 1976.

to know more click on Maharana Pratap Sagar

photo : Dal LakeDal Lake :
11 km from Dharamsala. Surrounded by deodar trees, this is on the motor road to Naddi. Held sacred, this has a small Shiva temple on its banks. The banks of the lake are enlivened every September by a fair attended - amongst others- by a large number of migrant Gaddi folk. Though small in area, this lake has a charm of its own solely due to its surrounding forest and hills. Taking a dip in the lake is considered sacred. Devotees believe that a bath in the lake fulfills any boon asked from Lord Shiva at that time.

Kareri Lake :
This lake is 35 km from Dharamsala. It is a very beautiful lake surrounded by thick woods. The beauty of the lake is further enhanced by the visually stunning backdrop of the Dhauladhar mountains. Ideal for a day long picnic. This is a heaven for trekkers in the area.

 
 
 

Kangra Wild Life Sanctuaries


photo : Sambar Pong Lake Sanctuary :

Altitude : varies from 335 meters to 435 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 1780 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from 5 to 44°C.
Area : 30,729 hectares ( 307.29 sq. km. ).
Location : near Dehra-Gopipur.
Approaches : easily approachable from many places.

In 1983, the Sagar was declared a wildlife sanctuary and over 220 species of birds belonging to 54 families have been sighted over the waters and the fringing mud-banks - these include black-headed gulls, plovers, terns, ducks, water-fowl and egrets. Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake is the only place in India other than Bharatpur (Rajasthan) where the rare red necked grabe has been found. The sanctuary is close to several places of Hindu Pilgrimage - Jawalamukhi, Chamunda Devi, Chintpurni, Brajeshwari Devi, Mahakalesar, Bagalamata and Naina Devi. The seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Mcleodganj and the Namgyal Monastery are a short drive away. The other budhist monasteries at hand are Tahijong and Bir.

Flora
The sanctuary is a wetland. Forest Types include dry deciduous scrub, dry bamboo and Himalayan pine forest.

Fauna ( Mammals )
Indian wild Bear, barking Deer, red Indian Fox, Indian hare, Hedgehag,longeared, Jackal, common Langur, Rhesus Macaque, Mongoose, Nilgai, Indian Porcupine and Sambar.

Reptiles
Indian Cobra, Book's Gecko, common Indian monitor and Indian Python.

Fish
Tor Putitora ( Mahasheer ), Wallago Attu ( Mallip ) and Ophiocaphalus.

 
 
 

Kangra Fairs and Festivals


Fairs in Kangra

Baisakhi Fair :
This fair is held at various places in the state. People carry village deity with music procession from one place to another. In upper hills, people perform 'Mala Dance' by joining hands to form a large circle. During day time, some games like archery and wrestling are also played.

Jwalamukhi Fair :
The Jwalamukhi fair is held twice a year during Navratras for worship of Durga goddess. It is the most imporatant fair in the Kangra valley. People come with red silken flags (dhwaja) to greet the Mother Goddess. The fair is attributed to the worship of that Eternal Flame which is coming out of earth spontaneously and perpetually.

Dal Fair :
It is held on the bank of lake Dal, in the month of August in district Kangra at Dharamshala. Held sacred, this has a small Shiva temple on its banks. The banks of the lake are enlivened every September by a fair attended - amongst others- by a large number of migrant Gaddi folk.

Sayar Fair :
It is a famous fair observed in the month of September at a number of places such as Bakloh in Kangra, Karsog in Mandi, and Subathu in Shimla.


Festivals in Kangra

Baisakhi or Bisoa :
It is knows as Bisowa in Kangra, Bissue in Shimla hills and Lisshoo in Pangi-Chamba. This festival is generally celebrated on 13th of April. Preparation for the festival starts much early. The houses are white washed. People take holy dip at Haridwar, Tattapani near Shimla, Banganga near Kangra, Markanda near Bilaspur. During day time, Baisakhi fair is held at many places with traditional gaiety and attraction. Women's participation in large number add special color to the festive mood of the people.

Chet :
(Dholru) is the first month of the lunar year and the first day of the month is cellebrated with a belief to bring hapiness and prosperity. This festival is known as Chatrali in Kullu and Dholru in Bharmaur area of Chamba district. In district Kangra, Hamirpur and Bilaspur, first day of Chet month hold special importance.

Spring Festival :
This festival is celebrated only in the Kangra district in the month of March/April. Clay figurines of Shiva and Parvati are worshipped by young unmarried girls who dress up in their finery and gather around a heap of grass to sing and dance. After being worshipped for 10 days, the figurines are immersed in a pond or river on the first day of Vaisakha or Baisakhi (13th April).

Haryali :
Haryali means greenery, and in the Kangra Valley, it is the festival that celebrates rain. Since good rain means a good harvest and prosperity, it is important to keep the rain god happy. Haryali is celebrated on the first of Shravana (July 16). Some 10 days before this, seeds of five or seven grains (wheat, barley and the like) are mixed together and sown ceremoniously by the head of the family or the family priest in a small basket filled with earth. A day before the festival, Shiva and Parvati are ritually married as their union brings fertility to the world.

Sair :
Sair is basically thanksgiving for abundant rainfall and is celebrated in September/October. Traditionally, a barber goes round the village with a galgal (fruit in a basket) announcing the coming of the festival. Men, women and children bow to this sacred fruit which is considered an emblem of the fruits of harvest about to be reaped.

Navratras :
Navratras are celebrated with great interest in Himachal Pradesh. Durga Ashtami is of great importance all over the state. People visit nearest Durga temple to offer prayer during Navratras.

Shivratri :
It is celebrated in the month of February. The western part of India is influenced greatly by the mythology of Lord Shiva. This festival is given the greatest importance even in temples. Some people keep fast on this day. Images of Lord Shiva and Parvati are made from cowdung or earth soil for worshipping. Songs in praise of Shiva and Parvati are sung. This is the festival of great significance in the life of hill people.

Nawala :
Gaddis of Kangra, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu celebrate this festival, when a household individually collects enough money for celebration. Nawala, in fact, is a thanks giving ceremony to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped at the time of misfortune and clamiti. Devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva are sung throughout the night.