Kangra Fort Quick Facts

PlaceKangra, Himachal Pradesh (India)
Built in1500 century AD
Built bySusharma Chandra

Kangra Fort Overview

Kangra Fort is located to the south-west of the old Kangra city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at a distance of 3-4 km from Kangra city. This historical fort is built on a straight narrow hill between Majhi and Banganga rivers. This fort is also known as Nagarkot or Kot Kangra.

The city was in ancient times the capital city of the Trigarta land of King Bhumchand, the ancestor of the lineage of 500 kings. Apart from the Katoch rulers, many rulers like Turks, Mughals, Sikhs, Gorkhas and British ruled this fort.

This fort is one of the oldest Forts in the world. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and the oldest fort in India. A large number of people come here to glimpse the history and see the beauty of Himachal. Lakhs of tourists from all over the country and abroad come here to see the glorious history of this fort and the beautiful valleys of Himachal.

Kangra Fort History

This Historical Fort is also mentioned in the Mahabharata, as well as this fort was present even when the great Greek ruler Alexander invaded here. The earliest written evidence of this fort comes from the attack by Mahmud Ghazni in the year 1009. Later in the year 1043, the Tomar rulers of Delhi again handed over this fort to the Katoch rulers.

In the year 1337, Muhammad Tughlaq and later in 1351 Firoz Shah Tughlaq established his rule over it. In the year 1556, Akbar took over Delhi and this fort came to Raja Dharamchand. Raja Dharamchand died in 1563, after which his son Manikya Chand became the ruler.

In 1620, the Mughal emperor Jahangir with the help of his governors conquered this fort. After 2 years of this victory, Jahangir came to Kangra Fort in January 1622. He had built Jahangiri Darwaza and a mosque in his name in the fort, which is still present here. After this, all attempts to take the fort failed and for a long time, this fort remained in the possession of the Mughal army. The Sikh Sardar Jai Singh Kanhaiya of Batala took over the fort from the Mughal army in the year 1783, who had to hand over the fort to the then Katoch Raja Sansar Chand (1765–1823) in exchange for the plains.

Thus after centuries of sacrifice, the Hindu king of Kangra was again able to return to the fort. The Gorkha army under the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa of Nepal laid siege to this fort for about 4 years. In the year 1809, the fort was handed over to Maharaja Ranjit Singh according to the treaty on the assurance of aid against the Gorkhas. The Sikh community ruled this fort till the year 1846, after which the fort came under the British.

Kangra Fort Interesting Facts

  1. This magnificent fort is situated at a height of 350 feet above sea level and is covered over an area of about 4 km.
  2. The distance from Kangra to Dharamshala city is just 20 km.
  3. In Ancient times this fort was very famous for wealth, so Mohammad Ghazni reached Kangra directly in 1009 AD after conquering Punjab during his fourth campaign in India.
  4. There is a small verandah to enter this fort, which is between the two gates. According to the inscription at the entrance of the fort, these two gates were built during the Sikh reign.
  5. The Fort's security rampart is 4 km long, the main entrance of the arch, named after Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was constructed during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. But it is said that Jahangir broke down the old door and got the door rebuilt, hence it is called Jahangir Darwaza.
  6. Above it is the Darshani Darwaza, on either side of which are the statues of Ganga and Yamuna. This is the entrance to the inner part of the fort.
  7. The view of the beautiful hills of Dhauladhar is also seen from this fort, which adds to the beauty of the fort.
  8. There is a security gate of the fort with the main temple, which was called Andheri Darwaza ( Dark Gate).
  9. There is a temple of Jayanti Maa on the top of the hill near Old Kangra. This temple was built by Bada Qazi Amar Singh Thapa, the commander of the Gorkha army.
  10. In the rear of the Fort, Gunpowder, a Mosque, hanging house, dry pond, camphor pond, baradari, Shiva temple, and many wells are still present.
  11. Tourists coming here can also visit the Watch Tower, Brajeshwari Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, and Adinath Temple inside the fort.
  12. The oldest remains of this fort exist in the form of Hindu and Jain's temples established around the 9th-10th century.
  13. During British rule, this fort was heavily damaged due to the severe earthquake in Kangra on 04 April 1905. After which the fort was again handed over to the Katoch dynasty.
  14. At present, from the point of view of tourism, the protection and maintenance of this fort are done by the Royal Family of Kangra, Archaeological Survey of India, and Himachal Government.
  15. The Maharaja Sansar Chand Museum was also established in this fort in the year 2002 by the Royal Family of Kangra, which houses the rulers of the Katoch dynasty and the war materials, utensils, silver coins, Kangra paintings, inscriptions, weapons, and articles used at that time. Other items of that time have been kept.

  Last update :  Wed 3 Aug 2022
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