If you are tired of the hustle bustle of the city and want to getaway for a few days to relax and live amidst hills and forests, Sirmour is just the place for you. Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Sirmour is a calm and tranquil district where still more than 90% people live in villages. The locals are very close to nature and hence this place is untouched by industrialization. Sirour offers travelers picturesque landscapes, rocky hills to trek, serene lakes for boating and beautifully built temples to purge your soul. Sirmour is also called the “Peach Bowl of India” because of the high cultivation of peaches that is undertaken here. A lot of fruits and vegetables like apples, ginger, potatoes, tomatoes, mangoes and peaches are grown here, so you can even carry some of these fresh produces home. This is a perfect place to have a vacation and unwind.
This mesmerizing district was founded by Raja Rasaloo of Jaisalmer in 1090 and was named Sirmour as a tribute of one of the ancestors of the king. It was an independent kingdom in India and later during the British rule it became an 11 Gun Salute princely state.
Flora and Fauna
Sirmour is a safe haven for a lot of animals. The lush green forests proves to be a great habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. Animals like Sambhar, Spotted deer, Barking deer Jackal, Hare, Jungle Cat and porcupines can easily be seen. A number of birds including Crow, Scarlet Minivet, Bulbul, Common Coots and Green Pigeons can be seen perched on the trees. Along with lush greenery, Sirmour is also rich in biodiversity.
Places to Visit
Situated at an elevation of 3,646 meters, this is the most beautiful and pious place in not only Sirmour but also in Himachal Pradesh. Myth has it that this is the very place from where Lord Hanuman came to find herbs for severely injured Lakshmana and later carried the whole hill in Ramayana. The beauty of this place magnifies because of the verdant forests and wildlife that habitats in it. This place is also a famous trekking place for many travelers.
2. Renuka Lake
A magical lake replete with water is situated at an elevation of 672 meters in Sirmour. It is the largest lake in the state of Himachal Pradesh and is surrounded by green trees and hills. The place proffers splendid views and if possible you must witness either a sunrise or a sunset from here. You will definitely be enchanted after this experience.
3. Renuka Ji
Located near the pristine and clear Renuka Lake, Renuka Ji is a popular pilgrim spot amongst people. This place also houses a gaming sanctuary and a wildlife reserve. The wildlife reserve is replete with a variety of flora and fauna. This place is most famous for the festival that is celebrated during Kartika Ekadashi which should not be missed.
4. Habban Valley
Habban valley is a valley that houses a lot of temples. This valley is famous for beautifully carved temples that were built under the supervision of Rajput Rulers. This place has a rich history and culture of its own. Some of the famous and must visit temples include Shirgul Devta Temple, Palu Devta Temple and Tokro Tibba Kali Temple.
5. Haripur Dhar
Haripur Dhar is a popular mountain for trekking which of of an altitude of 2687 meters. A pristine and wonderful temple sits on the hilltop dedicated to Maa Bhangayani and is called Maa Bhangayani Temple. This temple is visited by a lot of devotees who come here to pray and seek blessings. A fort also is situated on one of the hills that gives a glimpse into the history of this place. This place is a heaven for trekkers and nature lovers.
6. Bhureshwar Mahadev
Bhureshwar Mahadev is another pious place and myth has it that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati saw the famous war of Kurukshetra in the epic of Mahabharata from here. This place is visited by a lot of Pilgrims and tourists because of this famous myth. This place is full of lush green trees and hills.
7. Gurudwara Paonta Sahib
Sirmour also has a pious Gurudwara namely Gurudwara Paonta Sahib. This pristine place is visited daily by a number of devotees. This Gurudwara is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singhji who was invited by Raja Medini Prakash, a valorous ruler of Sirmour to visit his kingdom. The gurudwara is a must visit to feel positivity and purge your soul.
8. Renukaji Mini Zoo
Renukaji Mini Zoo was initially started in 1957 to save and provide protection to animals. Animals like Sambhar, Chinkara, Hogdeer and Black buck are inhabitants of this zoo. A couple of lion was also brought in this zoo to breed and multiply. This is a must visit place to see and relish the beauty of nature.
Situated at an elevation of 3647 meters, Nahan was founded by Raja Karna Prakash in the year 1621. Nahan is famous for its lush green forests and trekking and also provides picturesque scenic beauty. Nahan is popular amongst travelers as many attractions like Villa Round, Military Round and Hospital Round.
10. Jaganath Temple
Jaganath Temple is considered very pious amongst the locals. This temple is almost four centuries old and was built by Raja Budh Prakash. Every year a festival named ‘Sawan Dwadashi’ is celebrated to mark the end of monsoon season. The festival is celebrated with grandeur and involves a procession in which idols of fifty two Gods and Goddesses are carried to the temple and floated in a pond. The pond is beautifully decorated and even some ducks and cranes can be seen playing in its water.
11. Shivalik Fossil Park Saketi
Shivalik Fossil Park is an interesting and fascinating place. It is a park which houses the fossils of some of the most rare and soe extinct animals. To name a few fossils that are displayed here are Stegodonganesa (an extinct grand elephant), Sivatherium Hexapratadon (Hippopotamus with six incisors), Crocodiles and Colossochetys Atlas (a giant land tortoise). This park also has a museum which gives the detailed information of all these animals.
12. Trilokpur Temple
Trilokpur Temple is dedicated to goddess Mahamaya Bala Sundri. It was built under the supervision of Raja Dip Prakash in 1573. This temple is visited by a lot of pilgrims throughout the year who come here to pray and seek blessings. A fair is held in the temple twice a year which attracts a lot of people.
13. Dhaula Kuan
Dhaula Kuan is a beautiful place replete with trees and orchards full of fruits like peaches and mangoes. You can even buy freshly prepared jams, juices and pickles. And if you want to carry these fresh fruits home, you can even purchase canned fruits that will last for a very long time. So make sure you pay a visit to this place and indulge in some healthy eating.
Festivals and Fairs
Bishu is a popular festival that is organized in Sirmour every year. The main attraction of this festival is the local Thoda Dance that is the folk dance of Sirmour. This celebration takes place mainly to thank God for good harvest and pray to pray that it remains the same in the next year as well. People sing folk songs ans ritual songs to mark this auspicious event. Large amount of food is prepared with scrumptious delicacies with is shared amongst people and they enjoy this grand feast with happiness.
Kartiki Ekadashi is celebrated in full swing in Renukaji temple. During this time the place is packed with devotees who come to pray and seek blessings. An idol of Parasu Rama is brought from a nearby village named Jamu for three days in a beautifully decorated silver palki along with the playing of musical instruments. People sing religious and spiritual songs throughout the night. The interesting thing about this festival is that the priest of the temple goes into a deep trance and turns into a oracle. He answers questions put up by people and make prophecies. This festival is celebrated with a great deal of joy and happiness.
Things to Do
The cool and pristine Renuka Lake provides travelers with an opportunity to enjoy boating. Enjoy a quiet evening paddling in the cool water of Renuka River and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of this place.
Sirmour is replete with hills that are apt for Trekking. The most popular among travelers bein Churdhar. The rocky and variegated terrain of the hills will add the element of thrill and excitement during the trek.
The Renukaji Wildlife Sanctuary provides travelers with an opportunity to take a safari into the sanctuary and witness the plethora of flora and fauna that the wildlife sanctuary houses. Enjoy a safari into the wild and it you are lucky you might end up spotting a lion.
Sirmour has all the qualities of an ideal holiday destination. It is replete with copious amounts of beautiful hills, verdant trees and wildlife. This place is easy to reach and after visiting this place you would surely? feel rejuvenated and devoid of stress. So, plan a trip to Sirmour to be in the laps of nature and enjoy its beauty.
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Best Time To Visit Sirmour
The best time to Visit Sirmour is between the months of June and October. The weather is pleasant throughout this time period and the temperature is appropriate to beat the summer heat.