Out of many exotic tourist locations in India, Kangra Valley earns a very respective place due to its picturesque locations, breathtaking views atop the hills and an amazingly cozy climate. Located in Himachal Pradesh, Kangra comprises the western parts of the Himalayan range. Spreading across an area of almost 6000 kms, the valley has a maximum altitude of 6400 meters. Since, it is neither too high nor too low, breathing problems do not occur here basically. A number of famous tourist spots are available here, whose views can unravel the minds of tourists and act as the primary source of refreshment.
Formerly located in Nepal, Dharamshala is a city, which is also the Kangra district headquarters. It is basically not so heavily populated and is surrounded by coniferous trees, cedar being the most abundant among them. The position of this city is favorable to any other parts of Kangra. So, it is better to make your base here only. The climate is comfortable too. The local places to visit include McLeodGanj, Bhagsunath, Dharamkot, Naddi, ForsythGanj, Kotwali Bazaar and Kaccheri Adda. McLeodGanj lies in the upper suburbs and is also the center of the Tibetan Headquarters administration. The home of the fourteenth Dalai Lama is also here. One of the famous tourist locations includes the Triund Hill. It is only 9 kms away from McLeodGanj and is a one day trek only. Besides young Indian adventurous tourists, many foreigners also come during the peak trekking time of the year to enjoy the thrill.
Baijnath is a town located 16 kms away from Palampur and about 50 kms away from Dharamshala. This town is quite famous for its ancient Shiva temple, which has been founded nearly a thousand years ago. Dedicated to the ‘Vaidyanath’, the physician-lord form of Shiva, this 13th century temple is known to be constructed by two brothers Manyuka and Ahuka in 1204 A.D. Constructed possibly with granite, this huge structure has numerous carvings on its pillars and walls, which depict various mythological events regarding Shiva and his various deeds. For years, this huge structure is known to withstand various natural calamities like earthquakes. The architecture inside is quite fascinating; the Shiva linga in the form of Svayambhu form is situated at the center of the inner sanctum of the temple. The temple is held in quite a sacred position in the eyes of local residents. Every year thousands of tourists visit the temple. It is marvel to lay your eyes upon.
Located 20 kms from Dharamshala, the Kangra fort was constructed under the rule of the Rajputs of Kangra. Eventually as the years passed, the fort exchanged rules of great Persian conquerors, Mahmud of Ghazni in 1337 and Muhammad Bin Tughlaq in 1351 respectively. In certain turn of historic events the fort ultimately came under the siege of the Mughals. In 1622, Jahangir conquered and arranged his troops in order to keep check on the attack of the enemies. The fort has evolved due to the passage of time as every ruler, who once had control over it made some improvisations, major or minor. There are two gates, which were built during the Sikh period to enclose a small courtyard that covers the entrance. 500 feet from the main gate, the Jahangiri darwaza denotes the entrance through a sharp angled turn.
Maharana Pratap Sagar
Also known as the Pong Reservoir or the Pong Dam Lake, the Maharana Pratap Sagar is a dam built over the Beas River and is situated about 115 kms from Dharamshala. The scenic beauty here is quite breathtaking. The place is named in the honor of the patriotic hero, Maharana Pratap. It is also the home of one of the most exclusive sanctuaries in India. The river alone is home to almost twenty rare species of fishes like Mahseer, Mirror Carp, and Singhara etc. Catfishes are the most common ones found here. The bird sanctuary is a vast span of forest area. Lucky visitors can get a glimpse of Northern Lapwing, ruddy shelduck, Northern pintail, common teal and about 54 other extremely rare species of these real creatures. Among animals sambar, nilgai, barking deers and leopards can be spotted often.
Indrahar Pass has an altitude of about 4200 meters above sea level. Located in the Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas, it is close to Dharamshala also. Travelling through Dharamshala is preferred for this reason. Indrahar Pass is actually quite famous because of the trekking frenzy here. Each and every facility needed for a person for trekking is available here. There are two stops during the trek. One is Triund located at 2842 meters and the other one is the Lahesh caves, which is located at 3475 meters. The trekking point starts at Mc Leod Ganj and ends at the pass. The trekking season is between April and October but tourists can visit this place anytime. Temperature tends to fall here due to the high altitude. So winter-wears are to be carried.