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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Historic Kangra Fort, Himachal Pradesh

Kangra fort wasn't really on our plan, but as it came on the way, we decided to explore it. It was certainly worth the time spent.

Kangra fort is strategically located, overlooking hills and rivers-it would offer clear view of the invading army and barriers like rivers provided good protection. Reportedly this fort dates back to 4th century BC and finds a mention in Alexander's war records [Wikipedia]

As you can see, the Kangra fort has lots of trees inside to offer shades. The rooms that housed the guards or were used to store ammunition are now in ruins, but partially intact. There're no palace or big residential buildings left. We could see lots of foundations- presumably leftovers of destroyed building blocks

In above image, you see a small block wall to the right side of the steps. Back side of that wall looks like below. Lot of carvings. I guess it formed exterior of a Laxminarayana temple that existed, which would have been destroyed during one of the wars.

Another small temple, of Ambika mata is operational- to the left side of the stairs in above picture.
Below: Official history of Kangra Fort as displayed by ASI.
Top of the fort has a nice observation deck, giving magnificent view of the entire valley. Of course its original purpose was to look out for invading enemy army

Above left: Openings in the wall, often used to pour hot oil on enemy soldiers trying to climb up the fort wall from outside. There're multiple walls leading to the centre of the fort, each having different names.

Below: Notice the sharp turn- this is a strategy to deter enemy tactic of using raging elephants to charge into the door, in an attempt to break it.
Below: View from the top

 View of the river from the fort
Purified and chilled drinking water is available in the fort- one on top of the fort near the temple and one more near the main entrance, behind ticket counter.

A small museum is also there-has on display few ancient stones and artifacts. It is named Maharaja Sansar Chand Museum. No separate ticket is required to visit this

Rest room facilities are available

Audio guides are available for rent near the ticket counter. Also few people might approach you posing as guides.

Time to spend: Half day if you can afford to, 2 hours decent,  1 hour: basic express visit. 

Below: View of the fort from the highway- notice that how difficult it will be to climb the valley and then the fort.


Reaching Kangra:
Kangra has  a railway station, but doesn't look like there're too many trains. Kangra is very close to Dharamashala, hence a visit to Kangra can be clubbed with visit to McLeodGunj and Dharmashala. (one can stay here and visit Kangra)

Kangra fort is 475 kms from New Delhi and 35kms from Dharmashala.

Can be visited all through the year, as there's drinking water and other facilities available. Valley will look extremely green and river full of water if visited post monsoon. In May, we got a relatively dry look as you see in images above.

Nearby: Dharmashala Cricket Stadium * Golden Temple Amritsar * Himalayas view at Dharmashala

7 comments :

Rajeev Moothedath said...

Nice photographs & write up tempting travel lovers to visit...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Rajeev

R Niranjan Das said...

The fort looks lovely. Nice post, Shrinidhi.

Arti said...

Amazing views from the deck area.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Niranjan and Arti

CruiseBay said...

Hey Srinidhi Hande! Hope you doing well.

I have just read your blog and see nice pictures of Kangra Fort. Your objective description will surely inspire the readers to visit this place. Thank you for sharing such a resourceful and well researched blog. Cheers..:)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks