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.
PLACES OF INTEREST
At the confluence of the Bener and Majhi streams , over looking the Ban Ganga torrent, Kangra town is famous for its temples.Notable is the shrine dedicated to goddess Brijeshwari. Kangra is steeped in history and its ruined fort - Nagarkot, stands as testimony to its glorious past. The town was attacked by Mohammed Ghaznavi and subjugated by Emperor Feroz Tuglak and Maharaja Rant Singh. Earlier, Kangra was the capital of the great hill state, its renowned ruler being Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch, a great patron of arts. The Miniature and Rajpur Schools of hill paintings flourished during his reign.
THE KANGRA FORT
The Kangra Fort was the seat of power of the Katoch Rajas from the time of its 234th Raja, Raja Susharma Chand Katoch, It was the ancient capital of the Katoch kingdom and symbol of power in Punjab Hill States.The Fort is situated on a precipitous cliff overhanging the Ban Ganaga and Manjhi rivers. The ruins still dominate the Kangra valley. One can enter the fort by a narrow path. It was protected by a number of gates named after its winners like Jahangir, Ranjit Singh and the British. At the top of the fort, there was the palace of the Katoch kings.
BAJRESHWARI DEVI TEMPLE:
Just outside the town is the temple dedicated to Brajeshwari Devi. Known once for its legendary wealth, this temple was subject to successive depredation by invaders from the North. Mohammed of Ghazni is known to have departed with a king's ransom in gold, silver and jewels in 1009. Destroyed completely in 1905 by an earthquake, it was rebuilt in 1920.
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