The small town of Chamba, in Himachal Pradesh, is located in a picturesque valley and is famous for its medieval temples. The architecture of the temples of Chamba reflects the glory of its erstwhile rulers. It is also known for its local festivals.
Chamba is located in the northwestern part of the state of Himachal Pradesh in the northern region of India. The town lies on the River Ravi, in a valley between two mountain ridges. Chamba is 56 km from Dalhousie via Khajjiar. The weather in Chamba is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters are cold (November-February). It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September.
FESTIVALS: Chamba's many festivals make this area a special place to visit. The Sui Mata festival is held for four days in March/April every year in memory of Princess Sui, who gave her life to protect the people of Chamba. Women in Chamba revere her and her image is carried from the Old Palace (Rangmahal) to her small shrine accompanied by singing and dancing. The Minjar festival is celebrated in late July/early August every year. The origin of this festival goes back to the 10th century AD. This festival marks the harvesting of the 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.
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 htmlect. 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.
Katasan Devi Temple: A popular place of pilgrimage, the temple has a beautiful view of the Chamba Valley. (30 km)
Sarol: Lovely landscaped gardens, a sheep breeding centre and apiary make Sarol an interesting place for picnics. (11 km)
Jhamwar: Located amid dense forests, Jhamwar is noted for its apple orchards. (10 km)
Saho: Situated on a high plateau on the banks of the River Sal, Saho is famous for the temple to Chandrashekhar - Lord Shiva, with his moon crown. (20 km)
Salooni (1,829 m): Another place with breath-taking views of the snow-capped ranges. (56 km)
Chamba Temples - Chamba
Bhuri Singh Museum - Chamba
Attractions and Places to Visit in Chamba
Lakshminarayanan Temple: In a group are six ancient temples carved in stone, with tall vimanas. Dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu, they were built around the 8th century AD. The Lakshminarayan Temple, the oldest in this group, is richly ornamented.
Bhuri Singh Museum: On display is a collection of fine miniatures from the Kangra, Basholi and Chamba schools of painting. There are also murals and paintings from the Rang Mahal Palace which was damaged by fire.
Chaugan: A large grassy meadow forms the heart of the town and the centre of all its cultural activities. Each year, the colourful Minjar Mela celebrating the harvest is held here.
Hari Rai Temple: This 11th century temple located near the Chaugan, has an exquisite bronze image of the Chaturmurti - the four armed Vishnu, enshrined in the sanctum.
Chamunda Devi Temple: Just 1 km from the Chaugan is a temple overlooking the river, Dedicated to the goddess Chamunda Devi, the temple is embellished with fine wood carving
How to Reach Chamba
Air: The nearest airport is Kangra 180 Km away
Rail: The nearest narrow gauge railhead is Pathankot, 122 Km.