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Alluring & Enigmatic History Of Kangra Fort In Himachal Pradesh

The breath-taking and mysterious Kangra Fort is located on the top of a hill at the confluence of Banganga and Patal Ganga River, also known as Majhi, in the southwestern outskirts of the old Kangra town. Kangra Fort in Himachal Pradesh was built by the founder of the Katoch Dynasty, Bhuma Chand. The fort has also other names like Nagarkot and Kot Kangra.


The history of Kangra Fort unravels the fact of attracting a large number of eyes that aspired to take over the reign. Going by the age-old belief pertaining to the magnificent history of Kangra Fort, the person who holds the fort would be the one ruling over Kangra.

 

Accordingly, the King of Kashmir, Shreshta became the first one to take over Kangra Fort in 470 AD. In 1009 AD, Mohammed of Gazni set his cruel, ambitious, and lustful eyes on the fort, and ransacked it. The greedy ruler took away with him 7 lakh gold coins, 28 tonnes of utensils made of gold and silver, and 8 tonnes of diamonds and pearls, making Kangra Fort lose much of its memorable valuables. The next two succeeding attacks on the fort were made by the whimsical ruler Muhammed Bin Tughlaq in 1337 and Feroze Shah in 1357. However, peace was restored, for the time being, only to be followed by another attack on Kangra Fort, this time by Khan Jahan, a commander of Sher Shah Suri in the year 1540. Less than a century later, Jahangir himself took possession of the fort in 1620.


The year 1781 witnessed Kangra Fort passing into the hands of Jassa Singh Kanhaya, and five years later, Raja Sansar Chand became its owner. However, Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured it in 1809, and finally, in 1846, the fort came under the rule of British power. Kangra Fort has to face Nature’s wrath and fury in the form of a devastating earthquake in 1905 causing much damage. As of today, the fort is the property of the Archaeological Survey of India, spreading over a long stretch of land with high rampant walls protecting it and covering a circuit of around 4 km.


The ancient Kangra Fort has several Darwaza built by various conquerors and access to the fort is gained from Ranjit Singh Darwaza leading to Jahangir Darwaza through Ahni and Amiri Darwaza. Other Darwazas include Andheri Darwaza and Darshani Darwaza, at the end of which stands two temples namely Lakshmi Narayan Temple and Sitlamata Temple. Standing to the north of these two temples is the Ambika Devi Temple for worshipping purposes.


To the south of Ambika Devi Temple, are two small Jain temples in bad conditions, with one having a seated image of Lord Adinath. The other Jain Temple, unfortunately, has only a pedestal. A modern Jain Temple is also situated there serving as the accommodation purpose for pilgrims to Kangra.


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