Places of religious, historical or archaeological importance and Tourist Interest in District Chamba

By | July 1, 2020

Chamba valley, perhaps the loveliest of valleys of Himachal Pradesh, is noted for the magnificence of its scenery-sparkling streams, lakes, meadows, and lush green forests of deodar.

A place of high mountain ranges, Chamba district is rich in wildlife and is the home of rare animals like snow leopard, ibex, brown bear, leopard, and musk deer. A splendid artistic heritage of the district includes temples exhibiting fine architecture of ancient times, beautiful miniature paintings, and exquisite embroidered Chamba ‘rumals’. Chamba’s scenic beauty makes it an ideal holiday retreat for the tourists.


  • Chamba is the headquarters of the district and was also the capital of the erstwhile state.
  • The town is situated at an altitude of 996 metres above the mean sea level on the bank of river Ravi.
  • Founded in 920 AD by Raja Sahil Varman, the town still has a medieval feel about it.
  • Isolated by the high mountains in its beautiful valley, Chamba has developed over the centuries its rich style of Pahari art and architecture.
  • Much of this heritage has been preserved and Chamba is known today for the splendour of its temple.

The famous temples of Chamba town are as Under:-

Rani Suhi Temple:

  • A white temple of Rani Suhi is situated in the eastward of Chamba town.
  • According to a legend, there was no proper water supply in the town and Raja Sahil Varman was worried about this problem and he tried to bring the water from the back of the hill, but not even a single drop of water trickled out of the installed pipeline due to inexplicable reasons.
  • Thereafter the Brahmins were consulted. According to them, water could be brought in the town only on the condition of the sacrifice of the life of any one of the royal family i.e. either of Raja or Rani or their sons.
  • The Rani volunteered for her sacrifice.
  • The Rani was buried alive, then the water began to flow.
  • Afterwards in memory of her devotion, Raja erected a small shrine.
  • Annually a mela is held from 15th Chaitra to Ist Baisakh at this small shrine of the Rani where the people present their offerings of flowers and sing songs in the praise of Rani.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple:

  • The Lakshmi Narayan temple is a prominent temple in the complex of Chamba town.
  • In the premises of this temple, there are three Vishnu and three Shiva temples.
  • According to a legend popular in the area, Raja Sahil Varman sent his nine sons in Vindhyachal mountain to bring a block of marble for carving out a statue of Vishnu.
  • The block was brought.
  • But on cutting the slab it was found that it contained a frog and as such it was considered unsuitable for the purpose.
  • Therefore this block was used for making some small idols.
  • The young princes were again sent to bring another block but they were killed in an encounter with the robbers on their way back.
  • Then Raja Sahil Varman sent his eldest son Yugakar, who killed the robbers with the help of some Sanjossi Gosain and returned with the block of marble by which the image of Vishnu was made.
  • The temple is 65 feet high. It is a fine group of ancient stone temples with tall vimanas, dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu, dating from 8 AD.
  • The richly carved Lakshmi Narayan temple is the oldest structure in this group.

Hari Rai Temple:

  • The Hari Rai temple located near the Chaugan dates back to the 11th century and is noted for its exquisite bronze image of Chaturmurti – the four-armed Vishnu.
  • This ancient temple is a beautiful sample of stone carving.
  • It was erected by Asata Varman.

Chamunda Temple:

  • This temple, dedicated to goddess Chamunda, is noted for its fine wood carving.
  • It is situated in the east of Chamba town at a distance of about 1 Km. on a high hill from where one can see a panoramic view of Chamba town and river Ravi.
  • Other evidence of Chamba’s rich past are to be found in the Bhuri Singh Museum, with its collection of exquisite miniatures from the Kangra, Basholi and Chamba schools of paintings as well as murals and artifacts from the Rang Mahal Palace.


  • Chaugan a grassy meadow forms the heart of the town – the centre of its cultural activities.
  • Each year in July/August, the Minjar fair is held here when gods and goddesses are brought from their mountain homes with the sound of drums and music, to pay homage to Lord Raghuvira.
  • During the weeklong harvest fair, the Chaugan comes alive as villagers dressed in colourful costumes celebrate with song, music, and sport.

Besides the above-mentioned temples, there are also some other temples and places of interest for the tourists around Chamba town some of these are :-

Katasan Devi Temple:

  • A popular place of pilgrimage, the temple has a beautiful view of Chamba valley.
  • It is located at a distance of 30 kms. from Chamba town.


  • Located at a distance of 10 kms. from Chamba town, Jhamwa is known for its beautiful apple orchards, surrounded by dense forests.


  • Sarol is an interesting place for picnics at a distance of 11 kms. from Chamba town.
  • Besides its lovely landscaped gardens it has an apiary and a sheep breeding centre.


  • Situated on a high plateau, Saho is famous for the temple of Lord Chandrashekhar- Lord Shiva with his moon crow.
  • The temple is located on the bank of river Sal at a distance of 20 kms. from Chamba town.


  • Located at a distance of 56 Kms. from Chamba town, Saluni presents breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountain ranges.

Bhandal Valley:

  • Beautiful Bhandal Valley is known for its rich wildlife.
  • It is located at a distance of 22 Kms. from Saluni.


  • It is the headquarters of Brahmaur Tahsil.
  • Brahmaur is 65 kms. from Chamba alongwith an attractive hillroad that follows the river Ravi for much of its route.
  • Brahmaur is the base for the famous Manimahesh Yatra and for various marvelous treks in the region.
  • Capital of Chamba State for over 400 years, Brahmaur dates back to the rule of King Meru Verman (680 AD – 700 AD).
  • It is located at an altitude of 2,195 metres from mean sea level. Brahmaur is a little fascinating village surrounded by high ranges, its ancient temples endow it with the aura of a hallowed place.
  • The region is also home of the semi-nomadic Gaddis – the shepherds of the area.
  • Life in Brahmaur centres around the temple square the Chaurasia, which owes its name to the 84 shrines built within its periphery.
  • The beautiful shikara of Manimahesh temple dominates the square.
  • A life size image of Nandi in polished brass stands before it.

Places of tourist’s interest around Brahmaur are :

1. Manimahesh:

  • It is an important place of pilgrimage located at a distance of 35 kms. from Brahmaur.
  • The towering, solitary peak of Manimahesh Kailash (5,656 metres) mirrored in the still waters of a little lake in its foot steps, presents an awe inspiring stark grandeur.
  • People from Himachal Pradesh and adjoining states visit Manimahesh in the month of August/September for the main pilgrimage yatra.

2. Chhatrari:

  • Located at a distance of 40 Kms. from Brahmaur, at Chhatrari, there is a temple of Shakti Devi.
  • It is considered of great archaeological importance.

3. Kugti:

  • The last inhabited village of Brahmaur, Kugti has a little forest rest house, overlooking splendid forests of conifer and the famous temple of Keylong Wazir is located at a distance of 2 Kms. from Kugti.


  • Dalhousie established in 1858 by the British Governor General Lord Dalhousie, is today a small hill station that still retains much of its charm.
  • It is situated at a distance of 56 kms. from Chamba town at an altitude of 2,039 metres from mean sea level.
  • Its marvelous forests of deodar and oak overlook vistas of wooded hills, water falls, springs and rivulets.
  • There are also magnificent views of Chamba valley and the mighty Dhauladhar range with its awe-inspiring snow covered peaks filling an entire horizon.
  • Dalhousie still has a touch of the ‘Raj’ about it and its colonial style buildings and houses bring back the flavour of earlier era.
  • A veneer of Tibetian culture has added a touch of the exotic to this serene resort and along road-sides is huge rock carved in low relief and painted in Tibetan style.

Around Dalhousie there are a number of places of tourist’s interest:-


  • At a distance of 8.5 kms. from Dalhousie, Kalatope is known for its little wild life sanctuary and scenic splendour.


  • A picturesque spot with an emerald saucer shaped meadow set amidst a dense deodar forest, it has a lake at its centre with a floating island, a forest rest house, a little temple with a golden spire and a golf course.
  • Khajjiar is located at a distance of 22 kms. from Dalhousie.

Bara Pathar:

  • Set at amidst thick forests is the small temple of Bhulwani Mata, in the village of Ahla on the way to Kalatope.
  • A fair is celebrated in July to venerate the goddsess.
  • Bara Pathar is located at a distance of 4 kms. from Dalhousie.

Pangi Valley:

  • Located at a distance of 137 kms. north-east of Chamba is the wild and beautiful Pangi Valley.
  • The valley is noted for its beautiful people and their colourful folk dances.
  • Extremely remote Kilar is the sub-divisional headquarters of Pangi sub-division.
  • From Kilar, located in the deep gorge of the Chenab, there are exciting treks to Keylong, Mandi and to Kishtwar in Jammu & Kashmir.


  • It is the headquarters of Chaurah Tahsil and is about 69 kms. from Chamba.
  • There is a temple of Chamunda Devi in the village.
  • The Devi has eight arms and rides on lion.
  • Tisagarh Jatar is held here every year in the month of August/September for four days.
  • Bhanjraru, a nearby village has grown into an official colony.

Besides the above-mentioned places of historical and tourist interest, there are a number of other small but locally well-known temples and places of tourist interest in the district like – Dain Kund, Banikhet, Ghatsani, Chuari Khas Jot, Taragarh, Jummhar, Mani Masrood, Kidi, Kihar, Ranikot, Tilmil, Pani, Surgani, Brahmani Devi, Lamba Dal, Trilochan Mahadev, Hidimba and Jalpa temple of Mehla, Banni Bhagwati Kelong temple of Kugti, Shah Majar Ka Takia, etc.

Read also: Fairs and Festivals of District Chamba

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