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10 Best Places to Visit in Chamba

 
  • Located on the banks of river Ravi, there are many places to visit in Chamba, which is also one of the most loved tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh. The city has rich history, dating back to 2nd century BC and was ruled by the Khasas and the Adumbaras followed by the Rajputs who were the rulers of Maru dynasty.

    Though not a big city, Chamba, still, is loved by the majority of tourists because of its location. The city is situated between the majestic Himalayas and is surrounded by snow-clad mountains and picturesque scenery. 

    Apart from scenic beauty, Chamba is also home to various ancient and beautiful architectural pieces, some of which include the Laxmi Narayan temple, Hariraya temple, Rang Mahal, built in 18th century,  and many more. To acquaint yourself more about the places to visit in Chamba, just read on.

    Here are some of the best places to visit in Chamba:

  • 01Khajjiar Lake

    Khajjiar Lake
    Image Credit : Srinivasan G-Flickr

    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.

  • 02Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary

    Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
    Image Credit : gautamnguitar-Flickr

    Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh, which is spread over 30.69 square km and is located amidst the deodar forest between Khajjiar and Dalhousie. If you are a hiking enthusiast, there can be no better way to go to the wildlife sanctuary than walking from the natural vegetation. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is the home of diverse range of wild animals, which include barking goral, jackal, langur, serow, leopard, Himalayan black marten, deer, bear, and many more.

    The best part of Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is that, it is open throughout the year from January to December and the timings are from morning 8 AM to 6 PM.

  • 03Chamunda Devi Temple

    Chamunda Devi Temple
    Image Credit : Varun Shiv Kapur-Flickr

    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.

  • 04Chamera Dam

    Chamera Dam
    Image Credit : aaditya sood-Flickr

    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.

  • 05Manimahesh Lake

    Manimahesh Lake
    Image Credit : Munish Chandel-Flickr

    Situated close to Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of Himalayas, Manimahesh Lake is located in the Chamba district and is one of the most important places to visit in Chamba. The lake is located at a height of 4, 080 meters from the mean sea level and has high religious significance after Lake Mansarovar in Tibet.

    The lake is a major pilgrimage trek, which is carried out during the months of August and September on the eighth day of new moon period, as per the Hindu Calendar and is known as 'Manimahesh Yatra.'

  • 06Bhuri Singh Museum

    Bhuri Singh Museum
    Image Credit : RameshSharma1-flickr

    Inaugurated on September 14, 1908, Bhuri Singh Museum is one of the major tourist destinations not only in Chamba but in whole Himachal Pradesh. 

    House of more than 8,500 antique pieces, Bhuri Singh Museum features costumes, arms, coins, royal jewellery, Basohli painting, rare Sharda script, carved doors, copper plate grants, memorial stones, musical instruments, frescoes, Guler-Kangra paintings and many more. In short, if you want to acquaint yourself with the art, culture and rich history of Chamba, Bhuri Singh Museum is the place to go for. Raja Bhuri Singh and Dr. J. Ph.Vogel played a humongous role in the establishment of Bhuri Singh Museum.

    You can visit the museum on all days except Mondays, from morning 8 AM to 5 PM.

  • 07Akhand Chandi Palace

    Akhand Chandi Palace
    Image Credit : Varun Shiv Kapur-Flickr

    Akhand Chandi Palace displays the lavishness of Mughals and the artistic architecture of the British. It is a perfect blend of western and eastern architecture and was built in the year 1748-1764. While visiting the Akhand Chandi Palace, you can have a picturesque view of various other beautiful tourist destinations like Chamunda Devi Temple, Sui Mata Temple, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Rang Mahal and many more.

    One of the most beautiful features of the palace is that it has distinguishably green roof as the other houses in Chamba along with a conical roof to shed the snow. The palace has beautifully designed windows, which are painted in white.

    Until 1957, the palace was with the royal family and in 1958, it was handed over to Himachal Government, which opened a college and district library in the palace.

  • 08Champavati Temple

    Champavati Temple
    Image Credit :  Varun Shiv Kapur-Flickr

    Located near the Police Post and Treasury building in Chamba, Champavati Temple is one of the most religious destinations and best places to visit in Chamba. It was built by Raja Sahil Varman in the memory of Champavati who was her daughter. The temple's Shikhara style and various ornamental stone carvings make it distinguishable from others. It resembles the architectural pieces of Nepal, featuring structures that are cylindrical in shape and are categorized into 5 to 9 parts.

    The temple holds the shrines of Vasuki Naga, Wazir and Goddess Mahisasuramardini, an avatar of Goddess Durga. The best time to visit temple is from the month of March to June as the climate is so pleasant during this duration.

    The temple has a great archaeological and historical value and is taken care by Archeological Survey of India. Millions of hindus visit the temple each year, especially during Navratri.

  • 09Lakshmi Narayan Temple

    Lakshmi Narayan Temple
    Image Credit : Varun Shiv Kapur-Flickr

    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.

  • 10Rang Mahal

    Rang Mahal
    Image Credit : RameshSharma1-flickr

    Rang Mahal, built by Raja Umed Singh in the 18th century, is one of the largest monuments located in Chamba region. The palace highlights the perfect blend of Mughal and British architecture and has strikingly designed high fort-like walls. When the monument was handed over to State Handicrafts Department, many changes were carried out in the architecture of building and the historical artifacts of the same are placed in Bhuri Singh Museum. Rang Mahal was not only built with the aim to provide king's abode but also to serve as the warehouse for treasure and grains.

    In the present times, Rang Mahal has been completely taken over by the Himachal Government and serves as Himachal Emporium, a popular shopping destination for beautiful local handmade goods. You can also find embroidery in the emporium, made by local women on the silky fabrics.

    You can visit Rang Mahal from Monday to Saturday and the timings include morning 10 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM.