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Chamba

3.1 /5 28 votes
124 active cases 110 in last 7 days

Weather:

Best Time: Oct-Jun Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Nearest Airport: Jammu Check Flights

"The land of Hill Kingdoms, Temples and Monasteries"

Chamba Tourism

Chamba is a Himalayan town located in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Known for the ancient temples, the caves, and the edifices that speak highly of Indian history, Chamba is famous for mesmerising views of the Pir Panjal, Zanskar and Dhauladhar ranges in the backdrop of this picture-postcard town. This Himalayan town is located at an elevation of 996 meters on the banks of river Ravi, flanked by Jammu and Kashmir, Lahaul and Kangra.

Chamba is popular for its traditional handicrafts and art along with the miniature Pahari paintings - a form of Indian painting that originated from the Himalayan hill kingdoms of North India during the 17th to 19th centuries. It is also the base camp for several treks in the great Himalayan ranges. This, along with the stunning beauty and tranquil environs, beckons travellers who are looking for an offbeat location among the rather popular Himachali towns.

Chamba celebrates two renowned festivals - Suhi Mata Mela, held during March/April for four days and Minjar Mela, celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of the Shravana month, or August. This town of centuries-old fortress and shrines has many folk songs dedicated to it!

This destination should not be confused with the similarly named Chamba in Uttarakhand.

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Dalhousie and Khajjiar- The Gems of Chamba

Chamba is one of the most beautiful districts of Himachal Pradesh with the beauties of Dalhousie and Khajjiar in its geographical boundaries. Both Khajjiar and Dalhousie are known for its green pastures of lands with the snow-capped mountain ranges adorning the backdrop. The most famous attraction of the Chamba district is the Chamera Dam and the various well-kept ancient temples that were constructed 1000 of years ago.

Traditional Art of Chamba

The Basohli style paintings are famous in Chamba, as are the murals & paintings with Mughal influence. The paintings depict themes from Hindu mythology such as love scenes between Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, with animals such as deer and different birds being prominently featured. The romantic monsoon season is a common backdrop for the paintings. They are available on display in different museums across Chamba.

Chamba is also known for its exquisite handicraft items including weapons made out of metals like copper, brass and iron. Large plaques for wall decoration and temple cupolas are also made with these metals. Chamba has its local footwear, traditional shawls & handkerchiefs, jewellery and wood carvings. Musical instruments like Nagara (a form of a kettle drum), cymbals and many other traditional ones are made in the town.

History of Chamba

Chamba’s ancient history can be traced back to the 2nd century BC, under the rule of the Kolian tribes. Following periods of rule under different dynasties such as the Guptas, Thakurs and Ranas, the town was in the hands of the Rajputs in the 7th century. According to recorded history, the rule of the Rajputs can be traced to an individual called Maru, who migrated from Kalpagrama in north-west India in 500 AD.

It is believed that Chamba became the capital of the Rajput dynasty in 920 AD under the rule of Raja Sahil Verman, the king of Bharmour, which is situated around 75 km east of Chamba. There are legends associated to this which say that he shifted the capital in honour of his daughter, Champavati. The isolated location of the town, behind hilly and rugged terrain, contributed to its successful evasion of capture by the Mughals or otherwise. It is believed that both Emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb tried to annex Chamba. Friendly ties with Emperor Shah Jahan in later years led to the introduction of Mughal lifestyles in the region.

Chamba was weakened in later years through attacks by the Gurkhas, and then the British. In the mid-1800s, the leaders of Chamba agreed to British suzerainty in the region and ceded the territory to the British under the Treaty of Lahore. They remained on good terms with the Britishers through subsequent years, with the region witnessing progressive reforms and development. After India’s independence, the princely state of Chamba agreed to merge with the country in August 1948.

Festivals in Chamba

Chamba celebrates two renowned festivals with aplomb.
  1. The Suhi Mata Mela is held during March/April for four days. It commemorates the sacrifice made by the Rajputi Queen of Chamba, who gave up her life so that the town could receive water from the Sarota stream. Women and children play a prominent role in this festival. An image of their queen, with the Rajput solar emblem, is printed on banners and carried in a procession, through dances and songs, to the Suhi Mata temple.
  2. The Minjar Mela is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of the Shravana month or August. It celebrates the triumph of the king of Chamba over the Trigarta ruler in the 900s AD. It also marks the paddy and maize harvests, and offerings of minjar - paddy, golden silk, rupee coin, coconut and a seasonal fruit wrapped in red cloth - are made. A week full of festivities follow a flag hoisting ceremony at the Chaughan. Lord Raghuvira is mainly worshipped, and on the last day, tribute is also paid to the Ravi river. The locals perform many folk dances and songs, known as Kunjari Malhar during the festival.

Restaurants and Local Food in Chamba

Chamba, being located in Himachal Pradesh has predominantly North Indian Cuisine. However, you can also find some local Himachal cuisine over here too. Madra, a native delicacy of Chamba is made of lentils like Rajma and Kidney Beans, cooked in a lot of spices and dry fruits. Yogurt is a key ingredient, and made nearly everywhere with alterations and tastes heavenly.
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Suggested Itinerary for Chamba

You can book a cab for a day from any rental service as all of them are reasonably charged. Bargaining should be done nevertheless without fail. Do carry small non-perishable foodstuff, you may not find food outlets or restaurants in the more remote locations. Visit the well-preserved temples and ancient buildings in Chamba constructed in 500 AD. Visit the Bhuri Singh Museum, which was constructed to honour the king of Chamba- Raja Bhuri Singh. Later visit the Akhand Chandi Palace, Chamunda Devi temple and Laxmi Narayan temples that hold the great religious values.

Chamba Photos

Chamba, Himachal Pradesh
Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Church of Scotland
Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary

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FAQs on Chamba

What is famous about Chamba?

The prime location of Chamba district offers you various places to visit around the Chamba district.

What is not so good about Chamba?

There's not much to do within Chamba itself. One has to visit Dalhousie or Khajjiar for more touristy activities, however, they become crowded in peak seasons.

Who should visit Chamba?

Nature lovers, romantic vacations and for the family trips during the summer and winter season.

What is the best time to visit Chamba?

March to June is the best time to visit Chamba as these months have pleasant weather with moderate temperature. Summer in the valleys of Chamba is warm with cold nights. Don't think twice if you're planning an offbeat vacation or honeymoon. July is the beginning of monsoons, and while it's advisable not to visit the district in heavy rainfalls, the misty and cold showers are complementary to the greenery of the valley. December is the time for snow lovers so make sure to carry woollens as the temperature might dip down to sub-zero levels.
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What is the local food in Chamba?

Chamba, being located in Himachal Pradesh has predominantly North Indian Cuisine. However, you can also find some local Himachal cuisine over here too. Madra, a native delicacy of Chamba is made of lentils like Rajma and Kidney Beans, cooked in a lot of spices and dry fruits. Yogurt is a key ingredient, and made nearly everywhere with alterations and tastes heavenly.
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How much does a package cost for Chamba?

The packages for Chamba start at INR 15000 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the things to do in Chamba?

The top things to do in Chamba are Chamera Lake, Manimahesh Lake, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Himachal Emporium, Rang Mahal, Chaugan, Hariraya Temple. You can see all the places to visit in Chamba here

What are the places near Chamba?

The top places near to Chamba are Mcleodganj which is 36 km from Chamba, Dalhousie which is located 13 km from Chamba, Khajjiar which is located 6 km from Chamba, Manali which is located 105 km from Chamba, Dharamsala which is located 41 km from Chamba

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Ask a Question

Ask a question from the travellers who have experience.

Q. How would you rate the difficulty of the Chamba trek? I am a novice trekker, should I go for it?

Kumar Kislay 2 years ago
If you begin the trek from McLeodganj, then you start your trekking from Triund. It takes about 5-6 days to complete and offers quite some stunning views. But since you're a novice, it'd be best to have someone experienced alongside.

Chamba Reviews

Your rating
Pallavi Siddhanta 2 years ago
- Carry extra food and supplies with you, facilities are not present at proper intervals.
- Winters are excruciatingly cold, avoid visiting in winters. But if you do, carry extra woolens.
- Make sure you have enough information beforehand of wherever you go sightseeing or have a guide with you.
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