Top 5 attractions of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

Easily accessible from Pathankot, Chandigarh and Delhi, the Chamba valley in Himachal Pradesh is ideal for a short vacation
Top 5 attractions of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

If you are looking for a quiet getaway, try Bharmour, 64km from Chamba town. Lying between the Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar ranges, it offers pleasant mountain views. If you are looking for some activity, visit the temples that reflect local architecture. The Chaurasi temple square encloses 84 shrines built between the 7th -10th centuries. The temple of Bharmani Devi stands on a steep forested slope, about 4km from town. You can stay at HPTDC&rsquos Hotel Gaurikund.
If you happen to be in the area in August/September and not averse to some hard trekking, you can join the local people as they undertake the Manimahesh Yatra, which ends in a holy dip in a glacial lake below the Manimahesh Kailash Peak, about 34km from town. The festival is held from Krishna Janmastami to Radhastami.
From Bharmour, you can go an excursion to Salooni (56km away) and to the Bhandal Valley (22km from Salooni). The region is known for a sweeping view of the snow peaks and the alpine flora and fauna.   

Spend at least two to three days to explore Chamba, 118km from Pathankot. Besides its natural beauty, Chamba is a repository of local art and architecture.
The town sprawls along the bank of the Ravi River. The Lakshmi Narayan temple is the oldest temple of the group of six stone temples depicting the 8th century shikhara style of architecture. The Bajreswari temple is another temple with fine carvings. The 11th century Hari Rai Temple and contains a finely crafted four-armed bronze statue of Lord Vishnu. The Chamunda Devi temple, away from the town centre, is noted for its woodwork. Chamba is one of the places that fostered the Pahari School of miniature painting. A visit to the Bhuri Singh Museum (closed on Mondays and other holidays will acquaint you with these local arts. A must buy in Chamba is the exquisitely embroidered &lsquorumal&rsquo (scarf). You can stay at HPTDC&rsquos Hotel Iravati.
The town hosts the annual Minjar Fair in July/August (July 26-August 2, 2015) at the central Chaugan (meadow). This is the time when the gods and goddesses from various temples of the Chamba valley arrive in their palanquins to meet the main deity, Raghuvira. People indulge in sporting and cultural activities, dressed in their colourful traditional attire.
If you want to explore the countryside, there are plenty of options too. Jhumhar, 10km away, is known for its alpine meadow and apple orchards you can go on a picnic to Sarol, 11km away, and known for its sheep breeding centre apiary Saho, 18km away, a picturesque plateau by the Sal river, is famous for the Chandrasekhara Shiva temple.

Chamera Lake
The lake took shape after the Ravi River was dammed at Chourah. Accessible from the Chamba-Pathankot highway, you can go boating in the lake (though most visitors complain the price charged for a ride is very high). It is nearly 30km from Dalhousie. 

A hill-station surrounded by pine, deodar and oaks, it still retains fragments of its colonial past, especially the churches &ndashSt John&rsquos Church (built in 1863), St Francis Church (1894), St Andrew Church (1902) and St Patrick Church (1909). Relax among the verdant scenery or go on pleasant walks around the town. The malls encircling Moti Tibba and Potreyn are popular with walkers. Catch a mountain panorama from Subhash Baoli you can walk up to this natural spring from the main post office in town. At Panjpulla, water from the hilly springs flow under five bridges en route, you can see the Satdhara (seven springs). The 5-km soft trek along the Bakrota Hills offer glimpses of the Himalayas. Dalhousie is 52km from Chamba. You can stay at HPTDC&rsquos Hotel Manimahesh or Hotel Gitanjali or other private hotels.
Those eager for an excursion can visit the Kalatop wildlife sanctuary (8km from town) or Khajjiar (22km away from town). There is a forest rest house at Kalatop.

Many tourists make a day visit to Khajjiar from Dalhousie but to enjoy the verdant surroundings, spend a night at least. A lake with a floating island nestles in the middle of the saucer-shaped meadow of Khajjiar. The meadow in turn is encircled by deodar forests. The 12th century temple dedicated Khaji Nag is a popular pilgrim attraction. The meadow attracts various sporting activities, including zorbing. Khajjiar is 22km from Dalhousie and 26km from Chamba. You can stay at HPTDC&rsquos Hotel Devdar.

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