Located atop a hillock on the fringes of Kanga town, Kangra fort is the largest fort in Himalayas and also beleived to be the oldest in India. There are mentions that the fort was first built a couple of millenniums ago during the times of Trigarta kingdom, however, it gained prominence during the rule of Katoch dynasty which is an offshoot of Trigarta dynasty. Trigarta dynasty has mentions in the epic, Mahabarata, and ruled areas of Punjab and Kangra. The Katoch rulers who were a Rajput clan resisted the initial attacks from Mahmud of Ghazni and Akbar, but Kangra fort was taken over by the Mughals under Shah Jahan in 1620 CE. Though it was won back in 1789 CE by Raja Sansar Chand II, the fort was taken over in mid 19th century by the British.
A huge earthquake in 1905 CE destroyed most of the fort and what now remains are the crumbling fort walls, a few lovely entrance gates and a couple of temples with intricate works. The fort ramparts and the terrace on top offers lovely views of the surroundings. There is a museum next to the fort and also audio guides are available at the entrance to help you walk through the history of Kangra fort.
|Ranjit Singh gate|
|The long flight of steps from Ahini gate|
|The Katoch crest|
|Courtyard and ruins|
|Adityanath Jain temple|
|Wells where gold and coins were stored|
|Steps leading to the higher levels|
|Carvings on Laxmi Narayan temple|
|Leading to the next level|
|Views from the fort|
Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.
The fort is 23 Kms from Dharamshala, the nearest major town. The closest airport is at Gaggal (12 Kms) and the nearest rail head is at Chakki bank. There are taxis plying between Dharamshala and Kangra.