Chamba is the northwestern district of Himachal Pradesh, in India, with its headquarters in Chamba town. Chamba is bounded on north-west by Jammu and Kashmir, on the north-east and east by Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir state and Lahaul and Bara-Bangal area of Himachal Pradesh, on the south-east and south by the District Kangra of Himachal Pradesh and Gurdaspur District of the Punjab. Chamba is the only district in northern India to preserve a well-documented history from c. 500 AD. This town stands on a plateau on the right bank of the Ravi river valley and touches the fringe of the Shivaliks and has three well-defined snowy mountain ranges. The spirits feel as high as it could get immersed in deep thoughts inspired by the stony and sandy riverside.
Chamba is an amazing hill station with some interesting activities for visitors. You can attend the Minjar mela and the Suhi Mata mela to get a taste of the culture in Chamba. Its high mountain ranges have given it a sheltered position and helped in preserving its centuries-old relics and numerous inscriptions. The temples erected by rajas of Chamba more than a thousand years ago continue to be under worship and the land grant-deeds executed on copper plates by them continue to be valid under the law. Chamba also houses a popular museum, the Bhuri Singh Museum, where one can find a number of paintings, inscriptions and much of what the history of Chamba rulers left behind. Marked by the popular festivals, fairs, palaces, and beautiful natural settings, the town has flourished on the banks of River Ravi where it confluences with River Sal. All the history and culture of this place is represented in the artistic form of music, dance and craft, especially Pahari paintings.
Chamba is one of the famous tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh. The ancient temples and the various picnic and trek spots make Chamba a definitive place to visit.
Tourist Attraction :
Laxmi Narayan Temple :
The Laxmi Narayan Temple is one of the most revered places of the region, Which is Built in the 10th century by Raja Sahil Varman, the Lakshmi Narayan Temples are few of the major pilgrim spots for the Vaishnavites. The shrine, constructed in the 10th century, is devoted to the Vaishnavite sect is said to be the largest and oldest temple complex of Chamba. The complex of Lakshmi Narayan temple has around six temples in total, all dedicated to either Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. The main idol of Lord Vishnu is made up of rare marble, which used to be found in the mountains of Vindhyas. The temples are again exemplary of the Shikara style of temple architecture in India. This Laxmi Narayan Temple complex also some fine sculptures of residing deities, which include figures of Lord Vishnu (of the Hindu trilogy), Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth), Narasimha (Lion form of Lord Vishnu) and Lord Krishna. The shrine houses a metallic image of Garuda, ‘vahanam’ (mount) of Lord Vishnu. This image on the dwajastamba pillar at the entrance grabs the attention of tourists. The temple roofs are decorated with Gold plated pinnacles that glisten with the sun light.
Champavati Temple :
Champavati Temple is one of the most religious destinations and best places to visit in Chamba. It was built by Raja Umedh Singh in 1762 and is a wooden temple with a gabled roof. The architecture of the temple feels as if inspired from the divinity itself as represented by the sculptures and stone carvings is a marvelous cross between the Indian and British styles and is dedicated to Chamunda Devi an incarnation of the Goddess Durga. The temple holds the shrines of Vasuki Naga, Wazir and Goddess Mahisasuramardini, an avatar of Goddess Durga. The best time to visit temple is from the month of March to June as the climate is so pleasant during this duration. Millions of hindus visit the temple each year, especially during Navratri.
Bhuri Singh Museum :
Bhuri Singh Museum was opened on 14th September 1908 and is named after Raja Bhuri Singh who ruled Chamba from 1904 to 1919. Located near Chaugan, the museum has the donated paintings of Raja Bhuri Singh. Now it houses many interesting artifacts and antiques is amongst the most popular tourist attractions in Chamba. The Bhuri Singh Museum houses a huge number of paintings, manuscripts, antiquities and artifacts and is a must visit. House of more than 8,500 antique pieces, Bhuri Singh Museum features costumes, arms, coins, royal jewellery, Basohli painting, rare Sharda script, carved doors, copper plate grants, memorial stones, musical instruments, frescoes, Guler-Kangra paintings and many more. The gallery features the rare Sarda script that provides rare information about the medieval history of Chamba. The parasites of Sarahan, Devi-ri-kothi and Mul Kihar are the major repositories of the museum. The museum also houses a collection of arms, armour, coins, costumes, musical instruments, ornaments, etc. The museum remains open on all days except public holidays and Mondays from 10 am-5 pm.
Akhand Chandi Palace :
The Akhand Chandi Palace is a major attraction of Chamba, which Built between 1747 and 1765 by Raja Umedh Singh. Akhand Chandi Palace displays the lavishness of Mughals and the artistic architecture of the British. The royal family of Chamba resided this palace for a long time before it was sold to Government. Known for a great view of the town as a whole and whatever it has to exhibit to visitors, the place is perfect tourist destination. The building was later sold to the Himachal Pradesh state government in 1958, who converted the building into a government college and a Library. While visiting the Akhand Chandi Palace, you can have a picturesque view of various other beautiful tourist destinations like Chamunda Devi Temple, Sui Mata Temple, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Rang Mahal and many more.
Khajjiar Lake :
Khajjiar lake is one of the most spectacular lakes in Himachal Pradesh and one of the best places to visit in Chamba. Khajjiar is mini Switzerland in Chamba. The Khajjiar Lake and Ground is an ideal place for photography and has been used as a back drop in many movies. The place is equated with heaven for the serenity given by forests of pine and oak coupled with emerald meadows. This lake has an association with the Snake God temple Only 23 Km away from Chamba. Khajjir Lake is an ideal place for photography and has been used as a back drop in many movies. Khajjiar Lake is amongst the most popular tourist sites in the state. Surrounded by Deodar forests, grassland and hills, the 1.5 sq km large lake is a perfect picnic spot. Best time to visit Khajjiar lake is from February to April when the weather is extremely pleasant and the tourist can enjoy various recreational activities while enjoying the beauty of landscape at the same time. Various small water streams from the Himalayas are the major source of Khajjiar Lake. On a bright sunny day, if you are lucky, you can even witness the Mount Kailash at distance from Khajjiar Lake. One of the main attractions of Khajjiar Lake is ‘Floating Island,’ which is a chunk of weed and grass developing on the surface of lake.
Rang Mahal :
Rang Mahal is one the largest monuments of the region made using brick was founded by Raja Umed Singh in the 18th century. Rang Mahal displays a perfect blend of British and Mughal architecture. When the monument was handed over to State Handicrafts Department, many changes were carried out in the architecture of building and the historical artifacts of the same are placed in Bhuri Singh Museum. Some of the artwork is on display at the National Museum, New Delhi. The walls of the palace are decorated with beautiful Hill Style paintings depicting the life of Lord Krishna. The old palace currently houses an emporium which remains open from 10 am-1 pm and 2-5 pm on all days except Sundays. The emporium sells handmade shawls, kerchiefs, chappals, etc.
Climate of Chamba :
Chamba is situated at an elevation between 900 and 1000 meters above sea level at the southern end of the inner Himalayas. Chamba experiences a warm summer and chilly winters with plenty of rainfalls during the monsoon season. The temperatures in summer vary between 38 °C (100 °F) and 15 °C (59 °F) which are very suitable for trekking and outdoor activities around the hill town. The winter season in the valley is extremely cold as the temperature is too low and reaches below freezing point, due to the chilly winds in the area. Cool winters of Chamba carry on from November to February and the months of January and February experience snowfall. The temperature recorded during this season is 0 °C and 15 °C correspondingly. The average annual rainfall in the town is 785.84 millimetres. The best time to visit the ancient Himachal Pradesh town of Chamba is from the month of March to June.
How To Reach :
By Air : The Nearest airport are Pathankot(120 kms), Amritsar (220 kms), Kangra (172 kms) and Chandigarh (400 kms). which are well connected to major city of India.
By Rail : The nearest Railway station is Rishikesh railway station (57 km) which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Road : Chamba is well connected by road to most neigbouring regions and major parts of Himachal Pradesh. Regular private and state-owned buses from Bharmour, Khajjiar and Dalhousie ply to Chamba.
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St. John in the Wilderness is an Anglican church dedicated to John the Baptist built in 1852, located near Dharamshala, India on the way to McLeodGanj, at Forsyth Gunj. St. John’s Church is the most ancient structure of the town and it is a gothic stone shrine amidst the forest in between Mcleodganj and Forsyth Ganj. It is an Anglican structure that is a tribute to John the Baptist. ‘St. John in the Wilderness’ is no more a hidden entity. Set amidst deodar forest, and built in neo-Gothic architecture, the church is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin (Mary Louisa Lambton), wife of Lord Elgin.
Though the church structure survived the 1905 Kangra earthquake, which killed close to 19,800 people, injured thousands in the Kangra area, and destroyed most buildings in Kangra, Mcleodganj and Dharamshala; its spire, Bell tower, was however destroyed. Later, a new bell, cast in 1915 by Mears and Stainbank, was brought from England and installed outside in the compound of the church. This is an anglic church in the McLeodganj. The church from the outside looks completely abandoned and covered with creepers all along. As you enter it you will find it extremely clean and maintained and thus fully active always. Made in the Gothic form of architecture, it was dedicated to st. John’s the Baptist and is a widely visited area here. It is an Anglican structure that is a tribute to John the Baptist. ‘St. John in the Wilderness’ is no more a hidden entity. it is also famous as ‘St. John in the Wilderness’. It looks like a hidden treasure and it has that element to turn the tourist in you into tireless traveller.
The church was built during British rule, in the year 1852. It is an Anglican church, complete with bell tower and spire. Scholars believe that Lord Jesus was a follower of John. The church is located amid serenity, in between thick deodar forests. 161 years of rain has created moss on its walls. It also has a memorial constructed as a dedication to Lord Elgin who was the Viceroy of the erstwhile India under imperial British rule. The Belgium tinted glass of the windows was donated to the church by Lady Elgin. The church was partly destroyed in the 1905 Kangra earthquake, but the destroyed spire and bell tower were brought again from England in 1915.
John’s church is a unique and a special place which should not be missed by anyone who is planning to visit Dharamshala. For the experience of a quite place in green mountains and strolling in the wilderness- St. John’s Church is a must visit! The church attracts many people from far and wide. The scenic pine and deodar forest, the serene environment and the architecture of the church are bound to leave unforgettable memories in the minds of visitors. This church is one of the must-visit places for tourists. There is church by the same name in Nainital as well, built in 1844.
The best time to pay a visit to Dharamshala is in between May and September. The winter is severe and there is snowfall that often results in the upper passes getting blocked. The popular tourist attractions suffer fewer crowds due to erratic weather conditions. When you walk down from Mcleodganj or Naddi to lower Dharamshala, it takes 10 to 15 minutes. You can hire a car on rent or catch a local bus that would take you to the place. A few steps into the woods and there the wonder is waiting for your lenses and your footprints. This church is situated within four or five kilometres from the Peace of Mind Spot of Mcleodganj.
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Hatu Peak (11000 ft asl) is the highest peak in the area. Trekking all the way upto the peak can be an interesting half day trek upto 8 kms oneway, is located at an elevation of 3400 m/12000 ft above sea level and is the highest summit in Shimla/Narkanda region of Himachal Pradesh, India.. Hatu Peak is one of the most popular among adventure lovers especially trekkers and bikers and is One of the most wonderful tourist spots. From the top of the peak, the deep furrows of the valleys make for interesting views. A truly intrepid climber could turn approaching the summit into a multi-thousand meter bushwack through dense pine forests that are predominant on the usually fairly gentle hill sides.
Hatu Peak is surrounded by Himalayan Ranges and it is one of the most fascinating attractions of Narkanda town. For the rulers of the erstwhile hill states, Hatu Peak was of great strategic importance because of its commanding position. It was accepted as a boundary between the states. The peak is surrounded by dense woods. The area has forests of fir and spruce, with a smattering of maple, aspen and cedar trees. Folks from various parts of the world come to Shimla and plan overnight stay around Hatu Peak. Hatu Peak is around 7-8 km total uphill drive from the Narkanda town. There are multiple trekking routes to reach the peak from Narkanda. Hatu Peak is Ideal for camping and offers a beautiful opportunity for star gazing in the night. The forest is also good for bird watching and meditation.
Hatu Peak Travel Guide is full of references to the mesmerizing sceneries and serene spots. Hatu Peak has some attractions that should not be missed, Hatu Mata temple is one of the holy destinations of this region. The Peak has a beautiful hillock on top of it from where you can look around in all four directions and observe the beauty of nature at its ace. There are many other interesting places located around Hatu Peak like Kacheri, Stokes Farm and Narkanda etc. To the north and to the east, the white capped mountains of the Himalaya are visible, even on an overcast day. The nearby highest peaks (both within Himachal Pradesh) are Deo Tibba (6001m — approximately 120km north near Chatru) and Kinnaur Kailash (6050m — approximately 100km east near Karcham). The Nandi Devi region is to the southeast, approximately 250km. The small hill station of Narkanda (at 2708m) is the start for the journey to the top of Hatu Peak.
Best Time To Visit :
In winter, this area is a modest ski area, so expect snow conditions. However, the trail is not sufficiently steep to require crampons at any point. Proper. The best season to visit Hatu Peak is the apart from the skiing season, is the month of May, when the place temperature remains cool and comfortable and is apt for sightseeing. There are no particular timings for visiting Hatu Peak although trekking at night should be avoided.
How To Reach :
By Air : Shimla has a small airstrip located on a nearby hill top (in Jubbarhatti, about 23 km south of town). This airstrip is too small to support jets, so the only service available is from Jagson Airlines which offers single flight service into Shimla from Delhi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
By Rail : The nearest Railway station from Hatu Peak is Shimla Railway station, located at a distance of 68 Kms from Hatu Peak.
By Road : Narkanda is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.
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Bhakra Dam is located at a gorge near the (now submerged) upstream Bhakra village in Bilaspur district of height 226 m, Right on the border of North Indian states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Bhakra Dam is a concrete gravity dam across the Satluj River in Bilaspur,is the India’s second tallest at 225.55 m (740 ft) high next to the 261m Tehri Dam. The length of the dam (measured from the road above it) is 518.25 m and the width is 9.1 m. Its reservoir known as “Gobind Sagar” stores up to 9.34 billion cubic metres of water. The 90 km long reservoir created by the Bhakra Dam is spread over an area of 168.35 km2. Bhakra Nangal Dam, is situated at a height of 226 m above sea level, stuns the visitor with its sheer height. it withholds the third largest reservoir in India, the first being Indira Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh with capacity of 12.22 billion cubic meters and second Nagarjunasagar Dam with 11.56 billion cubic meters.
The Bhakra Nangal multipurpose dams were among the earliest river valley development schemes undertaken by India after independence though the project had been conceived long before India became a free nation. The view of this vast dam and the surrounding jungles is absolutely stunning and so, a lot of tourist visits this amazing place to take the glimpse of this engineering marvel. Described as ‘New Temple of Resurgent India’ by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, the dam attracts tourists from all over India. Nangal dam is another dam downstream of Bhakra dam. Sometimes both the dams together are called Bhakra-Nangal dam though they are two separate dams. Engineering comes to perfection in the Bhakra Dam, which serves as the hallmark of science and modern technology. It is virtually the central nervous system of northern India, supplying electricity to the entire region and helping run industries, corporate houses, etc. Nangal dam is a barrage dam that is 10 km downstream of Bhakra dam.
The Bhakra Dam is one of the earliest river valley development schemes undertaken by India after independence, though the project had been conceived long before India became a free nation. Construction of the dam started in 1948, Jawahar Lal Nehru poured the first bucket of concrete into the foundations of Bhakra on 18 November 1955 and the dam was completed by the end of 1963, And its construction was started by Sir Louis Dane, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. its construction was started by Sir Louis Dane, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. On ceremony of Dem, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said, “This dam has been built with the unrelenting toil of man for the benefit of mankind and therefore is worthy of worship. May you call it a Temple or a Gurdwara or a Mosque, it inspires our admiration and reverence”.
Uses & Attraction :
Bhakra dam was part of the larger multipurpose Bhakra Nangal Project whose aims were to prevent floods in the Sutluj-Beas river valley, to provide irrigation to adjoining states and to provide hydro-electricity. The dam holds excess waters during the monsoon and provides a regulated release during the year . It also prevents damage due to monsoon floods. The dam provides irrigation to 10 million acres of fields in Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. It becomes a prime tourist spot in Bilaspur because of its huge size and uniqueness. The Bhakra Dam is three times taller than the Qutab Minar and occupies the important position on the map of India. The Bhakra main line is a canal that mostly supplies irrigation water to the state of Haryana. It also has four flood gates to control floods.
Bhakra and Nangal dams house hydroelectric power generators, which are situated on both the sides of the dams. Nangal hydel Channel and Anandpur Sahib Channel are used for power generation and irrigation purposes. The two power houses have a total capacity of 1325 MW. The power generated at Bhakra Power houses is distributed among partner states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and also supplied to common pool consumers like National Fertilizers Ltd. and Chandigarh and Delhi. Three additional power plants are on the two canals Nangal Hydel Channel and Anandpur Sahib Hydel Channel that originate from Nangal dam. Engineering comes to perfection in the Bhakra Dam, which is virtually the central nervous system of northern India. The dam supply electricity to the entire region and helps run industries, corporate houses, etc.
Tourists visiting Bhakra Dam also have the opportunity to try the water sports at the famous Gobind Lake. This is an artificial lake formed as a result of the Bhakra Dam on the river Sutlej. The reservoir of the Dam, Gobind Sagar, homes fishes of different species including endangered Mahseer. Commercial fishing by Local fisherman is also common in Gobind Sagar. The lake is quite popualr for the sports such as water skiing, sailing, kayaking, and water scooter racing. Being the Second highest dam in India, it attracts a large number of tourists who visit its reservoir and attractive location.
How To Reach :
Well connected through main city via all means of transport. Bus services quite prominent. Bhakhra dam has regular bus routes and taxi services from it’s surrounding cities. Nearest airport is at Chandigarh.
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Dalhousie is a hill station in Chamba district, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on 5 hills and has an elevation of 1,970 metres above sea level. One of the most pristine hill stations in Himachal Pradesh and India, Dalhousie is named after Lord Dalhousie the British governor-General who established the town as a popular summer retreat. Dalhousie is a hill station with amazing scenic views and prominent traces of India’s British association such as colonial mansions.
Dalhousie, one of the favourite among most tourists travelling to Himanchal Pradesh is famously known for its mesmerizing natural beauty and its old world charm. This hill station was one of the most favourite summer destinations. Dalhousie is spread over an area of 14 sq km of area and it is built on and around five hills, Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora. The fragrant pines, oaks, rhododendron and oaks along with several other types of tress cover the slops of the mountains. This scenic hill station if framed by the river Ravi flowing at the base of the town.
This quaint town transports you to a pollution-free environment in the lap of nature. it is a relatively steady getaway for honeymooners and families from the plains. Dalhousie is known for its scenic beauty has a number mountains and river streams that tourists must visit. Among them the most famous are Panch Pulla, Satdhara Falls and the Daikund peak. This hill station is a treasure trove of ancient temples, art, handicraft and Hindu culture, preserved since the sixth century. Bharmour, the capital of the ancient Chamba Hill state, has 84 temples that were built during the period between 7 th and 10 th century AD. It is also home to the Gujjar and Gaddi tribes.
Tourist Attraction at Dalhousie :
Panch Pulla :
Situated at a distance of about 3 km from Dalhousie, Panch Pula is one of the most scenic places in the region. Panch Pulla Literally meaning ‘Five Bridges’ . Panch Pulla, is a local favorite with waterfalls, picnic spots as well as a modest trek.Another remarkable attraction here is the monument or samadhi of the great freedom fighter, Sardar Ajith Singh. The monument is constructed at a place where several streams converge. Monsoon is the best time to visit this place. The place is popular as a trekking destination and it also serves as a base camp for several treks to the close by places. On the way to Panch Pula, there is very popular natural spring called the Satdhara spring. It is said that the water of the Satdhara spring has healing properties and it cures skin ailments.
A panoramic view of the surrounding hills along with the view of the streams filled with pristine water makes the experience of travelling here memorable. The Samadhi of the great freedom fighter, Sardar Ajith Singh is also situated nearby. Trekking in this region is highly recommended.
Khajjiar is located approximately 24 km from Dalhousie. Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds, is also known as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ or the ‘Switzerland of India’. The town is surrounded by thick covers of deodar and pine trees and the Kajjiar Lake is one of the most amazing and serene picnic spots with the back drop of the snow capped Himalayas. Khajjinag Temple built in the 12th century is also a famous attraction here.
The mesmerizing beauty of this place has greatly influenced and inspired many kingdoms throughout the years, including the Rajputs and Mughals. Located at an altitude of 6,500 feet, the natural beauty and picturesque landscape of this place are bound to leave an everlasting impression on a tourist. Khajjiar is known for its nine-hole golf-course which is nestled in the midst of lush greenery and a breathtaking landscape. Khajjiar is a plateau with a small lake which tends to be a favorite amongst tourists.
Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary :
The Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Leopard, bear, deer, langur, jackal, Himalayan Black Marten, Barking Goral and countless beautiful birds can be spotted here, an animal sanctuary spread over an area of 30.69 km² at Kalatop. which is about 6 km from Dalhousie. The sanctuary lies in the path of the Ravi River, and is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests. The wildlife sanctuary was better known as a gaming reserve for Chamba rulers, in history. The area is a favorite spot for trekking, picnics, and nature walks.
Dainkund Peak :
Dainkund Peak is a wonderful tourist place located at an altitude of 2.7 km near Dalhousie The mountain’s highest point towers at a monolithic height of 2,745 meters above sea level. The Dainkund Peak is often termed as the singing hill. The top of the hill is occupied by the Indian Air force and is inaccessible without proper permits. From this peak you can have a 360° view of the entire valley. The noise of the breeze that passes through the trees makes a musical sound, thus this peak is also known as the singing hill. The mountain is one of the most amazing trekking spots and provides a brilliant panoramic view of the entire valley.
Chamera Lake :
Built over the river Ravi, Chamera Lake is an artificial lake and a part of the Chamera Hydroelectric Project. Among the important places to visit near Dalhousie, Chamera Lake is located at about 25-35 km from the Dalhousie. The lake and dam are a major source of water supply for the surrounding villages. Apart from its scenic beauty, which includes the dense pine forests of Bhandal Valley surrounding the dam, the lake is also famous for water sports like river rafting, motor boating, canoeing, & kayaking. The nearby Bhalei Temple which is equally famous.
St. John’s Church :
St.John’s Church is Dalhousie’s oldest church and is of great historical importance. It was established during the British rule in India by the Protestant missionaries. Located in the beautiful natural backdrop, St.John’s Church is known to be one of the most visited churches of the town. This church has a mass every Sunday and is open for visitors five days a week. It also tends to be a favorite amongst photographers. A library neighbors the church, where one can find a lot of book about the past and the present of the town
Satdhara Falls :
Satdhara Falls are one of the most popular sightseeing attractions of Dalhousie. Satdhara is an amazing place to be in as it has a good collection of scenic beauty. It provides the visitors with a serene atmosphere and pleasant weather, the Satdhara Falls is a great example of nature’s artwork. the place has derived its name from the seven beautiful springs, which are believed to have several therapeutic values. Located on the Punchpula route, Satdhara Falls is a lovely tourist spot to visit with friends and family. It is one of the most popular and unique tourist attraction of Dalhousie.
Subhash Baoli :
Subhash Baoli is situated at a distance of 1 Km from Dalhousie. Named after the famous freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose, this is a perennial spring which has medicinal properties and believed to have cured the freedom fighter of his ill health. He spent a lot of time in this area in 1937. Subhash Baoli is a charismatic tourist spot located between tall towering pine trees making this place more beautiful. This tribute to the leader is an ideal spot for picnics and evening strolls. Situated near these springs is a beautiful waterfall which flows into a glacial stream.
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Himachal Pradesh is known for numerous reasons, including its beautiful landscapes, hill stations and beautiful temples. A great number of aesthetic locations are scattered all over the Himachal. However, chief of them all is Bir. Bir is a village located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Bir attracts adventure-seekers from throughout the country and the world. Bir is quite famous for the adventure sports it offers.
Bir is a small mountain town in northern Himachal Pradesh with a large, well-established Tibetan community. Bir is Known as the ‘Paragliding capital of India’, numerous paragliding spots are present in this region. In the month of October, every year, the Department of Tourism, Civil Aviation, and Government of Himachal Pradesh hold a ‘Paragliding Pre World Cup’ event. Lying 28km from this stunning town of Bir, is another quaint town known as Billing. The entire stretch joining these two towns is abundant with idyllic natural beauties. Bir is also a place where people from all over the world come for meditation and spiritual studies. Bir is famous for its Tibetan colony and various Buddhist monasteries which are worth visiting.
Bir attracts adventure-seekers from throughout the country and the world. Little do we know, Bir is recognized as the paragliding hub of India. Hence, some of the best time that you might spend here might be with your feet in the air. People are advised to visit Bir between the months of March – May and October – November for paragliding as the climate is favorable during this time. There are a number of training programs that you can get in touch with for the said purpose. Proper training programs and certification courses are available for novices. Bir also hosts the Paragliding pre world cup during the month of October.
Paragliding experience head starts with drive from the Bir Village to the launch site that is located round 14km apart. Arrive anytime during daytime for an astonishing paragliding experience that provides you with stunning aerial view of the entire place! The landscape around the region is ideal for flying, fly high in the company of mighty Himalayas. Feel the thrills! Cherish these wonderful moments post paragliding in Bir experience comes to an end.
The town has miles and miles covered with tea plantations. Since so much of the land is covered with tea plantations, it is only expected that the town will have a factory to produce the tea. Bir tea factory is located near Bir Bazaar. As the name suggests, it manufacturers tea. With tea gardens and plantations brimming around the town, it is only natural to have a factory which also offer tours inside, What’s exciting is that tourists are actually allowed inside for an insight into the tea manufacturing process.
Deer Park Institute :
If you are visiting Bir to learn something spiritually, the Deer Park Institute is just the place for you. The Deer Park Institute is a famous centre for the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions which was established by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, where you can enroll in programs on meditation, philosophy, art and culture, Yoga and healing arts, Buddhism and more. If you are here for a shorter period of time check out the occasional meditation retreats and workshops here.
Chokling Monastery :
The Chokling Monastery is the most famous monastery in Bir and has a large stupa and a statue of Padmasambhava. This monastery is located in the Bir Tibetan colony. It is home to the biggest stupa of Bir. There are a number of courses that go on for the students of the monastery.
Dharmaya Institute :
Dharmaya Institute is an eco-campus for volunteering (earthen building, organic gardening, language instruction), meditation, yoga. Dharmalaya is an Indian charitable society ‘devoted to education, service, and compassionate living, with a practical focus on sustainable village development, contemplative service-learning, and immersive ecotourism’. Dharmalaya hosts service-learning programs and meditation retreats, providing opportunities for long-term volunteers and students to do karma yoga (mindful service work) for various charitable projects to benefit the local community and the natural environment. There are a number of environmental activities that you can enroll yourself into such as organic farming, green building and meditation among others to make productive use of your time in Bir.
How reach :
There is no direct flight or rail connectivity to Bir. Ahju railway station is the nearest railway station, which is only 3 km. away from Bir, although the nearest broad gauge railway station is in Pathankot, which is 142.2 km. away from Bir. There aren’t many direct buses to Bir Billing from New Delhi. Airports close to Bir are in Chandigarh (290 km), Amritsar airport (260 km) and New Delhi (520 km).
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