Kangra is a charming town located just 18 Km away from Dhramsala, in one of the prettiest valley of Himachal Pradesh. Bringing with lush green terraces and orchads, it overlooks a gushing streams known as Banganga. Once the ancient capital of a powerful state, kangra was known for its magnificent temples and as a thriving center for arts, in particular, the exquisite pahari style of miniature painting that flourished during the reign of Raja Sansar Chand (1775 - 1823). Fine murals commissioned by the king are still to find in the places and temples across this area. However, a kangra itself, only a fort and handful of temples remain, as a reminder of Kangra’s glorious past. The bustling town of
Just outside the town is a beautiful town. It is renowned for its legendary wealth and craftsmanship. Dedicated to Bajreshwari Devi, invaders from the north systematically attacked this temple and Mohammed Ghazni is known to have looted a king’s ransom in gold, silver and jewels in the year 1009. Destroyed completely in 1905 by an earthquake, the temple was rebuilt in 1920. It continues to be a busy place of pilgrimage even today. Stalls outside the temple provide everything pilgrims may need and also sell brass puja utensils, incense, sacred threads, flags and images of the Goddess.
Kangra is a city and a municipal council in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. As of 2009 India census, Kangra had a population of 9154. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Kangra has an average literacy rate of 83%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 81%. In Kangra, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age. Kangra has a big bazaar, people of all valley come to buy things for household because of large market and few modern outlets.
Kangra is famous the world over for its astounding beauty. Surrounded by splendid valleys. It is dotted with several ancient shrines, making it a destination hard to resist for any traveller. Kangra Fort is 2kms. Once at Kangra town one can also visit the historical Kangra fort at Old Kangra (3 km) and Jain temple and also trek up to the famous Jayanti Devi temple (3 km) from Old Kangra. A Jain temple is nearby and Jayanti Devi temple is seen on the next hillock. The Fort, also known as the Nagarkot or Kot Kangra, is situated to the south-west of the old Kangra town and built on the top of the precipitious hill on the confluence of the Banganga and Manjhi or Patal Ganga rivers which also serve as the most of the Fort. A visit is an experience to be remembered.
Located at an altitude of 615 m, The town was the erstwhile capital of the Chand dynasty and has been through tremendous upheaval due to its prosperity. Time and again, invaders turned their evil eyes to the accumulated wealth of the famous Brajeshwari Devi Temple. Each time the temple and the town were plundered, but recovery too was quick to take place. Few of the prominent historical personalities who laid a siege on the temple included Mahmud of Gazhni (1109 AD) and Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1360 AD). Later in the 17th century, under the rule of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Kangra made immense progress. Afterwards, local rulers ruled the land till the time the Britishers made it their garrison.
History Facts says that Britishers made Kangra district ( Kangra, Lahaul Spiti, Kullu and Hamirpur) a part of the Punjab province with its headquarters at Kangra town. The headquarters was soon moved to Dharamsala, however the importance of the Kangra town itself never diminished. After the formation of Kangra district (with Hamirpur which finally separated from Kangra in 1972) in the year 1966 to the present day, Kangra town attracts a huge number of people every year.
Kangra town is famous for its temples. Notable is the shrine dedicated to goddess Bajreshwari. Kangra is steeped in history and its ruined fort - Nagarkot, stands as testimony to its glorious past. Popularly known as Nagarkot Dham or Kot Kangra, the temple dedicated to goddess Bajreshwari Devi was once the most renowned shrines of Northern India. It is a famous Shaktipeeth where the left breast of Pauranik Sati Parvati is stated to have fallen. The Devi is worshipped in the form of Pindi. A legend avers that the body of demon king Jalandhara is buried at this place. According to another legend, the Goddess Bajreshwari received injuries while killing the demon Mahishasur which were cured by applying butter. The tradition is still celebrated on Makar Sakranti every year.
HISTORY OF KANGRA TOWN : Historically known as Nagarkot, the town of Kangra was founded by Katoch Kshatriya Rajputs of Chandervanshi Lineage, who were rulers in Trigarta Central Asia. The Katoch Rajas had a stronghold here, with a fort and rich temples. Another ancient name of the city is Bhimagarand it was supposedly founded by Raja Bhim, younger brother of Kuru Emperor Yudhisthira of Indraprastha (now Delhi).