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Famous India > Places in India > Hill Stations in India > Chamba
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Chamba

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There I could see the bird flying by
Here I could see the tree laden with fruits,
Nearby I could touch the meadows
Just like the wang of Medas.......

That makes you ..
That makes you fall!

.... ...Just like the forloke of Midas this place is filled with the natural beauty of all sorts. Lying by the Ravi River, bordering Jammu and Kashmir, 52km north-east of Dalhousie, its a place of ravine beauty. Gods and Goddesses reside here and are revered upon.


Flashback :
Ruled by the local Rajputs in the 6th century, it was their capital city. Part of the Mughal empire it was reconstructed by the King Sahil Verman and named after his daughter Champavati. Finally taken over by the Britishers it became a part of Himachal Pradesh on the Independence of India in 1947.

Its a place about beauties - of nature and of temples. If you want to go to place which suffices your urge for pilgrims and all in all also gives you the advantage of a hill station, this is the one to choose! This fun filled FRUIT BOWL of India has fruit laden trees, especially in the spring season and in the cold winters; gardens laden with flowers like lathe Gladiolus with glowing spikes; Hydrangea in pink and bluish hue; ily, early to blood red, and daisy with yellow disc, all adding to the beauty.


Fast Facts:
Language : Himachali, English, Hindi
Temperature : Winter - Can go below 0 Deg C
Summer - 115 Deg C to 20 Deg C
Clothings: Cottons and Denims in Summers. Stick to Sports shoes and Flat heels in this rocky area. And in Winters heavy woolens, only Denims and Sports shoes recommended for both men and women. No High Heels and Sandals.
Best Time to Visit : April to October

*Chamba has a weather which touches the semi - arid and semi arctic airs.

Bhuri Singh Museum
Bhuri Singh Museum
Opened on 14/09/1908, this Museum encases paintings from Chamba Kingdom, coins, jewellery, musical instruments, arms and armour. In short this museum gives you a insight of the medieval period of chambal; those old days of Kings and Queens. Those who are interested in knowing about the past of the Chambal Kingdom, its the correct place to be in.

Khajjiar
Kalatop Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary
In the District Chambal ( around 36 kms), in the near place called Khajjar is this Wildlife Sanctuary. It comprises of vegetation like Blue Pine and Deodhar forest, with some Green Oak and Tree Rhododendron. It also has the wildlife like Cat Leopard, Himalayan Black, Goral, Serow; Birds like Yellow Blackbird. It also has a temple at one end of it. A beautiful place to visit in the months of March-May, September-November it is full of fun and adventure. It has five resthouses to be pre booked.


Chamba Town
Chamba at its best

  • Hariraya/ Harirai Temple : Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Creator of the world, it dates back to 11th century. This temple has its beauty in the Shikara form(boat shape), with minute carvings all over. Shadowed behind the Gandhi Gate (1900), built to welcome Lord Curzon, then Viceroy to India, it has the idol of Lord Vishnu in the form of Charmurthi(four idols). Its a must visit place for those going to Chamba.
  • Chamunda Devi Temple: Looked after by Archeological Survey of India, this temple has the Lord Shiva as its deity. Beautiful carvings on the lantils, walls and the walls make it a work of art. Apart from it, the sceneric beauty adds up to its charm as the entire city can be seen from its hill top.
  • Akhand Chandi Palace : The Celestial Residential place of the Chamba Family, its construction was started by the King Umed Singh. Later on it was reconstructed by the King Sham Singh with the help of British Engineers. In 1958 the Palace was sold off by the Kings to the Government of Himachal Pradesh. It still stands the beauty with its artistic glass work, ceiling and the intricate woodwork.
  • Pahari Miniature Paintings : Painting like the Abhisarika (woman in love) painting and the Pahari(of mountains ) miniature painting are the ones to look out for. For the painting lovers its one more addition to their collection and what an addition!
  • Church Of Scotland : Taking the memories to Scotland this Church has everything to remind you of Scotland. Founded by a Mission of Scotland it has fine stone work and buttress and lancer arch windows.
  • Rang Mahal : If you are in Chamba you will definitely hear about it, the Rang Mahal(Castle of Colors). Founded by the King Umed Singh, its has an architecture of Mughal and British Style. Once a residential branch of the ruling Chamba Family it is now in the hands of Handicrafts Department of State Government.
  • Chowari Jot (Chowari Pass) : Located almost in the midst of Chamba and Chowari, this Pass provides you with the beauty of Khajjar and Kainthli Dhar full of deoder and kail trees.Touching a height of 8000ft it snows heavily in the winter and has a pleasent season in the winter. Ideal for trekking this is a must visit place for nature lovers.


Where and Why

There are so many places to visit especially the temples when you are in Chamba. One should began the visit from the Harirai Temple- the temple of the Lord Vishnu. Known for its architecture you must have the camera with you to take ;lot of pictures with you, especially if you are an architect. Near to it is the Laxmi Narayan temple and the Chamunda Devi Temple. Ages old temples these have braved the centuries go by as they still stand to see the future. Visit them not only for their architecture but also go get blessing from the Lord.

Then there are places for those who love the history and the historical places. The Rang Mahal(Castle of Colors), Akhand Chandi Palace(Royal Residence of the Kings Of Chambal) and the Bhuri Singh Museum. Look at the artistic values of Chambal artists, awe at the miniature painting full of colors and delve yourself in the colors of majestic chambers. Photographs taken here and memories uploaded will overload you for lifetime.

Chambal is not just about temples, its also about natural beauty. Take a walk around the town and visit the apple ladden farms and the flowers ridden gardens and houses. Watch out the natures blessings at the Chowari Pass. Run, laugh, watch, indulge, hike; do whatever you want to do in this beautiful place. The best thing to do here is to reach the top of the hill by Trekking. Go ahead, what are you waiting for!

Adventures don't end here. Just nearby Chamba (around 35kms) is the Khajjar Wildlife Sanctuary. Indulge yourself in all kind of wildlife activities here as you get to see the wild cats, Serows, blackbirds and the beautiful lillies. Spend your night here in the Forest Lodge and have your dinner along the bonfire.

A little of shopping can also be done here for the local embroidery in the Shawls and the Handkerchiefs.

But along all this don't miss the Sui Mata Festival held every year in the months of March/April. (Contact your tour operator to know the exact date of the festival). This festival is held in the memory of Princess Sui who gave her life to protect the people of Chamba. An idol of the Princess is taken from the Old Palace to the Shrine among music and dance.

Another festival, the Minjar Festival is held in the Months of late July/early August marking the harvesting of annual Maize Crop. It culminates with a procession to River Ravi and throwing of the silk tassels or Minjars (representing sheaves of maize), worn by men and women into the river.


Suggestions
  • There is a large list of places you can visit in Chamba. Contact your tour operator and make a list of the places you would like to visit in the given period of time.
  • Its NOT a place to be covered in a day or two. Make a plan for at least a week so that you can visit the nearby places also like the Khajjar Wildlife Sanctury.
  • It has a atmosphere of semi - arctic air in the winter, so take time to schedule your visit, especially if along with the kids.
  • Take alternate warm woolen clothes in winters.
  • Food is plain vegetarian and non - vegetarian. Although food is avialable in plenty there aren't many restaurants to hang out. It is advisable to have the food at the hotel you are staying in. Some like the Himalayan Orchid Hut are the good ones.
  • Book a hotel in advance and try to take a guided tour if on a individal tour. Or ask your travel to book a hotel for you in advance.

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