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Official Website : http://hpkangra.gov.in

Headquarters : Dharamsala
State : Himachal Pradesh

Area in Sq Km (Census 2011)
Total : 5739
Rural : 5691.34
Urban : 47.66

Population (Census 2011)
Population : 1510075
Rural : 1423794
Urban : 86281
Male : 750591
Female : 759484
Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 males) : 1012
Density (Total, Persons per sq km) : 263

Official language : Hindi

Helplines :
State Police Control Room Shimla (0177) 2621711, 2621618, 2621723, 2621736, 2621714, 2621614, 2621746, 2621796
To Report a Crime – Control Room 100
Complaints through SMS 9459100100
Fire 101
Ambulance 108
Child Help Line 1098
Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakarm (JSSK) 102
Anti-ragging Helpline 1800 180 5522 (Toll free), Online Enquiry: www.antiragging.in
Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Bureau 0177-2629893
Report Corruption through WhatApp 8988700100
Report Cyber Crime 01772621714 (191)
Gudiya Helpline Number 1515
Hoshiar Singh Helpline 1090

Population (Census 2010) :
The current world population is 7.6 billion (As of 1st July 2018)

Click on the following link to download district statistics as per NITI Ayog website

Brief About Kangra District
Lying 526-km north-west of New Delhi, Dharamshala is the headquarters of the Kangra District in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra valley is one of the most pleasant, relaxing and spiritual places in the Himalayas. Marvelously scenic, especially upper Dharamshala, is well wooded with oak, cedar, pine and other timber yielding trees and offers some lovely walks and finer views. In 1855, Dharamshala had only two major areas where civilians settled in : McLeod Ganj, named after Lieutenant Governer of Punjab "David McLeod", and Forsyth Ganj, named after a Divisional Commissioner.

Lord Elgin, the British Viceroy of India (1862-63) fell in love with the natural beauty of Dharamshala because of its likeness with Scotland, his home in England. Lord Elgin died in 1863 while on a tour. He now lies buried in the graveyard of St. John's Church-in-Wilderness which stands in a cosy pine grove between McLeod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj.A Legend has it that Lord Elgin liked Dharamshala so much that he had sent a proposal to the British monarch to make Dharamshala the summer capital of India. However, the proposal was ignored. By 1904, Forsyth Ganj and McLeod Ganj had become nerve centres of trade , business and official work of Kangra District, But on April 4,1905, as a result of a severe earthquake, whole of the area was devastated. Alarmed at the massive destruction, the British goverment decided to shift the district headquater offices to the lower reaches of spur. As a result, the present-day district courts and kotwali bazar areas came into being which earlier had only a jail, a police station and cobbler's shop to boast of. Until India attained independence from Britain on Aug. 15,1947 McLeod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj continued to serve as health resorts and resting places for the British Rulers. But all this changed when the goverment of India decided to grant political asylum to the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatsho, in 1959. In 1960, he was allowed to make McLeod Ganj his headquaters. After his arrival, trade, commerce and tourism picked up afresh. This because with the Dalai Lama came thousands of Tibetan refugees, who gradually settled in Mcleod Ganj. During the last three decades, The Tibetans have built many religious, educational and cultural instutions in and around McLeod Ganj, which has helped in preservation of their culture. This has been a keen area of interst for the people around the world and as a result they flock at Dharamshala at various times.

The present Kangra district came into existence on the 1st  September, 1972 consequent upon the re-organisation of districts by the Government of Himachal Pradesh.  It was the largest district of the composite Punjab in terms of area till it was transferred to Himachal Pradesh on the 1st  November, 1966 and had Six (6) tehsils namely Nurpur, Kangra, Palampur, Dehragopipur and Hamirpur.    Kullu was also a tehsil of Kangra district up to 1962 and Lahul & Spiti which also formed a part of Kangra was created as a separate district in 1960.  On the re-organisation of composite Punjab on the 1st   November, 1966 the area constituting Kangra district were transferred to Himachal Pradesh along with the districts of Shimla,   Kullu and Lahul & Spiti and tehsils of Una and Nalagarh and 3 villages of Gurdaspur district.

Kangra district derives its name from Kangra town which was called Nagarkot in the ancient times Kangra proper originally was a part of the ancient Trigartha (Jullundur) which comprises of the area lying between the river "SHatadroo" (probably Sutlej) and Ravi.A tract of land to the east of Sutlej which probably is the area of Sirhind in Punjab also formed a part of Trigratha. Trigratha had two provinces. One in the plains with headquarter at Jullundur and other in the hills with headquarter at Nagrkot ( the present Kangra).

In the time of Harsha, the famous Chinese pilgrim Huien Tsiang visited Jullundur some time in March 635 A.D. and in his writings he has referred to the principality of Jullundur situated towards the north- east of China-Po-ti (China Bhakti)  and   towards  the  south  east of Kiu-lo-to (Kullu).  From the history of Kashmir given in the Rajtirangini, Raja Shanker Verma (883 to 903) of Kashmir held suzerainty over Prithi Chand of Trigartha.

In ancient times a number of petty chiefs ruled in the hills within their respected domains owning allegiance to the powerful Raja at the center. However, Katoch princes ruled over Kangra from the earliest times.  At the time of invasion of Punjab by Alexander in 326 BC Trigartha was ruled by a Katoch prince.

In the beginning of 11th century, Mahmood of Ghazni finished the Turki Shahi family and the Hindu Shahi dynasty of Kabul in Afghanistan and after defeating a large Hindu army at Ohind and later at Peshawar, advanced into the plains of the Punjab.    After defeating the Hindu king at Lahore he invaded Nagarkot.  He was attracted by the prestige of Kangra fort.   After defeating the Rajput Raja at Kangra, who had sent most of his men to  fight the Muslims elsewhere, Mahmood satisfied his lust for wealth by carrying away on camel backs, enormous wealth of gold and silver from the fort and temple of Kangra.  After this storm had passed away, the Katoch kings continued their rule over the Trigarth area undisturbed.  Even after the conquest of Lahore by the Turks the Katoch family held some territory of Jullundur in the Plains. However, one lbrahim of Ghazni conquered this territory from the Katoch King Jagdeo Chander in 1070 A.D.

In 1337. Mohd. Tuglak, an Afghan king of Delhi, captured the fort    at Kangra in the reign of Raja Priti Chand.   In 1351, however, Raja Purab Chand recovered the fort from the Muslims.  One of his successors, namely Raja Roop Chand, became ambitious and led an expedition into the plains of Punjab, plundering  the  country  right upto the outskirts of Delhi. This was an act of effrontery which could not be condemned by the Sultan of Delhi.  So Firoz Shah Tuglak invaded Kangra,  in 1366, to punish the Raja.  The fort was surrendered after a long siege.  After the death of Roop Chand, his son Singara Chand succeeded to the throne and was ruling over Kangra at the time of the invasion of Timur.

Sher Shah Suri, the Afghan king, who turned out Humayun from India, also captured Kangra in 1540.  By 1555, the Muslim influence again declined.  Akbar, however, subjugated all the hill Rajas.  Occasionally the hill Rajas rebelled against the imperial authorities, but after a few skirmishes with the Mughal Generals, they submitted and renewed their pledges of loyalty.

Jahangir also became interested in the kingdom of Trigarth of Kangra. He wanted to annex the territory of this state and to capture the fort, because a lot of prestige was attached to the fort of Kangra. It was said  that who-so-ever, held  the   fort  was  the ruler of hill state.  The invasion took place in 1615 under the command of Sheikh Farid, Murtaza Khan and   Raja  Suraj Mal of   Nurmal   who  was in the confidence of Jahangir.  The fort could not be captured and after one year the siege had to be given up. Next year, another expedition was sent by Jahangir under Shah Quli Khan, Mohammed Taqi and Suraj Mal, but Suraj Mal proved unfaithful. The emperor had to send another strong force under Sunder Dass against Suraj Mal and also against the Raja of Kangra. After One year and two months siege, Sunder Dass captured the fort in 1620. The Katoch ruler lost the fort at least for 160 years.  The entire state was annexed to the Mughal Kingdom and a strong garrison was left incharge of the fort. In 1622, Jahangir and Begum Nur Jahan  came  to  Kangra  via  Siba  and returned to Delhi via Nurpur and Pathankot.  They were fascinated by beauty of the Kangra valley.

In 1752, Punjab was transferred to Ahmed Shah Durani by the weak Mughal rulers of Delhi. The Afghans could not successfully control these far flung areas from Kabul, so local governors were appointed to administer the territory on the behalf of the Afghan rulers. In 1758, Raja Ghamand Chand was appointed Nazim or Governor of Jullundur Doaba under the Afghans.   Ghamand  Chand was a  brave  man and a strong ruler  who restore the prestige and glory of Kangra.  As he was unable to capture the Kangra fort, he  built  another  fort  at Tira  Sujanpur   on the left   bank  of the Beas almost opposite to Alampur on a hill overlooking the town. This great ruler died in 1774 and was succeeded by his  son Tegh Chand who died after one year in 1775

Kangra  then  saw  the  rise  of another great ruler Sansar Chand(II). Though the Punjab has been given to the Duranis, the old  Mughal  officers  had been  proclaimed  their  independence  in  some  outlying part of the country. Nawab Saif Ali Khan at Kangra was one such officer.  Raja Sansar Chand had  an ambition  to  recapture the fort and in 1781, he called to his aid Sardar Jai Singh of Kanhaya Misal.  The fort was surrendered by the Mughal officer in 1783 but it fell into the hands of the Sikhs. Sansar Chand got the fort after some years by exchanging it with some territory, which he had won in the plains of  Punjab. After getting the fort, Sansar Chand revived the tradition and laid a claim to supremacy over all the principalities and hill states of the  Jullundur  Circle. He made the hill chiefs tributary to himself in his capital at Teera Sujanpur.  He erected a great Darbar Hall. For full twenty years he reigned supreme over all the hill states of Kangra, Mandi, Kullu and Chamba.  Sansar Chand was well known for his generosity, kindness, bravery, justice and good administration, patronage of art and shewd judgment of men and matters. Sansar Chand was also a great builder. He had beautified many places in the territory ruled over by him.  He planted numerous gardens and the one at Alampur is said to have been as beautiful as the Shalimar Gardens at Lahore.    However, reckless bravery and unlimited ambition of this great Raja ultimately ruined him.  His dream was to regain the far-reaching dominions of his ancestors and even to establish the Katoch rule in the entire Punjab.  In 1803-1804, he invaded the plains of  Punjab twice but was defeated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.  In 1805 he annexed a part of Bilaspur state, thus coming in conflict with the Gurkhas, who in the later half of the 18th century moved south to establish their dominion over the entire hilly part of India from Nepal to Kashmir and had actually come up to the river Sutlej.    Gurkhas became angry at the annexation of a part of Bilaspur state, which was under their suzerainty.  They invaded Kangra, but were defeated.  The hill Rajas of Kangra however, were feeling sore against Sansar Chand.   They all approached Raja Amar Singh Thapa of Gurkhas through the Raja of Bilaspur to invade Kangra again.  In  1806, with the help of the hill chiefs, the Gurkhas defeated Raja Sansar Chand who had to take refuge inside the fort.  The country was laid waste and was plundered by the enemies. During the siege of the fort, a state of anarchy prevailed throughout the Kangra valley.  The siege lasted for four years.  After the Sansar Chand managed to get out of the fort and fled to Tira Sujanpur.       

In 1809, Maharaja Ranjit Singh visited Jawalamukhi temple where Sansar Chand met him and entered into a treaty with  him.  It  was  agreed  that  the Maharaja should help  Sansar Chand in expelling Gurkhas from the state and that  in    return  the  Maharaja would get the Kangra fort along with nearby 66 villages. Gurkhas were defeated by the combined forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Sansar Chand. The fort of Kangra with 66 villages surrounding it, was made over to Ranjit Singh. Dessa Singh Majithia was appointed the Nazim or Governor of the fort and Kangra hills and from  that  day  all  states  of  the Jullundur    Circle  become tributary to the Sikhs. Sansar Chand returned to Tira Sujanpur where he died in 1823.

Sansar Chand's son, Anirudh Chand succeeded his father in 1823 but he was not destined to rule for a long time.  Raja Dhian Singh, the Dogra chief of Jammu ,the most powerful man in the Sikh kingdom after Maharaja Ranjit Singh, desired to marry one of the two sisters of Anirudh Chand. For the rulers of the Katoch family, this demand in itself was an insult.  Anirudh Chand was adamant not to permit that alliance. The Maharaja got angry and led an expedition against him.  Anirudh Chand had to flee and Sikhs occupied the entire state of Kangra.

After the first battle of Sikhs in March 1846, the territory of Punjab lying between the Sutlej and Ravi rivers, including the hill states of Kangra proper and Kullu were ceded to British Government. The entire area, comprising Kangra proper, Kullu and Seraj and the tracts of Lahul-Spiti, was now constituted into the Kangra district, with its headquarters at Kangra.  After a few years, the headquarters of district was transferred to Dharmshala because that place was considered cooler and healthier for the British officers and also the slopes of Dhauladhar provided ample room to accommodate in a newly raised local contingent for the army.

The Kangra Fort was the seat of power of the Katoch Rajas from the time of its 234th Raja, Raja Susharma Chand Katoch, if not from the time of its first legendary Raja, Raja Bhoomi Chand  Katoch onwards. It is said to have been founded by Susharma Chand Katoch, an ally of Kauravas in the Mahabarata war. It was the ancient capital of the Katoch kingdom and symbol of power in Punjab Hill States.The Fort is situated on a precipitous cliff overhanging the Ban Ganaga and Manjhi rivers. The ruins still dominate the Kangra valley. One can enter the fort by a narrow path. It was protected by a number of gates named after its winners like Jahangir, Ranjit Singh and the British.