Visiting Kangra, Himachal Pradesh? Here are the things to know about
Places to visit.
Already visited Kullu, Manali, Shimla and Dalhousie ?? Here's the next district to target at Himachal! The numerous Valleys, Mountains, Lakes, Passes, Temples, Historical Monuments, Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh is sure to satisfy your long preserved wanderlust to explore more and more of this beautiful hill state.
Well known for uncountable destinations to visit, Kangra is a well-known destination to travel during summers. The pleasant climate of Kangra is perfect to indulge in adventure as well as sightseeing. So read on to mark your target destinations, food, activities etc in this district.
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Kangra Fort, the largest fort in the Himalayan region. It is witness to the rich history of Kangra. The fort has relations to the trigarta kingdom mentioned in Mahabharat. You can get a breath-taking view from the top of the fort.
Brajeshwari Temple, also known as kangra devi mandir is one of the51 shakti peethas in India. The temple was built by pandavas in mahabharata when goddess Durga appeared in their dreams and instructed them to build this.
The Baijnath or vaidyanath temple is devoted to the Lord of Healing. It is believed that one who worships here is relieved from all pain and miseries. Stands against the back of Dhauladhar range and worships and features Nagara-style architecture. Lord shiva and Ravana both are worshipped here unlike most of the temples of India. Indrahar pass, located at altitude of 4300 mts in Dhauladhar Range. It is one of the famous trekking trails in India.
Jwala devi temple has eternal flames which burn incessantly and this occurrence invites many pilgrims each year. One of the oldest temples of Himalayan region. It is also one of the51 shakti peethas. It is believed that the flames are sacred and goddesses exist in those flames, and surprisingly no idol is placed in the temple and only the flames are worshipped. In the middle of the Dhauladhar range, sits the mesmerizing Kareri lake. The beauty of the lake is unmatchable and divine, fed by the melting snow of himalayas. The water is crystal clear and you can see the lake bed very clear at some spots. Masrur, an 8th century rock cut temple is carved from monolithic rock and adorned with Shikharas. Main attraction is the splendid architecture which resembles nagara style architecture and elephant caves of Mumbai.
Kangra art museum is the best place to admire the Tibetana and Buddhist artwork. The artifacts dated up to 5th century BC are found and miniature paintings of kangra are famous here.
Bhagsu waterfall has a rocky bed with green lively surroundings. A famous destination for outing during monsoon. Also an ancient temple dedicated to log shiva, Bhagsu Nag Temple is nearby.
Gyuto monastery Kangra, this beautiful building was built to promote and preserve teachings of renowned 'Tsongkhapa', a famous teacher of tibetian Buddhism.
The famous village, Andretta is well known among artists, art aficionados, and tourists. Since the 1920's this place has been the centre of attraction due to artists and handicrafts which even you can try, like pottery and carry it home!
Taragharh Palace, a palace cum hotel has been curating guests since 1971 to best of their luxury and the splendid view of the snow clad mountains. This 15 acre forested area can be a perfect holiday destination in the lap of mountains and tea states, forests. McLeod Ganj, abode of Dalai Lama, stands among the list of top 10 places in Kangra.
Outdoor activities in Kangra.
Trekking in Dhauladhar range is considered one of the most mesmerizing trekking trails in the country. McLeod Ganj offers majestic views of Kangra valley and Dharamshala town. It offers a mysterious sight of deep gorges, glistening streams, tranquil lakes and deodar forests giving an experience which is out of the world. Triund hill station is a trekkers delight. It is 2828 mts height, trekking is fun due to the scenic surroundings, forests of deodar, oak, rhododendron and a mesmerizing view all through the passage.
Apart from exploring adventures shopping makes us all happy. So the tibetian market of Kangra is famous for jewellery to woolen clothes to carpet each and everything available in range of designs, style and colours.
Tatwani hot spring, a shallow river that flows at short distance. A dip in the hot water of this river is highly recommended, the water is said to have medicinal properties and can cure ailments like muscle ache, poor blood circulation and even arthritis.
Kangra also has a beautiful paradise for paragliding called bir-billing. The place has perfect scenic terrains for paragliding and is equally beautiful to look at and lose yourself in the windy atmosphere.
Here are some traditional dishes of Kangra that must be tried at kangra.
names of some locally available vegetables to taste are Karalen ki sabji, lasiare ki sbzi, bhruni ki sabji, langru ki sabzi, lasaide ki sabzi, tremble ki sabzi, nashpati ka sabzi, addu ki sabzi phafru ka sag, kulfa ki sag.
Some fermented food items such as Bhatura and Beduan roti (stuffed with filling of soyabean, black gram, mashed Colocasia bulb) is preferred.
Dhandar, Babroo, Chareli and Patende are some other popular wheats based food items. Mithdee, rot, seera are some sweet dishes prepared during occasions and some have high nutritious value.
Numerous fairs and festivals are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Bisowa(pahari for baisakhi ) is one of the popular festivals here. Chet is celebrated and believed to bring happiness on the first day of the month 'chet'.
Spring festivals such as Hariayali, Sair, Navratras, Shivratri, Nawala are celebrated in the middle of April. The fair is held during makar sankranti in Brajeshwari temple which lasts for 7 days and devotees from across India come to visit this.
A number of pilgrims rush to Kandra in the months of April and October to celebrate Navratri at the Kangra Devi temple. various genres of songs have developed over the years. There are different songs for births, weddings, separation sung by women of different classes in chorus like pakharu, barsati, Dholru etc.
paintings of kangra are world famous, the form of art adopted from katcha kingdom. It is a form of pahari painting. Potteries and clay dolls depicting shiva and parvati, kings and queens are famous.
Many people believe that the Katoch dynasty (one of the oldest surviving royal dynasties of the world) who ruled Kangra, from ancient times were the descendants of Ghatotkacha, but there's no strong evidence behind this.
The folk dance, Jhamakada is a popular group dance of Kangra by women, accompanied by musical instruments and songs. Apart from that Gidha (for women) and Chandewali for men are famous.
Due to the chilled weather, warm clothes are mostly worn throughout the year. Women wear' pattoo' over their clothes and pin them with long silver chains. Gachchi is tied around the waist. Dhatu or Thipu used to cover their heads. Shawls are famous due to traditional embroidery and designs.
Kangri is the most spoken language in Kangra among natives. People engaged in tourism speak Hindi, English and Punjabi.
September to June is considered the best time to visit Kangra. The summers of May and June are comfortable due to temperature 22-30 degree Celsius. Summers are preferred by trekkers for trekking whereas September and November are ideal for sightseeing.
Some monuments or heritage sights may require permission for photography. Tourists seeking adventure activities may require permission from local authorities or present id proofs. Thermos and heavy woolen clothes are highly recommended for higher altitude adventure/trip. Water currents himachal Pradesh are strong, maintaining distance is advised. Some places still lack ATMs so make arrangements when visiting remote areas.
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