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Kangra is the most populous district of the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Dharamsala is the administrative headquarters of the district.

Geography and People

Located in the western part of Himachal Pradesh, the district is located in the low foothills of the Himalayas. The Dhauladhar range adjoins the district on one side. The Beas, one of the larger rivers of this district, contributes to the fertility of the land. The district is bounded by the Himachal Pradesh districts of Chamba to the north, Lahul and Spiti to the northeast, Kullu to the east, Mandi to the southeast, and Hamirpur and Una to the south. The district shares a border with the states of Punjab on the southwest, and Jammu and Kashmir on the northwest.

Due to the hilly terrain, not very much of the land is cultivated. The region is covered with uniform patches of barren land, as well as small forests.There is a reasonably good network of roads across the district.

Dharamsala, the district headquarters, is also the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, headed by the Dalai Lama. Other important towns are Kangra, Jwalamukhi, Dehra, Palampur, and Ranital. Jwalamukhi, also known as Jwala ji, is famous for an ancient temple of the goddess of the same name, and features holy flames that are fed by natural gas. The district's other important temples include Brajeshwari Devi temple, Chamunda Devi temple, Chintpurni temple and Baijnath's Shiva temple. Historical villages of Pragpur and Garli are also located here.

The winter lasts from mid-December to mid-February, during which the temperature ranges from 0 to 20 °C. The winds cause winter rains. Summers last from April until June, and are hot (temp 25 to 38 °C) and dry. They are generally followed by a wet monsoon which ends in autumn.

The population of the district is over 1.3 million. The native people are the Kangri and the native language is Kangri, which is very similar to Punjabi. The majority of the people are Hindu, although many Tibetan people who follow Buddhism have also settled here recently.

The traditional dress for men was the kurta, pyjamas, and a woollen jacket used in winter. Women generally wear the salwar kameez.

The economy of the district consists mostly of agriculture and farming. Tea estates of "Kangra tea" are being revived.


Since mythological times, Kangra has been part of the Royal Katoch Kingdom. For more information on the history of Kangra kindly visit royalkangra.com at http://www.royalkangra.com/

Kangra became part of British India in 1846, when it was ceded at the conclusion of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The British district included the present-day districts of Kangra, Hamirpur, Kullu, Lahul and Spiti. Kangra District was part of the British Province of Punjab. The administrative headquarters of the district were initially at Kangra, but were soon moved to Dharamsala.

Upon Indian Independence in 1947, Punjab province was partitioned between India and Pakistan, and the western portion of Himachal Pradesh, including Kangra, became the Indian state of Punjab. Lahul and Spiti became separate districts in 1960; Kullu became a separate district 1962. In 1966, Kangra and Una districts were added to Himachal Pradesh, which became a union territory of India, and an Indian state in 1971. Hamirpur District was separated from Kangra in 1972.

This area was significantly damaged by an earthquake on April 4, 1905.