Wednesday, 1 June 2016

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Kangra Fort
Kangra Fort

The Kangra Fort  is located 20 kilometers from the town of Dharamsala on the outskirts of the town of KangraIndia.The Kangra Fort was built by the royal Rajput family of Kangra State , 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.
Kangra Fort
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.
Kangra Fort
A British garrison occupied the fort until it was heavily damaged in an earthquake on the 4th of April, 1905.The entrance to the fort is through a small courtyard enclosed between two gates which were built during the Sikh period, as appears from an inscription over the entrance. From here a long and narrow passage leads up to the top of the fort, through the Ahani and Amiri Darwaza , both attributed to Nawab Saif Ali Khan, the first Mughal Governor of Kangra. About 500 feet from the outer gate the passage turns round at a very sharp angle and passes through the Jehangiri Darwaza.The Darsani Darwaza, which is now flanked by defaced statues of River Goddesses Ganga and Yamuna gave access to a courtyard, along the south side of which stood the shrines Lakshmi-Narayana Sitala and Ambika Devi. In between these shrines is a passage that leads up to the palace. It is one of the most beautiful forts in India.
Kangra Fort

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