Chamba valley is noted for the magnificence of it's scenery-touching the fringe of the Shivaliks and having three well-defined snowy ranges, the Dauladhar, constituting the outer Himalayas, the Pir Panjal or the mid Himalayas, and the Zanskar range or the inner Himalayas.
Chamba's serene beauty makes it the ideal holiday retreat. The land of mystic serenity, enchanting vistas, refreshing air, lofty mountain passes and slopes, provides ample opportunities to nature lovers. The place and adjoining areas have immense scope of leisure pursuits. The waters, hills, plateaus and the snowline, which can be sighted from any of the buildings and the main square, make a spectacle that can become an inspiration for many painters and poets.
Prime Attractions of Chamba
Bhuri Singh Museum
Bhuri Singh Museum was opened on 14th September 1908 and is named after Raja Bhuri Singh who ruled Chamba from 1904 to 1919. This museum is very near to Chamba's Chaugan.
Close to the royal palace at Chamba, there is a stone sikhara temple dedicated to Goddess Champavati. Tradition holds that the town of Chamba was named after her.
The main temples of Lakshmi Devi, Ganesh and Manimahesh and Nar Sing in Bharmour are known as Chaurashi temples.
Kalatope Khajjiar Sanctuary
It's possible to trek 30-km from Dalhousie to Chamba along the eastbound road from Gandhi Chowk. A short but steep ascent leads to the Kalatope wildlife sanctuary, from which one can walk into a pleasant track.
Lakshmi Narayan Temple
To the north of the palace at Chamba, there is a group of six stone Sikhara temples arranged in a row from north to south. Three of these temples are dedicated to Vishnu and three to Shiva. The northern most is that of the Lakshmi- Narayana- the principal temple of Chamba.
Held Sacred to Lord Shiva, this lake lies amidst bare rock. 'Lamba Dal means "a long lake".
Markula Devi Temple
'Markual' or 'Marul'-ancient Markul is a small village in Chamba-Lahaul at the junction of 'Miyar Nala' with the Chandrabhaga.
Pangi Valley in the upper part of Chamba District is a remote world in itself. This hidden valley located between Pir Panjal and the Greater Himalayan Zanskar ranges is cut off from the rest of the world.
Hemmed in by giant pinnacled mountain peaks, the Parbati valley, twists west from the glaciers and snowfields on the Spiti boader. Picturesque hamlets perch precariously on its sides, amid lush terraces and old growth pine forests
In Chamba, situated the beautiful Rang Mahal palace, which was built by Raja Umed Singh in the mid 18th century. The palace walls here are lined with exquisite examples of wall paintings in the Punjab Hills style, all of which depict the life and times of Lord Krishna.
The villages of Chatrari possess a famous Devi temple, founded by Meruvarman about A. D. 700 and the oldest one in area.
Chamba valley is also known as Ravi valley. The scenery is of a picturesque and varied character presenting many delightful sights.
Chamba Minjiar Mela
The Minjiar fair was started in 935 AD when the Raja of Chamba defeated the ruler of "Trigarta," now known as Kangra. On his return, a celebration was held, and he was greeted by people with sherfs of paddy and maze.
In district Chamba, this is the reservoir of the Chamera dam is built over the river Ravi, offering numerous water sports facilities to the visitors.
This public promenade situated in the heart of the town is a grassy maidan less than one-kilometre in length and about seventy-five metres wide is a busy local trading centre for villagers from the surrounding hills. Each year Chaugan is the site for the 'Minjar' procession, a fair that lasts a week and comprise of large number of sports and cultural activities.
The Gaddis are shepherds who move their flocks of sheep from lower pastures in winter to higher ones after snow melt. To them the Dhauladhars are not just a mountain range but like their mother.
Ghadhasaru Lake lies in the Churah tehsil of Chamba and is 24-km from Tissa, at an altitude of 3,470m.
Katasan Devi Temple
: Another popular temple of the Chamba district, it is about 30-km from the town near Baira Siul Project. This calm and peaceful spot is ideal for picnic lovers and one can witness a full view of the valley from its premises.
Located in the deep narrow gauge of the Chenab River, Killar can be reached through the Sach Pass and is also known as a Trekker's Paradise.
This palace belongs to the erstwhile rulers of Chamba and the most outstanding buildings in the town. Of these, Rang Mahal or 'the Painted Palace', with towers on either side, is undoubtedly the most interesting one. There is one room in the building, the walls of which are painted with murals depicting episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
The Narayana temple at Udaipur, is situated nearly 5-km below Chamba. There are two other images of white marble, flanking Narayana, which represent Raja Uday Singh and his brother Lachhman Singh.
The Chamba Rumal
The other craft of Chamba is its unique embroidery style. The Chamba 'Rumal' or handkerchief about 2 to 6 feet in length is an important part of a Chamba bride's trousseau. This handkerchief is also known as 'Kashida'. The embroidery is same on both sides and the threads used are silken and colorful.
Excursions from Chamba
Enveloped within the high mountain ranges, the original capital of Chamba district, Bharmaur also known as Brahmour, is a facinating little town. Mainly popular for its several ancient temples and monuments that reflect the towns glorious past. It is also the base for the famed Manimahesh Yatra and for various marvelous treks in the region.
27-km. from Salooni, this is where the Himachal border meets Jammu and Kashmir.
The glacier lake of Manimahesh is towered by a mountain Manimahesh Kailash, which is held sacred by the Shivites, who worship at the banks of lake and follow the ritual of Manimahesh yatra or pilgrimage, following a circumambulatory path around the dramaticrock and ice peak.
Situated at a height of 1,829m.(6,000 ft.) and 56-km away from Chamba, Salooni offers a breath-taking panoramic view of the snow-covered hills and peaks.
23-km from Shimla and named after the little temple that stands on the links, is a 9-hole golf course. Lord Curzon was so much enchanted by this spot that he gave his daughter Alexandra, Naldehra as her second name. During the monsoons, several golf tournaments are also held over here.
Fairs & Festivals - ChambaChamba's annual Suhi Mata Festival, which lasts for four days in early April, commemorates Rani Champavati, the wife of the 10th century Raja Sahil Verma. Only women and children participate in the festival, dancing on the Chowgan before processing with an image of Champavati and banners of the Rajput solar emblem to the Suhi Mata temple. Manjar Fair is a week long festival of singing and dancing at the start of August to celebrate the growth of maize. The Manimahesh Yatra to the sacred tarn of Manimahesh is held immediately after the festival of Janamashtmi. Chrewal, Badronjo or Patroru is a festival of fire and flowers and a time for purification of the fields during the month of August. In same month several places in Chamba celebrates the Gugga fair, which is connected with the worship of 'Gugga', the Nag Devta.