Chamba

The serene town of Chamba, lies on the bank of the river Ravi. An erstwhile princely state, it was the capital of the former rulers of Chamba, and dates back to the 6th century. The kingdom of Chamba was ruled by a Rajput clan, from 6th century AD till Independence, 1947. The original capital of the kingdom was at Brahmpura, now known as Bharmour, it was around 930 AD that Sahi Varma, the then ruler, shifted the capital to Chamba, at the behest of Champavati, his daughter, after whom the town was named. Today, it is famous for its marvellous architecture, and as the base for some fantastic excursions.

Sightseeing

Lakshmi Narayan Temple Complex: Six temples built in the famous shikhara or spired style, and several smaller shrines, make up this temple complex, famous for its exquisite classical architectural forms. The 6 main temples are the massive Lakshmi Narayan Temple, the temples of Radha Krishna and Lakshmi Damodar, devoted to Lord Vishnu, and the temples of Chandragupta, Gauri Shankar and Trimukhteshwara, devoted to Lord Shiva.

Chaugan: At the heart of Chamba is the Chaugan, a sprawling grassy concourse, also serving as a promenade, which is predictably enough, the hub of much of the activity in town.

Hari Rai Temple: This 11th century temple, located at one end of the Chaugan, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Other temples: Chamba is teeming with fascinating little shrines, like Champavati, Vajreshwari, Sui Mata and Chamunda Devi, remarkable for their marvellous craftsmanship.

Rangmahal: The Rangmahal is an old palace, which sports an amazing combination of colonial and Saracenic architectural styles.

Akhand Chandi Palace: This elegant palace once belonged to Chamba's ruling family, and today, serves as an established college.

St. Andrew's Church: The St. Andrew's church is over a century old, that boasts of a dressed - stone exterior with quaint windows.

Bhuri Singh Museum: This museum was named after Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba, and showcases intriguing relics of Chamba's past, which include murals, paintings, stone carvings, and copper plates.

Bharmour (65 km): The summer abode of the nomadic Gaddi tribe, the 84 ancient temples located at a height of 2141 m, is a popular tourist site.

Manimahesh (93 km): The holy Manimahesh Lake located at an altitude of 4183 m above sea level, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is the venue of an annual pilgrimage.

Chatrari (45 km): Chatrari is the site of an impressive temple devoted to Shakti Devi.

Access

By air: The nearest airport is at Gaggal, in Kangra (170 km).

By rail: The nearest railhead is at Pathankot (118 km).

By road: Chamba is connected by road, and is 580 km from Delhi, 24 km from Khajjiar, and from Dalhousie via Khajjiar, the distance is 56 km.

Accomodation

Himachal Tourism runs Hotel Iravati at Chamba, the ideal place to stay.

Address:
Hotel Iravati,
Chamba,
Himachal Pradesh - 176310.
Tel: (018992)2671,
Fax: (018992 )2565

Himachal Pradesh