Himachal Tourist Information

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Places to Visit

Places to visit in and around Kullu
Bhuntar

BHUNTAR is a Gateway of District Kullu, situated at the Sangam of 'BEAS & PARVATI RIVERS' and also connected through Road and Air. The Kullu-Manali Airport is also situated at Bhuntar, While planning your holiday, instead of rushing directly to Manali, spent 3 days and 2 nights at Bhuntar and Kullu, by doing so you can save much by way of fuel & money and enjoy more by seeing places of historical importance i.e. :-

BISHWESHWAR TEMPLE, BAJAURA

Bishweshwar Temple is located in the village Bajaura just 5 km from Bhuntar. It is the largest and the most attractive stone temple of Kullu Valley. This temple, built in the ninth century in pyramid style, is built on SHANKRACHARYA Padhati of Panch Dev Puja. It is said that the Pandavas built it in one day. Due to its wonderful architecture, it withstood the servere earthquake of 1905. This temple has been declared as a protected monument.

ADI-BRAHMA TEMPE, KHOKHAN

Adi Brahma Temple is located in the village Khokhan just 4 km from Bhuntar. It is a massive wooden structure. This temple has idols of Adi-Bhahma ji in the center and temple of 'Garh Jogni & Manikaran Jogni' on the left and right side of the temple.

TRIYUG NARAYAN TEMPLE, DYAR

Tryyug Narayan Temple is located in the village Dyar 12 km from Bhuntar. This 'Pagoda' style temple is dedicated to 'BHAGWAN VISHNU JI' Idols of Bavan Avtar, Budh and Bramari Devi are also there in the temple. This temple was built in 800 AD.
Night halt at Bhuntar.

KHIRGANGA

Khirganga is situated also in Parvati Valley at a distance of 22Km form Manikaran. For reaching Khirganga one have to go by bus upto Barshaini and form there to Khirganga on foot. This trek leads through hilly terrain. This is the place where 'kartik ji', the eleder son of Lord Shiva remained in Samadhi for thousand years. From Khirganga back to Kullu and Night halt at Kullu.

BIJLI MAHADEV

Bijli Mahadev temple is a 'Khash' style temple that has a 'SHIVLINGAM' installed in it. This tempe is situated in a main Town with lush green forests sin the background, 14 km from Kullu, at height of about 1924m. This place got its ame after the great miracle that occurs occasionally. The Shivlingam is struck by lightening and it breaks into pieces, then the priest of the temple collects all the pieces and joints them to get here with the help of butter, which acts as an adhesive. During July, a great rush of people comes here to pay homage to LORD SHIVA.
RAGHUNATH TEMPLE

This temple is situated at Sultanpur, I km form main Kullu Bus Stand. The temple is dedicated to Raghunath Ji, the chief deity of Kullu. World famous Kullu Dussehra is held after his name. It is believed that the idol in the temple is the one that was used by Lord Rama while performing the 'ASHWAMEGHYAGNA'.

VAISHNO DEVI TEMPLE

Vaishno Devi Temple is located just 5 kim form Kullu on the Kullu-Manali Road N.H. No.1.

JAGGANNATHI TEMPLE

Jaggannathi temple is situated at Bhekhali just 7 Km from Kullu and before Vaishno Devi Temple.
Places to visit in and around Manali
Hadimba Temple

Hadimba Temple Manali: Manali has many attractions but the main centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the Hadimba Temple . This temple dedicated to goddess Hadimba or Hadimba Devi with a finely wrought four - tiered pagoda roof, dating back to 1553, is built around a natural cave, which enshrines the footprints of the goddess Hadimba. Hadimba was the wife of Bhima, one of the five great Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata, and later became the patron goddess of the Kullu royal family. Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region. This four story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. From the name of the forest parkland this temple derives its name. This temple was erected in 1553 and is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba. The temple has some intricate wooden carvings which depicts mythological characters and motifs of animals & cosmic dancers. Every year in May a major festival is organized here. This place is a popular picnic spot among the tourists.


Rahalla Falls

Beyond which is the Rohtang Pass, 51 kms from Manali. Located at a height of 3980 m, the Pass once served as a crucial trade route, and still remains the gateway to the districts of Lahaul and Spiti.The Pass is open from June to November each year, and provides wonderful views of the entire surroundings. Just beyond the Pass is the Sonapani Glacier and the twin peak of Gaypan. The Beas Kund, the source of the Beas river, a holy site for Hindus, as the sage Vyas is said to have meditated at this spot, is also accessible from the Rohtang Pass. Rani Nullah, below Rohtang Pass. Height 3700m. Rani Nullah is shortly before the Rohtang Pass into Lahaul, at about 55km from Manali. The take-off area itself is not great as there are sharp stones to snag your lines on, but even if there is no lift it offers great 'sled-ride' flying, especially for beginners. There is a vast landing field at the truckstop at Marhi about 400m below take-off, though be warned that at over 10,000ft a HUGE flare is needed on landing - you come in like an express train! If you have reasonable height above Marhi it is a 10km sled-ride down to other landing fields at Kothi at the foot of the pass.


Solang Valley

Solang Valley in Manali is located at a distance of 13 kms in a side valley at the top of the Kullu valley is a splendid valley between Solang village and Beas Kund. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. Solang Valley has fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute of Manali has installed a ski lift for training purpose. Located here is a hut and guest house of the Mountaineering and Allied sports Institute, Manali. Now a few hotels have also come up. The winter skiing festival is organised in Solang Valley. Sking and Paragliding are two main activities are organised here. Apart from this many other adventure sports are available like Zorbing, Horse riding & Snow Motor Bikes riding etc.


Naggar

Naggar, a lovely village set on a hill sourrounded by forests, was the capita of kullu in the 16th century and the monuments in the region are witness to its glorious past. The Naggar Castle, a stone and wood structure built by Raja Sidh singh over 500 years ago, has been converted in to a heritage hotel. The gracefully built castle has a temple in the courtyard and also houses a small museum.

The temple of the area, such as the grey sandstone Gauri Shankar Temple of Shiva that lies close to the Castle, the chatar Bhuj Temple, Tripura Sundri Devi Temple, the Jagti Patt Temple, with its triangular slab of stone, strewn with rose petals and rupee notes and the Murlidhar Temple, are worth a visit. The paintings and Photographs of the late Nicholas Roerich are exhibited in the Nicholas Roerich Gallery. He was an artist, Writer, Photographer, Archelogist, Explorer and mystic. Inside the Museum, one can see the beds, librery, settees, writing tables, toiletries, and samovars of the Roerich family.

The Urswati Himalyan Folk Museum near by is another place to visit. while in the area, a trip to Gardhak Chuli is recommended for the spectacular view it provides of the valley on one side and the imposing, snow clad peaks on the other.This upper Beas region is surrounded by glaciers on three sides. The Chandekhani Pass at 12200 feet leads to the legendary Malana Valley and is easily accessible from here.


Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is 51 kms from Manali. Located at a height of 3980 Mtrs, on highway to Keylong/Leh. The Pass offers a panorama and spectacular mountain view. once served as a crucial trade route, and still remains the gateway to the districts of Lahaul and Spiti.The Pass is open from mid April to November each year, and provides wonderful views of the entire surroundings. Just beyond the Pass is the Sonapani Glacier and the twin peak of Gaypan. The Beas Kund, the source of the Beas river, a holy site for Hindus, as the sage Vyas is said to have meditated at this spot, is also accessible from the Rohtang Pass.


Vashisht

Vashist, a small village 3 kms from Manali located on the Left Bank of River Beas in Manali towards Rohtang pass is worth a visit, which is renowned for its Hot Water Springs and Temple. The village is also the site of some old temples, dedicated to the great sage Vashisht, and to Lord Rama. The Himachal Tourism sulphur baths are just beyond these shrines.
Natural Hot Sulphur Water Springs with two separate bathing tanks for Gents and Ladies, which are always full of tourists. Turkish Style Showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby Spring is provided for bathing.


Manu Temple

This is dedicated to the sage Manu. Just near the Hadimba temple flows the Manalsu River, that culminates in the main Beas river. Across the Manalsu river is the original village of Manali, that houses the ancient temple of the sage Manu. Manali itself is named after Manu, who is said to have dwelt here.
Places to visit in Manikaran
Lord Ramchandra Temple

There are several temples in the Mani Karan village. The most important is that of Lord Ramchandra. The Pandas or priests of the village claim that the idol of Rama was brought from Ayodhya and installed in this temple by the Raja of Kulu but this lacks a historic confirmation. There was also an idol of Lakshman the younger brother of Lord Rama Chandra, which has now disappeared. On the left hand side of the Lord is the idol of Goddess Sita. The temple is very old and on one of the stones in its wall, the history of the temple is written which is not legible.
Temple of Lord Shiva

There is another very old temple of Lord Shiva, which got tilted during the earthquake of 1905. The great prestige with which Manikaran is held is seen by the fact that the Devatas of Kulu valley pay regular visits to Manikaran. The followers of the individual deities at different places are carried ceremoniously in a procession to Manikaran on specified auspicious days.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurudwara

The place is also held sacred by the Sikhs. The Janam Sakhi or the 'Twarikh Guru Khalsa' by Giani Gian Singh mentions about the visit of Guru Nanak Dev to this place. It has been mentioned that accompanied by his disciple Bhai Mardana, the Guru reached Jwalamukhi temple after visiting Kalanaur, Gurdaspur, Dasuya, Triloknath, Palampur and Kangra. The Guru then proceeded towards Mandi and after visiting Chamba and Kulu, he came to Bijli Mahadev. After preaching at all these places Guru Nanak Dev came to Mani Karan. The Janam Sakhi or the "Autobiography of Bhai Mardana" mentions the miracles did by the Guru. The Guru came to Mani Karan along with his Five 'Piaras' or followers.

Hot Springs
By taking bath here and by drinking water of this place, people go to Heaven, this is said of the Manikaran tract since the times immemorial. It is just like 'Kashi Kshetra' and there is no doubt about it. On examination it is understood that the Manikaran hot spring is said to have got Uranium and other radio active minerals.

Harinder Mountain & Parvati River

On the northern side, there is a mountain, which is named as Harinder. Merely a look at this mountain will make a person free from all evils and on the south is the Parvati River.

Kulant Pith

Out of all sectors 'Piths' of the country, this sector, which is called 'Kulant Pith', is the superior most. Here, the most sacred place of pilgrimage is Manikaran, and in it the 'Vishnu Kund' is the purest of all. Lord Shankara was mightily pleased to stay here and this is absolutely true. No other tank in the world, could be more pure than these high rising tanks. Even a drop of water from the tanks will make one free of all evils. Narad, on account of the influence of the Shankara's eye, said that this sacred place, causes the disappearance of anger and evils. One who eats the food cooked in this boiling water goes to the Vishnu Lok
Places to visit in and around Shimla
Christ Church

Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest Church in India. Christ Church is one of the prominent landmarks of Shimla. The silhouette of Christ Church is visible for miles around the vicinity of Shimla city. Christ Church remains one of the enduring legacies of the British Raj.


Christ Church was designed by Colonel JT Boileau in 1844; but the Church was consecrated only after 1857. The clock which adorns Christ Church was donated by Colonel Dumbleton in the year 1860. The porch was added in the year 1873.

Christ Church has survived partition and the subsequent political upheavals of the Indian subcontinent. Christ Church continues to be very well maintained and remains in good condition. However the mechanical appendages of the Church like the clock does not function-a natural progression of entropy through time.

You could not help but notice the stunningly beautiful stained glass windows inside the Church. There are five exquisite stained glass windows in Christ Church Shimla. One of them represents the virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Patience and Humility.

The Pipe-Organ of Christ Church is the biggest in the Indian subcontinent and was erected in September 1899.

The tuning of the Pipe-Organ was completed in September 23 1899,and the dedication and opening recital was conducted in September 28,1899.

The Pipe Organ was made to order for a then princely sum of Rs.23,000. The Pipe-Organ was refurbished and re tuned in 1932.

Jakhoo Temple

The Jakhoo Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Located on Jakhoo Hill, 2.5 km from the Ridge, the Jakhoo Temple offers beautiful views of the Shivalik Mountains and the nearby town of Sanjauli.

The Ridge of Shimla

The Ridge of Shimla is a large open spacious platform from where you can have a panoramic view of the mountain peaks of Shimla.

The snow capped mountain ranges engulfed in the beauty of the nature is a phenomenal view that the Ridge of Shimla offers to the crowd.

The Ridge at Shimla also provides the tourists a view of the age old Christ Church built in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture as well as the new Tudor library. These two are the milestones of the town of Shimla.

The movement of vehicles is strictly prohibited here. As such the Ridge in Shimla always remains crowded with hundreds of people. Tourists from all over the country visit this awesome hill resort and paying a visit to the Ridge is a must for them for the view of the sunset at the dusk is something that one will never forget in his lifetime.

The Shimla Ridge is also flocked by the pedestrians for just pleasant walking in the cool breezy weather of Shimla.

The Ridge of Shimla exhibits an awesome view of the Mall that is located below it. The water supply of Shimla comes from the water reservoir that is present at the Ridge of Shimla.

The well known Summer Festival is organized near the Ridge.

The Ridge is the connecting point of Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Scandal Point, US Club and Jakhu. The locals of Shimla provides a warm welcome to the tourists by their performances of dances and mimicry.

The statue of YS Parmar who is the founder of Himachal Pradesh and of Mrs Indira Gandhi has been erected at this place.

Shimla State Museum

The Shimla State Museum houses a huge collection of magnificent paintings, sculptures, coins, handicrafts, photos, etc of not only the state of Himachal Pradesh but outside too. The state museum is a major attraction of the Mall area of Shimla built in the style of colonial edifice with sprawling lawns all around. This museum was inaugurated in 1974.

The museum is open from ten in the morning to five in the evening. It is open on all days except Monday and the national holidays. The state museum of Shimla also comprises a library that is loaded with historical books and manuscripts.

The Shimla State Museum was erected solely with the purpose of preserving the rich cultural heritage of the state and to spread the message of cultural legacy over generations.

The paintings depicts the life and culture of the hilly people. Besides there is a huge collection of Mughal and Rajasthani paintings. The museum holds the sculptural merit of the 8th century stone works of Masrur and Bajaura. Also a wide lay out of Himachali dolls are displayed here.

The Shimla State Museum is visited by the researchers from both domestic as well as foreign lands.

The various galleries of the Shimla State Museum are as follows:
Pre-Historic Gallery - The gallery consists of ancient stone age tools as well as models of extinct animals.
Wood-Carving Gallery - Remains of wood panels of ancient temples and traditional wood artistry and stone work is found here.
.Archaeology Gallery - Storehouse of sculptural works and terracotta stuffs of Maurya, Shunga and Gupta period.
Wall Painting Gallery - Bags wall painting of the Rang Mahal of Chamba.
Numismatic Gallery - Has got an extensive collection of the coins of Himachal Pradesh.
The other galleries of the Shimla State Museum are:
Himachal Archaeological Gallery
Pahari Miniature Painting Gallery
Photographs Gallery
Rajasthan Miniature Painting Gallery
Bronze Gallery

Himachal State Museum

Himachal State Museum: A colonial building laid out in a spacious lawn, this museum is located on the Mall Road and is home to an excellent collection of coins, photographs and local handicrafts.

The Mall

The Mall of Shimla is the prime attraction for the tourists as it is the center to a large number of shops, restaurants, a heritage theater and above all a hub of merriment. Adjacent to the Mall of Shimla are the Tibetian and the Lakkad bazaar.

The Mall has a number of restaurants that offers a wide range of cuisines from Punjabi and South Indian to Chinese and Continental dishes. Besides there are also a number of good dhabas and fast food joints where you can look out for some yummy pizzas and burgers.

The Mall of Shimla holds the age old amateur theater- The Gaiety theater. This building has a great appeal to the tourists and is a focal point of cultural activities.

The Shimla Mall also owns a number of emporiums and showrooms which is the storehouse of shawls, caps, pullovers, jewelery, potteries, books and other handicrafts and toys of Himachal Pradesh. The place looks wonderful during the evening hours as the entire place glitters with lights and crowds of people.

The Mall in Shimla is referred to as the 'heart of Shimla'. The Mall extends from Barnes court in the eastern side to Vice Regal lodge in the western side. Movement of vehicles are prohibited in the Mall of Shimla.

The places of interest around the Mall of Shimla are:
Scandal Point- It is at the extreme end of the Mall road that gives a spectacular sight of the mountain ranges. A statue of Lala Lajpat Rai have been erected here.

General Post Office- This post office of Shimla located in the Mall has an unique system of delivering the mails by Tonga.

Kali Bari Temple- This temple consists of an wooden idol of goddess Kali.

Christ Church- This church is considered to be the second oldest church of Northern India.

Tara Devi Temple

Tara Devi Temple is one of the notable temples of Shimla. Tara Devi Temple captivates even the most life's battle hardened soul by its ethereal beauty and splendid location.

Tara Devi Temple is situated at a height of 1851 meters above sea level. Tara Devi Temple is situated at a distance of 11 kilometers from Shimla. Tara Devi Temple is accessible by rail, bus and car. The road is the National Highway 22 (NH 22).

Tara Devi Temple has an unique history. Tara Devi Temple was built approximately 250 years ago. Legend was that the goddess Tara Devi was brought to Himachal Pradesh from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. According to that legend a King of the Sen Dynasty of Bengal visited Himachal Pradesh. The King was in the habit of carrying his personal family idol around the upper torso of his arm.

One day while hunting in the dark and dense forests of Juggar, Raja Bhupendra Sen fell asleep and had a dream; in the dream he saw his family deity Ma Tara and her consorts Dwarpal Bhairav and Lord Hanuman requesting him to unveil them before the common economically dis- empowered populace.

Inspired by his dream, Raja Bhupendra Sen donated 50 bighas of land and sponsored the construction of a temple in the land. The first Idol was made of wood which was installed in accordance with Vaishnav traditions. Later generations of the Sen Dynasty gradually improved the structure. Raja Balbir Sen commissioned the 'Ashtadhatu' deity which is still seen today.

Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex

Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex: One of the most historic places in Shimla, the Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex is 122 years old and has been recently been reopened to the public. The theatre is built in a Gothic Victorial style and is an important centre for various cultural and literary events.

Naldehra

Naldehra is the site of the the oldest golf course in India. The beautiful golf course at Naldehra was the brainchild of none other than Lord Curzon-a viceroy of the erstwhile British Raj.


Naldehra got its name from a Nag temple situated inside the golf course. Tall deodar trees surround the links making it one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.

Naldehra is located at a distance of 22 kilometers from Shimla. The distance from Delhi to Naldehra is 392 kilometers. The easiest way to reach Naldehra from Delhi is to travel by car via Chandigarh. Chandigarh is 139 kilometers distant from Naldehra. The nearest airport is Chandigarh, and the closest railway station is Shimla. Only narrow gauge rail services are available in the region.

The USP of Naldehra is its unusual golf course. The golf course is India's oldest and is regarded as one of the most challenging links in the world. The golf course of Naldehra is situated at a height of 2044 meters above sea level.

The presence of small hillocks, boulders and trees lends a certain challenge to the golfers playing on the golf course. The nine hole Par 68 course has four new greens and tree hazards in the back nine. Himachal Tourism maintains the Naldehra golf course. Avid golfers can play a round of golf after paying the required fees.

Naldehra can be visited all around the year. Summers are pleasantly cool with the temperatures fluctuating in a range between 15 degrees centigrade to 28 degrees centigrade. The winters are extremely cold with the temperatures below zero degree centigrade.

Naldehra is a complete holiday destination.

Chail

One would always prefer visiting Manali or Shimla, but have you ever thought of visiting the summer capital 'Chail' of Patiala's Maharaja Adhiraj Bhupinder Singh. This hill station is well-known for its remarkable history.


In the late nineteenth century, His Highness of Patiala was expelled from Shimla, which was then known as British Raj's summer capital, because he was said to be flirting with the daughter of British Commander-in-Chief Lord Kitchener. He then promised of building his own summer capital 'Chail'.

From Shimla, Chail is just 49 kilometres away. Chail appears as a peaceful and calm place because it is far away from Shimla's hustling-bustling life. This hill station is located in the state of Himanchal Pradesh in Solan. It is very close to Kandaghat Mandal.

Chail is located at a higher altitude than Shimla. Due to this, one and enjoy the glance of snow-covered Himalayan ranges which appear as lit during the sunset and sunrise. This small hamlet is surrounded by gigantic and big deodar trees and chir pine forests.

Chail was called as the perfect village covered with thick and majestic deodar trees and a soothing scented smell of the pine trees around. With the crisp air around, Chail is like Mother Nature's most loved child. This little village has never heard of deforestation and pollution ever.

Chail has a very well-known architectural palace, where Patiala's royal family lived. This palace now functions as a hotel. With the blue clouds, lush greenery and hills, Chail is a favourite honeymoon spot. This 'slice of heaven' has the magic to turn you poetic and transforms you into the most romantic person.

One can reach Chail from Kalka, which is about 86 kilometres via Kandaghat. The total distance from Delhi is roughly 380 kilometres. Kandaghat, one would take one and a half hour to Chail by road. Buses leave on regular intervals from Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla to Chail.

Best Time to visit

Chail is considered as an ideal tourist spot for summers as well as winters. The best is considered to be between May and July, and September and November. During monsoon, the rainfall here is average.

Places to see in and around Chail

Chail is a very small village but the various sceneries and sightseeing locations here are extraordinary. Chail is also known as a paradise for hikers.
Maharaja's cricket and polo ground- Chail has the world's tallest cricket ground at 2444 metres altitude. It is also a polo field. The ground is very well maintained and huge pine and deodar trees surround it. This ground located at an altitude of 2444 m. The Military School of Chail uses this ground as a playground.

Valley- Chail's palace is built on the Rajgarh Hill and the main village is situated on Sabba Tibba hill. If you overlook the valley or river of Satluj you can view Kasauli and Shimla at night from Chail.

Mountains and peaks- The view to mountains and peaks from Chail is extremely mesmerizing. The Shivalik range looks breathtaking during winters when the sun rises and sets. One can keep gazing at it for hours together. The hill tops are covered with snow till beginning of springs.

Chail Palace- The hotel turned palace is a must see place here. The village of Chail is built on three different hills- Rajgarh; Pandhewa and Sabba Tibba hill. The Maharaja made sure that he would make Chail a better place than Shimla and never left on a single detail while planning it. He had built lodges for his relaxation; fishing and hunting which are now open to the tourists.

Sadhupul Sanctuary (3 kilometres)- This sanctuary has various wild animals and is a must see for the tourists. Animals like sambahr and ghoral along with red jungle fowl and kakkar can be seen here.

Kufri

Kufri offers an ideal locale for trekking and skiing in the months of winter. The wonderful place of Kufri in Himachal Pradesh is located at a distance of sixteen kilometers from Shimla. It is situated at an elevation of 2510 meters above sea level.


Kufri is a natural park in the Himalayan belt. It is the abode to a large number of hilly birds and animals. The mountain ranges are covered with snow that looks brilliant.

Tourists love visiting the village of Kufri over and over for its natural beauty. The place attracts numerous people from not only India but abroad too. Taking a short walk from Kufri will lead you to the Mahasu peak that has got a temple and a ridge.

Shimla's Kufri has also become an ideal picnic spot over the years. There is a Potato Research Center at Kufri. The place used to be a part of Nepal long ago. Kufri celebrates the Annual Winter Festival in February with great enthusiasm and gaiety. During the event, the place witnesses winter sports like skiing where some people take part actively.

The place is encircled with green hilly wealth and rolling stones. The climate is extremely favorable. One can also have rides on horse and yak at Indira Tourist Park that is located closely to Kufri.

The other attractions of Kufri are the musk deer, ibex, ghoral, black and brown bears that you will notice at the Himalayan Nature Park located closeby.

The National Snow Statue competition of Kufri takes place in the month of January. It is sometimes called the 'Switzerland of India'.
Narkanda
The beautiful Narkanda hill station is situated at an altitude of around 2700 meters and offers a stunning view of the lofty ranges of Himalayas. Narkanda hill station is at a distance of 60 kilometers from Shimla. It is an ideal getaway for people who seek to relax in an undisturbed and tranquil location, far away from the bustling city life. The place is famous for its apple and peach plantations. The dense forests are always successful in attracting tourists who enjoy each and every moment walking in the dense thickets of the slopes. The Narkanda hill resort near Simla should be visited in case you are visiting Shimla.

The best time to visit Narkanda is during the winters. You are recommended to carry a good stock of woolen clothes as it can get really cold high up in the hills. Narkanda has its own ski resort and is a hit among tourists who come to visit this place. The ski resort was started in the year 1980 and has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, it is one of the most well known ski resorts in India.

There are many places near Narkanda that are worth the visit. Situated at a height of 2000 feet above Shimla is the Hattu peak. It can be reached in an hour by trekking. You can also visit the Hattu Mata temple that is located over here. The Hattu peak is famous for its skiing activities and hiking and is teaming with adventure seekers during winters when it snows, making the place look like a white wonderland.
Places to visit in Kasauli
Anglican Church: Built in the shape of a cross. A grove of chestnut and fir trees surround this 159-year-old structure. The church was built by the British families who also laid the foundation of Kasauli town in 1842.


Man-ki Point (Famous as: Monkey Point) :
The highest point in Kasauli called Monkey Point. It's just 4Kms from the Kasauli bus stand. A small temple is also situated on the top of the hill, which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. According to a legend, at the end of Ramayana when Lord Hanuman was returning from the Himalayas after obtaining Sanjivani Booty or the Magical Herb, his foot touched the hill and thus the top of hill is in a foot shape.


Lower Mall: A beautiful 3 Km walk with different scenic views and old heritage building views, goes up-to Monkey Point, Kasauli. It's mostly on a descending gradient.


Upper Mall: A beautiful 3.5 Km walk with different scenic views and old heritage buildings, goes up-to The Flag Staff House (HQ 95 Infantry Brigade's Brigadier Residence). It's mostly on a ascending gradient.


Kasauli Club: Established in 1880, this is one famous club in Himachal Pradesh. Only members and the military officers serving in Kasauli are entertained in the same. No civilians or tourists can enter the same without being sponsored by a current member of the club.


Not to Miss things when in Kasauli:
[a] The Famous "Band-Samosa" of Kasauli, The Poor Man's Burger, but strangely so fulfilling and satisfying. It only comes in for Rs.12, and after eating a single BANDSAMOSA, one might just skip the next meal. Must eat the same at Mohan's Sweet Shop in Main market, Kasauli.

[b] Famous Jams, pickles and wines such as plum wine, apple wine, peach wine, sherry wine, black grape wine etc. all can be bought from Gupta Provisional Store or from the Daily Needs store near the Kasauli bus stand.

[c] For non-vegetarians, an unusual and conventional way with which the lip-smacking Ham, Bacon, Salami, Sausages are made by The Daily Needs Store, adjoining State Bank of Patiala, Kasauli


[d] Dumplings (Momo's) in the famous Tibetan market is something which is not to miss. Since this preparation is a lateral version of the regular momo's we usually see in the big cities. Must try this at the Dumpling's corner.


Sunrise Point: Situated on lower mall, Kasauli 350 mts ahead of Ros Common. Sunrise can be viewed at it's full with no obstructions from this place. This point was formerly called as Hawa Ghar, since the point witnesses an all year round air currents through it.


Sunset point: Situated on upper mall, Kasauli 100 mts ahead of Kasauli Club. Sunset view from this place is a moment to treasure.


Scandal Point & Lover's Lane : A few meters ahead of the Sunset point lies this bliss from honeymooners. Must visit to find out what it is actually.


Gilbert Trail: Approx 700Mts ahead of lovers lane is Gilbert trail which offer a long walk in perfect nature bestowed small kuchha path. One must walk carefully to avoid slipping on the same. Not recommended when it's raining.


C.R.I: Central Research Institute was established in 1905 and it is a premier National Institute engaged in many R& D activities. The anti-rabies inoculation was invented and is still being made here. Also many anti snake bite vaccinations are being made here.


Important Fact: Many websites and online blogs have been misguiding tourists visiting Kasauli of an attraction, that there is some river or water steam in Kasauli. This information is completely fake. Kasauli is a water scarce area and there is no such water attraction here is Kasauli. To reckon is that the water scarcity issue is so prominent here that none of the hotels or resorts even has a swimming pool facility.
Places to visit in and around Chamba
Pangi Valley

Full of grandeur and tribal majesty is the land locked valley of Pangi, 173 km from Chamba via Sach Pass (4414 m). It is one of the sub-division of Chamba district surrounded by the Peer Panjal & Zanskar ranges. Killar is the sub-divisional headquarter of Pangi Valley. Beyond the reach of tropical monsoon rains, the valley is one of the off-beat challenging tourism destinations in the State. Approach to the Pangi valley is across the high mountain passes like Sach, Chehni and Rohtang Pass. The Valley is remained land locked for about six months due to heavy snow fall.

There are beautiful valleys within Pangi region like Sural, Saichu, Kumar-Parmar, Hundan and Sechu. All these valleys are connected with Zanskar. People of Pangi valley are mainly Hindu with a small population of Buddhist. Some people live in higher reaches of the valley called Bhatoris such as Sural Bhatori, Hundan Bhatori, Parmar Bhatori, Chasak Bhatori and Hilu-Twan. There are number of exciting treks from Pangi valley to Keylong (Lahaul valley), Manali (Kullu) and Kishtwar in Kashmir.

Pangi Valley is now connected by road from Chamba via Sach Pass (4414 m) and from Manali via Rohtang Pass (4116 m) and Lahaul valley. Best season to visit Pangi valley is between May to October.

Chattradi


The temple of Chattradi is regarded as one of the holiest ones competing with well known temples of "Lakshna Devi" at Bharmour and of "Bhawani" at Kangra. The construction of the temple is simple. It consists of a small cell or sanctuary in which one of the rare brasses by the master craftsman Gugga is enshrined. The walls of the temple are built of rubble masonry alternating with beams of wood. The structure is surmounted by a sloping roof of slate. The roof is supported by richly craved wooden posts which form a VARANDAH. The Shakti Devi temple is of interest owning to the elaborate decoration of its facade, ceiling and pillar. The sanctum, its architecture and sculpture betray a conscious effort on part of its builder to introduce a highly refined post Gupta art in this remote part of Chamba.

The main idol in the temple is of Shakti Devi. This fine brass statue, 4 feet 6 inches tall shows Shakti holding in her hands a lance (Power, energy) and a lotus (life), a bell (aether, space) and a snake (death and time). Besides this main idol there are almost thirty other small figurines of tutelary deities like Annapurna. Some of these are believed to have been brought from far South or the State of Orrisa.

According to the inscription at Chattradi the temple was built by Raja Meru Varman, by whose order the inscription was engraved alongwith the names of his father, grand father and great grand father as well as that of the sculptor. This epigraph commemorates Meru Varman's victory over his rivals with the help of the Devi.

The outer walls of the sanctum are covered with frescoes which are of recent origin and represent scenes from PURANAS.

Near the Shakti Devi Temple is the temple of Gauri Shankra. The stone image of Gauri Shankra is of later origin. The work can be attributed to the 10th century AD which indicates a long period of sculptural activity in the region.

A few minutes walk up the mountain slopes from the main village is the Charauta temple which houses a stone image of BHATOD NAG who gives water to the people in return for one black and four white goats every three years.

There are two interesting legends connected with the village. Villagers had to fetch water from a nearby village call Makain. Once, a Chela of a siddha while carrying water fell prey to bears. The Siddha invoked the deity to solve the water problem. Inspired by the Devi he made 36 marks with his trident at different places in the village and water gushed out from the points where the marks had been made. There are 36 water sources in the village around which beautiful PANIHARS (Fountain slabs) can be seen.

According to J. Hutchison the village was named Chattradi at a later date when Raja Bala Bhadra (1589-1611) made a grant of 36 LARHIS to the temple following an accidental death of a cow at the hands of the Raja. One larhi is equal to three acres of land and such Lahris are today known as Chattradi.

In the month of September a mela is held on the third day after the mela at the Manimahesh lake when a man brings a Lota of water with which the idol of Shakti is bathed. On this day a number of sheep are slain to appease the goddess and to invoke her blessings. After the prayer the gaddies in their traditional costumes dance to the tune of local music.

The village is approached either from Gehra from where a bridle path leads to Chattradi or from Luna-Ka-Pul from where a steep trace is to be ascended to reach the village or by the motorable road, experiencing a scary ride almost 700 to 900 feet above the river Ravi as one nears the village. The ascent on foot is most rewarding as the visitors are welcomed by lush green fields and orchards at the outskirts of Chattradi. Chattradi looks most scenic during September and October. Even on other occasions, particularly in spring, Chattradi offers pleasant scenery.

Bharmour

65 kms from Chamba is the land of legendary Gaddies, i.e. Bharmaur. Known as Brahmpur in the 6th century, was the seat of power of Chamba state for some 400 years till AD 920, when a new capital was founded at Chamba by Raja Sahil Varman. Bharmaur is known for some very old archaeological remains, primarily the temples. All these temples stand on a level area which call the Chaurasi after the 84 Siddhas who are believed to have meditated in Bharmaur over 1000 years ago. These Siddhas hailed from Kurukshetra and visited Manimahesh.

The oldest temples in the complex are those of Lakshna Devi and Ganesh. Both these temples are made in the hill style with gable roofs and rubble masonry. The outer facade, the inner facade of sanctum, circum ambulatory path and the ceiling are exquisitely carved. The idol of Lakshna Devi in her incarnation as Mahisasurmardini is magnificent.

The tallest temple in the whole complex is of Manimahesh built in Shikhara style of architecture. The temple has a Shivalingam on a raised platform. The other temple in Shikhara style is of Nar Singh. Lord Vishnu in his avtar as Nar Singh has been cast vividly. There is a bronze Nandi of life size which stands facing the Manimahesh temple. Inscriptions on the pedestal of the bull and on the idols of Lakshna Devi and Ganesh date back to the reign of Raja Meru Varman. These idols are believed to be the work of master craftsman Gugga. There is a small water source called Ardh Ganda in a corner of the temple complex. Bathing in its water is considered religiously significant. The country around Bharmour is regarded as belonging to Shiva and is sometimes called Shiv-Bhumi. Being the home of nomadic shepherds Gaddies it is also called Gadderan.

Just 4 kms above Chaurasi temples is the hill temple of Bharmani Devi. A trek to this temple refreshes the visitors as it unfolds the green woods before him.

The best period to visit Bharmour is between April and October.

There is PWD Rest-House and a Lodge for accomodation. A number of hotels, sarais and a mountaineering hut with dormitory facility for 26 persons is coming up at Bharmour. There is a regional centre of Mountaineering Institute, Manali, where courses are conducted by qualified trainers. Bharmour is also known for its delicious apples and local blankets.

Kjajjiar

23 kms from Dalhousie by road and 13 kms from Kalatop is the mini Switzerland of India i.e. Khajjiar, at a height of 6400 ft. Hutchison writes, "Khajjiar is a forest glade of great beauty, 6400 feet above sea level".

Khajjiar is often reffered to as "Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh". The lush green meadows are surrounded by thick pine and cedar forests. Grazing herds of sheep, goats and other milch cattle present a prefect pastoral scenery. There is a small lake in the center of the saucer shaped meadow which has in it a floating island. Much of the lake has degenerated into slush because of heavy silting during rains. Still the landscape of Khajjiar is picturesque and a photographer's delight.

A little away from the lake is the temple of Khajji Nag belonging to 12th C. AD. In the mandapa of the temple one can see the images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kaurvas hanging from the roof of the circumambulatory path. The sanctum of the temple has been beautifully carved from wood.

There is a Tourism Hotel and some Tourism cottages at Khajjiar where the tourists can stay . Besides there are two rest houses one each of P.W.D. and Forest Deptt. A couple of private hotels have also come up, which do not match the above places in terms of location and amenities. Bus service to and from Khajjiar is limited and timings change according to local demands. There used to be a golf course in Khajjiar which is not maintained. The best entertainment in Khajjiar is to walk around the lake or to go for long walks in the thick pine forests. Children enjoy this place because of the freedom of movement and the slopy terrain which permits them to roll down to the lake without getting hurt. Another attraction like any other hill station is horse riding.

On 07-07-1992, Mr. Willy t. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by christening it "Mini Switzerland". He also put a sign board of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar's distance from the Swiss capital Berne-6194 kms. Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance with Switzerland. The Counselor also took from Khajjiar a stone which will form part of a stone collage around the Swiss Parliament to remind the visitors of Khajjiar as Mini Switzerland of India.

Kalatop

Kalatop and Khajiar are best explored if you take a three days walk from Dalhousie to Kalatop, Khajjiar and back Dalhousie.The trek is more or less level and requires good health, a pair of sturdy walking shoes. Kalatop is 10 kms from G.P.O. at an altitude of 8000 feet. Walking along the secluded and forested road through upper Nakorota hills, one reaches Lakkarmandi. Between G.P.O. and Lakkarmandi lies the Dalhousie water system, Tibetan Handicraft Centre and Dalhousie Potato Farm at Ahla. Lakkarmandi is nestled between 8600 feet high DayanKund peak on its right and Kalatop on the left. Dayan Kund has military installations and is closed to civilians except the local people who visit Bhulwani Mata temple near DayanKund.

Lakkarmandi is home for dhogri families that are engaged in charcoal making. Most of the dhogris have been driven to plains because of the fall in the demand for charcoal.

At Lakkarmandi there is a Wildlife Barrier to check movement of vehicles on the unpaved but narrow level road that runs 3 kms to Kalatop Forest Rest House. The walk from Lakkarmandi to Kalatop is through dense forest of pines and deodars. The solitude is occasionally broken by singing birds. The blissful solitude of Kalatop is ideal for the honeymooners. Permit for the rest house is obtainable from DFO, Wildlife, Chamba.

Bhuri Singh Museum

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. The idea to open a public museum came from J. Ph. Vogel, an eminent Indologist who was serving A.S.I. and who through an intensive exploration had discovered, read and analyzed old inscriptions dispersed far and wide in the territory of Chamba state. These inscriptions mostly in Sarda script shed important light on the mediaeval history of Chamba. The prasastis of Sarahan, Devi-ri-kothi and mul Kihar are now preserved in the museum.

Paintings of Bhagwat Purana and Ramayana in peculiar style are inspired by Basohli idiom of painting whereas Krishna, Sudama, Rukmini vivah and Usha-Anirudh and portraits in prime Guler-Kangra style were executed by the artists who were patronized by the Chamba rulers. The embroidered Chamba-Rumals are related in style since their drawings were made by pahari painters though the embroidery was done by the household ladies.

Besides these 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 old museum building which merged well with the landscape of Chamba was pulled down and the present concrete monolith was inaugurated in 1975. The museum remains open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM throughout the year except on Monday and other gazetted holidays.

Saho

Twenty kms from Chamba is the village of Saho on the right bank of Sal river. The village is situated on a high plateau of great beauty. Saho is famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Chandra Shekhra i.e. the moon-crowned God, Shiva. The temple is hidden behind the locality in a tree grove. Two magnificent images of Shiva can be seen at the entrance and a huge Shivaling is enshrined in the sanctum. Facing the temple is a life size Nandi bull carved with fine details.

According to Sarahan Prasasti, "The temple was constructed by Stayaki, a local Rana in order to establish friendship between his wife Somprabha and the daughter Parvati". It is believed that the temple belongs to a period earlier than transfer of seat of power from Bharmour to Chamba in 10th century. In the month of August/ September a mela is held in the compound of the temple. This mela coincides with Manimahesh Yatra.

During summer Saho wears a golden mantle of wheat crop and in August/September the fields are lush green with paddy crop. The spring water of Saho is supposed to have medicinal value. There is a Forest Rest House at Saho.

Rang Mahal

One of the largest monuments, Rang Mahal is located in Surara Mohalla. The foundation of Rang Mahal was laid by Raja Umed Sing (1748-1764). The super structure of Rang Mahal, which is in brick belongs to a later date with its southern portion built around 1860 by Raj Sri Singh. The architecture of Rang Mahal is an amalgam of Mughal and British styles. This palace was the residence for a branch of the ruling family. Its fort like looks justify its use as royal granary and treasury which is on its western side. Once the palace must have hummed with activity of busy servant and the frolics of the royal blood but now under the aegis of Handicrafts Department of the State Government, most of the rooms of this palace are being used as work-shops for making shoes, chapples and rumals. A number of decorative and colorful wall painting have been removed and taken to National Museum of Delhi. Some of the wall paintings and richly painted doors of the palace can be seen preserved in the Bhuri Singh Museum of Chamba.

Akhand Chandi Palace

Construction of this residential building of the Chamba family was started by Raja Umed Singh sometimes between 1748-1764 AD. The place was rebuilt and renovated during the reign of Raja Sham Singh with the help of British engineers. The Darbar Hall (Marshal Hall) was built in 1879 by Capt. Marshal and the Zanana Mehal was added in the reign of Raja Bhuri Singh. The subsequent additions and alterations clearly betray the Mughal and the British influence. In 1958 the Palace building was sold by the descendants of the royal family to the Himachal Government. The latter handed it over to the Education Department for the purpose of starting a Government College and District Library. The palace has a commanding view of the Chaugan, Laxmi Narayana Temple, Sui Mata, Chamunda Devi Temple, Rang Mehal, Hari Rai Temple and Bansi Gopal Temple.

Chaugan

The Chaugan is the heart and hub centre of all activities in Chamba. Tradition is silent as to its use as a polo ground and the name is etymologically distinct from Chaugan, the Persian name of Polo, being of Sanskrit origin and meaning 'four-sided'. Initially the five Chaugan were a single patch of meadow. In 1890s the leveling of the Chaugan was done. It became a public promenade and Cricket ground for the British. Annual Minjar Mela is held in the Chaugan. Local people can be seen promenading in the Chaugan till late night.

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.

Much of this temple is hidden behind some unimaginative structures of the British period behind the Gandhi Gate and the Fire Station Building. The Gandhi Gate was built in the year 1900 to welcome Lord Curzon, Viceroy. It is the only structure that has been coated with saffron colour and stands out because of its prominent colour.

The temple enshrines a marvellous bronze image of Lord Vishnu in the form of Chaturmurti. The temple of Hari Rai is believed to be of great antiquity and legend affirms that the Ravi once flowed in a shallow stream across the Chaugan and the temple had to be approached by stepping stones.

Chamunda Devi Temple

This temple is located on the spur of the Shah Madar 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 kms). It lies on the right hand side of the Chamba-Jhamwar road. School going children and pilgrims prefer to take the flight of steps from Sapri to this temple. There steps were got constructed by Raja Raj Singh (1764-1794 AD).

The temple is an ideal picnic spot throughout the year because it has an easy approach and a commanding view.

Sui Mata Temple

This temple can be divided into three parts which can physically spread apart. The temple of Sui Mata is on an elevation of Shah Madar Hill. A steep flight of steps comes down to a small pavilion just above the Saho road. From the Saho road the flight of steps continues down to the main town a little to the east of Chauntra Mohalla. At the end of the flight of steps there is another small pavilion with gargoyles with running water. The flight of stone steps to the aqueduct from the Sarota stream was built by Sarda, the Rani of Raja Jeet Singh (1794-1808). According to the legend when Raja Sahil Varman founded the town and made this aqueduct for water supply to the town the water refused to flow. It was ascribed to supernatural causes. It was prophasised that the spirit of the stream must be propitiated, and the Brahmins, on being consulted replied that the victim must either be the Rani or her son. Another tradition runs that the Raja himself had a dream in which he was directed to offer up his son, where upon the Rani pleaded to be accepted as a substitute. Thus on a appointed day the Rani along with her maidens was buried alive in a grave. The legend goes on to say that when the grave was filled in the water began to flow.

In memory of her devotion a small shrine was erected at that spot and mela called Sui Mata Ka Mela was also appointed to be held annually from 15th of Chait to the first of Baisakh. This fair is attended by women and children who in their best attire sing praises of the Rani and offer homage to the Rani for her singular sacrifice.

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.

Champavati Temple

This temple is located behind the City Police Post and Treasury building. As mentioned earlier the 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.

Masroor Rock-cut Temple

Known for its monolithic rock-cut temples, Masroor is 38 km from Kangra Town. There are 15 rock-cut temples in Indo-Aryan style and are richly carved. It is a unique monolithic structure in the sub-Himalayan region and is a protected monument.

The main shrine contains three stone images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. The temple complex is located on a hill and also has a large rectangular water pond. The view of snow clad Dhauladhar is amazing from the temple premises.

The nearest visitable places includes Pong lake near Nagrota Surian, 10 km from Masroor and hot water springs at Tattwani village, on the bank of Gaj rivulet near Salol village on Lunj- Gaggal road, 15 km from Masroor. It is accessible from Gaggal (30 km) on Nagrota Surian link road and 22 km from Ranital road.

Manimahesh

In the month of August/September the annual famous JATRA of Manimahesh commences from Laxmi-Narayana Temple in Chamba. The CHHARI is taken to the sacred lake of Manimahesh, which is one of the chief tirthas in the district. Off late people from north India and beyond have started visiting this sacred lake. The lake is situated at the height of 13,500 feet above sea level and at the base of Manimahesh Kailsah peak (18,564 feet), 92 km from Chamba, where pilgrims take holy dip. Manimahesh Kailash is a virgin peak. In 1968 an Indo-Japanese team led by Nandini Patel made an unsuccessful attempt to scale the peak. The devout attribute the failure to the divine prowesses of the holy mountain. On the margin of the lake is a small marble Shivaling called CHAUMUKHA.

Manimahesh is 27 km from Bharmour. During the mela days sufficient bus service is available upto Hadsar, 14 km from Bharmour. The pilgrimage is generally done in two stages. Between Dhanchho and Manimahesh lake, there are minor places of pilgrimage known as Bandar Ghati, Gauri Kund, Shiv Kalotri and Ganesh Ghati. The trek from Dhanchho to Manimahesh lake is difficult in patches. Just short of the lake is Gauri Kund where women take a holy dip before returning to home. The pilgrimage to Manimahesh is considered sacred like that of Amarnath, Badrinath and Rameshwarm. During the mela days several BHANDARAS are set-up for the benefit of pilgrims and meals are served free of cost. Pack animals are also available for those who do not want to carry their luggage themselves.

Bharmani Devi: Bharmani Devi, the patron Goddess of Bharmaur is 4 km from Bharmour on a steep gradient, located on a ridge among the forest and has a facinating view of Budhal valley. According to a legend Goddess was residing in the Bharmaur Chaurasi, before the advent of pilgrims. When Lord Shiva first appear in Bharmaur, the Goddess shifted her seat to the hill top known as Bharmani. It is said that Goddess passed a command to Lord Shiva that the journey to the sacred Manimahesh peak would be incomplete unless the devotees visit her place. Since then it is a ritual to visit Bharmani Devi, before the journey to Manimahesh.

Chaurasi Temples

The 9th century temples at Bharmaur are among the most important early Hindu temples in the Chamba Valley. According to legend, 84 (chaurasi) yogi's visited Bharmaur, capital of King Sahil Varma. They were so pleased with the king's humility and hospitality that they blessed him with ten sons and a daughter, Champavati. A cluster of shrines commemorates that visit. The temple square is the Centre of all activities in the little town of Bharmaur and the Lakshmi, Ganesh, Manimahesh and Narsing temples, the main shrines, are splendidly set off by the dramatic mountainscape.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Lakshmi 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. The temple of Laxmi Narayana continued to be embellished by the Rajas who succeeded to the throne of Chamba. Raja Balabhadra Verma perched the metallic image of Garuda on a high pillar at the main gate of the temple. Raja Chhatra Singh place gilded pinnacles on the temple tops in 1678 as a reaction against the orders of Aurangzeb to demolish the temple. Later Rajas also added a shrine or two, thus enriching the complex.
Khajjiar
23 kms from Dalhousie by road and 13 kms from Kalatop is the mini Switzerland of India i.e. Khajjiar, at a height of 6400 ft. Hutchison writes, "Khajjiar is a forest glade of great beauty, 6400 feet above sea level".

Khajjiar is often reffered to as "Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh". The lush green meadows are surrounded by thick pine and cedar forests. Grazing herds of sheep, goats and other milch cattle present a prefect pastoral scenery. There is a small lake in the center of the saucer shaped meadow which has in it a floating island. Much of the lake has degenerated into slush because of heavy silting during rains. Still the landscape of Khajjiar is picturesque and a photographer's delight.

A little away from the lake is the temple of Khajji Nag belonging to 12th C. AD. In the mandapa of the temple one can see the images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kaurvas hanging from the roof of the circumambulatory path. The sanctum of the temple has been beautifully carved from wood.

There is a Tourism Hotel and some Tourism cottages at Khajjiar where the tourists can stay . Besides there are two rest houses one each of P.W.D. and Forest Deptt. A couple of private hotels have also come up, which do not match the above places in terms of location and amenities. Bus service to and from Khajjiar is limited and timings change according to local demands. There used to be a golf course in Khajjiar which is not maintained. The best entertainment in Khajjiar is to walk around the lake or to go for long walks in the thick pine forests. Children enjoy this place because of the freedom of movement and the slopy terrain which permits them to roll down to the lake without getting hurt. Another attraction like any other hill station is horse riding.

On 07-07-1992, Mr. Willy t. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by christening it "Mini Switzerland". He also put a sign board of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar's distance from the Swiss capital Berne-6194 kms. Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance with Switzerland. The Counselor also took from Khajjiar a stone which will form part of a stone collage around the Swiss Parliament to remind the visitors of Khajjiar as Mini Switzerland of India.
Dalhousie
Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Established in 1854 by the British Empire in India as a summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats, the town was named after Lord Dalhousie who was the British Viceroy in India at that time.

Dalhousie is built on and around five hills. Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by the beautiful scenery of snow-capped peaks. Dalhousie is situated at 6000-9000 feet above sea level.

The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September. Scottish and Victorian architecture is prevalent in the bungalows and churches in the town.
Dalhousie is a gateway to the ancient Chamba Hill State, now Chamba District of the Himachel Pradesh, India. This hill region is a repository of ancient Hindu culture, art, temples, and handicrafts preserved under the longest running single dynasty since the mid-6th century. Chamba is the hub of this culture. Bharmour, the ancient capital of this kingdom, is home to Gaddi and Gujjar tribes and has 84 ancient temples from 7th-10th century AD.
Rivers Ravi and Chandrabhaga (Chenab) take origin and nourishment from its glaciers. There are several hydroelectric projects and dams being developed. There are several national forest and wildlife sanctuaries including Kalatop-Khaijjar located within its confines. Pilgrimage to Mani Mahesh Temple and Lake is an annual trekking event. Many trekking routes over Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges present a challenge to the serious trekker, while there are ample opportunities for the budding trekker.
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