Kamlah Fort is a 17th century fort in Kamlah Village in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
The fort is located along the picturesque Beas River and gateway to the stunning Kullu Valley. With 81 ancient stone temples featuring intricate carvings, Mandi has earned the nickname “Varanasi of the Hills” for its undeniable beauty. But the true gem of this town is the formidable Kamlah Fort.
This fort is a trekker’s dream come true. Perched on the treacherous and dangerous terrain of the Sikandar Dhar ranges, this fort stands at a dizzying 4,772 feet above sea level. Surrounding the fort are charming villages such as Chamba, Naun, Kathed, Shamsherpur, and Jamandhar.
But the fort’s history is just as intriguing as its location. Built in 1625 by Raja Hari Sen and completed by his son Suraj Sen, the fort’s complex entrance made it impregnable for centuries. However, in 1840 it was conquered by Bentura, a general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The fort was later restored in 1846 by the Mandi Kings.
After the collapse of the Mughal Empire, local officials attempted to form their own kingdoms, but the strong fort at Kamlahgarh proved to be a difficult obstacle. Even Sansar Chand of Kangra, who imposed tribute on Mandi, couldn’t capture the fort. Eventually, Maharaja Ranjit Singh emerged victorious and conquered Mandi in 1839.
Fast forward to present day, the fort remains a must-see for history buffs and adventurous travelers alike. To reach the fort, one can take a bus from the main bus stand in Mandi, or fly into the nearest airport in Bhuntar (57km away) or take a train to Pathankot (210km away). The best time to visit is from May to October, when the temperature is just right for exploring this beautiful piece of history. So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to Kamlah Fort in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.