In 1901 the population of the town and cantonment was 7764.
The cantonment accommodates about a brigade of troops.
In 1855 Dharrsala was made the headquarters of the Kangra district of the Punjab in place of Kangra, and became the centre of a European settlement and cantonment, largely occupied by Gurkha regiments.
The state also contains the British cantonment of Nowgong.
The troops nearest the enemy, however, which have to be maintained in a state of constant readiness for battle, cannot as a rule afford the time either for dispersing into quarters or for rallying on an alarm, and in western Europe at any rate they are required to bivouac. In India, the term "cantonment" means more generally a military station or standing camp. The troops live, not in private houses, but in barracks, huts, forts or occasionally camps.