Sirmaur Tourism, Sirmaur Hotels, Tourism in Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh, India
Sirmaur is in the south eastern corner of the state. It is famous for its places of pilgrimages and for the legends that surround them. Nahan is a historic town pleasantly located on a ridge of the Shivalik Hills. It has beautiful green forests and valleys especially in Choordhar peak. A little town with a salubrious climate Nahan has gardens, temples and three popular walking circuits - The villa round, Military round and the Hospital round.
Tourism in Sirmaur
Sirmaur has a number of famous places to visit around i.e. Nahan, Shivalik Fossil Park at Suketi, Renuka, Choordhar, Rajgarh, Paonta Sahib, Trilokpur, Kafota, Khodri Dak Pathar, Shastra Dhara. Shivalik Fossil Park, Renuka, Rajgarh and Choordhar are places worth a visit. Shivalik Fossil Park displays life size fiberglass models of pre-historic animals whose fossils, skeletons were unearthed here. The park is the first of its kind in Asia to be developed at the actual site where fossils were discovered.
Sirmaur has some important temples to visit around i.e. Rejuka Ji temple, Mata Bala Sundari temple, Jaganath temple, Gayatri temple, Dei ka Mandir. The Runuka Ji temple is situated near famous Renuka lake and also falls under Renuka wildlife sanctuary. The entire Renuka area is a very sacred place. A number of fairs and festivals are celebrated in Sirmaur i.e. Renuka fair, Byas fair, Gandhi fair, Nag Naohna fair, Trilokpur fair, Bisoa festival, Haryali, Salona festival and Festival of light.
Tourism in Sirmaur offers one of the most important lakes in Himachal known as Renuka Lake. The Renuka lake is surrounded by lush green forests supporting a variety of animal and bird life. Renuka lake is not only an idyllic holiday resort but also revered Pilgrim centre. There are some wildlife sanctuaries in Sirmaur i.e. Renuka sanctuary, Simbalbara sanctuary, Churadhar sanctuary. The weather in Sirmaur is somewhat hot in summer, however the temperature varies as the altitude of Sirmaur varies from 900 meters to 3,994 meters.
Sirmaur is visited by a large number of tourists from near and far. The prime attraction of Sirmaur is Renuka Lake however there are some other very beautiful places like Choordhar and Rajgarh full of natural beauty and fine weather. Sirmaur is a fine tourist spot in Himachal.
Sirmaur Access Routes
Delhi to Sirmaur :
Delhi to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Nahan ( Sirmaur )
Delhi to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Solan - Sirmaur
Delhi to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Solan - Shimla - Sirmaur
Delhi to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal- Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Nurpur - Kangra - Hamirpur - Bilaspur - Solan - Sirmaur
Delhi to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Bilaspur - Solan - Sirmaur
Shimla to Sirmaur :
Shimla to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Shimla to Sirmaur
Shimla to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Shimla - Solan - Sirmaur
Shimla to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Shimla - Tarna ( Sirmaur ) - Siyun - Banethi - Nahan 135 km. ( district headquarter )
Shimla to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Shimla - Tarna ( Sirmaur ) - Rajgarh - Gohra - Naina - Banethi - Nahan ( district headquarter )
Chandigarh to Sirmaur :
Chandigarh to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Banikhet - Chamba
Chandigarh to Sirmaur
this access route leads via Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur- Nurpur - Lahru - Banikhet - Chamba
Air Route :
The nearest airheads are Dehra Dun and Chandigarh, which are accessible from Nahan and Renuka by road. Dehra Dun and Chandigarh are served from Delhi by Indian Airlines. Within the state, the capital Shimla, is connected by air, from which the region is accessible by road. The nearest airport in Himachal is Jubbarhatti 102 km. ( from Sarhan via - Solan - Shimla - Jubbarhatti ) and 140 km. from Nahan.
Train Route :
For Nahan, the nearest railhead is Ambala, 100-km away, Dehra Dun also serves as a railhead, 65-km from Paonta Sahib. Regular train services from Delhi connect both rail terminals. However in Himachal, nearest narrow guage line is Barog ( near Kalka ) 42 km.
Sirmaur Quick Facts
Sirmaur district lies in outer Himalayan ranges, called as Shivaliks between 33°22'30'' and 31°01'20'' North Longitude and between 77°01'12'' and 77°49'40'' East Longitude. The district is bounded by Shimla district in North, the rivers Tons and Yamuna in the East, district Ambala of Haryana in the South-West and Solan district in North-West.
Nahan ( altitude 933 meters )
varies from 900 meters to 3,994 meters
Shimla to Nahan 175 km., Chandigarh to Nahan 87 km. Shimla to Renuka 165 km., Delhi to Renuka 315 km.
6,528 sq. km. (11.72% of HP)
+91-1704 or 01704
Paonta Sahib 951704, Rajgarh 951799, Pachhad 951799, Shilai 951704, Sangrah 951702
DFO Forest Department
Ranges from semi-tropical to semi-arctic. The summer temperatures range between 15° C and 38° C, while the winter temperatures usually remain between 8° C and 15° C.
Total population of Chamba is 460,500 (according to Census 2001)
Best time to visit
All seasons however You’d enjoy the winter months in Sirmaur as temperatures drop quite low.
Sirmaur Famous Places
Nahan was founded by Raja Karna Prakash in 1621 A.D. as his capital city. It is crowned by the 3,647 metres high Choordhar peak. Nahan's close proximity to plains makes it an all weather holiday resort. There are a number of picturesque walks through the dense forests and some of them are the Villa Round, Military Round and Hospital Round.
Shivalik Fossil Park at Suketi :
Located in Sirmaur district, displays life size fiberglass models of pre-historic animals whose fossils, skeletons were unearthed here. The park is the first of its kind in Asia to be developed at the actual site where fossils were discovered. It is 21 kms. from Nahan, located on the left bank of the Markanda river. The park at present has six sets of life size models of 'Stegodonganesa' (extinct grand elephant). Sivatherium Hexapratadon - Sivalensis ( hippopotamus with six incisors), Colossochetys Atlas ( giant land tortoise and chelonia), Paramachaeradus ( sabre toothed tiger) and Crocodiles, the animals which once thrived in the region. The other major attraction is the Museum which contains various fossils, models, charts and paintings relating to the various aspects of plants and animals life of the past and present in Shiwalik range. For refreshment, the HPTDC has a cafeteria a Tourist Information Centre is established there by the Himachal Government.
Renuka is themost importantplace of religiousand touristinterestinSirmaurDistrict.It is nearly 40 km.away from Nahan and is well linked with motorable metalled road.This placehasafamouslake named Renuka lake. ParshuRamLake is close to Renukawhichvaguelyresemblea humanfigure.It is believed that Parshu Rama's mother consecrated into waterout ofwhich thislakewas formed. Towardstheendof the lake are towering palm trees which offer ideal picnic spots during day time. The place remain fulll capacity during the days of the fair and offer a spectacular variety of activities.
Dominating the entire landscape of fields, forests and ravines is the Choordhar peak, which rises to 3,647 metres above sea level and is a trekking treat from Nahan walks. Approached by way of Dadahu, Sangarh, Bhawai, Gandhuri and Nahura it is a 50 km. trek. A less taxing journey is by taxi or car to Nahura and thereafter a walk of 16 km. The climb is difficult but rewarding. The peak offers a fine view in south of the Gangetic plains and the Satluj river and towards north the Badrinath, a well known Hindu pilgrim centre. Also seen are the hills of Chakrata and Shimla from the top. An alternative route to Choordhar is through Rajgarh an orchard country.
Rajgarh is located in the heart of Sirmaur district in a lush green valley. It is the biggest subdivisionof Sirmaurwith a populationof76,509.Rajgarh hastwo subdivisions, one is Rajgarhitself and the other is Sarahan, anotherbeautiful valley of Sirmaur. The local Shaya temple of Lord Shirgul, the descendant of Lord Shiva, has a mammoth following. According to alegend, Lord Shirgul had first come to Shaya village and later settled in Chur Chandani Chur-Dhar mountains at height of 12,000 feet.
Paonta Sahib :
Paonta Sahib is situated on the bank of the river Yamuna. There is a Gurudwara dedicated to the tenth sikh guru, Gobind Sigh, who spent five years here. It is a bustling town. Paonta Sahibis one of the Sub-Divisional HeadquartersofDistrictSirmour andis about 45 km.form Nahan on Shimla-Nahan-DehraDun roadatan elevationof397.7 metres from the sea level. This place isof great religious sanctity for theSikhs and Hindu alike. Gurudwara of PaontaSahibis located at the victorypoint. This place attracts pilgrims fromallover India.
Trilokpurstands on an isolated hillockabout 24 km south-west of Nahan, 77-15’ north and 30’30’ east, at an elevation of about 430 m. The place is famous for its temple of renownedgoddess BalaSundri.The temple was built by Raja Deep Prakash in 1573. An important fair is held at Trilokpur twice a year i.e.in the month of Chaitra and Asvina on sudi ashtmi to chaudas (from the 8th to the 14th of the bright half). During this period the people keep on coming and going but a mammoth gathering is seen on ashtmi and chaudas viz. the first and the final days.The mela in Chaitra draws more people than that held in Asvina.
Situated at an elevation of 1,804 metres and 42 km. from Paonta on Jagadhari - Narkanda road is village Kafota which has a salubrious climate and holds potantial for picnic. There is a PWD Rest House for comfortable stay. 18 kms. from Paonta Sahib is Rajban Cement Factory. A few kms. from Rajban is Kamrau, the biggest village of Sirmaur district known for rich lime stone quarries. At this place there is a Tilordhar Tibetan Colony with its Buddisht monastery, but the most beautiful one is at Purnwala on way to Bhajain. The Tibetan presence here has resulted in beautiful Tibetan artifacts especially carpets being manufactured for marketing.
Khodri Dak Pathar :
It is a beautiful picnic spot just 25 km. from Paonta. There is a beautiful park, a swimming pool and a tourist Bungalow. At this place the torrential river Yamuna has been tamed into an artificial lake by constructing a barrage. From here one can get a fantastic view of the lake and the park nearby. While going from Paonta to Khodri one will be delighted to have the canal side drive. Chhibran power house is an unique sight to see as the entire structure has been built underground.
Shastra Dhara :
At this place there is a confluence of river Yamuna and Tong ( Tamsa ). This is a beautiful place and a paradise for tourists. Nearby is village Kalsi ( now in Uttar Pradesh ) 25 km. from Paonta, which was the old capital of Sirmaur. At this place there is 'Ashokan Rock Edict' which is worth a visit. The Ashoka pillar which stood here was removed to Delhi by one of the Muslim Rulers of the Sultanat period.
Sirmaur Famous Temples
Renuka Ji Temple :
Renuka Ji Temple is located near famous Renuka Lake. Renuka is themost importantplace of religiousand touristinterestinSirmourDistrict.It is nearly 40 km.away from Nahan and is well linked with motorable metalled road.This placehasafamouslake.BoatinginRenuka lakeismain attraction forthetouristsvisiting Renuka. This sacred oval shapedlake hasa circumference of 2.4 km.ParshuRamLake is located near Renukawhichvaguelyresemblea humanfigure.It is believed that Parshu Rama's mother consecrated into waterout ofwhich thislakewas formed. Towardstheendof the lake are towering palm trees which offer ideal picnic spots during day time. This famous lake is visited by thousand of pligrims every year on Kartika ekadashi. The place remain fulll capacity during the days of the fair and offer a spectacular variety of activities.
Mata Bala Sundari Temple :
It was built in 1573 A.D. by Raja Dip Prakash and at a distance of about 23 km. from Nahan and about 6 km. from Kala Amb gateway to Nahan from Haryana. Trilokpur is a place of great religious importance. Trilokpurstands on an isolated hillockabout and at an elevation of about 430 m. The temple of the goddess 'Mahamaya Bala Sundri' is quite famous and attracts lakh of pilgrims from all over Northern India, espacially from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The unusual deity of Godess Bala Sundari resemble the stone lingam of Lord Shiva. A fair at this place is held twice a year when a large number of devotees visit this temple and pay their respect to the goddess. This is a one of the very sacred places for Sirmauri people.
Jaganath Temple :
Jaganath temple was built by Raja Budh Prakash in 1681 A.D. Making the end of the Monsoon, the festival of 'Sawan Dwadashi' is celebrated annually at the temple, towards the end of the monsoon when fifty two idols of local gods are carried in procession to Jagannath temple where they are floated ceremoniously in a pool and are restored at midnight to their niches. In the heart of Nahan town is Rani Tal, where a large temple and a tank from the days of ex-rulers of Sirmaur State can be seen. Ducks and Cranes are seen playing in the Ranital Tank, and Ranital Garden further adds to the charm.
Gayatri Temple :
On the left bank of the Renuka lake there are three Ashrams run by Sadhus and these have inns to accommodate pilgrims visiting this sacred lake. Gayatri temple has a 1.60 meter high Panch Mukhi Ma Gayatri marble statue, marble idols of Ganpati, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Indra have also been installed here. This temple is dedicated to Sri Ma Gayatri the mother of Vedas, the treasure of Hindu wisdom.
Dei Ka Mandir :
At Paonta Sahib, to the right of Yamuna bridge, stands the Dei-Ka-Mandir, constructed about a century ago by the sister of the then Raja of Sirmaur to propitiate Lord Ram, the family deity of the Suryavanshi Sirmauri Rulers.
Sirmaur Famous Lakes
Renuka Lake :
The Renuka lake is surrounded by lush green forests supporting a variety of animal and bird life. Renuka lake is not only an idyllic holiday resort but also revered Pilgrim centre. Renuke lake is connected by road and lies in Sirmour district. It is 123 km from Parwanoo, 60 km from Paonta Sahib amd 37 km from Nahan. With a circumference of 3214 m, Renuka lake is the largest natural lake in Himachal. It is shaped like a sleeping women. Renuka was killed by her own son, the legendary Parsu Ram, in obedience to the orders of his father-the sage Jamadagni. After the deed was done, lake Renuka was formed surrounded by stepped fields of golden corn. Today the myth is brought to the fore when, each year in November, a fair is held to celebrate the immortality of Renuka and her son. The key-notes of the colourful fair are the festivity and devotional exuberance. It lasts for a week in which cultural programmes and folk dances are organised for the entertainment of visitors. Several idols of Parsu Ram, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and other local deities, placed in decorated palanquins, are carried by an impressive procession to Parsu Ram Tal. Before the idols are installed in the temple, they are given a bath in this holy lake symbolising the body of the mother.
The poeple from the surroundings areas gather here, chant praises of the two immortals, worship at the temple and take a dip in the holy water. An old ceremony takes place as the celebrants exchange turbans or caps or even a handful of water to become brothers and sister in the name of the deity. On the eve of the festival, markets springs up with stalls and amusements at which locally made wares are peddled together with home grown produce. Boating facilities are available in this lake for the tourists. The lake rests in a long valley and the surrounding slopes are covered with a variety of vegetation and thick woods. Boating is available on the lake.
Famous Places Around Renuka :
The Math : The main temple at Renuka 'The Math' was constructed by the invading Gurkhas in 1814. The temple houses an excellent image of Renuka Devi.
Mini Zoo : A small zoological park on the banks on the Renuka lake has good collection of the local fauna.
Choordhar : Dominating the entire landscape of fields, forests and ravines is the Choordhar peak, which rises to 3,647 metres above sea level and is a trekking treat from Nahan walks. Approached by way of Dadahu, Sangarh, Bhawai, Gandhuri and Nahura it is a 50 km. trek. A less taxing journey is by taxi or car to Nahura and thereafter a walk of 16 km. The climb is difficult but rewarding. The peak offers a fine view in south of the Gangetic plains and the Satluj river and towards north the Badrinath, a well known Hindu pilgrim centre. Also seen are the hills of Chakrata and Shimla from the top. An alternative route to Choordhar is through Rajgarh an orchard country.
Wild Life Park : Around Renuka lake there is a Wild Life Park which has a number of Sambhar, Chital, Barking Deer and Hob Deer. These animals can be seen from the machans erected at the head of grassy glade early in the morning and late in the evening. Lions can also be seen from a closed jeep.
Sirmaur Wild Life Sanctuaries
Renuka Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 200 meters to 887 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 2000 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from 1 to 45°C.
Area : 402.80 hectares ( 4.03 sq. km. ).
Location : nearest town Nahan.
Approaches : Sirmaur to Nahan to inside sanctuary.
It was first notified as a sanctuary on 22nd July 1964 and re-notified on 25th March 1987. Renuka Sanctuary in one of the smallest sanctuaries in Himachal, more famous as pilgrimage spot and for its lion safari than for wild life. One of the memorable sights here is that of hundreds of huge fish jumping and darting in and above the water to catch the food mossels thrown to them by the pilgrims.
Fauna ( Mammals )
Forest types include northern dry mixed deciduous and dry deciduous scrub forest.
Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Jungle Cat, Himalayan Palm Civet, barking Deer, Goral, Indian Hare, Jackal, common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Indian Porcupine and Sambar.
Simbalbara Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 400 meters to 660 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 1260 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from 10 to 46°C.
Area : 1,903 hectares ( 19.03 sq. km. ).
Location : nearest town is Paonta Sahib.
Approaches : Sirmaur to Paonta Sahib to inside sanctuary.
It was first notified as a sactuary on 8th February 1958 and re-notified on 27th March 1974. This sanctuary is located in Paonta valley. The area was earlier a hunting preserve of the former Maharaja of Sirmaur. Historical record indicate the presence of elephant in the past. It is believed that the hudel channel at Haridwar barrage cut off the migratory route of elephants.
Forest types include moist sal bearing.
Fauna ( Mammals )
Indian Wild Bear, Leopard Cat, barking Deer, spotted Deer, Goral, Indian Hare, Jackal, common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Indian pangolin, Sambar and Tiger.
Common Indian monitor and Indian Python.
Churadhar Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 2000 meters to 3647 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 1602 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from 4 to 28°C.
Area : 5,615 hectares ( 56.15 sq. km. ).
Location : nearest town is Nohra. this sanctuary falls between district Sirmaur and district Shimla
Approaches : Shimla to Nohra to inside sanctuary or Sirmaur to Nohra to inside sanctuary.
It was notified a sanctuary on 15th November, 1985. One of the state's newest sanctuaries, Churadhar has amongst the last good stretches of forest left in Southern Himachal Pradesh. In the past, it was the stronghold of Musk Deer, now at the point of local extinction, Churadhar still contains good habitat for Monal and other Pheasants. The sancuary gets its name from Chur Peak or Churdhar Peak, on the top of which sits a majectic statute of Lord Shiva commanding a breathtaking view of the valleys and forests below.
Forest Types include western mixed coniferous forests, Khasru Oak forest and Alpine forests. Deodar and Oak are the famous species.
Fauna ( Mammals )
Himalayan Black Bear, Indian Wild Bear, barking Deer, Musk Deer, Goral, common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Himalayan Mouse-Hare and Indian Porcupine. Musk Deer has been severely depleted by hunting.
Sirmaur Fairs and Festivals
Fairs in Sirmaur
Renuka Fair :
This fair is celebrated in the month of November for six days in district Sirmaur. It starts ten days after the famous Diwali festival. The legend goes that Parshuram, the youngest son of mother Renuka, used to visit his mother every year. The fair commemorates the annual meeting of Parshuram and Renuka. Parshuram is believed to be the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. One can see the glimpses of hill culture at the fair. Rural people market their produce of walnuts, dried and wet ginger ect. Folk dances, magic show, Kariyala play, thoda dance, wrestling bouts, fire works, police and homeguard's band display, developmental exhibitions, cinema shows and bhajan-kirtan are other attractions of the week long fair. It is a state fair.
Byas Fair :
It takes place near the village of byas in tehsil Paonta, five days before the holi, in month of Chaitra. Byas rishi, it is beieved practiced penance at the site of the mela where there is a bowli and a temple dedicated to the renowned rishi. At a distance of about 4 km from the mela site are remains of a ruined town. A legend goes that two of the disciples of Byas practiced penance there but got enamoured of some village belles. When making advances to the girls they were spoted and beaten by the villagers. They, thereupon, cursed the village and as a consequence the village was destroyed. The remains of the village still show that it was well designed. There is also an old well in the heart of the jungle. Wrestling matches constitute an important feature of the fair. About two thousand people attend the fair coming form far and near to make their votive offerings to Shiva and Byas.
Gandhi Fair :
At Amboa, tehsil Paonta, Gandhi fair is held on the 30th January each year when a large number of people, from hills and the plains of Bhangani, gather here. This fair of recent origin, started after Independence, is dedicated to Gandhi Ji and has most of the features of a village fair
Nag Naohna Fair :
This fair takes place duringdusehra ast an ancient and flood-damaged Nag-Naona temple near purowala village in the Paonta tehsil.Hindolas(merry-go-rounds) are the main features of the fair. Confectioners shops attracting multitude people are also set up during the fair.Sweets, utensils, toys, village pottery etc. are sold
Trilokpur Fair :
It is celebrated at village Trilokpur near Nahan town, in the month of September. The place is famous for its temple of renownedgoddess BalaSundri.
Festivals in Sirmaur
Baisakhi or Bisoa :
The bisu festivals falls on the last two days of the solar month of Chaitra and the first of vaisakha i.e. corresponding to generally 18th and 19th of April. It is more or less akin to the baisakhi of the plains. The forest day is asklanti, the second bashri and the third is saja. The bisu fair is held in several village, and the dates of bisu also vary. The fair is held on a high summit under the flag of the village devta. The gathering worship Lord Shiva. All over the hilly areas of the Paonta tehsil it is celebrated from Ist to 12the Vaisakha.
As the name signifies this is a festival of verdure. The time of its celebration would seem to have given rise to its name as it is celebrated during the raniy season on the first of Sravana and last two days of the preceding month of Asadha, to hail theverdurous nature all round. Milk and rice play a large part in the preparation of the dainties of the occasion. The village deity os taken out in a palanquin. Haryali songs are sung.
It is celebrated by the Hindus on puranmashi of Sravana.People offer prayer to their deities and oblation to their forefathers after changing their sacred threads. This festival is also called rakshabandhan. Invitations for feasts, comprising dishes like saimia,sweets, ice etc. are extended to friends and relatives. Besides, sisters also tie the rakhari (wristlet) on the wrists of their brothers getting in turn cash and other gifts including clothes. In the hilly areas special dishes like saimia and patande are prepared and visits reciprocated by friend and relatives.
Festival of Light ( Hill area Diwali ) :
The manner of celebration of diwali in the illaqa Dharthi, Sain and trans-Giri is different. A bonfire called the balraj is lighted on the tops of the hills. The villagers assemble there and twirl the fire-brands called mushi tied with ropes, producing a pleasing effect of fire works in a dark night. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the hilly parts where the normal activities are suspended for about four or five days. There is a night- long vigil and a torch-light procession is taken out in the villages of trans-Giri area. Rasa is yet another highlight of the festival. The people dance and sing throughout the night.