Chamba At a Glance!

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About Chamba

It is a beautiful hill station situated at the height of 1000 Meters on the banks of River Ravi. It is located between the beautiful Dhauladhar and Zanskar Range in the Southern part of the inner Himalayas. The town was founded by Raja Sahil Varman in 920 A.D. He named it as ‘Champa’ after his daughter ‘Champavati’. He was the most famous king of this period that extended the boundaries of the state and also built a new capital at Chamba. He has built two temples Champavati Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Chamba Palace. Chamba is famous for its handcrafted material like Chamba rumal, Chamba Chappal (sandals) and Chamba shawls. Chamba Rumal- The rumal is same on both sides with identical pictures and embroidery in Pahari style. Chamba Chappal- Chamba leather is very famous with artistic designs. For female the designs of the Chappal are different, it has embroidered designs with silk threads. Chamba Shawls- shawls are another important handicraft in Chamba. Earlier the shawls were made through local sheep wool but today Merino sheep, Angora sheep, Pashmina wool etc are used. Metal work and Wood work of Chamba is another traditional art which makes it famous.

Tourist Attractions Type Interesting Facts
Dalhousie Leisure In Western Himachal Pradesh, the hill station of Dalhousie is full of old world charm and holds lingering echo’s of the Raj era. It covers an area of 14 and is built on five hills-Kathlog, Patreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun. It is named after the British governor General of the 19th century, Lord Dalhousie. Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its location presents panoramic views of the plains and like a long silver line, the river Ravi twists and turns below Dalhousie. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar Mountains are also visible from this enchanting town.
Churah Valley Adventure The Churah Valley is known for its scenic beauty which excels not only in its natural beauty but it also has a historic significance. The tern ‘Churah ‘ means four path , the Banjraru is the Centre place of Churah from where the path leads to all four directions linked to different places within the district and the adjoining state of Jammu and Kashmir. Chura lies to the north of Chamba town and constitutes another beautiful valley of Chamba district. Churah is famous for different kothis built by the kings who are square in shape and measuring 20 or 30 yards on each side with an open courtyard in the centre. Some kothis were designed as fortress and used as revenue collection centre and as courts for administering justice, law and order. Such kothis are Bairagarh, Tikrigarh, Begheigarh and Jassaurgarh etc. Churah is also famous for its hydro-electric project Baira Siul. Churah valley has to its credit the three beautiful lakes like Gadasru Lake, Mahakali Dal Lake and Mahal Nag Dal Lake.
Chamunda Devi Temple Pligrimage It is the most interior villages of Churah Valley and is about 110 Kms from district headquarters of Chamba. The temple is dedicated to Devi and contains illustration of the exploits of the Goddess Durga. The temple was constructed in 1754 AD by Raja Umed Singh.
Khajjiar Lake Adventure It is situated at an elevation of 1900 Meters above the sea level and is about 25 KMs from Chamba and 16 Kms from Dalhousie. It is amongst the most popular tourist sites in the state surrounded by dense Deodar forests. The lake is around 1.5 Sq. Km large and is a perfect picnic spot. The lake is fed by small streams and stays full of water during all the seasons. The main attraction of the lake is floating cluster of grass and weed growing on the surface of the lake. The visitors can also enjoy the activities like Zormbing and paragliding while enjoying the beauty of landscape.
Gadasru Lake Adventure Situated at an altitude of 3470 meter above the sea level and is sixteen miles from Tisa, the headquarters of Churah tehsil, this lake is circular in shape and is roughly half a mile in circumference. Beside this lake also stands a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali and thus the place has acquired a holy significance. A temple dedicated to Goddess Kali stands at a corner of the lake. The approach to the lake is through difficult rocky terrain. This lake is believed to have been discovered by a surveyor probably of the Geological Survey of India, who after his compass instrument came to be known as Compassi Babu which later corrupted to Kappassi Babu. This lake has become a place of pilgrimage.
Pangi Valley Adventure Situated at an altitude of 14,500 feet it is a hidden gem in Himachal surrounded by Pir Panjal and Zanskar Ranges in the sub divisional headquarters of Pangi Valley. Pangi is also known as Trekkers Paradise. The valley is covered with snow for about six months. Beyond the reach of tropical monsoon rains, the valley is one of the offbeat challenging tourism destinations. There are beautiful valleys within Pangi region like Sural, Saichu, Kumar-Parmar, Hundan and Sechu. All these valleys are connected with Zanskar. People of Pangi valley are mainly Hindu with a small population of Buddhist. These people with Mongolian features are called Bhots and they live in higher reaches of the valley called Bhatoris such as Sural Bhatori, Hundan Bhatori, Parmar Bhatori, Chasak Bhatori and Hilu-Twan. There are number of exciting treks from Pangi valley to Keylong (Lahaul valley), Manali (Kullu) and Kishtwar in Kashmir. The entire area of Pangi Valley is spread in 3 valleys i.e. Saichu, Hudan Bhatori and Sural Bhatori.
Kalatop Willife Sanctuary Wildlife Kalatop is one of the most pristine destination located on the slopes between Khajjiar and Dalhousie known for the lush green surroundings and snow capped Himalayan peaks. In history the Sanctuary was better known as a gaming reserve for Chamba rulers in is located at an altitude of 2500 Meters above sea level and offers a view of thick pine, deaodar and oak trees and home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
The Sanctuary lies over river Ravi and has rich forest over. The area is a favourite spot for picnics, trekking and nature walks. Tourists normally prefer to walk up to Kalatop from Lakkarmandi, which is approximately 4 kms from Kalatop, to take in the amazing views of the beautiful landscapes of Kalatop. This region is less explored compared to other area of Dalhousie. It is a home for deer, bear, Himalayan black marten, Leopard, barking goral, Jackel, langur and several beautiful birds’ species like Eurasian Jay, Black Headed Jay, and the Black Bird.
The route to Kalatop is via Lakkarmandi, which is another famous spot in Dalhousie, known for its Dhogri family population, who make charcoal for a living.
Laxmi Narayan Temple Pilgrimage It is one of the largest and the oldest temple at Chamba built in 10th Century by King Sahil Varmaand is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu The temple is also known as Champavati Temple as the king has named this temple after his loving daughter Champavati. The temple in north is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi and other which line in North to South direction are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Radha Krishan and Chandgragupta.
The shell roofs and wooden umbrellas at the top of the temple reflect the climactic condition of the place where snowfall is quiet expected. The image of the Vishnu present in the temple is made up of rare marble that has been imported from Vindhyachal Mountains. There is a Garuda statue in metal watches over the main gate, which is placed by Raja Balabhadra Verma. The latest addition to the shrine in historical periods was in answer to the Mughal terror when Aurangzeb the emperor order to demolish the temple and the Raja Chhatra Singh included gilded elevations to the temple in the year 1678.
King Sahil Verma, who constructed this temple, sacrificed eight of his sons to get the marble. And finally, his eldest son, Yugkara succeeded to fetch the marble. He was also attacked by the robbers, but with the help of a saint he managed to save himself.
Bhuri Singh Museum Heritage It is the one of the hidden gem in Chamba and should be must seen by the visitors who visit Dalhousie or Chamba. The museum is named after Raja Bhuri Singh who knew the importance of art and cultural heritage of the state and preserves them at the public museum. Dr. J. Ph. Vogel an Ideologist working for the Archeological Survey of India has also contributed a lot towards the setting up of the museum and published his valuable exploration at the museum. It was inaugurated on 14th September 1908.
The complex of the museum encompasses a seminar hall, an exhibition hall, and a library. It displays a splendid collection of miniature paintings from Chamba, Kangra, and Guler schools. The museum has more than 5000 antiques relating to art, craft, and cultural past of Chamba. The rich treasure at the museum includes stone sculptures, inscribed bronze plates, chambarumals, earliest coins, manuscripts and much more. An inscribed wooden door from Swai is a special antique displayed in the museum. Woodcarvings are wonderful and reveal the subjects related to architectural art in Chamba. After visiting this place, you can have a glimpse at the lifestyle in the Pahari region in the earlier age.
Other than this, the tourists can see on display, items like Armour and arms, coins, hill jewellery & costumes, diverse ornamental arte facts, and musical instruments. All this collection is available in the newly built museum; however, the visitors can also see the old museum building, which was constructed in 1975.
Climate :
Chamba has winter season from November to March and summers from March to August.( September and October are moderate)
Best time to Visit :
Best time to visit Chamba is from March to July.