Lakes in Himachal Pradesh India

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CHAMBA

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District Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

Chamba is the northwestern district of Himachal Pradesh, in India.  The beautiful town of Chamba, nestled on the right bank of the river Ravi, standing on a plateau is its headquarters.  The district touches the boundaries with Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on the North-West  side, Lahaul and Bara Banghal on the North-East side, Kangra on the South-East side and Gurdaspur district of Punjab on the South.


The towns of Dalhousie, Khajjhiar and Churah Valley are popular hill stations and vacation spots for the people from the plains of northern India. Chamba is the only district in northern India to preserve a well-documented history from  500 AD. Its high mountain ranges have given it a sheltered position and helped in preserving its centuries-old relics and numerous inscriptions. The temples erected by rajas of Chamba more than a thousand years ago continue to be worshipped to this day.  Even the land grant-deeds executed on copper plates by them continue to be valid under the law.

History of Chamba

A look at the early history of this region reveals that this area was, once upon a time, inhabited by certain Koliyan tribes which were later subjugated by the Khasas. The Khasas too after a time came under the sway of Audumbaras (2nd century BC). The Audmabaras had a republican form of government and worshipped Shiva as their principal deity. From the Gupta period (4th century AD) the Chamba region was under the control of Thakurs and Ranas who considered themselves superior to the low tribes of Kolis and Khasas. With the rise of Gurjara Pratiharas (7th century AD), the Rajput Dynasties came to power.

Much information about Himachal’s ancient history is given in epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and other scriptures like the Vedas and the Puranas. The Mahabharata mentions the janapadas (some sort of a kingdom) of Kuluta (Kullu), Trigarta (Kangra), Kulind (Shimla hills and Sirmaur), Yugandhar (Bilaspur and Nalagarh), Gabdika (Chamba) and Audumbar (Pathankot).  The Rig Veda also mentions the rivers which flow through Himachal. The text also talks about Daitya Shambara, the powerful king of these hills before the advance of King Divodas, and his 99 strong forts in the region between the Beas and the Yamuna rivers. His war with the chief, Divodas, lasted 12 long years, wherein the latter emerged victorious.  Himachal also finds mention in the Puranas.

How to Reach Chamba

By Air

The nearest airport is in Kangra (Gaggal) at a distance of 135 km.  The other major airports are in Jammu (210 km) and Amritsar 220 km.

By Rail

The nearest railway station to Chamba is at Pathankot 120 km.

By Road

The entire state of Himachal Pradesh is connected by excellent roads.  Chamba is very well connected with almost each and every part of the state by roads. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has a huge fleet of busses catering to each and every part of the state as well as nearby towns and cities in nearby states.

Distances from Chamba

 

FROM

TO

DISTANCE (in km)

Chamba

Bharmaur

65

Chamba

Manimahesh Lake

100

Chamba

Dharamshala (via Jot)

135

Chamba

Dharamshala (via Banikhet)

185

Chamba

Kangra

180

Chamba

Jammu

245

Chamba

Amritsar

245

Chamba

Mandi

334

Chamba

Shimla

378

Chamba

Manali

470

Chamba

Haridwar

610

Chamba

Delhi

640

Places of Interest in Chamba

The Chamba town has a number of temples, palaces and stylised buildings.

Laxmi Narayan Temple.

This temple was built by King Sahil Varman in the 10th century AD.  It is the most famous tourist attraction in Chamba. There are six temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Three temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and another three to Lord Shiva. 

Brajeshwari Devi Temple.

This is the temple dedicated to goddess Durga and is famous for the finely carved sculptures. The style which makes the temple different from others is the shikara style and in the top, there is a wooden amalaka.

Chamunda Devi Temple

This is one of the famous temples in this quietness valley, The Chamunda Devi temple is dedicated to goddess Chamunda, the wrathful form of Durga. One can find the fine wood-carved ceiling featuring animal and floral motifs. This temple is located in the hilltop and gives a clear view of the Chamba valley. The devotees offer little brass bells to get their wish fulfilled. Footprints of the Goddess is one more thing one can see.

Sui Mata Temple.

The suhi mata temple is in between the Chamunda Devi temple and Brajeswari temple. This temple is dedicated to Suhi Mata, the local princess of Chamba who sacrifices her life for the people of her kingdom. Colourful paintings on the temple wall depict the story of Suhi Mata.

Gandhi Gate.

The Viceroy of British Government Lord Curzon received a warm welcome by a bright orange gateway built-in 1900, known as Gandhi gate. It is the main gateway of Chamba.

Bhuri Singh Museum

A yet another place of interest in Chamba town is the Bhuri Singh Museum at Chamba which came into existence on 14 September 1908. It is named after Raja Bhuri Singh who ruled Chamba from 1904 to 1919. Bhuri Singh donated his family collection of paintings to the museum. The embroidered Chamba-Rumals are related in style since their drawings were made by pahari painters though the embroidery was done by the household ladies. The museum houses a vast number of original Pahari art and sculptures. Some notable collections include Basohli and Kangra paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as, a collection of Rumāls from the 7th century onward

Khajjiar

Khajjiar is called mini Switzerland in Chamba. Bhalei Mata Temple is famous in Chamba. It is 35 km from Chamba. Chhudra is 25 km from Chamba

Fairs and Festivals

Chamba is famous for its vivid festivals. The Suhi Mata festival is held for four days in March/April every year in memory of princess Sui. She is known to have sacrificed her life for the cause of her people, that is, the people of Chamba.   Another popular festival is the Minjar Festival celebrated during the harvest season.

from Wikipedia

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