Situated at the height of 996 m. above sea level on the south bank of the Ravi River, just 56 km from Dalhousie ,the ancient Pahari capital was founded in 920 A.D. by Raja Sahil Verma, who named it after his favourite daughter Champavati. Chamba, the land of antiquity, art and scenic beauty, is a wonder in itself for every tourist.
Chamba valley is noted for the magnificence of it’s scenery-touching the fringe of the Shivaliks and having three well-defined snowy ranges, the Dauladhar, constituting the outer Himalayas, the Pir Panjal or the mid Himalayas, and the Zanskar range or the inner Himalayas. Chamba is known for the elegance of its temples and for its exquisite miniatures and handicrafts.
Tourist attractions in Chamba Valley
We recommend following Popular Sightseeing spots in Chamba Valley:
Lakshmi Narayan Temple : To the north of the palace at Chamba, there is a group of six stone Sikhara temples arranged in a row from north to south. Three of these temples are dedicated to Vishnu and three to Shiva. The northern most is that of the Lakshmi- Narayana- the principal temple of Chamba.
Brajeswari temple : This temple is dedicated to Sui Mata, the local princess of Chamba who sacrifice her life for the people of her kingdom.Colourful paintings on the temple wall depicts the story of SuiMata. The style which makes the temple different from others is the shikara style and in top there is a wooden amalaka.
Chamunda Devi Temple : This is one of the famous temples in this quieenee valley. This temple is dedicated to Chamunda, the wrathful form of Goddess Durga. The entire wooden ceiling of this temple is embellished with intricate carvings depicting floral motifs and different deities. This temple has a number of brass bells, offered by the devotees, and footprints of the Goddess on a small pillar.
Gandhi Gate : The Viceroy of British Government Lord Curzon had got a warm welcome by a bright orange gateway built in 1900 . It is the main gatway of Chamba.
Bhuri Singh Museum : The rich culture of this valley the Basohli and Kangra style of paintings is collected in this museum. Particularly the miniature paintings of the this two schools are jewells of Indian classic paintings. There are also murals and paintings from the Rang Mahal Palace which was damaged by fire.
Champawati Temple : Close to the royal palace at Chamba, there is a stone sikhara temple dedicated to Goddess Champavati. Tradition holds that the town of Chamba was named after her.
Chaurashi Temple : The main temples of Lakshmi Devi, Ganesh and Manimahesh and Nar Sing in Bharmour are known as Chaurashi temples.
Chaugan : A large grassy meadow forms the heart of the town and the centre of all its cultural activities. Each year, the colourful Minjar Mela celebrating the harvest is held here.
Lama Dal : Held Sacred to Lord Shiva, this lake lies amidst bare rock. ‘Lamba Dal means “a long lake”.
Pangi Valley : Pangi Valley in the upper part of Chamba District is a remote world in itself. This hidden valley located between Pir Panjal and the Greater Himalayan Zanskar ranges is cut off from the rest of the world.
Rang Mahal : In Chamba, situated the beautiful Rang Mahal palace, which was built by Raja Umed Singh in the mid 18th century. The palace walls here are lined with exquisite examples of wall paintings in the Punjab Hills style, all of which depict the life and times of Lord Krishna. From here the travelers can buy handicraft items.
Chamera Lake : In district Chamba, this is the reservoir of the Chamera dam is built over the river Ravi, offering numerous water sports facilities to the visitors.
Ghadhasaru Lake : Ghadhasaru Lake lies in the Churah tehsil of Chamba and is 24-km from Tissa, at an altitude of 3,470m.
Katasan Devi Temple : Another popular temple of the Chamba district, it is about 30-km from the town near Baira Siul Project. This calm and peaceful spot is ideal for picnic lovers and one can witness a full view of the valley from its premises.
Narayana Temple : The Narayana temple at Udaipur, is situated nearly 5-km below Chamba. There are two other images of white marble, flanking Narayana, which represent Raja Uday Singh and his brother Lachhman Singh.
The Chamba Rumal : The other craft of Chamba is its unique embroidery style. The Chamba ‘Rumal’ or handkerchief about 2 to 6 feet in length is an important part of a Chamba bride’s trousseau. This handkerchief is also known as ‘Kashida’. The embroidery is same on both sides and the threads used are silken and colorful.
Hari Rai Temple : The 11th-century Harirai Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is also made in the Shikhara style and has a triple-headed statue of Lord Vishnu made from eight different materials.