Chamba town (915 m) stands on the right bank of the river Ravi. As a former princely state, it is one of the oldest in the country and dates back to the sixth century. It is well known for its splendid architecture and as the base for numerous excursions. It is also a district hadquarter.
How to Get There
Climate In winter, the temperature gets very low because of cold winds. It is hot in summer - upto 38 degrees C.
Places of interest in and around Chamba
Laxmi Narayan Temple Complex : With six main 'Shikhara style temples and several smaller shrines, this is renowned for its finely executed classical forms.
Hari Rai Temple : This is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to the 11th century.
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At a Glance
Other Temples : The profusion of temples in Chamba and their carftsmanship is remarkable. Some important shrines are - Champavati, Vajreshwari, Sui Mata and Chamunda Devi.
The Chowgan : Chamba's wide concourse is the hub of much of the town's activity and also serves as its promenade.
Rangmahal : This old palace is an interesting mix of colonial and Saracenic architectural styles.
Akhand Chandi Palace : Now after Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba, this is a treasure house of Chamba's rich past. The exhibits include copper plates, murals, doorways, costumes, paintings and stone carvings.
St. Andrew's Church : Over a century old, this is a charming dressed-stone structure.
Bharmour (65 km) : Its 84 ancient temples at a height of 2141 m are well known. It is also the summer home of the nomadic Gaddi people.
Manimahesh (93 km) : This sacred lake (4183 m) is associated with Lord Shiva and is the site of an annual pilgrimage.
Bhatrari (45 km) : An attractive temple to Shakti Devi is located here.
The exquisite glade of Khajjiar (1960 m) has a circumference of about 5 km. Along its fringes, thick forests of deodar climb the slopes. The snow-line rests above these woods and in the centre of the glade, is a small lake fed by streams that traverse the green carpet. At Khajjiar there is a 12th century temple dedicated to Khajjiar. Within the temple are lifesize wooden ../../images of the five Pandava brothers.
How To Get There
Khajjiar is connected by road and is 26 km from Dalhousie and 24 km from Chamba. It is 520 km from Delhi. The closets railhead is at pathankot, 120 km away. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 180 km. Taxis and buses are available from these places.
In winter, the temprature hovers around freezing point with snowfalls, heavy woollens are required. In summer, the climate is mild and light woollens/cottons are recommended.
In western Himachal Pradesh, the hill station of Dalhousie is full of 'old world' charm and holds lingering echos of the 'Raj'. It covers an area of about 14 sq km and is built on five hills - Kathlog, Potreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun. It is named after the British Governor-General of the 19th century, Lord Dalhousie. The town's height varies between 1,525m and 2,378m, and it is surrounded by varied vegetation - pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendron. Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its location presents panoramic views of the plains - and like a long silver line, the river Ravi twist and turns below Dalhousie. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar mountains are also visible from this enchanting town.
How To Get There
Dalhousie is 485 km by road from Delhi and 52 km from Chamba. The closest raihead is Pathankot - 80 km away. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 135km. Taxis and buses are easily available from these places.
In winter, the temperature can drop to freezing point when heavy woollens are required. The summer temperatures are mild and light woollens/cottons are recommended.
Places of interest in and around Dalhousie
Churches : There are four beautiful churches in Dalhousie. These are St. Andrew's Church and St. Patrick's Church at Balun, St. Francis' Church at Subhash Chowk and St. John's Church at Gandhi Chowk.
Panchpula (3 km) : This is a picturesque spot where a stream feeds a series of pools. A monument has been built here in memory of the freedom fighter, Sardar Ajit Singh.
Subhash Bauli (1 km) : It was at this enchanting spot surrounded by majestic trees, that Subhash Chandra Bose spent a lot of time in 1937.
Bara Pathar (4 km): There is a small temple amidst a thick forest.
Kalatop (10 km): This wild life sanctuary is home to the 'ghoral' and Himalayan black bear.
Numerous trek routes lead out of the Dalhousie-Khajjiar-Chamba triangle-and there are several within it.
Some important ones are - Chamba to Bharmour, Chamba to Palampur (over the Dhauladhar ranges), Chamba to Pangi and Bharmour to Keylong via Kugti Pass.
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.