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Chamba

3.1 /5 28 votes

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 that one getaway you've always dreamed off. Minimal human alteration in the topography and environment and the balanced temperatures of the area make it the perfect destination all year round. The river Ravi cuts across town and adds to the scenery. Chambal is present at the confluence if Ravi river with Chal river.

The sub-Himalayan area is amply endowed with a variety of flora and fauna, making it a very picturesque background for your holiday memoirs. There's about enough lakes, wildlife sanctuaries and temples to make you feel like this virgin land has more than enough to offer to every tourist. You only go back richer from Chamba.

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Art

Chamba is quite famous for its traditional handicrafts and art. In particular, it is renowned for it miniature Pahari paintings, which is a form of Indian painting that originated from the Himayalan hill kingdoms of North India during the 17th to 19th centuries. The Basohli style paintings are famous, as are the ones with Mughal influence and murals. The paintings depict themes from Hindu mythology such as love scenes between Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, and have animals such as deer and different birds prominent in them. The romantic monsoon season is also a common backdrop of 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 used for wall decoration and temple kupolas are also made with these metals. Chamba has its own local footwear, traditional shawls and handkerchiefs, jewellery and wood carvings. Musical instruments like Nagara (a form of kettle drum), cymbals and many other traditional ones are made in the town.

History

Chamba’s ancient history can be traced back to the 2nd century BC when it was under the rule of the Kolian tribes. Following periods of rules under different dynasties such as the Guptas, the Thakurs and the Ranas, the town passed into 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 around 500 AD. It is believed that Champa 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 Champa. There are some legends associated with this, which say that he shifted the capital in honour of his daughter, who was called Champavati. The isolated location of the town, behind hilly and rugged terrains, contributed to its successful evasion of capture, mainly by the Mughals. It is believed that both Emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb had tried to annex Champa. Friendly ties with Emperor Shah Jahan in later years led to the introduction of Mughal lifestyles in the region. Champa was weakened in later years through attacks by the Gurkhas, and then the British. In the mid 1800s the leaders of Champa agreed to British suzerainty in the region, and under the Treaty of Lahore ceded the territory to the British. They remained on good terms with the Britishers in the subsequent years, and the region witnessed progressive reforms and development. After India’s independence, the princely state of Chamba agreed to merge with the country in August 1948.

Festivals

Chamba celebrates two renowned festivals with aplomb. The first is the Suhi Mata Mela, 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. Hence 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. The other famous festival celebrated is the Minjar Mela, 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.

The cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh

Located at an elevation of 996 meters on the banks of river Ravi, Chamba is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir, Lahaul and Kangra from all directions. It offers a unique confluence of various cultures of India. The whole district of Chamba is filled with the ancient beauty of historic India. The temples, the caves, and the edifices speak highly of the Indian history. Chamba is also famous for the splendid views of the Pir Panjal ranges, Zanskar and Dhauladhar range in the backdrop. Chamba is also the base camp for a number of treks in the great Himalayan ranges.

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.

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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One Day Itinerary

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.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

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

What's Not So Great?

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.

For Whom?

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

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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 11 months 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 11 months 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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