All about Chamba

Video on Chamba

CHAMBA was the princely state during Britishers time and a capital of a Kingdom which never had any successful invasion for around a millennium. Even Emperor Akbar and later Aurangzeb failed to acquire this territory.
The founder of this this lush green valley where river Ravi flows by was Raja Sahil Verman and it was built on the request of you her daughter Champavati. Chamba was named after her.
Yes this time let me take with you to this small yet happy town.

Chamba Aerial view
First thing first - PARKING AREA - if you coming by your own vehicle.
Parking area is at the old bus stand where you need to keep your 4 wheeler and charges are Rs. 100 for 12 hrs. Avoid parking area inside the town, though they are free but if your car get stuck, nobody going to rescue you for hours. Only shop owners take risk to park their. So remember OLD BUS STAND.

Old bus stand - also a parking area
1.) Chamunda Devi Temple
It was raining on our day 1 and we were wearing Ponchu while we walk in this town near Chaugan area and everybody was seeing us like some Alien visited on their land. I thought it would be better to slow down for this day but my big brother Dr. Amit Vakil (who live in Chamba) pushed us to at least cover one spot here and that too in rain. And so with him we went to see Chamunda Devi temple.
Chamba is very religious town and so mostly the main area of interest are just temples.
And this temple was built by Raja Umed singh in year 1762 and is entirely made of wood. Earlier it could only be reached through some 400 steps cut out from the stone pathway, but now it is easily accessible trough 3 km long road from Chamba which we of-course opted in this heavy rain.
The temple is dedicated to goddess Kali and we witnessed aarti here and I was also surprised to see few people who came to attend it even in this rain.
Navratri is the most busiest time of the year here when 1000s of pilgrims travel from India to pay their homage to Goddess.
I have been to many temples but the experience for this one in rain when the temperature was freezingly cold and covering it on camera was the life time experience.

Chamunda devi temple

Our day 2 was blessed with Sun light and so we went to see the main temple of this town - Laxmi Narayan temple.
You need to walk and need to climb lot of stairs to reach this place as you come from Chaugan.
It was built by Raja Sahil verman in 10th century AD who is also believed to be the founder of modern Chamba.
There is a metallic image of Garuda on the high pillar at the main gate of the temple and as usual just like any temple in India surrounded by shops selling various religious items.
Laxmi Narayana temple has a group of 6 temples known for its fine classical forms, temple has been built in Shikhara style with wooden chatris.
It is believed that idol of Lord Vishnu at this temple has been made of a rare marble that was bought here from Vidhyanchal mountains. It is said that Raja Sahil verman sacrificed 8 of his sons to get the marble. Finally, his eldest son Yugkal succeed in acquiring the marble and the temple was made.

Entry for Laxmi-Narayana temple

Laxmi-Narayana temple
I always love to roam around the cozy narrow streets of towns in mountains. And Chamba also give you this feel. Crossing these streets we reached to the site from where we need to climb some 200 stairs to reach this SUI MATA TEMPLE which is dedicated to the Queen of Sahil Verman named SUI.
You can also reach to this place by road but we preferred stairs just to experience the town.
There is an interesting story behind this temple as well. Legends says that this place CHAMBA had no rain for years and King Sahil verman tried to please God in almost all possible way and then Brahmins told him that he needed to sacrifice his son or wife to bring water to his Kingdom.
The Queen could not bear the son getting sacrificed which Raja was going to do though with heavy heart. So she sacrificed here first and from that day water started flowing in the kingdom. There has never been a shortage of it.
This temple in her remembrance was built and every year around March 15 till April 1, a fair is organized which people of Chamba pay their respect to the queen who laid down her life for the welfare of her people.
Way for Sui mata temple

View from Sui mata temple

Sui mata temple
I haven't gone there due to shortage of time. It is situated near Gandhi gate and is made in remembrance of Raja Sahil Varman daughter Champa.

Gandhi gate - Near to Champavati temple
The museum is founded in year 1908 to honor Raja Bhurisingh. It is very close to Chaugan. Entry ticket is Rs. 40/- (as on January 2020) for Indian nationality and Rs. 100/- for foreigner. If you want to make photos here then you need to pay Rs. 50/- extra for it.
It has rich collection of carved doors from the old palace, frescoes, miniature paintings, sculptures, some old scripts, paintings, royal palki and old collection of chamba ruler coins. Because there was no invasion happened in chamba, hence even today everything is very well preserved. Must see this place also to know the history.

Bhuri Singh Museum

Inside museum
Chamba is small place and mot of the market revolve around Chaugan. What is Chaugan? It is the heart and hub center of all activity in here. The famous Manjir Mela is held in the playground.
Chaugan is closed for public after Dushera to April to carry out maintenance. Market around it, is just like any Main Bazaar of India.


Market near Chaugan

Main Chouraha of Chamba
Every place have something special thing to offer and so does Chamba. There are 2 famous things which you can purchase from this Main bazaar.
1.) Embroidered leather slippers for women and simple yet designer leather slippers for men. These slippers are hand made and are very durable. Don't forget you are in India. Bargain as much as you can. And in which personally I am truely a failure so here Gaurav doing this work for both of us :D

Leather sleepers
2.) Another famous thing here is Hankerchief, commonly known as Chamba rumal. It is famous for its embroidery and size. Lalita aunty had received not one but three National awards for this art work it and you know what, she is the mother of Amit Vakil bhaiya. Yes you can say, house of creative people.

Chamba rumal and lalita aunty (3 times national award winner in artwork)
We stayed at my big brother Amit bhaiya place. He had made a guest house in name of Lazy mojo Inn at mangla which is like roughly 3-5 km from main city. As the matter of fact the best place to stay.
Here, they have their own parking area and this double story building have 6 well furnished rooms. Check my youtube video for it.
They have their own kitchen in which they only organic food and most of the veggies they grow in their own little farm.
You have full access to the terrace which give you the city view which can't have from anywhere.
If you anytime plan for Chamba, and need a homely stay, you can contact Amit bhaiya for the same. Numbers and email mentioned in my video.

Lazy mojo Inn

Lazy mojo Inn

Some light moments with my big brother Dr. Amit Vakil

My family in Chamba :)
1.) By Flight -
Nearest Airport is at Kangra which is like 117 km.
2.) By Buses -
There is no direct bus for Chamba. From Delhi you can take a bus till Pathankot and from here you need to change the bus. Alternatively you can also take taxi from here.
3.) By train -
Nearest railway station is at Pathankot. From Pathankot, Chamba is around 115 km.
So this is all about Chamba. Will be back with another travel location Khajjiar very soon.
Also would like to request you guys to check video which I had made for this place. Please subscribe the channel on YouTube and I will keep coming back with more travel locations. For now stay at home and stay blessed.