KANGRA FACTS & FIGURES
- Location: Northern state of Himachal, North India, Altitude : 615m.
- Best time to Visit: May to November.
- Significance : Pilgrimage center of Hindus notably ancient Hindu Temples.
Kangra was the first seat of Raja Sansar Chand II (1775-1823) .One of the ancient capital of powerful hill state-fort of Nagarkot(3km) stands as a mute witness to the ravages of conquerors from Mahmood of Ghazni to the Emperor Jehangir, and the disastrous earthquake of 1905. The place is now called “Purana Kangra”.2 km from the bus stand is the temple dedicated to the goddess Barjeshwari Devi. Known for its legendary wealth it was invaded in 1009 AD by Mahmud of Ghazni who departed with King’s ransom in gold, silver and jewels. Earthquake of 1905 destroyed it completely. Rebuilt in the present form in 1920, it continues to be a busy palace of pilgrimage. Old Jain temple and Gupt Ganga are the other attraction of the town. Jayanti Devi temple is 7 km and the Kangra mandir railway station 3 km from the main bus stand.
The prominent temples in Kangra valley, Himachal Pradesh
Jwalamukhi Temple is perched on a ridge called Kali dhar. The shrine has a gilt dome and soaring pinnacles. Inside is a square pit, three feet deep with a pathway all around. The rock in the middle has a crack, through which a gas is emitted, and on lighting it the gas bursts into a huge flame. The priest keeps applying the flame to the gas — which is seen as a blessing of the deity.
The shrine has no idol as such, the emanation of the gas is believed to be a manifestation of the goddess Jwalaji.
Brajeshwari Devi Temple, located in the old Kangra township, is said to have been built over the charred breasts of Sati. This shrine, once renowned for its great wealth, has been plundered relentlessly over the ages.
Naina Devi Naina Devi Temple
Naina Devi Temple is located atop a hill, commanding an awesome view of the Punjab plains on one side and the Gobind Sagar lake on the other. This is the spot where Sati’s eyes — nain — are believed to have fallen.
Chintpurni Temple stands on the spot where the charred feet of Sati fell. The ‘Pindi’ or the stone hall symbolises her feet. The Chintpurni ‘mantra’ is very popular with devotees.
Also known as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham, it is situated on the banks of Ban Ganga. This Sidhapeeth is a place where saints and priests pray amidst natural surroundings.
This is the place where the demons Chand and Mund came to conquer Devi Mahakali. In the fight that ensued, the Devi cut their heads and presented these to Maa Ambika, who in turn told Mahakali that you will be worshipped as Chamunda Devi.
The Goddess, located in the town of Kangra is also called Vajreshvari. It is believed that when Sati’s body was cut into different pieces the remaining part stayed in this place.
Food offerings are divided into three parts. One part each for Mahalakshmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati.
One of the most remarkable monuments of the Bias valley is the temple of Baijnath. Baijnath is in reality the appellation of the chief temple dedicated to SivaVaidyanatha (“Lord of Physicians”) which has know the Village itself. The original name of the village was Kiragrama.The Baijnath temple is orientated due west. It consists of a puri or adytum, 8 feet square inside and 18 feet outside, surmounted by a spire of the usual conical shape, and cf a mandapa or front hall, 20 feet square inside, covered with a low pyramid shaped roof.
Both the south and north wall of the mandapa are adorned with a graceful balcony window. The four corners are strengthened by means of massive buttress-like projections in the shape of half-engaged – miniature sikhara temples, each containing two niches in which image slabs are placed. Smaller niches in slightly projecting chapels are found between the corner projections and the entrance and balcony windows.
How to Reach Kangra
- Air : Kangra airport is 7-km away and has got straight flights from Delhi
- Rail :Nearest broad-gauge railhead at Pathankot is 86-km away . Kangra Valley express is a narrow gauge train, starting from Pathankot and continues to Bajinath.
- Road : Kangra is well connected by road with Dharamsala, which is 18-km away.