The Kangra Fort was built by the royal Rajput family of Kangra State (the Katoch dynasty), which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India. The fort of Kangra resisted Akbar’s siege in 1615. However, Akbar’s son Jehangir successfully subdued the fort in 1620, forcing the submission of the Raja of Chamba, “the greatest of all the rajas in the region”. Mughal Emperor Jahangir with the help of Suraj Mal garrisoned with his troops.
The Katoch Kings repeatedly looted Mughal controlled regions, weakening the Mughal control and with the decline of Mughal power, Raja Sansar Chand-II succeeded in recovering the ancient fort of his ancestors, in 1789. Maharaja Sansar Chand fought multiple battles with Gurkhas on one side and Sikh King Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the other. Sansar Chand used to keep his neighboring Kings jailed, and this led to conspiracies against him. During a battle between the Sikhs and Katochs, the gates of the fort had been kept open for supplies. The Gurkha army entered the opened scarcely armed gates in 1806. This forced an alliance between Maharaja Sansar Chand and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Subsequently in 1809 the Gurkha army was defeated and they had to retreat across Sutlej River. The Fort remained with the Katochs until 1828 when Ranjit Singh annexed it after Sansar Chand’s death. The fort was finally taken by the British after the Sikh war of 1846. A British garrison occupied the fort until it was heavily damaged in an earthquake on the 4th of April, 1905.
How to Reach:
Gaggal airport is the nearest airport from Kangra Fort, located at a distance of only 14 km from Kangra valley. This airport is connected to Delhi through frequent flights. Contact no.:01892-232374
The nearest broad gauge railway station is Pathankot Cantt.(Chakki) at a distance of 87 km from Kangra and nearest narrow gauge railway station is Kangra mandir railway station. Further, you can hire a taxi, or direct buses. Station Superintendent Pathankot: 01862-22041
Distance between New Delhi to Kangra is 471km. You can take overnight Volvo buses or can hire a taxi direct to the destination. Bus Stand Pathankot: 01862-226966