Sarahan

Facade of Bhimkali Temple

Bhimkali Temple

Set against a spectacular backdrop, this unpretentious village of Sarahan in the Sutlej valley commands a wonderful view of the snow-capped mountains from east to west , and of rolling fields and deep valleys. This erstwhile summer capital of Rampur Bushahr, one of the biggest princely states in the Shimla Hills, is well known for its centuries old Bhimkali Temple.

Situated on a small table-land above the valley, well over 2000 metres, Sarahan presents striking spectacle of snow-covered Himalayan ranges and a picture of unspoilt pastoral loveliness. It beholds the construction technic of more than 800 years old and also gives a good opportunity to study the western Himalayan architecture.

For those who wish a while away from crowds and cacophony, and dream of rolling grassy downs, whiffs of fresh air, a quieter encounter with the elements away from public eyes, Sarahan is the place to be in.

Sightseeing

With its two multi-tiered sanctuary towers, elegantly sloping slate-tiled roofs, and gleaming golden spires, Bhimkali Temple is the most majestic of the few early timber temples left in the Sutlej Valley - an area renowned for its unusual tradition of housing holy shrines on raised wooden platforms. It is the last temple in the Sutlej Valley to be served by Brahmin priests. This is the original shrine of the Goddess, and possesses the finest pair of silver doors in all Himachal, consisting of panels of mythological subjects in the repousse technique, made at the order of Raja Shamsher Singh in the mid-nineteenth century. The sanctum also contains a fabulous collection of Hindu as well as Buddhist bronzes.

One of the most interesting structures of the timber-bonded style is Raja Bushahr Palace cum Temple Complex which has been described as one of the finest specimens of hill architecture. Almost 2000 years old, and like all buildings of the hill type, it is built of layers of rubble masonry and beams of cedar wood.

Access

By Air: Nearest airport is Shimla, 184 Km.

By Bus: Bus and taxi services are available from Shimla.

Accomodation

Hotel Shirkhand (HPTDC)

Himachal Pradesh