Situated in the Western Himalayas, Kangra, historically known as Nagarkot is a city in the Kangra district. The Kangra valley is synonymous with scenic beauty and offers a variety of tourism destinations for people to visit. Dharmashala, the administrative headquarters of the Kangra district is heaven on earth with its beautiful scenery, coniferous trees all around, the Dharmashala International Cricket Stadium being one of the main attractions.
How to get there?
- By air: The nearest airport is the Gaggal airport from which Kangra is at a distance of 14 km.
- By train: Kangra is 48 km away from the nearest railway station Amb Andaura.
- By road: Many buses ply from major cities to the Kangra bus station.
1. Masroor Rock Cut Temple
Better known as the Himalayan Pyramid and Wonder of the world is located at a distance of 40 km from Kangra. This monolithic rock cut temple has a lake in front of it wherein the partial reflection of the temples can be seen. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and towering over the temple is the chain of snow-clad, sun-kissed Dhauladhar ranges. In Toto there are 15 intricately carved rock-cut temples. There are many guest houses and hotels available in and around the temple from which the scenic beauty of the valley can be relished. The best time to visit would be in the months of March and October.
2. Kangra Fort
Located at a distance of 20 km from the town of Dharmashala on the outskirts of Kangra, the Kangra Fort stands atop a hill at the confluence of Banganga and Patal Ganga. There is a temple called the Ambika Mata temple at the top of the fort and the Sitamata temple. There are a surplus of Darwazas in this fort; the Ahni and the Amiri Darwazas lead to the Jahangiri Darwaza, these segments of architecture are infused with the Nawabi style of architecture and is way ahead of its time. The Kapoorsagar, a stone step-well, is also another structure which attracts tourists. Stop by this fort for a while to soak in the essence of ancient architecture!
3. Dhauladhar National Park
Situated at a distance of about 13 km from Palampur, the Dhauladhar National Park also known as Gopalpur Zoo is one of the prime attractions in Kangra. Animals like leopards, black bears, red fox, Asiatic lion are a few of the animals which one can spot. There are a number of campsites available and one can go trekking, bird watching, stay at rest houses. The conducive time to visit would be March to June and the park is open from morning unto evening.
4. Maharana Pratap Sagar Sanctuary
Renowned as Pong Dam Lake or Pong Reservoir, the sanctuary is located 60 km southwest of Dharamsala. The main attractions here are birds such as plovers, terns, ducks, water fowl egrets. This sanctuary serves as the ultimate backdrop for photographers with the Dhauladhar ranges and the Kangra valley engulfing this paradise on earth. A diverse species of animals such as cheetal, the barking deer inhabit this sanctuary. Trekkers, water sports enthusiasts have the time of their life with opportunities for so many sports such as skiing, canoeing, angling, sailing. Also located is the highest dam in the country which is 2 km long.
5. Indrahar Pass
Located near Dharmashala, the Indrahar Mountain Pass is in the Dhauladhar range of Himalayas. It attracts plenty of tourists between April and October owing to its popularity as a trekking route form Dharmashala. This pass is famous for camping and trekking. The trekking trail starts from the Galu Devi temple, via the camping ground of Triund, Ilaqua and Lahesh Caves. The camping sites such as the Chhata caves and Kuarsi village are often visited. The sight of the surrounding Dhauladhar ranges is bamboozling as well as soothing at the same time; one of the many subtle games Mother Nature plays with us!
6. Kareri Lake
Also known as Kumwarah lake, the Kareri lake is a fresh water lake, at a very high altitude south of the Dhauladhar range about 9 km North West of Dharmashala. This lake is one of the many famous trekking destinations in the Dhauladhar ranges and the suitable time for visit would be in the months of May-June. The trekking trail through Chamba, Bharmour via the Minkiani and Baleni Pass and since the route from Ghera to Kareri village mandatory involves hiking, the purpose of this beautiful lake is fulfilled!