Chamba Hill Station
Chamba, a small town and a hill station, is one of the oldest inhabited places of Himachal Pradesh. It is a land that been chiseled by the nature for centuries. King Sahil Verman founded and christened the town after his daughter, Champavati in 920 AD. It is lying at 3286 ft. in the Shivalik ranges by the bank of the river Ravi. Besides few new buildings, this ancient town is the still the same as it was founded.
The town is noted for its breathtaking valley, and the beauty of the three most towering ranges - the outer Himalayas referred as Dauladhar, the Pir Panjal, and the inner Himalayas referred as the Zanskar. The mystical beauty, alluring vistas, highest mountain passes, and cool air are the gifts for nature lovers. Besides the view of the hills, the waterfalls, the snowline and the plateau, all that are noticeable from any balcony or terrace of a building, are priceless.
There are many more attractions in addition to the nature. Temples built by the rulers thousand years ago still attract crowds. There are palaces built by the Rajputs and the Sikhs in the Pahari style. If you have not had enough of soaking in the goodness of the place, the handicrafts made by the locals will further spoil you. The climate in the town largely depends on the high altitude because of which you will see snowfall even in the summer, which starts from March, and last until April. June is the monsoon period that ends in the mid of September. January and February are the coolest month.
Places to See
Laxmi Narayan Temple
This temple is inside the complex consisting of six temples. All the temples are built of stone and standing in a row. Three temples in the complex are attributed to Lord Vishnu, and the other three to Lord Shiva. All the temples are built in ancient Hindu style in which Shikhara was the important presence. The carvings also make the temple special. All the shrines were built in the 10th century. Other rulers of the 16th century did some renovation. The Laxmi Narayan Temple is to the northeast after entering into the complex.
This temple complex consists of total 84 big and small shrines, and hence it is named Chaurasi temple since the world Chaurasi in Hindi stands for number eighty-four. The complex is located at Bharmour town. The reason cited behind building so many shrines is related to King Sahil Varman. When the king ascended the throne, he did not have any son to take over the reign after him. At that time, 84 yogis from the Himalaya came to the town and were flattered with the hospitality of the king. They also made a prophecy that the king would have ten sons. When the prophecy came true, the king built 84 temples in honour of all those yogis. The major temples in the complex are dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva, Sheetla Mata, Chamunda Devi, Lord Hanuman, Suryu Linga Mahadev, Swami Kartik, and Dharameshwar Mahadev.
Chaughan is a name given to a grassy ground big enough to hold events. The ground is right at the centre of the city and is used for many cultural programmes, and trading. Sports and fair are organized at this ground during the Minjar procession every year.
Bhuri Singh Museum
This museum is named after the ruler of Chamba, Raja Bhuri Singh. It was opened for public viewing on 14th September, 1908. Most of the exclusive paintings in the museum are donated by lineage of the Bhuri family. The brainchild behind establishing the museum was J. Ph. Vogel, who served the Archeologist's Survey of India. There are paintings depicting the episodes of the Bhagwat Purana and the epic of Ramayana. Other paintings also include the life story of Lord Krishna. The exclusive embroidered handkerchief, Chamba Rumals are pleasing to see. Pahari painters make the rumals and the household women do the embroidery work. The old museum was replaced with the new one in 1975 by constructing a huge building.
Rang Mahal is a magnificent fort built by Umed Singh in the 18th century. The construction of the Mahal is an excellent structure of the Indo-Sarcenic style. The palace is now a heritage hotel. However, the paintings that once adorned the walls are restored and exude the same old charm. All the paintings are based on the life circle of Lord Krishna. The palace is also popular as "The Painted Palace."
Places to See
This lake is built to store water for the town. A dam is built at one end of the lake across the Ravi River. The lake is a place to enjoy picnic and various water sports activities. The view you will get at this lake will surely infuse new life into every tissue of your body.
How to Reach Chamba Hill Station
If you are thinking about taking the air route, you have to reach Gaggal that is in Kangra valley. The airport at Gaggal is 180 km from Chamba.
Pathankot Railway Station is the closest railway station that is 122 km from Chamba.
Buses are available daily from Dalhousie, and other cities of Himachal Pradesh.
Chamha hill station also offers excursion sites such as Bandal Valley, Manimahesh Kailash, Salooni and Sarol. Best time to visit the hill station in April when you can see the annual Suhi Mati Festival.
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