Chamba Himachal Pradesh is a gem seeped in history and natural beauty that you must visit when you get the chance. The place offers serenity and peace of another level. If you love travelling to find peace, Chamba is a hidden gem in the valleys of Himachal Pradesh that has much to offer to you as a tourist!
Chamba Himachal Pradesh: Famed in the Folklores
Chamba Himachal Pradesh is a small town situated near Khajjiar and on the way to Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh. It is a lesser-known and historically significant town that you can tour in only one or two days. It is a district as well as a town, and the peaceful atmosphere here will draw you to have a taste of its replenishing natural beauty. Many who come to McLeodganj, Dharamsala, Khajjiar, or Dalhousie don’t visit Chamba, thinking there won’t be anything worth visiting – but there is! It offers so much to its tourists that you have to visit it – the rich history spanning more than a thousand years, the amazing food and the beautiful places to visit in Chamba make up the perfect weekend getaway for your next long weekend!
Top Places to Visit in Chamba: Exploring Chamba Himachal Pradesh
1. Laxmi Narayan Temple – The First Temple in Chamba
The Laxmi Narayan Temple was the first temple to be created in Chamba Himachal Pradesh, after the beginning of civilisation in this town. There is an interesting legend behind this temple – as evil spirits were residing in Chamba some 1,200 years ago, it was uninhabitable. The people wishing to move here decided to bring the idol of Laxmi Narayan from Kullu and establish it here to ward off the evil spirits. The Gods refused to live here as there was a lot of negative energy there, but the people erected an eagle statue to protect the Gods from harm right in front of the temple. This made the Gods not leave and stay to protect Chamba from all evils.
It is a beautiful temple that should be on top of your list of places to visit in Chamba if you’re planning a trip here. Take in the spiritual surroundings and sit at the temple for a while, basking in peace and serenity as you pray to the Gods here.
2. Chamera Lake – Ride a Motorboat Here!
The Chamera Lake is the main attraction in Chamba and is one of the most beautiful artificial lakes in India. It is a huge lake that is the meeting point for two rivers – the Ravi and the Chenab. As it is one of the most frequently visited places in Chamba by tourists, there are many things to do at this lake, including boating. You will find many boats here, including motorboats and speedboats. If you want to ride them, you can go up to the ticket counter to get your tickets according to your boat preferences. It will cost you around 250-500 per person depending on the boat, and sometimes age (kids) and number of people (there is a separate boating package for couples).
If you visit here in the early morning before 08.00 A.M., you will see many animals like goats and cows grazing along the ends of the lake where the rivers meet. The boating experience is a thrilling one, and you will have the utmost fun here!
3. Chamundi Devi Temple – A Beautiful Temple Here
The Chamundi Devi Temple is another important pilgrim site in Chamba Himachal Pradesh. It is a mesmerising temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The temple is adorned with bells of every size you can imagine! The ceilings, pillars, and walls are all decorated with golden bells. The ceiling also has amazing and intricate carvings.
This temple is up on a hill and you to climb a short distance to reach here. The view from above is marvellous. You can see the complete town of Chamba Himachal Pradesh from here and be at peace with the spiritual vibes this place has to offer.
4. Chamba’s Markets – For the Best Shopping Experience
The markets of Chamba are something you shouldn’t miss out on. Chamba offers a variety of souvenirs for you to take home, from food items to apparel and accessories. Here, the various local pickles made from ginger are very famous and can be bought for as low as Rs. 100 for a jar. Walnuts, dates and organic honey are some of the bestsellers of the markets here and will leave you wanting more of their taste and authenticity once you have them!
The slippers/footwear and handkerchiefs of this town are also extremely popular among all. Both these products are handmade here and have also achieved the Indian Government’s Geographical Indication tag! The view of the Pir Panjal range from the markets looks breathtaking as well.
5. Manimahesh Lake – A Mythological Lake of Utmost Importance
The Manimahesh Lake is a historically and mythologically significant lake in India that is as revered as the Mansarovar Lake on the Indo-Tibet border. The trek to this lake is a beautiful one and is the perfect haven for adventure lovers. The Manimahesh Yatra Tour is organised regularly by many tour operators for pilgrims who wish to visit this amazing lake.
The lake stays covered with snow most of the time of the year except in summer when you can enjoy its pristine views as you trek for 18 kilometres! The lake is of utmost importance in Hindu mythology as it is situated at the foot of Lord Shiva’s abode, Mount Kailash. According to legends, Lord Shiva created this lake along with Mount Kailash after marrying Goddess Parvati at Mansarovar Lake. Gaddis, the shepherd tribe of Chamba Himachal Pradesh, is said to have been chosen by Lord Shiva as his devotee and gifted them with pointed caps and a black cord. The waterfall that falls along the route of the lake is said to be the abode of Lord Vishnu. Manimahesh Lake is one of the best places to visit in Chamba if you love to engage in spiritual activities.
6. Hariraya Temple – A Historically Rich Temple
Chamba Himachal Pradesh is rich in history and mythology, and it shows in the many temples in this small town. Many rulers of Chamba have created and established many temples throughout their reign here. One such temple is the Hariraya Temple. It is a beautiful temple in the Himachali architectural style dedicated to Lord Vishnu, dating back to the 11th century. The beautiful bronze idol of Lord Vishnu here is riding a chariot pulled by 6 horses.
7. The Church of Scotland – Pay Your Respects at This Beautiful Church
The Church of Scotland is a church built in the British Era when the British took over the land of Chamba. Built in 1903, the Church of Scotland is a calm haven that welcomes those seeking history and elegance without being daunting to those from a variety of backgrounds. It is a Protestant church with arched windows and elaborate carvings that evoke strong Scottish aesthetic values. It is remarkably well-preserved and hasn’t changed since it was established, save for a covert perimeter wall. Known as St. Andrews Church, this ancient treasure embodies peace and timeless design. Its unspoiled architectural majesty and the stillness of its walls provide a window into Scotland’s rich past. Standing as a symbol of continuity, the Church invites everyone to partake in its ageless charm while upholding its heritage as a tribute to artistic grace and religious devotion.
8. Bhuri Singh Museum – An Insight into the History of Chamba Himachal Pradesh
The Bhuri Singh Museum was created in the memory of Raja Bhuri Singh. It initially housed the intricate paintings created by the king but has evolved to include many artefacts of the Chamba culture and traditions. There are many carved doors here from the time the king ruled the district. Different coins and frescoes from the king’s rule are also housed within the museum. If you are a history lover, you will love to see the evolution of Chamba and the Chaugan tradition here. This is the perfect place to learn more about the Chuagan tradition of the district. You will find here intricate and antique jewellery, old musical instruments, royal costumes from the time of Raja Bhuri Singh and more.
9. Rang Mahal – An Epitome of Rajput Rule in Chamba
The Rang Mahal is a palace completely carved out of red stone. The architecture and design scream Rajput culture and date back to the times when the Rajputs ruled over Chamba. Raja Umed Singh laid the foundation of this palace in the 18th century, and it has been a favourite among tourists due to its eccentricity. After being taken over by the Mughals and then by the British, the palace saw many changes. The fusion of Mughal, British, and Rajput architecture is something to marvel at in this monument. It was open for tourists for a long time as a museum of paintings from the Rajput reign. Currently, the palace acts as an emporium where you can buy traditional Himachali products like silk fabrics, handkerchiefs, slippers, and more.
10. Chaugan Maidan – The Bustling Activity Hub of Chamba
Chaugan Maidan, or Chaugan Park, is one of the best places to visit in Chamba. It is the hub and centre of all major events and activities in Chamba and also hosts a bustling marketplace. It was created by the British in 1890 to host several sports activities and as a shopping complex. Since then, Chaugan Maidan has been the most popular place to visit in Chamba for locals and tourists. Today, you can shop here for various souvenirs, participate in or watch sports events, or even have picnics with your loved ones here.
If you’re looking to buy second-hand products at flea sales, the Minjar Mela held here every year on the second Sunday of the month of Saavan, around August, is the perfect place to find the best goodies at slashed prices.
How to Reach Chamba Himachal Pradesh
Chamba is easily reachable via many modes of transportation. It is 578 kilometres from Delhi and easily reachable by a rented taxi or bus. You can also drive your car here for a great road trip with amazing views throughout the route. Pathankot is the nearest city to Chamba and has all modes of transportation available. The distance between Pathankot and Chamba is 117 kilometres.
Buses: You can get a bus from Delhi to Pathankot. From Pathankot, you will get direct buses to Chamba. Taxis are also available at Pathankot for Chamba.
Train: Trains are also available from Delhi to Pathankot.
Air: Pathankot also has an airport that you can take a flight to.
Accommodation in Chamba Himachal Pradesh
Chamba is a hidden gem in Himachal Pradesh, but that is not a hurdle for those looking to stay here. You will find many guest houses, hotels, and resorts in the town of Chamba. As the place is yet to become a tourist hub, the accommodation options are extremely cheap and go as low as Rs. 500 for a decent room with all amenities.
Budget for a Trip to Chamba
We recommend a trip to Chamba for 2 days. From Chamba, you can either go back to your home or explore the nearby towns of Khajjiar, McLeodganj, Dharamsala, and Dalhousie. Many tourists opt for the latter.
· If you’re travelling from Delhi, a local bus will cost you around Rs. 600 to Pathankot, and a luxury bus will cost around Rs. 1500 for the same.
· From Pathankot, local buses worth Rs. 200-300 are easy to find at the bus station.
· Staying in decent accommodation will cost you Rs. 1000 per night (approximately). Meals will cost you around 500 per day, while miscellaneous charges like tickets and transportation within Chamba will cost you another 500 for the whole trip.
· All in all, the trip to Chamba from Delhi will cost you approximately Rs. 4,000 – the return journey is not calculated in this amount. Souvenirs and other personal expenses are also not calculated.
Chamba Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful town hidden along the Ravi River that you must visit for a weekend of peace and serenity. There are many long weekends in 2024 that you can utilise for a trip to this amazing location and take in its spiritual vibes and Gaddi culture as you shop for souvenirs like shoes/slippers and handkerchiefs. Pack your bags for an amazing adventure in the Himalayas!