There is still more to see in the beautiful Kangra Valley. The ruin left of Kangra Fort after the 1905 earthquake sits on a steep ridge overlooking the confluence of the Banganga and Majhi rivers. It’s strategically strong and highly defensible position let even Akbar the great retreat unsuccessfully after his siege in 1615. We walk through many archways that line the winding ascent and marvel at the huge thick walls covering the access to upper terraces.
As mentioned in the introduction to this trip, it can still get quite cold in the foothills at the end of February. We stay in the Maharaja Suite at the Taragarh Palace Hotel a beautiful and huge high-ceilinged room in the old mansion. However, as there are very view guests stopping over at this time of the year the room is COLD. The management tries to do their best, but even two electric heaters blasting away make us put on thermal underwear and wrap up in our down jackets – inside! To make us feel a little less lonely in the dining room – no other guests – they place a gas heater next to our table. Do stay there if you happen to pass by in summer!
In the morning, our car climbs the near vertical drop of the first rise of the Himalayas. The narrow road is winding its way through dense forests and over ravines that must be running wild during monsoon time. We end up at an open meadow called Billing at 2’430 meters, 1’500 meters above the valley floor. What a splendid view over the Kangra valley. A heavily loaded jeep arrives behind us, spilling out a bunch of daring young people. The location is claimed to be a world-renowned spot for paragliding. Very soon, they put on their gear and team up for their passenger-flights down the hill.
Down in the valley we are just in time for the midday chanting of the monks at the Palpung Sherabling Monastery that was built in 1975 for the monks in exile from their original monastery in Tibet.
Full gallery with more pictures:
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