History of Kangra Fort – Himachal Pradesh

By | April 8, 2020

The Kangra Fort is located atop a hill at the confluence of Banganga and Patal Ganga river (also known as the Majhi), in the southwestern outskirts of the old Kangra town. The fort was built by the founder of Katoch Dynasty, Bhuma Chand. The fort is also known by other names, Nagarkot and Kot Kangra.

The history of the fort reveals that it attracted numerous eyes that wished to control the region. In those days it was said that the person who holds the Kangra fort will be the one who ruled over Kangra.

Accordingly, the king of Kashmir, Shreshta became the first one to conquer the fort in 470 AD.

In 1009 AD, Mohammad of Gazni set his eyes on the fort and ransacked it. He took away with him 7 lakh gold coins, 28 tonnes utensils made of gold and silver and 8 tonnes of diamond and pearls.

The next two attacks on the fort were made by Muhammad Tughlaq (in 1337) and Feroze Shah ( in 1357).

A quick period of peace was soon followed by another attack. This one came from Khan Jahan, a commander of Sher Shah Suri in the year 1540.

Less than a century later, Jahangir himself occupied the fort in 1620.

The year of 1781 saw the fort passing into the hands of Jassa Singh Kanhaya while five years later Raja Sansar Chand became its owner.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured it in 1809 and finally in 1846, the Kangra fort fell into the hands of the British power.

A devastating earthquake in 1905 caused much damage to the fort.

As of today, the fort is the property of the Archaeological Survey of India.

The fort spreads over a long stretch of land and has high ramparts and walls protecting it. They cover a circuit of around 4 kms. The ancient fort has numerous Darwazas built by various conquerors. Access to the fort is gained from the Ranjit Singh Darwaza which leads to the Jahangiri Darwaza through the Ahni and Amiri Darwazas.

Other Darwazas are the Andheri Darwaza and the Darshani Darwaza. At the other end of the Darshani Darwaza there stands two temples namely the

Lakshmi Narayan Temple and the Sitlamata Temple.

Standing to the north of these two temples is the Ambika Devi Temple which is still used for the purpose of worshipping.

To the south of the Ambika Devi Temple, stand two small Jain temples which are in a bad shape and one of it has a seated image of Lord Adinath. The other Jain Temple, unfortunately has only a pedestal. A modern Jain Temple is also there which serves the accommodation purpose of the pilgrims to Kangra.

Read also: History of Kangra

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