Kangra Valley is a scenic valley located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated in the western Himalayas and is surrounded by the Dhauladhar range on one side and the Shivalik hills on the other. The valley is named after the Kangra district, which is one of the districts in the region.
The Kangra Valley is known for its natural beauty and is a popular destination for tourists and nature lovers. The valley is home to a number of important religious sites, including the famous Masroor Rock Cut Temple, which is believed to date back to the 8th century. The valley is also known for its tea gardens, which produce some of the finest tea in the country.
One of the major towns in the Kangra Valley is Dharamshala, which is the residence of the Dalai Lama and is known for its Tibetan community. The town has become a hub for spiritual seekers and offers a range of activities, including meditation retreats and yoga classes.
The Kangra Valley is also known for its adventure sports, including trekking, rock climbing, and paragliding. The valley is well connected by road and rail and can be easily reached from nearby cities like Delhi and Chandigarh.
Distance: 18 km south of Dharamsala, 86 km from Pathankot, 248km from Shimla
The Historic Perspective of Kangra Valley
Kangra – a name that spells a wealthy history. A funds city which the Katoch dynasty guarded for ages. A Pandora’s box which attracted numerous plunderers. An alcove was blooming the famous Kangra school of art. That’s Kangra. and much far more. Kangra Tour this historical city of Kangra, that lies overlooking the gushing torrents on the Banganga River, a tributary from the Beas rising from the southern slopes of your milky Dhauladhars. But declaring just that Kangra is definitely a historic town is not enough; it has the distinction of being the website with the oldest recorded war in the human background. The Rig Veda (approximately 1200 BC), one of the oldest texts on the planet, mentions the 12-year war between Divodas (king on the Aryans) and Shambar (king from the hill regions when the Aryans first arrived in India) becoming fought right here. That was about 1500 BC. The land also figures in innumerable episodes of history, legends, and folklore. It even finds a point out in Alexander’s (about 326 BC) war data. The terrific Indian epic Mahabharata cites this fantastic Kangra as Trigarta. The existing title – Kangra – given to this region is not rather outdated. It came into vogue in the late medieval period and is supposedly derived in the term kan-ghara (a spot exactly where ears are cast). But it is not known why the term came to become applied to this place, possibly because of some long-lost legend or folktale.
Places of Interest in Kangra Himachal
Today Kangra is also known as Bhawan or Nagarkot. Bhawan for the reason that of the Bajreshwari Devi Temple, and Nagarkot for the reason that on the fort Nagarkot. The cruel earthquake of 1905 noticed to it that Nagarkot’s impermeability became a thing on the previous. The place exactly where the dilapidated fort mutely stands is known as Purana Kangra or Previous Kangra. The other sights of the town would be the Gorakh Dibbi Temple, the aged Jain Temple, and also the Gupt Ganga Temple.
Although Kangra served as the hotbed of energy within the olden occasions, all of the hustle-bustle of a capital metropolis has now shifted elsewhere – to Dharamsala, the current district headquarter. Leaving Kangra with recollections of a glorious previous and making to get a destination par excellence.
The Kangra School of Miniature Painting
Different schools of miniature painting collectively referred to as Pahari flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries within the sub-Himalayan states.
The hilly region, then divided into 22 princely states, was ruled by Rajput kings or chieftains who had been all good connoisseurs of artwork, with most of them maintaining ateliers. The focal points of their lives were war, hunting, lineage, along with the zenana. Also partial to adore themes, specifically the legends of Radha and Krishna, the Rajputs liked them depicted in their paintings.
Basholi Painting The early Pahari paintings of the mid-17th century had been within the Basholi style (dubbed so for the reason that of its association using the king of Basholi). These are extraordinarily colorful and charged with vitality and emotion. Two persistent strains might be noticed – a fondness for the portraits in the nearby rajas in plain white garments and for the gods from the Hindu pantheon.
The paintings bear resemblance to Rajasthani and Malwa paintings but this may be attributed to the fact the kings of the princely states in Himachal were Rajputs. A few of the telling traits are the use of incredibly stylish two-dimensional architectural settings topped by domes or pavilions, bands of scrollwork patterns,s and also the use of elaborately figured rugs. There are lots of striking works on this genre as the Basholi style, with its strong indigenous Indian aspect, is nicely suited for the portrayal of many-headed Shivas and many-armed Durgas (figures through the vast stockpile of Indian mythology).
Basholi Model Paintings
The coming of painters from the Mughal court inside the second quarter of the 18th century (due to the decline of the Mughal Empire) led to a complete transformation with the existing Basholi style. There was a wholesale ferrying in of Mughal fashion and style, from dress to architecture for the arts. The resultant was the Guler-Kangra type. The model owes a good deal to later Mughal painting, especially in its receding planes, its fondness for quasi-realistic landscape, and its regular enlargement in the figures to the page. This late Pahari type first appeared in Guler, after which in Kangra. Raja Govardhan Singh (1744-1773) of Guler gave shelter to a lot of artists.
Under the ambitious Sansar Chand (1775-1823) from the fantastic Katoch dynasty, the Kangra College flourished happily. It really is said that Sansar’s appreciation for any gaddi (a tribe of the Chamba-Kangra region) maiden drove him to commission the paintings. Nagarkot or Kangra Fort, exactly where he held court for almost 25 years, was adorned significantly with paintings and it attracted art lovers from far and extensive. Later he moved his capital to Nadaun and as a final point to Sujanpur Tira. The temples and palaces at each of these places had been also adorned with beautiful miniatures. The 1905 earthquake damaged quite a few of these buildings but it is possible to nevertheless see a few of the miniature wall paintings.
The Kangra type is by far the most poetic and lyrical of Indian styles, says art historian J. C. Harle. His favorite topic right here is ‘the idealization of lady, in flowing sari, head half-covered with a shawl, demure but stately, passionate and shy’.
The far more complicated many-figured compositions – typically larger and horizontal in format – have a tendency to illustrate events from the Krishna legend – the cowherd god putting out a forest fire, subduing the serpent Kaliya, or stealing the garments of gopis (milkmaids of Braj) while they had been bathing in the river. The capability to deal with huge groups of figures and landscapes with towns or clusters of houses in the distance is admirable. Aside from intricate brushwork, Kangra miniatures are characterized through the skillful use of brilliant mineral and vegetable extract colors that have an enamel-like luster. But the strangest factor about these hill paintings is that you will in no way discover snow-capped mountains in them! The study exhibits that although the Kangra type became well-entrenched within the Hills, many offshoots emerged in areas like Kullu, Nurpur, Chamba, and Mandi. The Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba is best-known for its beautiful assortment of Pahari miniatures.
Fairs & Festivals Kangra Valley Himachal Pradesh
Spring Festival of Kangra Valley
This festival is celebrated only within the Kangra district within the month of March/April. Clay figurines of Shiva and Parvati are worshipped by young unmarried girls who gown up in their finery and gather around a heap of grass to sing and dance. After becoming worshipped for 10 days, the figurines are immersed in a pond or river around the 1st day of Vaisakha or Baisakhi (13th April).
The festival is held to commemorate the tragic death of an attractive young girl known as Rail. It is mentioned that Rail was engaged to Shankar, a boy much younger than her, but came to know about it (the reality that he was younger) only on the day of the marriage. Overcome with grief and resentment, she decided to end to her life. But before doing so she called upon God to be considerate to all marriageable girls so that they come across suitable matches. Nicely, strange as it may sound, marriage between a younger boy and an elder girl is taboo in traditional Indian society!
Although celebrated in quite a few northern states, this agrarian festival is celebrated differently in different regions of Himachal. Typically held on the 1st of Baisakh (13th April), it really is known as Bissu or Bisha. It signifies vigor and vitality and serves as being a ritual before the onset of the harvesting season. Burning the jhala – a pile of dry twigs with a pole bearing a conical bamboo basket erected within the middle – is definitely an important ritual. It is set afire within the morning as young boys sing and dance around it.
Hariyali indicates greenery, and within the Kangra Valley, it really is the festival that celebrates rain. Since great rain signifies a great harvest and prosperity, it really is important to keep the rain god happy. Hariyali is celebrated on the initial of Shravana (July 16). Some 10 days before this, seeds of five or seven grains (wheat, barley, and also the like) are mixed together and sown ceremoniously from the head of your family or the family priest in a small basket filled with earth. A day before the festival, Shiva and Parvati are ritually married as their union brings fertility to the world. Clay images from the divine couple are placed within the midst of sprouting grain on the chant of, “O Hariyali, May perhaps thou ever remain inside the green fields…”
Sair is basically thanksgiving for abundant rainfall and is celebrated in September/October. Traditionally, a barber goes around the village with a galgal (fruit in a basket) announcing the coming of the festival. Men, women, and children bow to this sacred fruit which is considered an emblem on the fruits of harvest about to be reaped.