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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