[Himachal GK] Important Details and History of District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

Details about District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh : 

  • Headquarter: Dharmshala.
  • Altitude: 1220 meters. (HQ)
  • Languages spoken: Kangri, Hindi, Punjabi.
  • District Kangra is situated between 31°40’ to 32°25’ East Longitude and 70°25’ to 77°5’ North latitude.
  • Population wise (1,507,223) Kangra is the biggest district which is 21.98% of the total population of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Area of District Kangra: 5739 sq. km.
  • River Beas enters the district Kangra at Sandhol and leaves it at Mirthal to enter Punjab.
  • Tea processing factory is located in Bir.
  • The tea farm was established in Palampur in 1939 A.D.
  • The fruit farm was established in Palampur in 1936 A.D.
  • Government Bee farm was established in Nagrota in 1936 A.D.
  • Natural Gas was founded in Jawalamukhi, Kangra.
  • Chamba fair is celebrated in Palampur Tehsil.
  • Dharmsala came into existence in 1849 A.D.
  • In 1855 A.D., Dharmshala was recognized as the Headquarter of the district Kangra.
  • Tibetan Institute of Performing Art (TIPA) was established in 1959 A.D. in Dharmshala. TIPA hold an opera festival called Shotou.

Fig : Kangra District

Geographical Status
Kangra district is situated in Western Himalayas between 31°2 to 32°5 N and 75° to 77°45 E. The district has a geographical area of 5,739 km. which constitutes 10.31 % of geographical area of the State. It is situated on the southern escarpment of the Himalayas. The entire area of the district is traversed by the varying altitude of the ShivaliksDhauladhar and the Himalayas from north-west to south-east. The altitude varies from 500 metres above mean sea level (amsl) to around 5000 metres amsl. The district is bounded by Chamba to the north, Lahul and Spiti to the northeast, Kullu to the east, Mandi to the southeast, and Hamirpur and Una to the south. The district shares a border with the states of Punjab on the southwest, and Jammu and Kashmir on the northwest. The present Kangra district came into existence on the 1st September, 1972 consequent upon the re-organisation of districts by the Government of Himachal Pradesh.  It was the largest district of the composite Punjab in terms of area till it was transferred to Himachal Pradesh on the 1st November, 1966 and had six tehsils namely Nurpur, Kangra, Palampur, Dehragopipur, Hamirpur and Una. Kullu was also a tehsil of Kangra district up to 1962 and Lahaul & Spiti which also formed a part of Kangra was carved out as a separate district in 1960.  On the re-organisation of composite Punjab on the 1st   November, 1966 the area constituting Kangra district were transferred to Himachal Pradesh along with the districts of Shimla, Kullu and Lahaul and Spiti and tehsils of Una and Nalagarh and three villages of Gurdaspur district.

Forest Area
2367 Sq. km.
Cultivated Area
1175 Sq. km.
Unusable Area
2197 Sq. km.
1220 mtr. (Head Quarter)
75 Degree 35' to 77 degree 4' ( E )
75 Deg 35' 34''- 77 Deg. 04'46'' (East)
31 Degree 41' to 32 Degree 28' ( N )
31Deg.45'0''-32 Deg.28'05''(North)
Major Rivers
Beas River
A seasonal river

Kangra district is having a topography that some of the parts like Milawan at 400 m altitude, while area of Bara Bhangal are at the altitude of 5500 m. Indora block of Kangra district falls in sub-humid sub-tropical zone where annual precipitation works out about 1000 mm and mean temperature of about 24°C, Dehragopipur and Nurpur blocks fall under humid sub-tropical zone where the annual rainfall is between 900–2350 mm and mean temperature about 2° to 24°C. Palampur and Dharamsala fall under wet temperate zone where the temperature ranges from 15 to 19°C and annual rainfall is about 2500 mm. (avg. of last fifty five years). Other parts of the Kangra district fall under hill area where the mean annual temperature varies from 13 to 20°C and annual rainfall is 1800– 3000 mm. The winter lasts from mid-December to mid-February, during which the temperature ranges from 0 to 20 °C. The winds cause winter rains. Summers last from April until June, and are hot (temp 25 to 38 °C) and dry. They are generally followed by a wet monsoon which ends in autumn.

Rainy Season
From July to September
Temp. Approx. 2-24 degree C
December to February
Temp. Approx. 0-20 degree C
April to June
Temp. Approx. 25-38 degree C

People and Culture
Predominant population of the district comprises of Hindus followed by Muslim, Bhudhists, Sikhs, Christians and Jains constitute the negligible proportion of the district population. The main Rajput communities in the district are Katoch, Pathania, Dogra, Jasrotia, Jaswal, Jamwal, Katwal, Guleria, Mian, Thakur, Rana, Rathi etc. Scheduled tribes population is negligible in the district. Jhamakada is a popular group dance performed in Kangra. This dance is exclusively performed by women. The dance is accompanied by a variety of percussion instruments and lyrical songs.

Major Religions
Hindus, Sikhs and a number of Muslims also.
Languages Spoken
Pahari(Kangri), Punjabi, Hindi
Traditional and Pahari
Agriculture and Farming
Art Forms
Kangra paintings and Art Gallery of Shobha Singh

Administrative Setup
Kangra district obtains its name from Kangra town which was primarily called as Nagarkot in the ancient age. The modern Kangra district was founded on the 1st September, 1972 by the Government of Himachal Pradesh.

No. of Sub-Divisions
No. of Tehsils
No. of Sub-Tehsils
Development Blocks

Population Comparison 

An official Census 2011 detail of Kangra, a district of Himachal Pradesh has been released by Directorate of Census Operations in Himachal Pradesh. Enumeration of key persons was also done by census officials in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. In 2011, Kangra had population of 1,507,223 of which male and female were 748,559 and 758,664 respectively. There was change of 12.56 percent in the population compared to population as per 2001. In the previous census of India 2001, Kangra District recorded increase of 14.05 percent to its population compared to 1991.
*Source:- Census of India 2001 & 2011

Actual Population
Population Growth
Area Sq. Km
Proportion to Himachal Pradesh Population
Sex Ratio (Per 1000)
Child Sex Ratio (0-6 Age)
Average Literacy
Male Literacy
Female Literacy
Total Child Population (0-6 Age)
Male Population (0-6 Age)
Female Population (0-6 Age)
Male Literates
Female Literates
Child Proportion (0-6 Age)
Boys Proportion (0-6 Age)
Girls Proportion (0-6 Age)

Urban and Rural Population

Definition - Rural & Urban Areas

Urban Unit (or Town):
All places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee, etc. (known as Statutory Town) All other places which satisfied the following criteria (known as Census Town):
-A minimum population of 5,000.
-At least 75 per cent of the male main workers engaged in non-agricultural pursuits.
-A density of population of at least 400 per sq. km.
Rural Areas :
All areas which are not categorized as Urban area are considered as Rural Area
*Source:- Census of India 2011

Population (%)
94.27 %
Total Population
Male Population
Female Population
Sex Ratio
Child Sex Ratio (0-6)
Child Population (0-6)
Male Child(0-6)
Female Child(0-6)
Child Percentage (0-6)
10.78 %
8.92 %
Male Child Percentage
11.62 %
Female Literacy Child Percentage
9.96 %
8.56 %
Male Literates
Female Literates
Average Literacy
86.54 %
85.67 %
Male Literates
92.83 %
88.31 %
Female Literates
80.49 %
82.77 %

History of Kangra : 

  • During the ancient times the name of Kangra was 'Nagarkot' or 'Bhimkot'. The other name of Kangra was 'Trigarta' during the Mahabharata time.
  • The Plain areas and Hill areas of Trigarta were called as Jallandhara and Nararkot respectively.
  • Kangra became the district of Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966.
  • Kullu was a Tehsil of Kangra district upto 1962 A.D.
  • Lahaul-Spiti was also a part of Kangra upto 1960 A.D.
  • The Europeans who visited Kangra were Thomas Coryat (1615 A.D.),Thevenet (1666 A.D.), Vigne (1835 A.D.), Foster (1783 A.D.), William Moorcraft (1832 A.D.) The last two had not visited Kangra but passed through the outer hills of Kangra.
  • Baijnth (Vaidyanath) is also known as Kirgrama or Paapnagri.
  • Tomb of Lord Elgin is in Dharmsala.
  • In 1337 A.D., Mohammed Tuglak captured Kangra fort in the reign ofPrithvi Chand.
  • In 1398 A.D. Timur-i-lung invaded Kangra during the reign of Megh Chand.
  • Bhim Chand’s brother Kripal Chand made Bhawarnawali Kuhl (water course) from the snow-fed Dhauladhar above Bandla (Palampur).
  • In 1697 A.D. Raja Alam Chand founded Alampur near Sujanpur Tira.
  • Dharam Chand Natak was written by Manik Chand in 1562 A.D. in the reign of Raja Dharam Chand.
  • In 1700 A.D., Hamir Chand son of Alam Chand founded Hamirpur town.
  • In 1751 A.D. Ghamand Chand founded Sujanpur town.
  • Sansar Chand-II and Maharaja Ranjit Singh signed a Treaty of Jawalamukhi on July 20 1809.
  • Jahangir was the first Mughal ruler other than the Rajas of Kangra who brought the Kangra fort under his control.
The offshoots of the Kangra were Guler, Jaswan, Datarpur, Siba, Nurpur, Kuthelar and Bara Banghal. Without these states the history of Kangra will remain incomplete.

Nurpur state:
  • The old Hindu name of the Nurpur state was ‘Dhameri’.
  • The Nurpur state was founded by Raja Jhet Pal in 1000 A.D.
  • Audambara was the ancient name of the whole district.
  • The capital of the Nurpur state was Shahpur.
  • The Raja of Nurpur and Pathankot were called as ‘Pandir’ or descendent of the Pandavas.
  • During the reign the Raja Jagat Singh, Nurpur state reached the zenith of its prosperity.
  • A poem is written on Raja Jagat Singh – “The Rhapsodies of Gambir Rai- the Nurpur bard” in 1650 A.D.
  • In 1686 A.D., the son of Raja Jagat Singh, Bhau Singh embraced Islam receiving the name ‘Murd Khan’ from emperor.
  • Nurpur was the first state to rise in rebellion against British.

Guler state:
  • The original name of the Guler state was Gwalior.
  • Raja Rup Chand of Guler received the title of ‘Bahadur’ from Jahangir.
  • Raja Man Singh was given a name of ‘Sher Afgan’ by Shah Jahan for his Velour.
  • Raja Rup Chand was succeeded by his son Man Singh, and from his time the suffix of the family was changed to ‘Singh’ by ‘Shah Jahan’.
  • Raja Baldev was the first vice regal Darbari in the District Kangra.                         

Jaswan state:
  • Jaswan was founded by Raja Purab Chand in 1170 A.D.
  • The capital of the Jaswan state was Rajpura. 
  • Una district was formerly known as Jaswan Doon. 

Siba state:
  • Siba was founded by Sibran Chand in 1450 A.D.
  • The last ruler of the Siba was Sham Singh (1926 A.D.

Datarpur state:
  • Datarpur was founded by Datar Chand in 1550 A.D.
  • The clan of the Datarpur people was ‘Dhadwal’.

Detailed History of Kangra :

Kangra district derives its name from Kangra town that was known as Nagarkot in ancient times. Kangra proper originally was a part of the ancient Trigarta (Jullundur), which comprises of the area lying between the river "Shatadroo" (probably Sutlej) and Ravi. A tract of land to the east of Sutlej that probably is the area of Sirhind in Punjab also formed a part of Trigrata. Trigrata had two provinces. One in the plains with headquarters at Jullundur and other in the hills with headquarters at Nagarkot (the present Kangra).

The history of Pre-Aryan and Aryan eras is mainly based on the epics like Vedas, Puranas, Mahabharata, etc.  In Rigveda, reference of Arijikya (Beas) flowing through this area has been made.  This region, commonly named as Dev Bhumi is believed to be the abode of gods.  According to the Vedas, some non-Aryan tribes inhabited this region before the arrival of Aryans. There is a mention of Trigarta (Kangra) kingdom in Mahabharata.  Sir Lepel Griffin refers to the Rajput dynasties of the hills of whom the Katochs’ are the oldest. In Mahabharata there is a mention of King Susharama Chandra, who sided with the Kaurvas. He is said to be the founder of this dynasty.  At that time, Kangra was probably named as Bhim Kot. The reference to prosperous Kingdom of Trigarta (Kangra) is also found in the Panani literature that was written sometimes between the seventh and fourth centuries B.C. The mention of Kangra (Nagarkot) was found in the works of Ferishta.

Heun Tsang, a Chinese traveller, visited India from AD 629 to 644 during Harshvardhana’s rule.  In his accounts, he has mentioned about many kings ruling in this region.  It is also gathered that king Harshvardhana annexed the state of Kangra.  It was in the beginning when these outsiders tried to establish their power that the kings of the area stood in their way.  He also found the Jullundur monarchy still undivided.  At some later period, perhaps that of the Muhammadan invasion, the Katoch princes were driven into the hills, where Kangra already existed as one of their chief fortress. In spite of constant invasions, the little Hindu kingdoms, secure within their Himalayan glens, long held out against the aggressive Muhammadan power. In 1009, the riches of the Nagarkot temple attracted the attention of Mahmud of Ghazni, who defeated the Hindu princes at Peshawar, seized the fort of Kangra and plundered the shrine of an immense booty in gold, silver and jewels. From this time, Kangra does not reappear in general history till 1360, when the emperor Firoz Tughlak again led a force against it.  The Raja gave in his submission, and was permitted to retain his dominions; but the Muhammadans once more plundered the temple.

In 1556, Akbar launched an expedition into the hills, and occupied the fort of Kangra.  The fruitful valley became an imperial demesne, and only the barren hills remained in the possession of the native chiefs.  In the graphic language of Todar Mal, Akbar’s minister, ‘he cut off the meat and left the bones.’  Yet the remoteness of the imperial capital and the natural strength of the mountain fastnesses encouraged the Rajput princes to rebel; and it was not until after the imperial forces have been twice repulsed that the fort of Kangra was starved into surrender to an army commanded by prince Khurram in person (1620).  At one time Jahangir intended to build a residence in the valley, and the site of the proposed palace is still pointed out in the lands of the village of Gargari.  Probably, the superior attractions of Kashmir, which the emperor shortly afterwards visited, led to the abandonment of his design.  At the accession of Shah Jahan the hill Rajas had quietly settled down into the position of tributaries, and the commands of the emperor were received and executed with read obedience.  Letters patent (sanadas) are still extant, issued between the reign of Akbar and Aurangzeb, appointing individuals to various judicial and revenue offices, such as that of kazi, kanungo, or chaudhri.  In some instances the present representatives of the family continue to enjoy privileges and powers conferred on their ancestors by the Mughal emperors, the honorary appellation being retained even where the duties have become obsolete. During the period of Muhammadan ascendancy, the hill princes appear to have been treated liberally.  They still enjoyed a considerable share of power, and ruled unmolested over the extensive tracts which remained to them.  They built forts, waged wars upon each other, and wielded the functions of petty sovereigns.  The loyalty of the hill Rajas appears to have won the favour and confidence of their conquerors, and they were frequently deputed on hazardous expeditions and appointed to places of high trust in the service of the empire.  For instance, in 1758 Raja Ghamand Chand of Kangra was appointed governor of the Jullundur Doab and the hill country between the Sutluj and the Ravi.

In 1752, the Katoch principalities nominally formed part of the territories ceded to Ahmad Shah Durrani by the declining Delhi court.  But the native chieftains, emboldened by the prevailing anarchy, resumed their practical independence, and left little to the Durrani monarch or the deputy who still held the isolated fort of Kangra for the Mughal empire. In 1774, the Sikh chieftain, Jai Singh, obtained the fort by stratagem, but relinquished it in 1785 to Sansar Chand, the legitimate Rajput prince of Kangra, to whom the State was thus restored about two centuries after its occupation by Akbar.  This prince, by his vigorous measures, made himself supreme throughout the whole Katoch country and levied tribute from his fellow chieftains in all the neighbouring States.  For twenty years he reigned supreme through out these hills, and raised his name to a height of renown never attained by any ancestor of his race.  He found himself unable, however, to cope with the Sikhs, and two descents upon the Sikh possessions in the plains, in 1803 and 1804, were repelled by Ranjit Singh.  In 1805, Sansar Chand attacked the hill State of Bilaspur (Kahlur), which called in the dangerous aid of the Gurkhas, already masters of the wide tract between the Gogra and the Sutlej.  The Gurkhas responded by crossing the latter river and attacking the Katochs at Mahal Mori, in May, 1806.  The invaders gained a complete victory, overran a large part of the hill country of Kangra, and kept up a constant warfare with the Rajput chieftains who still retained the remainder.  The people fled as refugees to the plains, while the minor princes aggravated the general disorder by acts of anarchy on their own account.  The horrors of the Gurkha invasion still burn in the memories of the people.  The country ran with blood, not a blade of cultivation was to be seen, and grass grew and tigers whelped in the streets of the deserted towns.  At length, after three years of anarchy, Sansar Chand determined to invoke the assistance of the Sikhs.  Ranjit Singh, always ready to seize upon every opportunity for aggression, entered Kangra and gave battle to the Gurkhas in August, 1809.  After a long and furious contest, the Maharaja was successful, and the Gurkhas abandoned their conquests beyond the Sutlej.  Ranjit Singh at first guaranteed to Sansar Chand, the possession of all his dominions except the fort of Kangra and 66 villages, allotted for the support of the garrison; but he gradually made encroachments upon all the hill chieftains. Sansar Chand died in 1824, an obsequious tributary of Lahore.  His son, Anrudh Chand, succeeded him, but after a reign of four years abandoned his throne, and retired to Hardwar, rather than submit to a demand from Ranjit Singh for the hand of his sister in marriage to a son of the Sikh minister Dhian Singh.  Immediately after Anrudh’s flight in 1828, Ranjit Singh attached the whole of his territory, and the last portion of the once powerful Kangra State came finally into the possession of the Sikhs.

Kangra passed to the British at the end of the first Sikh War in 1846 and there were several revolts against the British. Ram Singh, a Pathania Rajput, invaded the British garrison at Shahpur.  The British immediately rushed their forces, which surrounded Shahpur fort. Ram Singh finding himself at a disadvantageous position sneaked into the nearby forest to rearm himself. After the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857, some disturbances took place in the Kulu subdivision; but the vigorous measures of precaution adopted by the local authorities, and the summary execution of the six ring leaders and imprisonment of others on the occasion of the first over act of rebellion, effectually subdued any tendency to lawlessness.  The disarming of the native troops in the forts of Kangra and Nurpur was effected quietly and without opposition.

The national movement in Kangra district was spearheaded by Comrade Ram Chandra, Thakur   Panchan Chandra and Baba Kanshi Ram.  Baba Kanshi Ram did a great deal for liberation movement in Kangra district.  He was responsible for the liberation wave in hills.  He was given the title of “Hill Gandhi” by Jawahar Lal Nehru for his work and “Bulbule Hills” for his melodious throat by Sarojini Naidu. With the freedom of British India, Kangra district automatically threw away the foreign yoke and entered into the era of democracy.

Places of Interest : 

Dal Lake : 
Dal Lake is a small mid-altitude lake (1,775 meters above sea level) situated at a distance of 11 kilometers away from Dharamshala near the village of Tota Rani on Macleodganj Naddi road in Kangra district Himachal Pradesh). Dal Lake is 2 KM walk westwards from MacLeodganj bazaar. Nestling amidst lush green forests of deodar trees, the Dal Lake is famous for its scenic beauty and pilgrimage center. The area around Dal Lake is a natural paradise.  The area of the lake is around one hectare (i.e. 10,000 square meters). On the bank of Dal Lake a famous Lord Shiva temple is located, which is considered to be very sacred and as old as 200 years. According to one legend a sage named Durvasa prayed to Lord Shiva here.   Every year during rainy season, on the day of Radhasthami, a huge number of Lord Shiva devotees flock to the Dal Lake to attend famous festival celebrated to mark the presence of Lord Shiva and take holy dip in the sacred waters of the lake.  It is believed that that the source of lake waters is mainly the famous and sacred Manimahesh Lake (situated at Bharmour, Distt. Chamba) and those who cannot take holy bath in the Manimahesh lake which is situated at the altitude of 13,500 feet and at a very difficult and inhospitable climate take dip in the waters of Dal Lake.  Ma Kali Temple is also situated on the other end of the Lake.  The lake has natural springs on the Northern side and according one legend Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati kunds are also located in it .

The Malady Affecting the Lake
Over the years due to anthropogenic and natural reasons the lake has been swallowed away by the huge load of silt. More than 30 per cent area of the lake has turned out into a meadow. The remaining area of the lake has ten to five feet load of fine silt deposited over it. Coupled with it, the natural system of purification of lake has also got disturbed. The valves fixed for draining out the silt have not been operated for years together. The leakage of lake waters prevented the water to overflow. It disturbed the natural cleaning system of the lake. The lake has further been plagued by large scale pollution due to the increase of population in its catchments area and due to feeding to fish which got multiplied here disproportionately to the capacity of the lake and its waters. To compound the problem further, the leakage of the lake increased all of sudden on 11th of June, 2009. On the advice of the Fisheries Department, the fish had to be transferred to other location to save it from death. And after few days the lake has dried up completely.

The Campaign
For the last many years a thinking was going on to save lake. Some meetings were also held involving the experts. The work of de-siltation of lake was started in May, 2008 through NREGA which could be continued for a month only. Thereafter on 15th of June, 2009 a campaign was started involving the local population to de-silt the lake. The silt of the lake is being dumped on Strawberry road on temple land which is automatically getting converted into a parking which is very much required at this location. Responsibilities were also distributed to various Departments and organizations.

Pong Dam : Himachal is nature’s paradise, replete with beautiful landscape, river catchments and forest wealth. A hill state of Indian Union- Himachal Pradesh lies in the north westernly direction of the country with Himalayas in the background and Shivalik foothills in the fore front. A part of Hindukish Himalayas, the state abounds in natural herbal wealth and a large  population of wild life and varied climatic zones and topography. The hilly and semi hilly areas are capable of sustaining a very large number of animal species,amphibians,reptiles and globally threatened birds. 

The wetland was very fertile land before submergence in water in 1975 due to the upcoming of dam on river Beas. The people had large land holdings and being situated on the bank of the river Beas had fertile soil because in the monsoon season fresh alluvial soil had been depositing there. The people were mostly agrarian except a few one in Govt. jobs. They grew vegetables, wheat, maize, paddy, pulses, oil seeds crops etc. Consequent to submergence, many people were shifted to Rajasthan (Anupgarh) but very few settled there and returned. Most of them have now resorted to cultivation around the fringe of the lake that is acquired by Bakara Beas Management Board (BBMB).

There is a good road network of roads around the wetland. Dehra - Pathankot road on the left bank and Dehra- Jawali-Nurpur on the right bank run more or less adjacent to the shoreline. The right bank of the lake is connected with JoginderNagar – pathankot railway line . The nearest airport is at Gaggal and Jammu about 40 and 115 Kms from N/Suriyan.

The climate of the region is sub- tropical.. Summer season extends from mid of March to mid of July and the Monsoon starts from mid of July to Mid of September. The winter is mild and starts from Mid of December till mid of March. The maximum temperature goes up to 45 Deg. Centigrade, whereas the minimum temperature recorded is 3.5 deg centigrade in winters. The rainfall, however is generally heavier and continuous from July onwards till September. Annual average rainfall during the last five years is 1207 mm.

Kangra Art Museum : This treasure trove of the Kangra valleys arts, crafts and rich past, display artifacts that date back to the 5th Century. It includes a gallery of famous paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamiyanas and local dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jail and pndals are also on display. Coins jewellery and manuscripts are included. A section houses the works of conteporary artists, sculptures and photographers.

Martyr’s   Memorial : Set amidst beautiful surroundings, this memorial was built in 1972, near the entry point to Dharamshala in Civil Lines. The war memorial was built to commemorate the memory of soldiers and officiers of Kangra district who fought valiantly for the defence of Motherland in INDO-CHINA(1962) and INDO-PAK wars(1947-48,1965 & 1971) and during some peace operations under United Nations Auspicies.

Features of the memorial are its three curved walls in black marble each 20 feet long and 24 feet high bearing the names of 1042 martyrs on five of its faces with a mural on the sixth. Rising from a circular shallow pool having a central bowl and 21 water jets, these walls signify the three wings of the "Armed Forces". Their curved shape indicates the continuity and onward movement of human and national life. On selected evenings in a week, the monument is flood lit and the fountains burst forth in full splendor.

Outside the gate of the memorial are a disused Pattan Tank captured in 1971, INDO-PAK war and a Gnat, a light jet aeroplane, successfully used by the Indian Air Force in the same war. The entire area looks like a fairyland.

The Mural symbolizes the flame of National Freedom. A stout arm is holding the flame aloft, showing how our heroes are making determined efforts to keep it ever high and ever burning and in doing so they are achieving martyrdom. The garlands and medals around them represent Nation's gratitude to them. In nutshell, the mural depicts how the martyrs are upholding the freedom of their Motherland by sacrificing their lives so that their countrymen may be able to live freely.

Triund : For adventurous people nothing can be more enjoyable than a 9-km climb from McLeod Ganj to Triund located at a height of 2,827 metres above sea level. Here you get a face to face view of towering snow-clad Dhaula Dhar. On a clear day you can also have a spell-bounding view of hills and valleys below.In spring the hill slopes of the path leading from McLeod Ganj to Triund are abloom with lots of wild flowers like the flame of the forest, holly hock, gladioli, hydrangea and so on.

For weary travellers there is a forest rest house at Triund (cabins for night stay are booked by the Divisional Forest Officer in lower Dharamshala) to rest and sojourn. Tour operators can arrange rest house bookings on their own too. Since the spot is ideal for hang-gliding, a westerner used to enjoy flying down from Triund on his hang glider till some time back. Lately, no one has emulated his example. Five kilometres above Triund, the snowline starts at a place called Laka, presenting a breath-taking view of the snow above and the Kangra valley below.

Kareri Lake : Located at a distance of 33 km from Dharamshala and at an altitude of 1,983 metres above the sea level., Kareri village is set amidst beautiful settings.13 km from here lies the impressive Kareri lake 3,048 metres above the sea level amidst green meadows, oak and pine trees making it an idyllic spot to visit. At Kareri the visitors can stay in the forest rest house, for which prior reservation is needed from the Divisional Forest Officer, Dharamshala near head post office.

Dharamkot : 1 Kilometer above McLeod Ganj a village called Dharamkot inhabited by the Gaddis (hill tribals) nestles amidst scenic beauty at 2,100 metres above the sea level. Besides offering a panoramic view of the Dhaula Dhar range of mountains, Kangra valley and the Pong Dam, the village once had a gallery of paintings of a well-known English painter "A.W.Hallot". Today Dharamkot is a favourite picnic spot.

Naddi : 
At 2,000 metres above the sea level and about two kilometres from Mcleod Ganj, a modern picnic spot is developing fast at Naddi. It is connected with a metalled motorable road.It is the only place in Dharamshala from where an open view of mountains and wide valleys on Dhaula Dhar's southern side can be seen. It is also a starting point for a trek to Kareri lake, Guna Temple and Triund.There is an International School called "Sahaj International School", where the children are educated keeping in view the Indian way of life besides all essential school subjects.

Mcleod Ganj : 
Viewed from Mcleod Ganj, the Kangra valley sprawls below as far as the eye can see. So fantastic and expansive is the view of kangra valley from upper Dharamshala (McLeod Ganj) that an Englishman Barnen went ruptures over it. His description in the Kangra gazetteer is worth reading : 'No scenery, in my opinion persents such sublime and delightful contrast'. At 2,000 metres above sea level, McLeod Ganj is a place pulsating with life. it has a delightful mixture of eastern, western and Buddhist cultures, reflected in the people, in the shrines of worship and in its very name.

Bhagsu Waterfall : 
2 kilometers away from McLeod Ganj and connected to with a mettalled motorable road, is an ancient temple of Bhagsu Nag. About 1 km there is a small but lovely waterfall close to the temple, which is enough to sooth one's eyes and mind. Above the waterfall, the mountain side has a lot of slate quarries. It is a perfect site for picnics and recreation.

St. John's Church : 7 km upward from Dharamshala, between Forsyth Ganj and Mcleod Ganj lies the charming St. John's Church built with dressed stone and having beautiful stained glass windows, popularly called, the church of St. John in Wilderness. Under the shed of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the then British Viceroy of India, Lord Elgin who died in Dharamshala in 1863. There is a well tended old graveyard on the grassy sloves.

The church is small in size and was built in 1852 in the Gothic style. Its tapering high windows, the front and back sides of its building all seem to be in perfect harmony with the deodar grove which is a home to lots of monkeys, baboons and birds. In 1905 earthquake, the bellfry of the church was completely destroyed. However, the rest of the building escaped damage. A new bell (built in 1915) was brought from England and installed outside in the compound of the church. The church witnessed a special event in 1992 when visitors from 39 countries paricipated in its service.

Kangra Fort :
The historic fort of kangra was built by BhumaChand the founder of the Katoch Dynasty. This fort had been the centre of attraction for the rulers of Northern India. Since Long Time the first attack on the fort was made by Raja of Kashmir, Shreshta in A.D.470. In 1009 Muhammad Gazni Looted the Kangra Fort. He Carried with him 7 Lakh gold Coins , 28 tonne utensils mode of Gold and Silver and 8 tonnes of Diamond and Pearls. In 1337 Muhammad Tughlaq and in 1357 Feroze Shah captured the Kangra Fort. In 1540 the fort was captured by Khan Jahan a commander of Sher Shah Suri. In 1620 Jehangir occupied the Kangra Fort and came to see it in 1622. In 1781 it came under the control of Jassa Singh Kanhaya. In 1786 Maharaja Sansar Chand took control of the fort. In 1846 the Kangra Fort fell into the hands of the British. The Fort is located on the Banks of the River Ban Ganga. In the foreyard of the Fort are the temples of Laxmi Narayan and Adinath dedicated to Jainism. Inside the Fort are two ponds one of them is called Kapoor Sagar. At prsent the fort is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India. It was badly damaged in the 1905 earthquake.

Nurpur Fort : Is located on 32 18 north and 75 55 eat at an altitude of 2125 ft on the banks of the river jabbar.The first reference of nurpur is found in the writings of the historian of the period of Akbar. He reffered to the king of Nurpur by the title of Zamindar of Mau and Paithan. The ancient fort of Mau was demolished by Shahjahan. To the ancient it was known as Dhameri.It was renamed by raja Basu as a mask of Respect to the mugjhal empror Shahjahan and empress noorjahan. it is famous for an old fort and a temple of Brij Raj Bihari. The image according to legend was worshipped by Meera Bai. The fort is in ruins now but still has some carved relief work on stone.

Bir / Billing : This is one of the most beautiful jeep able routes in the Kangra valley situated at a height of about 9500 ft from the MSL. 35Kms from Palampur is Bir Town known for the Buddhist monasteries and 14 kms from here is the famous aero sport site of Billing. Upto Bir town you can travel by any vehicle. The 14 km distance from bir to billing is actually a rock road, whose rock cutting was done way back in 1962. It is advisable that this distance be covered either by foot or if by a vehicle it should be any 4x4 vehicle like the Gypsy or the Mahindra 4x4. At billing there is only a Guest house of the Forest Dept. being looked after by a caretaker named “Thakur”. This guest house can be booked from bir in advance for over night stays. With food stock being a scarcity in this part of the Kangra valley your only link to the outside world is the care taker of the Guest House “Thakur”. This place is the originating point for hang and para gliders. You can fly upto chamba from here. The ariel view of the chamba and kangra valleys are really breathtaking.

Gopalpur Zoo : 
Lying on Dharamshala-Palampur road, wildlife department of H.P Goverment has established a zoo at Gopalpur spread over 12.5 hectares of thick forest. Animals which can be seen here include Asiatic Lion, Himalayan black bear,(a major attraction with the tourists), Leopard, Sambar, hog deer, barking deer, red fox, angora rabbits and so on.

Art Gallery Andretta : Well known Indian portrait painter late Sardar Sobha Singh's art gallery still draws visitors each day. Punjabi playwright Mrs. Norah Richard also lived and died here. The Punjabi University holds an annual competition in Andretta in honour of Norah Richard in which plays are staged in the open. many living artists have made this village their home due to its scenic location, and quietness, as it is far away from noisy roads.

Kangra Tea Gardens : 
Tea in Kangra valley was introduced in 1854. When "Holta" tea estate was set i[ (4200 ft above the MSL). After the devastating earthquake of 1905 annihilating both man and plantation, the tea prodoction lost its paramount position, however, the scene has changed with the setting up of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Palampur Complex where scientists are striving to produce tea Production of the one popular Kangra Tea through the scientific methods, using tissue culture techniques, producing numerous"Somatic embryo's encapulated into a gelatine like substance,sodium alginate to form a bead like structure called an artifical or synthetic seed. And hence the production has shown a tremendous increase. From 84 kg of green tea leaves per hectare to 200 kgs of green leaves per hectaare. A new concept, the "orgnic tea farming". green tea without using any chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers has come into operation to explore the much needed export potentiality.

In the tea gardens, the chemical control of grass weeds is quiet necessary, particularly during the early years of establisment, aafter which the bushes attain a good spread and dense canopy, which supresses the weed growth ina natural way. Out of the various grass weeds in the estates in the Kangra valley the that is found in abundance.

The entire tea production of Himachal pradesh is produced in kangra especially in the Palampur valley. It was docotor william jameson who had itroduced the chinese green tea, had brought the seeds from the kumaon hills,to nagrota and Bhawarna hills first. After testing and trying period of more than 75 years, the four co operative tea factories at Palampur , Bir, Sidhbari and Baijnath encouraged the disillusioned planters to produce quality tea and it is fetching good price now.

Manuni Lake : 
8 km away from Dharamshala, Aghanjar Mahadev Temple and 5 km trek to Natural and God gifted lake named as Manuni Lake.

Temples in Kangra :

Baijnath Temple :
It is dedicated to Vaidyanath(Shiva).The Baijnath in earlier times was known as "Kirgram" the famous capital of Kiratas.This fact is borne out by the sanskrit inscriptions in sharada script on the stone slabs found in the temple. This temple was built by two wealthy brothers of Kiragram.The temple has a shiv Linga enshrined in the grabhagrihas measuring 8 squares inside and surmounted by a spire in the shikhara style. It was built in 1204 AD and was renovated by raja Sansar Chand in the 19th Century..36 Kms east of Kangra the famous Vaidyanath Shiva Temple at Baijnathas a pyramid shaped roof 2 1/2 mts square from inside and 5 1/2 mts square from outside. And is also surmounted by a conical sphere. There are four artistic big pillars supporting the roof of the Mandap.The strong and sturdy build of the temple shows the rare expertise of the Kangra artesian.

Chinmaya Tapovan : Swami Chinmayananda a great exponent of the Gita founded the Chinmaya Tapovan Trust. This quiet, calm and peaceful ashram complex is about 9 kms from Dharamshala. This complex also includes a temple dedicated to Lord Rama, a 7 mts high statue of Hanuman ji, a meditation hall, a school and a health and a recreational centre. Just a few hundred yards from this ashram complex is a thick cover of pine trees. This mini forest can be a very good picnic spot with absolutely no noise around.

Kunal Pathri Temple : Located in the lap of the Dhauladhar Ranges this temple is dedicated to goddess Kapaleshwari. It has been mentioned in the Shiv Maha Puran that Daksh Prajapati the father of Sati had once organized a Yajna. He did not invite Lord Shiva to this Yajna. Sati could not bear the insult to lord Shiva and in retaliation jumped into the fire of the Yajna. Lord Shiva was shocked to learn about the death of Sati. He started roaming in a state of madness with the body of Sati on his back. On seeing this Lord Vishnu used the Sudarshan Chakra to Destroy Sati's Body and a part of her skull is believed to have fallen here. The locals here call this place Kunal Pathri.

Bhagsu Nag Temple : During the rule of Raja Bhagsu there was once a severe drought in his capital. The local chiefs requested the king to do something or else the people would leave his kingdom. The king promised to do something this and set out himself in search of water. After about 3 days of searching he reached the Sacred Nag Dal (Lake) at a height of 18000ft. This lake was very big and had a lot of water. Raja Bhagsu used trickery to fill the water of the lake into a small vessel. He decided to spend the night there, as it had grown dark. Later in the Evening Nag the Lord of Snakes happened to pass by the lake and was shocked to find the lake empty. Following the footmarks he reached the place where Raja Bhagsu was resting. He challenged Bhagsu for a duel and defeated him in the ensuing fight. The moment the vessel containing the sacred water fell on the ground water started flowing from there. Baldy injured Raja Bhagsu prayed to Nag and moved by his prayers Nag granted him a boon that this place shall henceforth be referred firstly by the kings name and then by the Lords name and he shall become popular. Henceforth this place came to be known as "BhagsuNag". In the Beginning of the Kalyug Raja Dharamchand dreamt that lord Shiva asked him to build a temple here to bring prosperity to the area. Today it is about 5100 years since this temple was built.

Aghanjar Mahadev Temple : This temple is located at a distance of 8.5 km from Dharamshala and just a few meters from the Khaniyara village, famous for its scenic beauties. Once when Arjun, of Mahabarat, was on his way to the Kailash Mountains. Lord Shiva appeared in front of Arjun and blessed him with the Boon of Victory over the Kauravas. At this place Baba Ganga Bharati has fired "Akhand Dhuni" (Sacred Fire).

Indru Nag Temple : This Temple is located on way to Khaniyara Village about 3 kms from Kotwali Bazaar. 2 kms road route upto the village Chola and 1 km trek route to the Indrunag temple. This temple is dedicated to Nag, the Lord of Snakes, and the Lord of Rains. In the Month of July many devotees of the local areas visit the Temple.

Baba Baroh Temple : 52 kms from Dharamshala is the temple at Baroh named as "Baba Baroh Temple". This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. This is a wonderful temple newly constructed by a religious local devotee Mr. B.R. Sharma. In this temple the idol of Goddess Durga is of metal. The entire temple is made of white marble. There is no other huge marble temple in Himachal Pradesh. There is also an ancient temple of Kali Nath Bhole Shankar near to the temple.

Masroor Temple : It is known for its monolithic temples. There are 15 monolithic rocks cut temples in the indo-aryan style, richly carved. The temples, partly ruined now are well decorated with rich sculptural ornamentation conceived in the same manner as the great temple of Kailash in ellora, Maharashtra. The main Shrine contains three stone images of Lord Ram, his brother Lakshman and wife Sita. This place is about 40 kms from Dharamshala.

Sahaj Temple : From the very beginning man has always had the true desire to get united with all the pervading powers of the divine. Blessed with all the powers of the divine man has always tried different ways to get attached with god almighty but with the passage of time the word yoga lost its literal meaning and was changed by various individuals as per their convenience. Yoga as the word means in Hindi is the union or sum of two things. The union of the spirit with the all pervading power of divine by the awakening of the inner power "Kundalini", which is settled in the sacrum bone of every human being. The awakening of the power of "Kundalini" provides us with the subtle energy within ourselves and man overcomes all the troubles and miseries of life and enjoys the real joy of spirit and always remains under the protection and care of God almighty. The Sahaj Temple is located at Naddi and is a one of a kind temple in the whole world. This Temple is dedicated to Her Holiness Shri Mataji & Shri Nirmala Devi.

Durveshwar Mahadev : It is believed that Lord Shiva did penance at Manimahesh at a height of 18,000 ft and the holy water from his hair fell into the Dal Lake and for this reason the Dhruveshwar temple and Dal Lake find mention in the Shiv Maha Puran and also the Jullandhar Peeth Dipika as the Mini Manimahesh. It is believed that those who cannot travel to Manimahesh for a pilgrimage can also take a holy dip in the Dal Lake. Every year 15 days after Krishna Janmashtmi, during Radhashtmi a fair is held at the dal lake. People from nearby villages throng to this fair.

Martyrs of Kangra :

Major Somnath Sharma : Major Somnath Sharma, son of Major General  Amarnath Sharma, was born on 31 January 1923, in Himachal Pradesh District Kangra. He was commissioned in the Kumaon Regiment on 22 February 1942. During the Second World War, he had fought in the Arakan Operations. His brother, General V.N. Sharma, served as the Chief of Army Staff during 1988 to 1990. On 22 October 1947, Pakistan launched the tribal invasion of Jammu & Kashmir. The intention was to grab the Kashmir valley by force. As the State became a part of the Union on October 26th, her protection became the responsibility of India. To save the State from a tribal invasion, which was approaching the valley at a very fast pace, India dispatched troops to Srinagar. The first batch of Indian troops reached just in time on October 27th morning to stop the enemy on the outskirts of Srinagar.

The D Company of 4 Kumaon, led by Major Somnath Sharma, was airlifted to Srinagar on October 31st. When his company was asked to move to Srinagar, Major Sharma's arm was in plaster. He had suffered a fracture on the hockey ground and was advised rest till the plaster was removed. But he insisted on being with his company at this crucial hour and was allowed to go. Meanwhile, the main thrust of the tribal invasion of Srinagar had been blunted by the 1 Sikh at Patan. The enemy now resorted to guerilla tactics to sneak into the valley. But the induction of more troops into Srinagar enables the Army to take care of the surrounding areas better. On November 3rd, a strong fighting patrol compromising 3 companies was dispatched to reconnoitre the Bagdam area to look for raiders approaching Srinagar from the northern direction. By 0930 hrs the troops had established a firm base at Bagdam.

As no enemy was seen during patrolling, two companies moved back to Srinagar by 1400 hrs. D Coy led by Major Sharma which had taken up position south of Bagdam was, however, asked to stay on in the area till 1500 hours. At 1435 hours, D Coy was subjected to firing from some houses of Bagdam village. The Coy did not return fire for fear of killing innocent people of the village. While Major Sharma was discussing this threat with the Bde. Cdr., a large force of the enemy, about 700 strong, appeared from a depression to the west of his position. It attacked with coy with small arms, mortars and heavy automatics. The accurate and devastating fire of the enemy inflicted heavy casualties on D Coy. Major Somnath Sharma understood the gravity of the situation and the imminent threat to both Srinagar town and the airfield was looming large before his eyes. He rushed across the open ground to his sections, exposing himself to enemy fire. He also laid out panels to guide IAF aircraft to their targets in the face of enemy fire. The company held on for six hours against heavy odds.

When heavy casualties adversely affected the firing power of the company, Major Sharma, with his right hand in plaster, took upon himself the task of filling the magazines and issuing them to men, operating light machine guns. While he was busy fighting the enemy, a mortar shell exploded on the ammunition near him. His last message to Brigade HQ, received a few moments before he was killed was, "The enemy are only 50 yards from us. We are heavily outnumbered. We are under devastating fire. I shall not withdraw an inch but will fight to our last man and our last round." His answer is now part of the Army lore. In the battle of Bagdam, Major Sharma, one JCO and 20 other ranks were killed. But their sacrifices did not go in vain. He and his men stemmed the tide of the enemy advance on Srinagar and the airfield for some very crucial hours. He has set an example of courage and qualities, seldom equaled in the history of the Indian Army. Major General Amarnath Sharma received India's first and highest war-time gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, on behalf of his brave son.

Capt. Vikram Batra : On 20 Jun 99, 13 JAK RIF was tasked to capture Point 5140. Capt Vikram Batra, in an audacious move, decided to attack the enemy position from the rear along a sheer cliff face. Undaunted by fire, the officer, followed by five of his men climbed up and hurled two grenades into the enemy Sangar. As three enemy soldiers came out, he single handedly engaged them in close fire fight and killed all three. Mortally wounded, he went back and called forward his men, regrouped them and led them to capture Point 5140.For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and junior leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy, Capt Vikram Batra has been awarded the PARAM VIR CHAKRA Posthumously.

Major. Sudhir Walia : Major Sudhir Kumar, 9 Parachute (Special Forces), SM plus Bar to SM hailing from District Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), was commissioned into the 3rd Jat Regiment on 11 June 1988. . On 29 August 1999, Major Kumar led an assault on a militant hideout in Kupwara district. He killed four militants before succumbing to their bullets. However, till the end came, he was directing his commandos on radio set and refused evacuation in spite of serious injuries on his chest, face and arms. For his conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy, Major Sudhir Kumar was awarded the highest peace-time gallantry medal, Ashoka Chakra, posthumously. His father, former Subedar Major Rulia Ram Walia, received the award from the President of India, on behalf of his brave son.

Brigadier Sher Jang Thapa : In 1947, the 6 J&K Rifles commanded by Lt Col Sher Jang Thapa was moved to Skardu in Ladakh to ensure its security against an emminent Pakistani onslaught. /
On February 11, 1948, Skardu was surrounded by an enemy of about 600 troops, while the strength of soldiers under Lt Col Thapa was only 130. Sporadic fighting continued all through February but in March the raiders strengthened by new supplies intensified their fire. Gradually, the Indians ration position started worsening. The enemy tried to persuade them to surrender. The offer was outrightly rejected by Lt Col Thapa.

The night of August 13, 1948, saw a fierce battle at Skardu between Pakistani and Indian troops. Lt Col Thapa and his men repulsed an attack of around 200 raiders. But now Thapa knew he could not hold on any longer and he ordered his men to leave Skardu in small numbers. Thapa recalls, "We used our last box of ammunition. Everyone knew our plight and there was panic and chaos all over ... my troops fought under very adverse conditions and held Skardu for six months and three days. Then I was left with no alternative but to surrender." On 14th August after withstanding a heroic seige of 6 months Skardu finally gave in.

Throughout the period of siege, Lt Col Sher Jang Thapa showed outstanding leadership and great determination in holding out ... in spite of the enemy offering him liberal surrender terms and knowing that there was no hope of ever being relieved. By his personal example and indomitable spirit he kept the morale of both his troops and civilian refugees at a high level ... his conduct has been in the best traditions of the Indian Army. For his sustained gallantry, Lt Col Sher Jung Thapa was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.

But for his siege of Skardu in the Ladakh region of Kashmir for over six months, Ladakh might have been wiped out from the Indian map. Brigadier Sher Jang Thapa is remembered and revered as the Hero of Skardu. His heroic deeds are today part of the glorious history of the Indian Army.
Lt Col Thapa retired as a Brigadier in 1960. He died in Dharamsala in 1999 at the age of 90 years.

Captain Saurabh Kalia : Born at Amritsar (Punjab), hailing from Palampur in District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, Captain Saurabh Kalia was brilliant in academics and effortlessly secured scholarships throughout his schooling years. After completing his graduation in May 1997, Saurabh was selected in the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun in August 1997, through the Combined Defence Services and was commissioned on December 12, 1998.

Lt. Saurabh was posted with the 4 JAT Regiment (Infantry) IC No. 58522F in the Kargil Sector. In the first fortnight of May 1999, he went out for Patrol Duty three times to check the infiltration in the Kaksar area of Kargil. Lt. Saurabh was hailed as the First Officer to give information of the large-scale intrusion of the Pakistan Army and infilitrators in the area.

After the intrusion was detected in area, his Commanding Officer deputed a slightly older Junior Officer to check the strategic Bajrang Post. Lt. Saurabh, however, volunteered to go there himself and went in place of the deputed officer. Here, the troops were fired upon by the enemy. These brave Indian soldiers kept fighting as reinforcements couldn't reach in the day, any movement in the daylight would come under the direct enemy fire.

The Indian troops ran out of ammunition, their signal instrument went out of order and finally they got encircled by about 200 Pakistan soldiers and were captured alive, before the reinforcement reached at that height.

No trace of this entire patrol was left and Skardu Radio of Pakistan reported that Lt. Saurabh Kalia and his five men were captured alive. They were in their captivity for over twenty-two (May 15,1999 to June 6-7, 1999) days and subjected to unprecedented brutal torture as evident from their bodies handed over by Pakistan Army on June 9,1999. They did not break while undergoing this unlimited barbarism. This speaks volumes of their patriotism, grit, determination, tenacity and valour and the whole nation is proud of them.

The enemy indulged in the most heinous act of burning their bodies with cigarettes, piercing ear-drums with hot rods, removing eyes, chopping off various limbs and organs of these soldiers besides inflicting all sorts of physical and mental tortures before shooting them down. Lt. Saurabh Kalia's skull was fractured and most of the bones and teeth broken. He had a bullet injury in the temple indicating that he was finally shot dead.

In his memory a Saurabh Van Vihar has been made near Neughal in Palampur and a museum (Saurabh Smiriti Kaksha) has been raised in his house at Palampur.


  1. sir it is sufficient for HP GK or should i read Balokhra.

  2. is this material is enought for HAS examination or do i need to read jagmohan bolakhra