The Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valley of lower Himalyas. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature of places to be visited. Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air whereas ancient Hindu Temples like Brajeshwari, Baijnath, Jawalamukhi and Chamunda Devi dot the country side.
The history of Kangra valley dates back to the Vedic times more than 3500 yrs. ago. The area was exposed to successive invasions, the last being the British domination over the princes of the hill states. Despite the onslaughts and political upheavels, the arts and crafts of the region continued to develop and found lyrical expressions. Crafts like the exquisitely designed shawls and miniature paintings of this region are internationally appreciated.
CLIMATE: The best climate to visit Kangra is between the month of March and June.
There are a number of important temples near Kangra. The small town of Masrur, 15 km from Kangra, is known for its intricately carved temples. Masrur has a group of 15 sandstone-hewed monolithic rock-cut temples belonging to 10th century AD. The carvings and sculpture found in this group of temple reminds one of the world-famous rock-cut temples of Ellora in the state of Maharashtra. Though most of the temples and sculptures are in a bad shape, yet they reflect the glory of the bygone era. The road from Kangra to Masrur offers magnificent views of the Dhauladhar range. The temple of Jawalamukhi is 34 km south of Kangra. A marvel in itself, it is perhaps the only temple in India where natural jets of flame flare out from the hillside covered by the ancient, holy edifice. The temple has been a major attraction for an assortment of people down the centuries.
Jain Temple Kangra
Attractions and Places to Visit in Kangra
The small town of Kangra is famous for its Vajreshwari Devi (Kangra Devi) temple. Though the original temple was destroyed in a devastating earthquake, the present one is rebuilt on the same site. A large number of devotees throng this temple during various Hindu festivals. The ancient fort of Nagar Kot is located 2.5 km south of the town, perched on a high windswept ridge. Although this fort is in ruins, the travelers can enjoy the panoramic view of the surroundings, which includes the confluence of Manjhi and Baner rivers.
How to Reach Kangra
Kangra does not have an airport. It has two railway stations: Kangra station, which is 3 km south of the town, and the Kangra Mandir station, 3 km east of the town. Indian Railways has introduced the "Kangra Queen" between Pathankot and Palampur. This luxury train running on narrow gauge covers a distance of 128 km in 4½ hours with two halts-Jawalamukhi and Kangra. The entire route provides panoramic view of the snow-capped Dhauladhar range. The Kangra bus stand is located north of the Bazaar, along the Dharamshala Road. Bus service from Kangra to Dharamshala (45 minutes) and Palampur is frequent.