A royal town in the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The town of Kangra lies in the west of the state. Katoch dynasty, an admired royal clan is something that stands in the prime position making the town remarkable in the tourism map of Himachal Pradesh. Moreover, the Dhauladhar ranges nearby the town are quite picturesque and make it an ideal getaway for nature lovers.
You can trust the locals of the place on your visit to Kangra since they are absolutely humble, friendly and welcoming. There are legends surrounding the town that are more than 3500 years old. Histories of invasions and local wars that happened in the town have also got significant verbal popularity among the natives. This has also been proved by various socio-cultural studies carried out by academicians.
The Mughal Empire of India is also interlinked with the dynasties and histories of Kangra town. It is said that many artists, architects and painters found the town of Kangra as their favourite abode. Even now a painting school in the own brand of Kangra is quite famous. Miniature art is regarded as one of their specialities. The artisans of the town are still active and keep their art lively by organising exhibitions and programs across the globe.
Apart from their formal languages like Punjabi, Hindi and English, a native language called, Kangri is also spoken among the locals. There are a bunch of places to visit that will satisfy your soul and gift you a different holiday experience if you are planning to visit the place. Now have some suggestions that would definitely excite you.
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The fort still holds tight to all its majestic glory by observing the entire town from a mountain range nearby the Banganga river. The fort can be spotted when driving through the national highway of Shimla-Mataur. The fort visit is a time travel to those old days of royal pride and repute. The exact location of the fort is a place called Nagarkot in the town of Kangra.
The gigantic size of the fort is also noteworthy and helps it climb the pages of history just with it. The carvings and paintings on the entrance of the fort attract tourists visiting the place. Some treasured photographs and sculptures are also the peculiar feature of the entrance of the fort giving an exemplary first impression to the visitors.
Certain idols are also seen inside the fort throwing light on the lives of the dynasty, their religious beliefs and customs. Historians also make a mark over the artefacts collected from the premises of the fort making it a hotspot of history and culture.
Since the town of Kangra is located nearby the Dhauladhar ranges, the natural marvels of the place are also unlimited. Indrahar Pass is one among them. The pass is also close to Dharamshala another famous tourist destination in the state of Himachal Pradesh. If you have plans to trek, on your trip to Kangra, Indrahar would make an ideal arrangement for it.
On your trekking trip, you will get to see the most beautiful glaciers that would make you fall for the Dhauladhar ranges. If you are a beginner in trekking, Indrahar Pass would not be your place. As per the reviews and expert opinions, trekkers with an intermediate to advanced experience level are ideal to venture out for the pass.
Remember that you have 4-5 days to spare for the trek. The same duration is also required to trek down the pass. The biodiversity-rich valleys of Dhauladhar are impressive enough for an environment enthusiast to face the challenging trek of Indrahar Pass. The Lahesh caves are also something that will enhance your trekking experience to the pass.
Yet another haven for trekking lovers who plan to visit the town. Colonial remnants, hints of ancient Indian cultures and a Tibetan lifestyle are prominent in McLeod Ganj. Little Lhasa is the other name of this beautiful trekking location. It is believed that the spiritual guru, Dalai Lama lived in this place which gives it due religious significance.
Dharamshala is nearby to this trekking town. The hilly landscape, flora and fauna and greens wrapped in pleasant chilling weather are the innate speciality of McLeod Ganj. The population of the place is fond of practising Tibetan customs and traditions which will give you a unique experience within the Indian territory.
The nature and climate of the place are loved by tourists all over the world, resulting in the growth of tourism in the place. You can also consider visiting Bhagsu Nag if you are trekking to the location. You can also get this place listed in their itinerary if anything spiritual and religious like monasteries would interest you. There are also quaint picnic spots in proximity you can visit if you are on a family trip.
Kangra Art Museum
Now, it is time to wake up that culture and history enthusiast resting inside you. Tourists also seek this location to click interesting and vintage vibe photos on their Kangra trip. You can spend a good 1-2 hours in the museum watching the golden days of history.
Since the ancient Kangra had given due respect to artists and painters, their immoral works can be seen preserved in the museum without draining its beauty and pride. If you are seeking exquisite themes and inspirations for your next artwork, the Kangra Art Museum can fill you with fresh ideas and concepts that will be quite difficult to find in the entire world.
The artworks and collections of the museum are also seen to have a Tibetan cultural tint in their form and structure. The assets and weapons of the ancient populace of the place are also exotic and instil excitement. The artistic mastery of the ancient people of Kangra will certainly amuse us to the core.
Tashi Jong Monastery
This is a Buddhist pilgrim centre for devotees in India and Nepal. However, European tourists also find the place attractive and are found on the premises of the monastery, now and then. Apart from being just a pilgrim centre, the monastery is also looking after its pilgrims who are helpless and homeless.
A lot of refugees from Tibet have been provided with shelter and food in the monastery. The monastery also runs a restaurant in the surroundings to support the refugees. There is a college in the name of the monastery providing quality higher education.
This is a tranquil place where you can find peace and joy within. You can also buy several artworks and miniature art made by the artisans of the place from the craft emporium in the monastery complex. Such pieces will serve as an everlasting memory of your Kangra trip.
Amidst a majority of Buddhist believers and the Tibetan culture, there are also several signs of Hindu and Indian traditions and pilgrim centres in the town testifying to its secularism and communal harmony. Baijnath Temple is one such location that has got wide popularity among tourists both domestic and international. Lord Shiva is the Hindu God worshipped in the place.
The divine healing properties that the temple owns have attained acclaim among the devotees. The Baijnath is an avatar of Lord Shiva and is also known by the name of Vaidyanath. Shiva in this avatar is keen on saving his devotees from deadly diseases and problems.
That is the reason why pilgrims from different parts of the country regard this place to be supremely sacred and pay due respect to the deity here. The medicinal water of the temple is collected by the believers to consume since it is believed that the water has the magical power to heal ailments.
This is a natural cultural hotspot in the city of Kangra. Pragpur is a rural area situated on the outskirts of Kangra town. But the village is also home to the manorial court that is particular of the colonial days. Even if there are options and amenities available for a refurbishment of this rustic town, the heritage values and the construction styles are all maintained in the same old way in the village.
Shops made of vibrant red brick are particular about the city. Hence it also becomes a perfect location to do concept photography or even if you want to click some good pictures on your Kangra vacation. This style has also gifted the title of “India’s first heritage village” to it. Kangra’s village tourism is the most happening and engaging in the village of Paragpur.
A decorated village tank, old-fashioned streets, and mud-plastering of the houses all are the rarest village sights almost on the verge of extinction in India. Kangra School of Painting is located in this quaint village. You can also buy captivating artworks and paintings from the local street vendors and help them make a living out of the sales.
The soothing orchards seen in Pragpur are something environmentally enchanting in the village. You can also find economical stays with mind-blowing heritage vibes in the village if you are in Kangra.
Dal lake is a picturesque waterbody in the Tota Rani region of Kangra town. The name of the lake is inspired by a lake with the same name in the territory of Srinagar, the capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Forests with Deodar trees and mighty mountain ranges make the lake visit a trip to heaven in nature.
The aquatic wealth of the lake is also impressive and makes a feast for your eyes. Even if the lake is a popular tourist destination and is mostly crowded with tourists from different parts of the world, the pace of nature and life here is quite slow and calming filling every heart with meditative satisfaction and joy.
The environment is also perfect for couples who would like to spend some romantic moments in a pleasant atmosphere. Trekking facilities are also available near the lake attracting that upbeat active tourists to the location. The Naddi trek is one of the most popular in the Dal Lake region.
This trek would also give you the chance to immerse yourself in one of the most magical sunsets you would have ever witnessed in a lifetime. There is also a Shiva temple nearby the lake. Every year during the month of September, a gala event is organised on the shores of the lake with a lot of Gaddi tribe people flocking to the area.
Dhauladhar is a never-boring location to trek if you are seeking adventure everywhere you go. Kareri lake in Kangra is also somewhere you should go to satisfy that thirst for trekking. Even if it is a lake, during the winter months, due to the chilling weather, the water stop flowing and gets frozen giving an exciting view and experience.
If you are trekking from the base of the lake, remember to visit the popular Shiva-Shakti temple on the top of the hill. The temple is a pretty good viewpoint to enjoy the picturesque lake of Kareri. This is a freshwater lake on the western side of the Kangra district.
The melting snow from the mountains of the Dhauladhar range is the major source of water for the lake of Kareri. The outflow of the lake is Nyund. The lake bed is visible in most of the places since the lake is not at all deep and is less contaminated.
Among all the above-mentioned tourist destinations in Kangra, Dharamshala is the most loved and sought after by tourists all over the world. Tibetan culture and lifestyle are the strongest in the region. People here follow quite a strictly religious life with frequent visits to monasteries and practising customs.
Dharamsala is to enjoy the divine calmness the city of Kangra has to offer. This is also the centre of commerce for the people of Kangra. It has also got due political significance since several courts are located in the place.
Colonialism has also left its marks in the heart of the Dharamsala. You can also relish a variety of Tibetan dishes from Dharamsala if you are into experimenting with different cuisines. Waterfalls and street shopping are also some of the activities you can engage in the place.
How to reach Kangra?
Nearest airport: Gaggal Airport
Nearest railway station: Kangra (KGRA)
Kangra is an economical yet exquisite touring option if you would like to indulge in the magic of the Himalayas. This is also a perfect location where you get the proportionate blend of nature, adventure, art, heritage, culture, history and a lot more.
The Tibetan backdrop of the town is worth mentioning. This influence would give you a matchless experience on the vacation. The shades of colonialism are also alive in the town of Kangra. Being the centre of a lot of worship places of a multitude of beliefs, this is also a religious town suitable for North Indian pilgrimages.
The dynasties and their histories are so magnificent to let you enjoy royal India with its all colours and radiance. The less polluted waterbodies, biodiversity and climate of the town are just perfect to celebrate that serenity of mind and soul and have a party of spirituality.
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