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KANGRA, a town and district of India, in the Jullundur division of the Punjab. The town, sometimes called Nagarkot, is situated 2409 ft. above the sea. Pop. (1901), 4746. The Katoch rajas had a stronghold here, with a fort and rich temples. Mahmud of Ghazni took the fort in 1009 and from one of the temples carried off a vast treasure. In 1360 Kangra was again plundered, by Feroz Shah. The temple of Devi Bajreshri was one of the oldest and wealthiest in northern India. It was destroyed, together with the fort and the town, by an earthquake on the 4th of April 1905, when 1339 lives were lost in this place alone, and about 20,000 elsewhere. In 1855 the headquarters of the district were removed to the sanitarium of Dharmsala.

The district of Kangra extends from the Jullundur Doab far into the southern ranges of the Himalaya. Besides some Rajput states, annex'ed after the Sikh wars, it includes Lahul, Spiti and Kulu, which are essentially Tibetan. The Beas is the only important river. Area, 9978 sq. m., of which Kangra proper has only 2725. Pop. (1901), 768,124; average density 77 persons per sq. m., but with only one person per sq. m. in Spiti. Tea cultivation was introduced into Kangra about 1850. The Palampur fair, established by government with a view to fostering commerce with central Asia, attracts a small concourse of Yarkandi merchants. The Lahulis carry on an enterprising trade with Ladakh and countries beyond the frontier, by means of pack sheep and goats. Rice, tea, potatoes, opium, spices, wool and honey are the chief exports.

See Kangra District Gazetteer (Lahore, 1906).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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