Chamba, Chamba in Himachal Pradesh

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Chamba valley is known for it's magnificent scenery. This valley touches the fringe of the Shivaliks and has three well-defined snowy mountain ranges. These ranges are the Dauladhar or the outer Himalayas, the Pir Panjal or the mid Himalayas, and the Zanskar range or the inner Himalayas. Chamba is situated at a height of 996 meters above sea level on the south banks of the Ravi river. Chamba, the ancient Pahari capital was founded in 920 AD by Raja Sahil Verma, who named it after his favorite daughter Champavati. Chamba is bounded in the north-west by Jammu and Kashmir, in the north-east and east by Ladakh, in the south-east and south by Lahaul, Bara-Banga, Kangra and Gurdaspur district of the Punjab. Chamba's serene beauty makes it the ideal holiday retreat among various tourists and nature lovers. The various other adjoining places in Chamba also offers immense scope for the leisure activities to various visitors.

History of Chamba

Chamba was founded not later than 600 AD and perhaps as early as 550 AD. It was also believed that this area was inhabited by certain Kolian tribes, who were later, conquered by the Khasas who further were ruled by the Audumbaras. From the 4th century AD, Chamba was controlled by Thakurs and Ranas. With the rise of Gurjara Pratiharas (7th century AD) the Rajput Dynasties came to power. In 500 AD, a legendry hero called Maru migrated to north-west from Kalpagrama and founded Brahamputra in the valley of the Budhal river. His successors continued to rule from that capital city for over three hundred years until Sahilla Varman shifted his capital from Brahamputra to the more centrally located plateau in the lower Ravi valley. He named the town after his beloved daughter Champa.

Fair and Festivals of Chamba
Chamba Temples

Some of the famous festivals celebrated in Chamba are the Sui Mata Festival and Manimahesh Yatra. The Sui Mata festival is the Chamba's annual festival. This festival is celebrated in the month of April for four days. This festival commemorates Rani Champavati, the wife of the 10th century Raja Sahil Verma. Only women and children participate in the festival, dancing in the Chowgan before processing with an image of Champavati. The Manimahesh Yatra to the sacred tarn of Manimahesh is held immediately after the festival of Janamashtmi. In the month of August several places in Chamba celebrates the Gugga fair, which is connected with the worship of 'Gugga', the Nag Devta.

Crafts of Chamba

The main craft item of Chamba is the Chamba Rumal, known for its unique embroidery style. The Chamba 'Rumal' or handkerchief is about 2 to 6 feet in length. This embroidery done on the handkerchief is also known as 'Kashida'. In the embroidery the double satin stitch and the stem stitch are used with the silk thread. This embroidery was earlier practiced in the Chamba, Bilaspur, Nurpur, Kangra, Basholi regions of Himachal Pradesh. The rumals are not only known for their rich aesthetic effect but also for the significant subject matter.

Climate of Chamba

The best time to visit Chamba is between the month of April to October. As, during this time the climate is neither too hot nor too cold. For the adventure lovers the suitable month to visit Chamba is from November to March as the mountains during this time are covered by snow and they can reach the villages easily on the foot. It is advisable to carry the woolens during winters.

Tourist Attractions in Chamba

The main tourist attraction in Chamba are the temples. The Lakshmi Narayan temple is the main temple of Chamba which is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. 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. Close to the royal palace at Chamba, there is a stone Shikhara temple dedicated to Goddess Champavati. The main temples of Lakshmi Devi, Ganesh and Manimahesh and Nar Singh are known as Chaurashi temples. Bhuri Singh Museum was opened on 14th September 1908 and was named after Raja Bhuri Singh.

Chamba Tourist Attraction
How to reach here:

By Air:
The nearest airport is located at Gaggal, about 10 kms away from Kangra town on the Pathankot-Manali highway.

By Rail:
The nearest railway station is located at Pathankot, about 80 kms. Pathankot is connected with Jammu, Delhi, Calcutta and Mumbai.

By Road:
Chamba is connected to various important cities like Delhi, Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, Jammu and various other cities.

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