Chamba Tourism, Chamba Hotels, Tourism in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India

 

Chamba :

photo : chamba chaugan groundChamba the valley of milk and honey is known for its streams, meadows, temples, paintings, rumal ( handkerchief ) and lakes. Chamba has few rivals for its scenic beauty. Chamba is situated at an altitude of 926 metres. and spreads in the area of 24 km. There are three well defined ranges in the district - The Dhauladhar range, the Pangi or Pir Panjal range and Zanskar range. Located on the banks of the Ravi river the township resembles an Italian village fortress. Chamba's temples are mostly dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu and are built of richy engraved stone. Chamba is so sheltered by snow-clad mountain barriers that its monuments escaped destruction at the hands of invaders, which is why it still remains one of the best preserved heartlands of the Himalayan art.

 
 
 

Tourism in Chamba

photo : kiani lake chamba Blessed with the home of the principle deity of Himachal, Lord Shiva, known as Mountain Kailash, Chamba, the Shiv Bhumi,has many unique experiences to offer to tourists. Chamba recently crossed 1000 years of its establishment and is very famous for its beautiful temples made in Shikhara Style and so the place is very suitable for those looking to go on a religious holiday escape. Tourism in Chamba is such a beautiful experience that if you stay here for a few days, you feel like you have spent a whole year. Tourism in Chamba offers many places to visit i.e. Bharmaur which is famous for its famous Chaurasi Temples ( 84 temples ), Dalhousie which is the most quiet hill station in India, Khajjiar which has been given the honor of Mini Switzerland, Pangi Valley which is famous for its breath taking beauty of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar range. A place of high mountain ranges, Chamba is rich in wildlife or wild life and is the home of animals like the rare snow leaopard, ibex, brown bear, leopard and musk deer.

nearby chamba Chamba, the land of gods is rich in culture and inhabited by colourful people. Fascinated by its breathtaking landscapes, beauty and rich culture, the historians have described Chamba as Achamba ( the Charming ). The beautiful Chamba valley is blessed with snow capped high mountain ranges, thick forests, breathtaking landscapes, gurgling rivers, beautiful lakes, springs, ancient temples and monuments and amazing art and architecture. Chamba has a permanent place on the Art Map of the world and thus visited by the tourists and scholars not only from India but from abroad too.



photo : Lakshami Narayan Temple Complex Chamba is easily approachable from Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh as well as from other important stations of Himachal. The weather is refreshing throughout the year. It is a bit hot in Summer but overall the weather is pleasant. Chamba is a land of fairs and festivals and has many famous fairs and festivals associated with it i.e. Minjar fair, Suhi fair, Bharmaur fair, Manimahesh fair, Baisakhi festival, Hori festival, Bhojri festival, Nag Panchami festival, Rath Rathni festival etc. making it ideal to visit Chamba during these fairs and festivals. Chamba has beautiful ancient temples i.e. Lakshami Narayan Temple Complex, Chamunda Mata Temple,Suhi Mata Temple, Chaurasi Temples ( 84 temples ), Hari Rai Temple, Champavati Temple, Vajreshwari Temple, Shakti Devi Temple etc. which provide with a great experience to all religious minded people.






photo : Chamera Lake near Chamba Chamba has numerous famous places to explore i.e. Chamba Chowgan Ground, Bhuri Singh Museum, Numerous Ancient Temples, Bharmaur or Bharmour, Kailash Manimahesh, Sarol, Salooni, Bandal, Pangi Valley etc. which provide a great escape full of natural beauty, breathtaking landscapes, refreshing climate, to tourists visiting these areas. In addition, Tourism in Chamba offers a number of wildlife sanctuaries to people interested in exploring wild life in Chamba in the lap of Himalaya, pure wilderness and great surroundings. Wildlife sanctuaries in Chamba include Gamgul Siahbehi Sanctuary, Kugti Sanctuary, Sechu Tuan Nala Sanctuary, Tundah Sanctuary, Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary etc. providing with a great escape to tourists interested in exploring wild life in Himalaya.


photo : Manimahesh Lake Chamba has numerous beautiful lakes i.e. Khajjiar Lake, Manimahesh Lake, Chamera Lake, Lama Dal Lake, Ghadasru Lake, Mahakali Lake etc. which addd to the beautiful experience of tourism in Chamba. The Manimahesh Lake can be described as the most important lake in Himachal as it is situated near Mountain Kailash which is said to be the home of the principle deity of Himachal as well as all Hindu people, the obvious Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims journey here to bathe in its sacred water, on the fifteenth day, following the festival of Janamashtami. All these lakes are blessed with beautiful natural surroundings and refreshing climate.

All in all, Chamba with its breathtaking natural beauty, pleasant climate, unique experiences and great holiday escape for all kind of tourism certainly qualifies as one of the finest places in Himachal to visit. Tourism in Chamba is guaranteed to be the one that will last in your memories forever.

 

Chamba Access Routes


Delhi to Chamba :

Delhi to Chamba
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal- Kurukshetra - Ambala - Ludhiana - Jallander - Pathankot - Banikhet - Chamba

Delhi to Chamba
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal- Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Banikhet - Chamba

Delhi to Chamba
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Lahru - Banikhet - Chamba

Delhi to Chamba
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Pathankot - Banikhet - Chamba

Shimla to Chamba :

Shimla to Chamba
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Banikhet - Chamba

Shimla to Chamba
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - ( via Dalhousie ) Banikhet - Dalhousie - Khajjiar - Chamba

Shimla to Chamba
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Lahru - Banikhet - Chamba

Shimla to Chamba
this access route leads via Solan - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Pathankot - Banikhet - Chamba

Shimla to Chamba
this route leads via Solan - Nalagarh - Kiratpur - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Lahru - Banikhet - Chamba

Shimla to Chamba
this route leads via Bilaspur - Hamirpur - Jawlaji - Kangra - Nurpur - Lahru - Banikhet - Chamba

Chandigarh to Chamba :

Chandigarh to Chamba
this access route leads via Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Banikhet - Chamba

Chandigarh to Chamba
this access route leads via Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur- Nurpur - Lahru - Banikhet - Chamba

Air Route :

Chamba is not yet directly connected by Air. The nearest Airport is is Gaggal ( Kangra ) 135 km. and Amritsar 220 km. any kind of transportation is very easily available.

Train Route :

Chamba is not yet directly connected by Train. The nearest broad gauge railway station is at Pathankot 120 km. which is linked by direct trains to Amritsar, Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta. Regular bus service is available from Pathankot to Chamba. any other kind of transportation is easily available.

 

Chamba Quick Facts


Location
Chamba is situated inthe western Himalayas between north latitudes 32°10' and 33°13' and eastlongitudes 75°45' and 77°33'. The Chamba district touches the boundarieswith Jammu and Kashmir on the North-West and West, Ladakh area of Jammu andKashmir and Lahaul and Bara Banghal on the North-East and East, Kangra on theSouth-East and Gurdaspur district of Punjab on the South.

Headquarter
Chamba (altitude 1006 metres )

Altitude
varies from 610 meters to 6,400 meters.

Important Distances
Shimla 378 km., Mandi 334 km., Manali 470 km., Kangra 180 km., Delhi 640 km., Jammu 245 km., Amritsar 245 km., and Haridwar 610 km., Manimahesh Lake 100 km., Bharmaur 65 km.

Area
6,528 sq. km. (11.72% of HP)

STD Code
+91-1899 or 01899

Local Codes
Chamba 951899, Bharmaur 951895, Tissa 951896, Pangi 951897, Chowari 951899

Police Assistance
+91-1899-222242

Fire Services
+91-1899-222290

Hospital Casuality
+91-1899-222392

DFO Forest Department
+91-1899-222239

Climate
The summer temperatures range between 15° C and 38° C, while the winter temperatures usually remain between 8° C and 15° C.

Population
Total population of Chamba is 4,60,500 (according to Census 2001)

Best time to visit
Chamba is a bit hot in summer but the overall climate is pleasant throughout the year. The temperature dip down in winter considerably. March to May and September to December is the best time to visit Chamba however because of pleasant weather, not very hot and not very cold, Chamba can be visited in any season and month.

 

Chamba Famous Places

photo : chamba chaugan or chowganChamba Chaugan / Chowgan Ground :
A public promenade - a grassy maidan less than 1 km. in length and about 75 metres wide. It is a busy local trading centre for villagers from the surrounding hills. Each year Chaugan is the site for the Minjar procession ( Minjar Mela ). The fair lasts for a week and people attend the fair in the Minjar procession. The fair lasts for a week and people attend the fair in the local customs and colorful dresses, in a gay mood walking in the Chaugan where a large number of sports and cultural activities take place to commemoratethis occasion. On the conclusion of fair the "Minjars" are immersed into the Ravi river. It is also an establishment base for various exciting treks into the valley around.

photo : Bhuri Singh Museum Bhuri Singh Museum :
This is a veritable store house of exquisite paintings of the famous Kangra and Basholi schools, as well as mass epigraphical material on the history of Chamba. the museum also has in it, wood carving, ancient manuscripts and Murals from Rang Mahal. Bhuri Singh Museum at Chamba opened formally on 14-09-1908, it is named after Raja Bhuri Singh who ruled Chamba from 1904 to 1919. Bhuri Singh donated his family collection of paintings to the museum. Besides other major items of collections, there are coins, hill jewelry and costumes- both traditional and royal, arms and armour, musical instruments and various decorative objects. The museum remains open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM throughout the year except on Monday and other gazetted holidays.

Temples :
Chamba has numerous ancient temples patterned in the style of local hill architecture, as well as Shikhara temples. The main groups of of these temples, Lakshminarayan, as well as most in the region are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu, built in the period between the 8th and 10th centuries A.D. The 'Chaturmukhi' image is a major highlight at the Hari Rai Temple. Some other important temples of Chamba are the Bansi Gopal temple, Shri Bajreshwari temple and Chamunda Devi temple. There is also a shrine dedicated to the memory of Rani Suhi who, as the legend, sacrificed herself, so water could to the town Chamba.

photo : Bharmaur or Bharmour Bharmaur or Bharmour :
( 2,195 metres ) 69 km. ) Bharmour was the original capital of the state of Chamba. It has several ancient temples and monuments that reflect its erswhile glory. Some of the important temples are of - Manimahesh, Lakshna Devi, Ganesh and Nar Singh. This region is also home to Semi-nomadic Shepherds, the Gaddis. Once called Brahmpura, still retains its 84 ( Chaurasi ) ancient temples and the monuments of its one time glory, some of which date back to the 7th century A.D.



photo : Kailash Manimahesh Kailash Manimahesh :
( 4,170 metres ) Mani-Mahesh is 28 kms. from Bharmour. During mela days efficient bus service is available upto Hadsar. This lake is supposed to be blessed by goddess Kali and protected by Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims journey here to bathe in its sacred water, on the fifteenth day, following the festival of Janamashtami. A fair is held every year at this lake during the month of August or September. This is the must seen place in Chamba.

Sarol :
( 8 km. ) A picnic spot in a land scaped garden on the left bank of Ravi river. A tourist can get lot of information and also pleasure in visiting the sprawling horticulture farm, with many species of Cirus plants, Sheep breeding farm, Poultry farm, Bee keeping farm and canning unit of Sarol.

Salooni :
( 56 km. ) with an excellent views of the surrounding hills, Salooni is located on a ridge at the entrance to Bhandal valley.

Bandal :
( 78 km. ) A lush green place, this is the meeting point for the borders of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

Pangi Valley :
( 78 km. ) A lush green place, this is the meeting point for the borders of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

 

Chamba Famous Temples

photo : Luxmi Nayaran Temples Complex Lakshami Narayan Temple :
Laxmi Narayana Temple, which is the main temple of Chamba town was built by Sahil Varman in the 10th century AD. The temple has been built in the Shikhara style. The temple consists of Bimana i.e. Shikhara and GarbhGriha with a small antralya. Laxmi Narayana Temple has a mandapa like structure also. The wooden Chhattries, the shell roof, atop the temple were in response to the local climatic conditions as a protection against snowfall. There are several other temples within the complex. The temple of Radha krishna, Shiva Temple of Chandergupta and Gauri Shankar Temple are among these.


photo : Chamunda Devi Temple Chamunda Devi Temple :
This temple is located on the spur of the Chamunda Hill overlooking the town to its south east. The temple stands on a raised platform. The temple has artistic carvings on its lintel, pillars and the ceiling. Behind the main temple is a small shrine of Lord Shiva in the Shikhara style. There is another platform in front of this temple where two very old peepul trees provide shelter to the visitors. From this platform a bird's eye view of most of the land marks in the town including Chaugan, Circuit House, most of the temples and river Ravi can be had. The temple is being looked after by Archaeological Survey of India. This temple can be approached by road from Chamba ( 3 km. ). The temple is an ideal picnic spot throughout the year because it has an easy approach and a commanding view.

photo : chamba chauganSuhi Mata Temple :
According to a legend, the Chamba town had no convenient water supply. And therefore the Raja had a water course made from the Sarohta stream, but somehow the water refused to enter the channel made for it. It was ascribed to supernatural causes. The Saints advised that the spirit of the stream must be tranquilized and victim must be either Rani ( Queen ) or her son. The Rani named 'Naina Devi' got ready to sacrifice herself. Accompanied by her maidens and bare-headed as for 'Sati', she was taken to the spot near the village of 'Balota', where Rani was buried alive. The legend goes on to say that when the grave was filled in, the water began to flow and has ever since flowed abundantly. A shrine was constructed at the top of thehill by Raja in her memory. A fair called 'Suhi Mela' is also held in her memory from 15th of Chait to the 1st of Vaishakh, where only women and children are allowed to participate.

photo : Chaurasi TemplesChaurasi Temples ( Chaurasi means 84 ) :
The main complex have temple of Lakshana Devi, Ganesha, Manimahesh and Narsingha. According to a legend, 84 Yogi's visited Bharmaur during the region of king Sahil Verman. Pleased with the king's humanity and hospitality, the yogis blessed the king with ten sons and a daughter Champawati. The temples dating back to the 9th century, are one of the most important early Hindu Temples in Chamba valley. The distant of 65 km. from Chamba to Bharmaur is covered by road. Special buses ply only during Chhari Yatra days in September.

Hari Rai Temple :
This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to 11th century. It was probably built by Salabahana. This temple lies in the north-west corner of the main Chaugan, which had became the official entrance to the town by the end of 19th C. A steep path leads to the old Shitla bridge, which was constructed in the year 1894. The temple is built in Shikhara style and stands on a stone platform. The Shikhara of the temple is finely carved. This is one of the major old temples, which is away from the old township and the only one near the Chaugan.

Champavati Temple :
This temple is located behind the City Police Post and Treasury building. This temple was built by Raja Sahil Varman in memory of his daughter Champavati who is believed to have influenced her father to set-up Chamba at its present location. The temple is in the Shikhara style with elaborate stone carving and the wheel roof. The size of this temple is equivalent to the largest of the Laxmi Narayana Temple.

Vajreshwari Temple :
This ancient temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is dedicated to Devi Vajreshwari-Goddess of lightning. The temple is situated on the northern most corner of the town at the end of Jansali Bazar. No historical record of the temple is available. The temple is built in the Shikhara style with wooden Chhattries and stands on the platform. The Shikhara of the temple is elaborately carved. There are two other minor temples on either side of the main shrine.

Shakti Devi Temple :
( 40 km. from Bharmaur ) located at Chatrari. This temple is of great archaeological interest. The brass idol of the goddess is in the Kashmiri style.

 

Chamba Famous Lakes

photo : Khajjiar LakeKhajjiar Lake :
This lake is 16 km from Dalhousie and 22 km from Chamba. Fed by slim streams, this small lake rests in the centre of the large glade of Khajjiar. The glade and the lake are held sacred to Khajjinag - after whom the place is named. Khajjiar has the thick forest of the Kalatop sanctuary surrounding its soft green grass. It is 1.5 km long and 1 km wide. It is surrounded by cedar (deodar) forest. This is like a magical paradise. A temple dedicated to Khajjinag is also located there. Khajjiar is also called "Mini Switzerland". The lake remains full of water in all the seasons and requires no rain water for survival.


photo : Manimahesh Lake in BharmourManimahesh Lake :
( 4,170 metres ) Mani-Mahesh is 28 kms. from Bharmour. During mela days efficient bus service is available upto Hadsar. This lake is supposed to be blessed by goddess Kali and protected by Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims journey here to bathe in its sacred water, on the fifteenth day, following the festival of Janamashtami. A fair is held every year at this lake during the month of August or September. This is the must seen place in Chamba.



photo : view of Chamera LakeChamera Lake :
This is the reservoir of the Chamera dam built over the river Ravi. Chamera lake is an artificial lake came into existence as a consequence of Chamera Hydroelectric project. The Dam site is 36 kms from Dalhousie and located at a height of approximately 892 mtrs above sea level. At its top the Dam is 765 mtrs. High. The Dam site enjoy very sharp fluctuations in climate between April to June. During the day it can get very hot (around 35 degree centigrade) though by the evening, temperatures fall to between 18 to 20 degree centigrade. Between July and September the area received mdetate to heavy rainfall and temperatures vary below 20 to 26 centigrade during the day and 8 to 12 centigrade at night time. The project area enjoys a maximum of around 15 degree centigrade between October and December and some times the temparature are known to fall below freezing point.

photo : Lama Dal LakeLama Dal Lake :
It is 45 km from Chamba town. Held sacred to Lord Shiva, this lake lies amidst bare rock. 'Lama Dal' means a long lake. It is in the inner slopes of Dhauladhar range. This is a group of seven lakes, the largest of all is Lama Dal. I t is 20 km from Dainkund (Dayankund). It is said to have unknown depth. This lake is pronouced as Lama Dal by the local people. There is small Shiva temple at the lake. The main lake serves the purpose of a sacred place for the surrounding villages. This lake is situated at an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level.

Ghadasru Lake :
This lies in the Churah tehsil of Chamba and is 24 km from Tissa and is situated at an altitude of 11,500 feet. Tissa is 72 km from Chamba. This lake is also held sacred and has a circumference of about a kilometer. There is temple of goddess Kali located on its bank. Lake is mostly visited by local people to offer prayer at Kali temple. The trek is somewhat difficult but well rewarded at the end. You get a very beautiful view of the surroundings.

Mahakali Dal Lake :
This lake lies between Sano and Gudial in Chamba and situated at an altitude of near 12,000 feet. This lake is held sacred to the goddess Maha Kali. It is little bigger than Khajjiar and Manimahesh lake. It is surrounded by wild meadows and peaks

 

Chamba Wild Life Sanctuaries


photo : Brown Bear Gamgul Siahbehi Sanctuary :

Altitude : varies from 1800 meters to 3920 meters.
Annual Snowfall : mean annual snowfall is around 1143 mm.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 1430 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -10 to 35°C.
Area : 10,885.40 hectares ( 108.85 sq. km. ).
Location : near about 80 km. from Chamba town.
Approaches : Chamba to Bhandal ( via salooni )

Ahigh-altitude sanctuary harbouring small populations of Musk deer, Himalayan tahr, and pheasants. This is the only sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh which has reported the presence of Kashmir stag. The sanctuary is under severe human pressure and is heavily grazed. Its northern boundary adjoins the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Jungle Cat, Goral, Cat, Ibex, Jackal, Common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, long tailed Marmet, Himalayan yellow throated Marten, Himalayan mouse hare, Himalayan Palm Civet, barking Deer, Red Fox, Indian Porcupine, Indian bush Rat, Serow, Common Giant Flying Squirrel, Kashmir Stag, Himalayan Tahr, Royle's Vole, Himalayan Weasel and Wolf.

photo : Musk DeerKugti Sanctuary :

Altitude : varies from 2250 meters to 6044 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 445 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -10 to 25°C.
Area : 37,886.68 hectares ( 378.87 sq. km. ).
Location : 87 km. from Chamba town.
Approaches : Chamba to Bharmour ( 61 km. ) to Hadsar ( 13 km. ) then on foot too Kugti Village inside the sanctuary ( 14 km. )

This sanctuary is rich in high-altitude Himalayan wildlife, and is one of the last homes of Himalayan tahr in Himachal Pradesh. It is also well-known as a source of many medicinal plants. Abundant water resources, many originating from glaciers, and a diverse topography add to the attraction of the area. To the west it is connected with Tundah Sanctuary by a forest corridor. There is an annual pilgrimage by thousands of people to the Mani Mahesh Temple inside the sanctuary.

Flora
Forest types include moist deodar forest, western mixed coniferous and Alpine pastures

Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Leopard Cat, Musk Deer, Red Indian Fox, Goral, Ibex, Common Langur, Leopard, Marten Himalayan, Serow and Himalayan Tahr. Species believed to be locally threatened are Serow, Musk Deer, Ibex, Himalayan Brown Bear, Monal Pheasant, Himalayan Tahr and Cheer Pheasant.

photo : Snow LeopardSechu Tuan Nala Sanctuary :

Altitude : varies from 2550 meters to 6072 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 500 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -20 to 27°C.
Area : 10,295 hectares ( 102.95 sq. km. ).
Location : 113 km. from Chamba town.
Approaches : Chamba to Sach Pass ( 4413 meters, open from June to October ) via Sathraundi 76km. to Kilar 24km. then on foot to Sechu 13km.

Avery high altitude sanctuary with significant populations of Ibex, Musk deer, and Pheasants. Snow leopards are also reported from here.

Flora
Forest types include lower western Himalayan temperate, moist Alpine scrub and dry Alpine forests. Species of medicinal interest found in the sanctuary include Aconitum heterophyllum, jurinea morcocephala and epherdra gerardiana.

Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, jungle Cat, Nusk Deer, Goral, Ibex, common Langur, snow Leopard, Markhor, Himalayan mouse-Hare, Serow, blue Sheep and Himalayan Tahr.

photo : Ibex Tundah Sanctuary :

Altitude : varies from 2074 meters to 5532 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 800 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -10 to 30°C.
Area : 6,422.08 hectares ( 64.22 sq. km. ).
Location : 60 km. from Chamba town.
Approaches : Chamba to Durghati 44km. then on foot to Tundah area 16km.

It was first notified as a sanctuary in 1862 and renotified on 17th Spetember 1975. This sanctuary is located on high altitude and keeps variety of flora and fauna.

Flora
Forest types include moist deodar, western mixed coniferous, moist temperate decidous and alpine pasture.

Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, jungle Cat, Himalayan and common Palm Civet, barking and Musk Deer, red Fox, Goral, Ibex, Jackal, common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, long tailed Marmot, yellow throated Himalayan Marten, Himalayan Hare-Mouse, Indian Porcupine, Indian bush Rat, grey Shrew, Squirrel, Serow, Himalayan Tahr, Royale's Vole, Himalayan Weasel and Wolf.

photo : Kalatop Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary :

Altitude : varies from 1185 meters to 2768 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 800 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -10 to 35°C.
Area : 2,026.89 hectares ( 20.27 sq. km. ).
Location : 36 km. from Chamba town. and 13 km. from Dalhousie
Approaches : Dalhousie to Lakkadmandi ( inside the sanctuary 10km. ) then to kalatop 3km.

This small sanctuary lies in the catchment of the Ravi River, and contains patches of good coniferous and Oak forests. A lovely bowl-shaped meadow at Khajjiar, with a lake and a ‘floating’ island, is a popular tourist spot. There is a ‘golden’ domed temple at the edge of this meadow, dedicated to the deity ‘Khajinag’, from whom the area derives its name.

Flora
Mixed blue pine and Deodar forest with some green oak and the Phododendron

Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Leopard, Cat, barking Deer, Goral, Jackal, Langur, Marten, Serow, Kashmiri and common giant flying Squirrel.

 

Chamba Fairs and Festivals


Fairs in Chamba

Minjar Fair :
This festival is held in the month of August on second Sunday. It continues for a week. Minjar ( maize flowers) festival is celebrated in district Chamba at a place 'Chowgan' in Chamba town.Maize flowers, a coconut, a rupee or a smaller coin, a fruit and a few paddy tentacles are offered to Varuna, the god of rain. It is a state fair. It is difficult to say, when the fair first started, but the present form of the fair is attributed to Raja Sahil Verman, who ruled the state in the 10th century A.D.

Suhi Mela :
It is held in Chamba town in the month of April. This fair is exclusively for women. There is a temple of Naina Devi where women gather and worship the Devi. Naina was the queen of Raja Sahil Verman. This temple has been constructed at a place where she had sacrificed herself to bring water to Chamba town.

Bharmaur Jatra Fair :
It is held in district Chamba in the month of August. The Bharmaur jatra begins on the day following Janamashtmi and lasts for six days. Each day’s jatra is dedicated to a different deity such as Hari Har (Shiva), Nar Singh, Ganesh, Lakshna Devi, Keling and Seetla Devi, whose temples stand in Chaurasi area. The musicians play on dhol, narsingha, nagara, shehnai and kernal, the instruments of Hari Har temple, to herald the start of puja (prayer).

Manimahesh Jatra Fair ( in Bharmour ):
Mani-Mahesh is 28 kms. from Bharmour. During mela days efficient bus service is available upto Hadsar. This lake is supposed to be blessed by goddess Kali and protected by Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims journey here to bathe in its sacred water, on the fifteenth day, following the festival of Janamashtami. A fair is held every year at this lake during the month of August or September. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this fair / jatra. He is believed to reside in Kailash. A rock formation in the shape of a Shivling on Kailash is considered to be the manifestation of Lord Shiva. The snowfield at the base of the mountain is called Shiva’s Chaugan by the local people.


Festivals in Chamba

Baisakhi or Bisoa :
It is knows as Bisowa in Kangra, Bissue in Shimla hills and Lisshoo in Pangi-Chamba. This festival is generally celebrated on 13th of April. Preparation for the festival starts much early. The houses are white washed. People take holy dip at Haridwar, Tattapani near Shimla, Banganga near Kangra, Markanda near Bilaspur. During day time, Baisakhi fair is held at many places with traditional gaiety and attraction. Women's participation in large number add special color to the festive mood of the people.

Hori :
This festival is celebrated from 1st Baisakh with the same observances as are customary during the Holi; the only departure being that Hori is held at a different time. It is believed that a Raja may have died during Holi celebrations thereby necessitating the postponement of the festival for ever. Hori was celebrated with much fervour and festivity during the state regime.

Bhojri :
This festival is held for two days following the Minjar fair and is frequented only by women and girls who is their gay apparel climb the flight of steps to Chamunda temple singing songs and offering flowers.

Nag Panchami :
This is held on the fifth day of the dark half of Jeth as a worship of snake. Men draw picture of snakes in their houses and offer their prayer to them.

Rath Rathni :
This festival is held at the new moon of Asuj. The rath is a squre frame of wood with a piece of cloth tied round it and is prepared at the Hari Rai temple. The rathni is the figure of a women made up with clothes, and is prepared in the precincts of the Lakshmi Narayan temple. All being ready, the people throw their rakhars (Silk armlets) worn on the day ofRakhar Punya at the rath and then the rath is carried to Chaugan where it is joined by rathni which has been brought from Lakshmi Narayan temple. The two figures are made to touch each other and the bearers then rush apart. The rathni is taken to Champavati temple and the rath is carried through the town, brought back to Chaugan and torn into pieces. The festival seems to be associated with marriage and widowhood but the true significance has been lost in the haze of time.