Chamba Hill station established on the banks of blessed Ravi River, the dipping Sun leaves the tints of orange-yellow in sky which mirrors in the river as well. The spirits feel as high as it could get immersed in deep thoughts inspired by the stony and sandy riverside. The river flowing incessantly towards its final destination and meanwhile supporting life of Chail; the lure of Himachal Pradesh is a strong pull, taking city residents out of their work and crowd to the ease in which Himalayas has looked after humans since dawn of civilization.
Marked by the popular festivals, fairs, palaces, and beautiful natural settings, the town has flourished on the banks of River Ravi where it confluences with River Sal. All the history and culture of this place is represented in the artistic form of music, dance and craft, especially Pahari paintings. To feel the vibrancy of Chamba tourism, making acquaintance with place is the primary need.
Named after daughter Champawati of King Raja Sahil Varman, the place was under British suzerainty until it merged with India in 1948. Being a Himalaya-protected land bounded by Zanskar range and Dhauladhar range, Chamba remained free from invasion of Mughals and Sikhs for a long period. Finally, it came under the British protection.
Starting the journey with mortal souls bowing to the grace of the Divine, sightseeing also takes for a walk with Nature to explore this part of Himalayas. Catching all these elements of this place by surprise through the lenses is exhilarating just as much they are mind boggling. Chamba travel includes following place to do all the above and more-
Champavati Temple - It is this temple over which the place itself is named after. The architecture of the temple feels as if inspired from the divinity itself as represented by the sculptures and stone carvings.
Chamunda Devi Temple - located in the Shah Madar Range of hills, the only wooden temple was built by Raja Umed Singh.
Laxmi Narayan Temple - Built in 10th century the temple represents the best of architectural inspiration from Shikara.
Bharmour - A cluster of around 84 temples, this site can take whole day depending on the kind of devout a tourist is.
Other popular places of worship are Vajreshwari Temple, Sui Mata Temple, Church of Scotland, Chatrari, Hari Har Temple and few others.
Five lakes of Himachal Pradesh have been home to many birds and Nature seems to be relaxing just next to the languid waters of these blessed lakes. They are-
Elements of Nature
Places around Chamba
This hill station when combined with other nearby hill seductions enhances the quality of vacation dramatically. For those who wanted to know about them-
Dalhousie - Fondly referred to as Gateway to Chamba, this hill station had been once an English love during British Raj. Natural beauty of this place can charm any tourist.
Khajjiar - Also referred to as Mini Swiss, the place is equated with heaven for the serenity given by forests of pine and oak coupled with emerald meadows. Only 23 Km away from Chamba, it is a must visit.
Dhanaulti - for the alpine sceneries to overwhelm, this small hill town provides the best settings, only 27 Km away from Chamba.
Saho - A small village on the bank of River Sal, Saho is at a distance of 20 Km from Chamba. Visiting to worship Lord Shiva as Lord Chandra Shekhara in Saho seems like falling in schedule naturally.
Things to do
Being a hill resort, the best thing one can do is spend time with Nature and there are various ways to do that. Feeling tired by ascent and rejuvenated descent while trekking on various trails like valleys of Parbati and Pangi is one way, all the while enjoying the views of glaciers, meadows, snow-clad peaks, etc. Dry spell in the time just before the winters could be used for bike or bicycle ride covering several places on a few days trip and there could be several routes, but to be weary of bad roads is not an option here as they present the prime challenge.
Hotels Information :
Touring Chamba can begin only with a safe and comfortable accommodation, where it is easy to feel relaxed followed by other emotional states like excited, overjoyed, refreshed, and last but not the least, cozy. For all these emotions and expectations, numerous options are available. Choices depend upon number of people in a group travelling together as well as on the requirement and budget. One can decide to take either hotel in Chamba or the places nearby if the demand of season shoots suddenly.
Some of the popular names that visitors swear by include City Heart, Classic Hill Top, Alps Spa Resort, Hotel Hritik Palace, Hotel Iravati, Hotel Ashina Regency, Aroma Palace, The Terrace, and many others. Some of these fall in budget and others in deluxe categories. Booking before starting the holidays is necessary to ensure a level of comfort in the destination of rejuvenating break. Otherwise, things can get pretty hectic as well as unexpected.
If the plan to visit has been made in advance, one can get a suitable Chamba tour package encapsulating accommodation along with sightseeing. Doing this can enhance this experience tremendously.
If cool air is unexpected in hill stations, nothing else can be on the list of expectations, especially at the maximum altitude Chamba is associated with, which stands tall at 6400 m from 610 m. The town appears to stay pleasurably soothing with cool breeze forever, surrounded by the hills and mountain ranges. They have given it the natural protection from the forces outside the place. The 'forever' state though changes with the winters announcing its arrival.
In short, summers last from May to June ending with the initiation of Monsoons that stay for July till August. With the onset of winters, Chamba enters in another transition- September to February, where December and January are most nippy.
Best time to visit
Time from March to October is considered to be the best time in order to enjoy this hill station without having to fear about chill. Those who love Monsoons would see another aspect of this season. They might not always be mushy due to the inconvenience they cause in such regions.
How to reach there
Air : The nearest airport is Gaggal in Kangra which is still 170 Km away from the Chamba, which necessitates a taxi ride to the place.
Rail : For those choosing to travel by train, they have to deboard at Pathankot which is 118 Km away from Chamba. Rest of distance has to be covered by road in taxi or bus.
Road : Taking a car to Chamba might seem to be an obvious choice to some enthusiasts who like the holidays on roads. Being well connected to cities like Delhi, Khajjiar, Dalhousie, Chandigarh, etc, a road trip can be a journey of lifetime.
Get set for holidays in Chamba!