Palyul Choekhorling Monastery, Bir
Trekking in Kangra
Welcome to Kangra,
Kangra is a district in the Indian state of himachal pradesh. It is famous for the hill station 'Dharamsala' and 'Palampur'. The Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys of lower Himalayas. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature of places to be visited. Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air whereas ancient Hindu Temples like Bajreshwari Devi,Chamunda Devi,Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji dot the country side.
Over looking the Ban Ganga torrent, Kangra town is famous for its temples. Notable is the shrine dedicated to goddess Brijeshwari. Kangra is steeped in history and its ruined fort - Nagarkot, stands as testimony to its glorious past. Kangra was the capital of the great hill state.
Chaumukha Temple is erected on the Kaloha-Nadaun Road near Nadaun in Kangra district. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The frontage of the temple is beautified with images of various deities in varied postures. At the entrance of the Chaumukha Temple a small Shivling (the phallus, symbolic representation of Lord Shiva) is placed.
Inside the sanctum sanctorum, a four-mouthed marble idol of Lord Shiva is revered by the faithful. Chaumukha temple has four doors, of which three are closed permanently. Many stone images of Gods can be witnessed around the temple building. Nearby this medieval temple, there are four life-size images of Nandi, the divine bull.
It is 10 km. from Knagra. Situated on a hillock is the recently established 'Ashram' complex by Swami Chinmayananda, who was a great exponent of the Gita. It is a beautiful place to visit. There is also a larger than life statue of Hanuman and also a very big Shivling which can be seen from far.
This Shakti-temple is located on Dharamshala-Hoshiarpur road on a ridge. Thousands of devotees visit this temple. In addition to many religious festivals, the main fair is held during the 10 days of "Shukalpaksh" in August. There is a Yatri Niwas which is managed by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.
Digambara temple is situated in Sidhabari (the majestic foothill town of Dhauladhar Ranges in Dharamshala) in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1982, the temple is consecrated to Lord Hanuman. The 22 feet high idol is placed on a plinth with eight sides. There are eight verses etched around the plinth, one on each side. The idol, chiselled from cement and concrete of Lord Hanuman is placed in a seated posture. The Swami Chinmayananda ashram is located near the Digambara temple.
To further west of Kajol ka Tapu, a small wooded island of about 1.5 ha area exits. It is about 2.5 Kms from Dam site. During summer it remains generally connected with the main land mass on the side of the dam as also during the time of winter when the water level recedes. During rainy season about 2 ha of area becomes submerged leaving behind only a small ridge visible with gentle to moderate slope. The circumambulatory coast of jattan da Kuwal is an ideal site for angling, water sports and gainful eyes of the riparian birds.
This is a beautiful tiny island of about 0.5 ha area, towards south east of Rancer Island . The area is totally barren, almost devoid of vegetation except a rarer and scattered growth of bushes. Although rock and cliff all around look like an animated display of sculptory; an abstract mind and artistic sensibility would surely vale this nature's jumbling in altogether a different way. This is an ideal site for angling activities.
This treasure trove of the Kangra valley`s arts, crafts and rich past, display artifacts that date back to the 5th Century. It includes a gallery of famous paintings and a huge collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamiyanas and local dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, etc. are also on display. Coins, jewelleries and manuscripts are also displayed here. A section houses the works of contemporary artists, sculptures and photographers
The Kangra Fort is located 20 kilometers from the town of Dharamsala on the outskirts of the town of Kangra, India. the fort is thought to date back to 1009 AD. The Kangra Fort was built by the Royal family of Kangra (The Katoch Dynasty), which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India.
The entrance to the fort is through a small courtyard enclosed between two gates which were built during the Sikh period, as appears from an inscription over the entrance. From here a long and narrow passage leads up to the top of the fort, through the Ahani and Amiri Darwaza (gate), both attributed to Nawab Saif Ali Khan, the first Mughal Governor of Kangra. About 500 feet from the outer gate the passage turns round at a very sharp angle and passes through the Jehangiri Darwaza.
The Darsani Darwaza, which is now flanked by defaced statues of River Goddesses Ganga and Yamuna gave access to a courtyard, along the south side of which stood the shrines Lakshmi-Narayana Sitala and Ambika Devi. In between these shrines is a passage that leads up to the palace.
Kangra Painting, the pictorial art of Kangra is one of the finest gifts of India to the art-world, named after Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, a former princely state, which patronized the art. It became prevalent with the fading of Basohli school of painting in mid-eighteenth century, and soon produced such a magnitude in paintings both in content as well as volume, that the Pahari painting school, came to be known as Kangra paintings. Kangra paintings belong to the school of Pahari paintings that were patronized by the Rajput rulers between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Kangra Valley is situated in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is a popular tourist destination, with the peak season around March and April. The valley is filled with numerous perennial streams, which irrigates the valley, which has a general height of 2000 ft. The highest peak on the Dhauladhar range (White Mountain) which marks the boundary between the valley and Chamba, lies at 15, 956 ft, the range lies 13,000 ft above the valley as it rises sharply from its low base, without having any low hills in between.
The island is situated on the western side of Rancer. The island is relatively bigger than the former. The island has two distinct parts, one wooded and hilly with undulatory and moderate to steep slopes( 80 ha) and the other part almost flat( 70 ha).
During monsoon, Karu splits in to mini islands due to up scaling of water. It gets reconnected with the area falling towards Dhameta during winter when the water level recedes. Wooded portion measuring about 80 ha, however remains disjointed whereas flat portion split in to three segments during the rains when water level is at its maximum. The wooded island have good population of Wild Boar, Peacock, Red Jungle fowl, Pythons, Monitor lizard,Claweless otter etc. The island is accessible by boat by a half an hour journey from Sansarpur terrace.
Masrur is around 15 km away from Kangra town and is quiet well known for its Shikhara style rock cut temples. There are a total of 15 temples that trace their construction date to the 10th century. The carvings of these temples are hugely similar to that of the Ellora caves in Maharashtra, India, though they are in a need of bit of maintenance work. Moreover, as you make your way towards Masrur from Kangra, the views that will meet your eyes are simply magnificent.
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.
Palyul Choekhorling Monastery, also known as Nyingmapa Buddhist Monastery, is situated at Bir (placed at 6900ft, Bir is a village in the lap of the Himalayas, well-known for its tea gardens) in Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh. Established in 1980 by Venerable Rigo Tulku Rinpoche, the monastery is one of the most prominent monasteries in India. Palyul Choekhorling Monastery is home to almost 170 monks, residing from different places like Bhutan, Nepal, Ladakh and Tibet.
The monastery offers free education, lodging, clothing, medicinal care and food for all the monks studying here. Their nine-year course comprehends the total principles of Buddhism, the Sutra and the Tantra teachings, the nine Yanas (parts) of Nyingmapa and the entire precepts of Buddhism. Palyul Choekhorling monastery houses a carpet centre, an appliqu? centre and a small tailoring shop within the premises. Baijnath Paprola railway Station is the nearest railhead.
Raghunatheshwar Tedha Temple is located in Jwalamukhi in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ram, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshman. The title `Tedha` was attached to the temple`s name owing to its inclining posture. Such a posture is the result of a massive earthquake that shattered earth in 1905. Though the temple remains unharmed, the original idols of the deities were damaged in the quakes. The reinstalled idols are made of `ashtadhatu` (alloy of eight metals).
The ancient Raghunatheshwar Tedha temple, balanced atop a hillock and encircled by dense vegetation, is known for its humble yet exquisite carvings. There is a pond in the temple premises. Edging the pond there are caves believed to have been dwelt by Sita and Lakshman. Engraved on the rock walls surrounding the pond are idols of Lord Ram, Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, Lord Bhairav, Lord Garuda, Lord Ganesh, Lord Mahavir and other deities. Mentionable here is an idol of Lord Shiva with five mouths. Raghunatheshwar Tedha temple is situated at a distance of 8km from the illustrious Jwalamukhi Temple.
The picturesque Rancer island is a beautiful resting place for the tourists sailing across the lake.The island is accessible only by boat during winter. During June 2003, a good number of waterbirds Viz Cormorants, egrets, herons and cormorants were found preferring the island for their breeding purposes, a unique observation recorded first time in Pong. The area of the island is about 20 ha and gets extended up to 150 ha during summer.
In the mid of the island there is a forest rest house hidden behind the forest grove of miscellaneous broad leave spps dominated by Zyzyphus,Sisoo, Ficus,Guava, silver oak and bamboo. Its tapering mounds looking like a mound of some ancient civilization commands the whole aquatic and Sanctuary area around the lake. The western side lake view is extremely beautiful overlooking the Karu island which on the background of sunset view is a matter of rare delight. A canoed journey from here to Karu island, Kajol ka Tapu and Jattan da kuwal is a soothing experience.
The Kangra town, known to the ancients as Nagarkot, is the seat of Shri Bajreshwari Devi. Mr. F. Cunningham's District Gazetteer of Kangra has the following account of the Bajreshwari temple in kangra "'The temple of Bajreshwari or Vagreshwari Devi at Kangra is - perhaps the most famous in this district. It is said to have been founded by the divinity of that name at a famous Ashwamedh or horse sacrifice, which was held on the spot. The famous Mehmood of Ghazni is said to have invaded the district and destroyed the temple, building a mosque on its ruins It was, however, restored and is said to have been visited by Akbar together with his celebrated Diwan Todar Mal.
There are some temples in the vicinity which, are, said to have owed their origin to Todar Mal. Finally, Maharaja Ranjit Singh visited and under his orders the domes of the temples here and at Jawalamukhi were gilded. Subsequently devotees from Amritsar subscribed together and presented the temple with marble floor." Through the main temple was ravaged by foreign invader and flattened by the 1905 earthquake, it has since been restored to its pristine glory. At Kangra, one can also visit the historical Kangra Fort, the `Gupta Ganga Kshetra' and also trek up to Jyanti Devi temple situated on a hillock to the West of Kangra. There is a beautiful Jain temple near the Fort. Kangra is 20 km from Dharamshala.
Three kilometres east of Dhameta, a small town in Kangra, there stands a cluster of antique, unique, tall temples which remain dipped in water for eight months: but stand exposed to the human eye only during March to June: While these four months attract pilgrims to these temples, the other eight months attract tourists, fishermen and multitudes of a variety of unique colorful birds migrated from islands of various continents of the world. Throughout the year, this place, commonly known as "Bathu ki Larhi" (a string of Bathu stone-structures) enjoys the unique distinction of being a popular tourist spot.
Suraj Kund Mandir is located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The shrine is devoted to Lord Shiva, although scholars believe that originally the temple was consecrated to Surya, the Sun God. The primary tank of the Suraj Kund Mandir is named Suraj Kund. Three smaller tanks called Ram Kund, Sita Kund and Lakshman Kund are placed in the vicinity.
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.
Trekking in Kangra valley is an amazing experience for those who spend the time with nature's praise worthy gifts of landscapes, springs, mountain ranges and lush green environments. There are many trekking trails in Kangra that are very challenging for the novices and interesting for the experienced trekkers.
Treks commence usually from Kangra Valley and go to mountain peaks and rock-cut temples. There are treks from Kangra to the adjoining Chamba Valley. Laka Pass trek, also known as Inderhara trek, and the Minkiani Pass trek are very popular among the tourists. These treks commence from Dharamshala or McLeodgunj.
- Temples : Radha Krishna Temple, Bhaniar Shiva Temple, Nandi Kashur Mahadev Temple, Tapteshar Mahadev Temple etc.
- Baba Baroh Village, Nadaun, Kathgarh, Sujanpur Tira, Mannuni Lake etc.