The Explorers Travel Guide to Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

Welcome to Kangra, a serene and enchanting district nestled in the lap of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. Kangra is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, ancient temples, and vibrant culture. Whether you're an adventure enthusiast, a history buff, or a nature lover, Kangra offers something for everyone. This comprehensive travel guide will help you navigate through the wonders of Kangra and make the most of your journey.

Also Read: 10 Lesser known towns in Himachal Pradesh that are as good as Manali

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Kangra is during the spring and summer months, from March to June, when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities like trekking, sightseeing, and exploring the lush greenery. Avoid visiting during the monsoon season (July to September) as heavy rainfall can disrupt travel plans and make trekking trails slippery. Winter (October to February) is also a good time to visit if you enjoy snowfall and want to witness the region's scenic beauty draped in white.

Kangra

Getting There

By Air:

Kangra does not have its own airport, but the nearest one is Gaggal Airport, also known as Kangra Airport, located approximately 14 kilometers from Dharamshala. It operates flights from major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kangra.

By Train:

Pathankot Railway Station is the nearest major railhead, located around 90 kilometers from Kangra. It is well-connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Amritsar. From Pathankot, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kangra.

By Road:

Kangra is well-connected to major cities in North India by road. State-run buses and private taxis ply regularly between Kangra and cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Shimla. The roads are well-maintained, offering a scenic journey through the picturesque valleys of Himachal Pradesh.

Getting Around in the City

The most convenient way to get around Kangra is by hiring a taxi or renting a car. Taxis are readily available and can be hired for sightseeing tours or for traveling to nearby attractions. Alternatively, you can use the local bus service, which connects various towns and villages within the district. For short distances, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are also available.

Accommodation

Kangra offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious resorts to budget guesthouses, you'll find plenty of choices for your stay.

Luxury Resorts:

  • Aamod Resort & Spa

  • Rakkh Resort

  • The Lodge at Wah

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Hotel The Grand Raj

  • The Citadel Resorts

  • Hotel The Grand Shangri-la

Budget Guesthouses:

  • Hotel Pong View

  • Hotel Himalayan Inn

  • Hotel Raj Mahal

Duration and Budget Tips

The ideal duration for exploring Kangra depends on your interests and the activities you wish to indulge in. A minimum of 3 to 4 days is recommended to cover the major attractions and soak in the beauty of the region. As for the budget, Kangra offers options for all types of travelers, from budget backpackers to luxury seekers. On average, a moderate budget of INR 3000-5000 per day should suffice for accommodation, meals, and transportation.

Things to Do and Places to Visit

Kangra Fort:

Explore the majestic Kangra Fort, one of the oldest and largest forts in India, dating back to the 4th century BC. Marvel at its impressive architecture and panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.

Kangra Fort

Masroor Rock Cut Temple:

Visit the Masroor Rock Cut Temple, also known as the Himalayan Pyramid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its monolithic rock-cut temples dating back to the 8th century.

Masroor Rock Cut Temple

Dharamshala:

Take a day trip to Dharamshala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile and home to the Dalai Lama. Visit the Namgyal Monastery, Bhagsunag Temple, and enjoy the serene surroundings of McLeod Ganj.

Dharamshala

Palampur:

Explore the picturesque town of Palampur, known for its tea gardens, colonial architecture, and scenic landscapes. Visit the Neugal Café and enjoy breathtaking views of the Dhauladhar range.

Palampur

Bir Billing:

Experience the thrill of paragliding at Bir Billing, one of the best paragliding destinations in the world. Soar high above the Himalayas and enjoy panoramic views of the valleys below.

Bir Billing

Kangra Valley Railway:

Take a ride on the Kangra Valley Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy a scenic journey through the picturesque Kangra Valley.

Kangra Valley Railway

Local Food to Try

No visit to Kangra is complete without indulging in the delectable local cuisine. From hearty Himachali meals to Tibetan delicacies, here are some must-try dishes:

  • Dham: A traditional Himachali feast served during festivals, consisting of rice, dal, curries, and sweet dishes.

Dham

  • Momos: Tibetan dumplings filled with vegetables or meat, served with spicy sauce.

Momos

  • Thukpa: A hearty Tibetan noodle soup with vegetables or meat.

Thukpa

  • Siddu: Steamed bread stuffed with fillings like spinach or cheese, served with ghee.

Siddu

  • Chha Gosht: A spicy mutton curry cooked with yogurt and spices.

Chha Gosht

Souvenirs to Buy

Don't forget to take home some souvenirs to cherish your memories of Kangra. Here are some popular items to buy:

  • Kangra Tea: Pick up some aromatic Kangra tea, known for its distinct flavor and aroma.

Kangra Tea

  • Tibetan Handicrafts: Shop for intricately crafted Tibetan handicrafts like prayer flags, singing bowls, and thangka paintings.

Tibetan Handicrafts

  • Woolen Shawls: Buy traditional Himachali woolen shawls, known for their warmth and craftsmanship.

Woolen Shawls

Also Read: Explore Bir Billing: A comprehensive travel guide to the adventure paradise

Kangra is a treasure trove of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, waiting to be explored. Whether you're seeking adventure in the mountains, spiritual solace in ancient temples, or simply want to unwind amidst scenic landscapes, Kangra has something to offer to every traveler. So pack your bags, embark on a journey to Kangra, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Happy travels!

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