Kangra City Guide
Travel to Kangra for the most charming, romantic and beautiful experiences of lifetime. Famous for its temples, fort, museum and art gallery the city of Kangra is also known for its adventurous activities. Trekking, mountaineering and para-gliding are organized every year by the travel department of Himachal Pradesh that attracts huge number of sports enthusiasts from all over the world.
Kangra is a beautiful small town located at a distance of 17 km from Dharamsala, is one of the most picturesque valley of lower Himalayas. The valley is surrounded by the Dhauladhar ranges gushed with green and sumptuous forests that makes it one of the best tourist attractions of Himachal Pradesh. It is often considered as one of the most romantic cities of Himachal Pradesh that has abundance of natural beauty in its arm.
Situated at a distance of 248 kms from Shimla, the city of Kangra has a rich historical past. In 18th century Raja Sansar Chand katoch II of Katoch dynasty recaptured the city from the Mughals and increased its boundaries to Chamba and Kullu Valleys. Under Raja Sansar Chand II the region prospered and reached to a new heights. During his ruling period the famous Kangra paintings came into existence and flourished. Travel to Kangra and discover the beauty, romance and charm of this beautifully spread valley that is overlooked by the lower Himalayan ranges. The beauty of the valley can be best observed when travelling by the train, traveller gets to watch the magnificent view of its countryside. Apart from its natural beauty, the valley is also famous for adventurous activities like trekking, mountaineering and para-gliding. Apart from these attractions the city also adorns the famous temples and handicrafts work that can be witnessed on the trip to Kangra. While moving around the market of Kangra, try to get one of those beautiful paintings, woollen carpets and handknitted cardigans. So, make a travel plan to the city of valley Kangra and enjoy its rich and vibrant culture.
How To Reach
By Air :
Gaggal is the nearest airport, located at a distance of 8 km from Kangra town. Jagson airlines and Indian Airlines fly their regular flights (subject to weather condition) to Gaggal. Tourists can hire taxi to reach Kangra.
By Rail :
Nearest railway station is at Kangra, which is 17 km away from Dharamshala and connects to Pathankot through narrow gauge railway track. Private taxi and bus services are available from the station to Kangra city. Pathankot, which is located at a distance of 88 km from Kangra, is the nearest broad gauge railway station.
By Road :
Kangra can be reached via Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla Manali and Pathankot covering the distance of 510 km.
By Internal Transport :
To move in and around the city, there are several mode of transport available, one can hire private taxi or take local bus service. Generally, a tour is organized by the government or private agencies, that covers the entire region of Kangra and its nearby attractions.
There are good range of hotels available in Kangra that offers variety of cuisine and services. Various options available are from heritage and five star hotels and resorts to budget three star hotels.
Places Of Interest
St. John's Church
Located at a mere distance of 7 km from Kangra town, St. John's Church is also known as the church of St. John in Wilderness. It is covered by the shed of deodar branches, where the body of then British Viceroy of India Lord Elgin is laid. The church is build using dressed stone and beautiful stained glass windows.
Kangra Art Museum
Built in mid 18th century, the museum houses the best forms of Kangra arts and crafts. It showcases the 5th century old paintings, sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Apart from these the museum is also known for its coins jewelry and manuscripts. The museum is located nearby Kotwali Bazar, the main shopping center of Kangra.
Situated at a distance of 3 km from the Kangra city, The War Memorial is build to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh. One of the important attraction of this memorial is its three curved walls, that bears the name of 1042 war heroes who fought bravely for the defence of motherland in Indo-China and Indo-Pak wars. The curved shape of the wall specify the continuity and onward movement of human life.
Brajeshwari Devi Temple
Famous for its wealthy status, Brajeshwari Devi temple is one of the important temples situated in the Kangra valley. Known for its legendary wealth, this beautiful temple was invaded by many extremists several times. In the intervening years the temple was rebuilt and renovated several times but in the solid earthquake of 1905 the temple was badly damaged. The temple was again built in 1920 that stands behind the crowded colorful markets of Kangra.
One of the main tourists attractions of Kangra, the fort stands on a steep rock overlooking the valley. Known as an ancient capital of the Katoch Kingdom, the fort was founded by Susharma Chand Katoch. The fort was adorned with beautiful paintings that attracted art lovers from all over the world.
Excursion From Kangra
Located at a distance of 15 km from the city of Kangra, Masrur temple is famous for its fifteen richly carved monolithic rock temples. Situated in the intervening portions of the rocks, the temple is a unique structure attracting huge number of tourists from all over India and world. From the foreign tourists point of view it is a famous excursion site best suited for the trekking and mountaineering.
Another famous century old temple, Jwalamukhi is located at a distance of 30 km from Kangra. Famous for the colorful fair, Navratra is held every year between the month of March- April and September- October. The attractive temple is built against a wooded spur in the Indo-Sikh style.
Situated on the banks of river Beas, Nadaun is a famous excursion sites located at a distance of 48 km from Kangra city. In the present scenario, the city is famous for its arts and commerce center and the famous Kangra school of painting is also located here. Nadaun is a charming place for peace, calm and quiet weekend or one can go for river rafting in the River Beas.
Hang-Gliding & Para Gliding
For the sports freak person there is nothing like hang-gliding or para-gliding over the expanse of Kangra valley. Bir-Billing and Dhelu are some of the best sites for such activities and considered to be the world's best sites for para-gliding and hang-gliding. In the month of May-June, an annual hand-gliding rally is organized every year that attracts huge number of adventurist.
Trekking & Mountaineering
Most of the treks start from Dharamsala, Palampur or Baijnath and takes 5 to 8 days for completion. There are number of passes and ranges located in and around the above location that gives an excellent venue for trekking and mountaineering. These treks are operational from May to October and the regional mountaineering center provides technical know-how and equipments.
Shopping In Kangra
Kotwali Bazar and McLeodganj are major shopping areas. McLeodganj Bazar has numerous shops selling Tibetan handicrafts including woollen carpets, metalware, jewelry, jackets, handknitted cardigans, gloves etc.