Among the 12 Districts of the beautiful hill state of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra is the largest district, both population as well as area-wise. Kangra is situated at an altitude of about 500 meters to 5,000 meters above mean sea level. It is the abode to the scenic view of the Himalayas known as Dhauladhar Mountain Range and river Beas which flows through the valley. The district is well known for its tourism; Kangra city, Dharamshala, Mcleodgunj, Palampur, Wildlife Sanctuary Pong Dam, etc., are some of the popular destinations to visit in Kangra district.
Kangra is well known for its breathtaking views, majestic mountains, Himachali and Buddhist culture, Himachali arts, tourist destinations and holy temples as well as monasteries. This place is also well recognized for its trekking sites, where people can go for camping, experience the adrenaline rush and enjoy the natural beauty more closely.
The native people in Kangra district are very simple, honest, hardworking and of helping nature. The language people often speak is Kangri.
Climate: The climate varies from hot to cold. In summers, the average temperature can go up to 38˚C, whereas the average temperature during winters can be up to 0˚C. Some of the places which are located in the upper region receive heavy snowfall during winters, which offers a breathtaking view.
Means of Transportation: Reaching Kangra is effortless nowadays. It is well connected by road, railways and air. Overnight buses are available from Chandigarh, Delhi, Pathankot, etc. One can also hire a cab to reach Kangra. The nearest broad gauge railway station is Pathankot which connects with Kangra through a narrow-gauge railway line. The nearest airport is Gaggal airport, which is about 9 Km from the district headquarters Dharamshala.
Trekking Sites in Kangra District:
1. Guna Devi Temple Trek: The trek is a perfect getaway for the beginners; it is a simple and easy trek with breathtaking scenic views. The trek takes around 6-8 hours (8 km) and is at an average height of about 2,310 meters. The trek starts from Naddi village at Mcleodgunj, and on the way, one can enjoy the beauty of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range, a small water stream and beautiful dense forest. Guna Devi temple is mainly worshipped by Gaddi shepherds and is dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is surrounded by oak and deodar forest from one side and Dhauladhar Mountains from the other.
2. Triund Trek: Triund is a small hilltop of Mcleodgunj situated in Dharamshala, at a height of about 2,828 meters above sea level. The 11 Km stretch of the trek is easy and simple, which is 3-4 hours long journey. That is why this is a popular tourist place. The trek with steep slopes leads to a gorgeous forest consisting of Deodar and Rhododendron trees, and some rocky sharp paths with some amazing view. The trek offers scenic beauty of Majestic Dhauladhar Mountain Range at one side and the mesmerizing view of Kangra valley at the other. Triund is the best place to set up a camp over the green grassy meadows and enjoy the attention-grabbing beauty under the starry sky. Best time for the trek is spring and the summer season.
3. Indrahar Pass: Indrahar pass is a mountain pass in the lap of Dhauladhars, at about 4,342 meters above sea level. The pass is a border between the Kangra and the Chamba districts, with the majestic view of Dhauladhars and sight of hamlets below. The trail starts from Triund, and on the way to Indrahar, it passes through Lahesh Caves (camping site), Snowline Café and Ilaqa. The whole terrain takes about 4 days,] including the breathtaking views of Dhauladhars and Pir Panjal Mountain Range, flora and many rocky steeps, which makes the trek quite difficult. It is a popular trekking site as many people get to enjoy nature from more closely. The best time for trekking is in May to June and September to October.
4. Kareri Lake Trek: The Lake is a shallow, freshwater lake located at an average height of about 2,934 meters above sea level. The lake is situated at a distance of about 9 km North-West of Dharamshala towards the South of Dhauladhars. The path consists of dense Pine forest, and as one goes upwards, the path becomes steeper and less green, which makes the trek moderately easy. At the hilltop, the place offers an eternal beauty consisting of the Lake surrounded by mesmerizing mountains. The water in the lake is the melted snow of the Dhauladhar Range, and the water is so crystal clear that one can even see the lake bed. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti is situated at the top, which locals believe that they are looking over the Lake. Best time for the trek is the spring season, as the lake remains frozen from December to March.
5. Aadi Himani Chamunda Temple Trek: Aadi Himani Chamunda Temple is situated at a hilltop surrounded by gorgeous Dhauladhar’s, positioned towards the North-East of the famous Chamunda Temple. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Maa Chamunda, and one can do the overnight trek of about 6-7 hours to seek the blessings of the deity. The temple is located at an average height of about 2,900 meters, along with the scenic view of Dhauladhar Mountain Range. There are two sides a trekker can opt to reach the place: one is from the Chamunda Temple at Jadrangal village which is quite easy trail with some steep stairs and takes less time, whereas the other side is from Jia village, which takes more time. The trail consists mostly of forest and a bit difficult to reach. Best time for the trek is from June to October.