Kangra Fort Overview

It is a famous fort located in the outskirts of the famous place Kangra near Dharamshala. This fort was built by the Royal Rajput family of the state of Kangra in the 15th Century. However, the fort was heavily damaged by an earthquake in the year 1905. Still, it has a good structure which attracts a lot of tourists.

Situated on the outskirts of Kangra, about 20 kilometers away from Dharamsala, is one of India's oldest forts. The Kangra Fort sits atop a steep rock, and its towering presence dominates the surrounding valley. The fort covers an area of about 4 kilometers, and it is guarded by ramparts and high walls.

Built strategically at the confluence or meeting point of Majhi and Banganga river, Kangra Fort is one of the must-see spots in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.Besides its unique architecture and historical importance, the fort is also known for housing three temples, namely the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Shitlamata Temple, and Ambika Devi Temple. Several doors leads into the fort, but the main entrance goes through a courtyard that is behind two gates.

The doors even have interesting names such as Ahani Darwaza, Amiri Darwaza, and Jehangiri Darwaza. Outside of the main temple gate, you will find the Andheri Darwaza. It is the fort's primary defense gate.The walls of the Andheri Darwaza are 15 feet high and the passage is 7 meters long. The gate allows only two men or one horse to pass through at a time. The narrow passage of the defense gate was designed to slow down the opposing force.

Once you pass the Ahani and Amiri Darwaza, a long and narrow passageway will take you to the top section of the fort. A staircase located between Ambika Devi and Shitlamata temple will take you to the Sheesh Mahal, which is a small hall. There is also a polygonal watchtower, which provides breathtaking views of the landscape.

Exploring Kangra Fort is a must-do activity when you book your Himachal Pradesh tour packages. This ancient fortress offers a fascinating journey through history and architecture, providing insights into the region's rich cultural heritage. Don't miss the chance to immerse yourself in the allure of Kangra Fort and uncover its hidden treasures during your tour of Himachal Pradesh.

Highlights: The beautiful entrance is something what people love. The way the whole fort is built is completely marvelous. Inside the fort, you will find defaced statues of many lords that these people worship. This fort is considered as one of the most beautiful forts in India and people love it for the built structure.

How To Reach

By Air - The nearest airport, officially called Kangra Airport, Gaggal, is approximately 14 kilometers away from the Kangra Fort. You can book a cab from the airport to the fort.

By Bus - Direct buses are available from New Delhi to Kangra. The average bus fare is Rs. 900, and the journey takes around 12 to 13 hours. Auto rickshaws can take you from the bus stand to the Kangra Fort.

By Road - Depending on the route, Kangra Fort is about 469.5 kilometers away from New Delhi. Traveling by road takes a minimum of 8 hours 30 minutes.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Kangra Fort is from September to June. If you want to explore the Kangra Fort, go sightseeing, and visit all the famous temples, the time between September and November will be ideal. Summer here lasts from May to June when the temperature remains between 22 and 30 degrees Celsius, which is comfortable and pleasant for hikers and trekkers.

However, The winter months, especially January, tends to be too cold with temperatures sometimes dipping below zero. If you are sensitive to cold climates, it would be best to avoid the winter months.

Other Essential Information

Location - The Kangra Fort is located in Old Kangra of Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. It is about 20 kilometers or a 40-minute drive away from Dharamshala.

Price - The entry fee for Indians is Rs. 150 per person with Audio Guide. For foreigners, it is Rs. 300 per person with Audio Guide. 

Timing - 9 AM to 5.30 PM from Monday to Sunday.

History of Kangra Fort:

The Katoch dynasty built the Kangra Fort sometime in the 4th century BC. Over the centuries, different rulers tried to conquer the fort. Those who succeeded pillaged the treasures from its temples. From Mahmud Ghazni to Mughal Emperor Jahangir, a number of prominent historical figures sought possession of the fort. Jahangir acquired the fort in 1621 after a 14-month siege. He also built a mosque inside the fort.

However, in 1789, Katoch King Raja Sansar Chand II recovered his ancestral fort from the Mughals. He continually fought against Gurkhas and Maharaja Ranjit Singh to maintain ownership of the fort. After his death in 1828, Ranjit Singh annexed the fort. The British finally took over the Kangra fort after the First Anglo-Sikh War and remained there until the 1905 Kangra earthquake.

Places to Eat near Kangra Fort:

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting a new place is getting to experience the local cuisine and flavor. Whether you need a hearty meal to begin a fun-filled day of sightseeing or a power-packed lunch to get you through the rest of the day, the following eateries are worth trying: 

1. Annapurna Bhojnalaya - Known for its cheap prices and delicious meals, Annapurna Bhojnalaya offers the perfect spot for you to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner with family. It is known for serving Chinese and North Indian cuisine and the restaurant takes pride in the quality of food it provides. You can have a satisfying meal at just Rs. 350! 2. Kumar Sweets - One of the most popular eateries in Kangra Valley, Kumar Sweets, and Fast Food serves snacks such as pizza, burgers, and other fast food. It also has a sweet shop. 

3. Atithi Restaurant - Part of Hotel Atithi Chamunda Devi, Atithi Restaurant is famous for its beautiful décor and delectable food. The staff is friendly and always willing to help you choose the best items from the menu. The food is fairly cheap. The average cost is Rs. 300 for two.

4. The Cliff - Rooftop Bar & Lounge - A little bit on the pricey side, The Cliff - Rooftop Bar & Lounge serves North Indian cuisine and finger food. Here, you will find a range of choices when it comes to food and beverages. But the best part is that the restaurant comes with a magnificent view! The seating area overlooks the valley below and the mountains ahead.

5. Joyful Café - Located 16 kilometers away from the Kangra Fort, Joyful Café is the perfect place where you can chill out and enjoy a warm cup of coffee. The cafe serves Italian and finger food. While you are here, you must try the pizza. They make it in a special wood-burning oven!

Travelers' Tip before visiting Kangra Fort:

Kangra Fort gives you a glimpse into ancient India. It has seen wealth, grandeur, invasion, war and more. If the adventurer in you likes exploring ancient ruins, this is the one spot you cannot miss! However, before you leave for Kangra Fort, you should know a few things:

1. For starters, you need to dress according to the weather. As mentioned above, Kangra can get pretty chilly right before and during winter. So, make sure to stay warm!

2. Secondly, you will need comfortable footwear. You can also get a pair of hiking shoes to be safe. Exploring Kangra Fort involves a fair amount of walking. Wearing the wrong shoes can give you blistered feet. 

3. Finally, exploring the fort might take at least a couple of hours. So, make sure to plan the rest of the day accordingly.

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