Chamba is located at an altitude of 996 metres above sea level and is situated on the banks of the river Ravi. The pristine town of Chamba is known as the ‘Land of Lord Shiva’. The famous temples here are the Sui Mata Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Brajeshwari Devi Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple and Hari Rai Temple. The famous jatras, namely, the ‘Minjar Mela’ and the ‘Suhi Mata Mela’ are celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Pangi, Chamba Town, Bharmour, The Church of Scotland and Bhuri Singh Museum are other tourist destinations.
Chamba is popularly known for its arts and crafts including handicrafts and textiles. The Pahari paintings from Chamba are particularly known for their intricacy and detailing. Some solid metal ware, footwear, handkerchiefs, caps, shawls as well as wood carvings and traditional jewellery are all locally produced here. The Chamba valley is also extremely popular for medicinal plants and numerous species of flowers.
The Chamba Valley offers an opportunity for carrying out adventurous treks and nature walks. Treks from Chamba to the Manimahesh and the Pangi Valley are worth exploring. A wildlife safari in the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is a great visual treat.
It is suitable to undertake treks in winter in order to appreciate and soak in the majestic sight of the beautiful snow-covered mountains. The maximum temperature in Chamba in summers is 38°C and the minimum in winter is 0°C. The nearest airport is at Gaggal, which is located at a distance of 170 km. The nearest railway station is Pathankot (120 km). Bus and taxi service is available from Chamba to other parts of the city and state. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation provides excellent transportation facilities and connectivity is at its best.
Chamba truly defines ‘beauty within itself’. It’s a place that mesmerises the inner soul with its natural beauty. Along with pilgrimages and adventure treks, it is a perfect place to buy traditional handicrafts as a souvenir.
The Lakshmi Narayan Temple is one of the oldest and largest temple in Chamba, which was built in around 11th century by Raja Sahil Verma. The complex of Lakshmi Narayan temple has around six temples in total, all dedicated to either Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. The main idol of Lord Vishnu is made up of rare marble, which used to be found in the mountains of Vindhyas.
Apart from the six main temples, there are three more temples in the complex, namely Radha Krishna Temple, Gauri Shankar Temple, and Shiva Temple of chandragupta.
While in Chamba, your trip will be incomplete without visiting this great temple. The temple opens twice a day and the timings include 6 AM to 12.30 PM and again from 2.30 PM to 8.30 PM and the best season to visit the temple is from April to October.
Shopping in Chail is famous for picking
up woollen garments and jams/jellies, prepared from hand-picked, farm fresh
Chail hardly has any shopping destinations. There are local markets the most famous and probably the only one being Chail Bazaar, where rows and rows of small shops feature woollen garments, artifacts, pickles, squashes, juices and jams all sold at cheap prices and open to relentless bargaining.
Tourists can buy Kinnauri mufflers, Himachali caps, scarves, sweaters, gloves, socks, handmade shoes, and Pashmina shawls. Apart from woollen garments, there are authentic rugs and carpets, ideal for home décor to add that unique touch.
Chail is also famous for it’s pretty silver, stone-studded or metal jewelery.
If you’re looking for something out of the blue to indulge in then head to Sadhupul Lake. This beautiful lake is the perfect destination to spend your evening at for a romantic getaway or a family outing. The cool breeze and sound of trickling water provides a very calm ambience.
The Sadhupul Lake is famous for it’s restaurant on the lake where wooden tables and chairs are spaced across the water body. You can dangle your legs in the water when it’s low and enjoy a great meal. The chairs and tables are pulled back however when flow of the river is high.
Best time to Visit: The best time to visit Sadhupul Lake is in the monsoon seasons of July-August.
A popular religious landmark in Chail, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir,
dedicated to the Hindu saint named Sidh Baba, is a revered religious site in
Chail. This shrine is located atop a hill, between Rajgarh and Pandhawa.
There are many legends associated with the construction of this temple. According to one of these, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, the former king of Patiala planned and commenced the construction of a palace at this spot. One day, Sidh Baba came in the king's dreams and informed the king that this pot was where he used to meditate and was eventually cremated, apparently stressing on the fact that this hill is pious and can’t be used for residential purposes. Overcome by his dream, the king built Sidh Baba Ka Mandir to honour of the saint.
A large number of devotees visit the shrine that boasts a peaceful and tranquil ambience along with stunning scenic surroundings, which is characterised by towering hills and lush green forests.
Timings: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Just 15 km away from Dharamshala, Chamunda Devi Temple is one of the most important places to visit in Chamba. Chamunda Devi Temple is an important pilgrimage place for Hindus located on the banks of river Baner. The temple is completely made up of wood and was built by Raja Umed Singh in 1762 and has a gabled roof, the only one in whole of Chamba.
The temple is also famously known as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham and is believed to be the abode of Shiva and Shakti. The main shrines in the temple are of Lord Hanuman and Lord Bhairav.
Previously, the devotees had to climb around 378 steps to reach the temple, but now, the newly built road is an easy way to reach the temple, which is 3 km from Chamba.
Built by the Maharaj of Patiala, this
holy place of worship emits a peaceful and sere vibe, surrounded by beautiful
greenery. Built in a church like structure showing the confluence of various
religions. Due to the meager Sikh population in the area an non patronization
by The Military School Chail, the condition of the gurudwara has deteriorated
over the years.
Situated atop the Pandhawa Hills, this stunning structure is yellow in colour and has a sprawling green lawn out front giving off a quaint country vibe and portrays British occupancy during that time.
Timings: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Khajjiar lake is one of the most spectacular lakes in Himachal Pradesh and one of the best places to visit in Chamba. Surrounded by the snow-clad mountains and cedar forest, the lake is located at a height of 1920 m from the mean sea level. Best time to visit Khajjiar lake is from February to April when the weather is extremely pleasant and the tourist can enjoy various recreational activities while enjoying the beauty of landscape at the same time. Moreover, if you want to spend some time in solitude, away from the hustle and bustle of city lives, Khajjiar lake is the place to go for.
Various small water streams from the Himalayas are the major source of Khajjiar Lake. On a bright sunny day, if you are lucky, you can even witness the Mount Kailash at distance from Khajjiar Lake. One of the main attractions of Khajjiar Lake is 'Floating Island,' which is a chunk of weed and grass developing on the surface of lake.
Why to visit in winters – Khajjiar otherwise known as India’s Switzerland is famous for its beautiful landscape and aura. Welcome this winter by visiting the best place in Himachal at Khajjiar and also experience the unique snowfall.
What to do – Visit to Golden Devi temple, Trek on Rohtang pass, Solang valley, visit Manu temple, go to Sankat Mochan temple, Jakhu temple, IIAS
What to see -The most amazing thing to see here is the Khajjiar Lake, smell some deodar trees in this small meadow, and explore the pristine beauty of this lake by strolling around those small ponds.
Built up on the River Ravi, the
Chamera dam is situated in the Chamba district, making it one of the most
important places to visit in Chamba. Chamera lake is the reservoir of the dam
where the water level may rise up to 763 meters during rainy season and 747
meters during summers.
Chamera Dam is one of the major source of electricity generation in this region and generates around 540 MW of electricity. One of the most unique features of the place is the contrasting difference between the morning and night temperature. In the morning, temperature may rise up to 35 degree celsius. On the other hand, during the nights, temperature may drop up to 15 to 18 degree celsius making it cool and peaceful.
As the Chamera lake has no aquatic life, it has become an ideal and most favorite destination for watersports. Various water sports like sailing, paddle boating, rowing, angling, motor boating and kayaking are offered at the lake. You can also enjoy shikaras and houseboats at Chamera lake.