Chamunda Devi Temple is nestled in a spectacular position on the spur of Shah Madar range of hills and opposite to the Chamba town. It is a major holy place for pilgrims that sits on the bank of river Baner and just 15 km away from Dharmshala. It was built by Raja Umed Singh in the year 1762. It's the only wooden temple with gabled roof in Chamba. Earlier, the temple was accessed through a stone paved steep path that take 378 steps, but now travelers can reach by road as it is easily accessible and only 3 km away. Once you are here, you'll find the thick forests of Pathiar and Lahla that make it a perfect tourist attraction in Himachal Pradesh. The temple overlooks an enchanting view of the beautiful township, down the hill. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is known as the Goddess of War.
The interior of the sanctum is embellished with carved silver sheets. The temple complex includes handicrafts centre that has various items like woodcarvings, wooden toys, honey, black pottery, Kangra tea and world popular Kangra Paintings. The architecture of the shrine is quite simple and sober but the religious influence is simply overwhelming. It has beautiful carvings rendering floral themes and different idol, overlooks enchanting views of the Chamba Valley and Himalayan range. During Navratras, people from all over the India visit in swarms and get the blessings of Chamunda Devi.
History As legend goes, when Goddess Ambika was sitting at the top of the hill, the two devils namely Chanda and Munda tried to disturb her on which she got angered and from her knitted brows came the Goddess Kali in tiger skinned sari and a wreath of skull to kill both the demons and after killing them Goddess Ambika declared that kali would now be worshipped as Chamunda Devi.
The temple is around seven hundred year old and it houses a tank which is used by devotees for bathing. The temple has cave-like scoop on the backside of the temple, where a stone phallus and the symbol of Lord Shiva is kept. Statues of other god are also kept there.
The temple is popular as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham among devotees as it is believed to be the home of Shiva and Shakti. Lord Hanuman and Lord Bhairav adore the main shrine as both are assembled in each side of the statue are considered as the guards of the Goddess.