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Thursday, December 5, 2013

CHAMBA

The town of Chamba, the district headquarter of Chamba district is situated in the western Himalayas between north latitudes 32°10' and 33°13' and east longitudes 75°45' and 77°33'. The town stands on a plateau on the right bank of the Ravi river valley between Dhauladhar and Zanskar ranges south of the inner Himalayas. This town was founded by Raja Sahil Varman when he conquered the lower Rani valley from the petty chiefs called Ranas and Thakurs in the beginning of 10th Century. It seems the original name of the town was Champa as mentioned in Kalhan's Rajtarangani. In the bansauli or genealogical rolls of the Chamba Rajas a reference occurs of place which was adorned with highly fragrant Champaka trees and guarded by Goddess Champavati or more popularly known as Chameshni. The temple was built by Sahil Varman in the honour of his daughter Champavati who is worshipped as a goddess in Chamba. Champavati temple became the family temple of the ruling family.


General information

Area6528 sq. km

Population: 4.60 lakh

Season: The best tourist season to visit Chamba is round the year. Adventure tourists may like to undertake winter trekking from November to March when the higher reaches of the district are snow clad and access to most of the villages is on foot.

Climate: The climate of Chamba in general is tempreate with well defined seasons. However, there may be variations because of micro-climatic systems depending upon altitude and mountain aspect. The winters last from December to February. March and April generally remain cool and dry but snowfall does occur at higher elevations during these months. The temperature begins to rise rapidly from the middle of April till last week of June or first week of July when monsoon breaks-in. Monsoon continues till the end of August or mid September. During the monsoon, the weather remains misty, humid and cloudy. October and November are comparatively dry but cold. The maximum temperature in Chamba town in summers is 38°C and the minimum in winter is 0°C.

Approach: Chamba is approximately 52 kms from Dalhousie. The distance is reduced by 6 kms. via Upper Barkota and Khajjiar road. Bus and taxi service is available from Chamba to Pathankot, Delhi, Dharamsala, Shimla, Chandigarh, Jammu and most of the Punjab cities along the national highway.





Place to Visit

LAXMI NARAYAN TEMPLE COMPLEX: With six main Shikhara style temples and several smaller shrines, this is renowned for its finely executed classical forms.

HARI RAI TEMPLE: This is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to the 11th Century.

OTHER TEMPLES: The profusion of temples in Chamba and their craftsmanship is remarkable. Some important shrines are Champavati, Vijreshwari, Sui Mata and Chamunda Devi.

THE CHOWGAN: Chamba's wide concourse is the hub of much of towns activity and also serves as its promenade.

RANGMAHAL: This old palace is an interesting mix of colonial and local architectural styles.

AKHAND CHANDI PALACE: Now a college, this imposing building once housed Chamba's ruling family. Much of the original craftsmanship can still be seen.

BHURI SINGH MUSEUM: Named after Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba, this is a treasure house of Chamba's rich past. The exhibits include copper plates, murals, doorways, costumes, paintings and stone carvings.

ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH: Over a century old, this is a charming dressed stone structure with lancet windows.

BHARMOUR (69 Km): Its 84 ancient temples at a height of 2141m are well known. It is also the summer home of the nomadic Gaddi people.

MANIMAHESH (98 Km): This sacred lake (4183m) is associated with Lord Shiva and is a site of annual pilgrimage from mid of August to mid of September each year. Distance from Bharmaur is 28 Km.

CHATRARI (45 Km): An attractive temple to Shakti Devi is located here.