Chamba Hill Station – Heritage Monuments and Pahari Paintings

Chamba is an ancient and famous hill station town in Himachal Pradesh state, India. It is situated at an altitude 996 meters (3268 feet) and is an ideal holiday retreat. Its is also a nature lovers paradise.

Chamba from across the river.

This Hill Station town is situated on the banks of the Ravi River, at its confluence with Sal River. These two rivers gets maximum waters during summer months, due to the melting of snow.

Ravi River, near Chamba.

Natives of this Hill Station are known by the suffix Varmans. The available records dates back the origin of this ancient city to 2nd century BC. The area was under the reign of Maru dynasty from 500 AD. Raju Maru was the first ruler of the Maru dynasty. In 920, Raja Sahil Varman (or Raja Sahil Verma) shifted the capital to Chamba, on his daughter Champavati’s request. Hence the town got its name Champa. Champavati Temple is a famous ancient temple built by Raja Sahil Varman in memory of his daughter Champavati. Chamba was merged with the Indian Union in April 1948. In between 500 A.D. and its merger with India, 67 Maru dynasty kings reigned the dynasty.

This Hill Station is famous for the Suhi Mata Mela and the Minjar Mela, two major fairs lasting for days, known for its music and dancing. The hill station is also famous for the Pahari paintings, which originated in the hill Kingdom, during the 17th to 19th century. Chamba is famous for its handicrafts and textiles.

There are many old heritage monuments like palaces and temples at the old town near Chamba. 10th century Champavati Temple is the major one among them. Champavati Temple has historical and religious relevance for Hindus. Goddess Mahisasuramardini is the deity here, which is the avatar of Goddess Durga.

Lakshmi Narayan group of temples, built during the 10th-19th centuries, is another one. Sita Ram Temple, Bansi Gopal temple, Hari Rai temple and Kharura Mohalla belong to 10th century. Sui Mata Temple and Chamunda Devi Temple are built during 11th century. Akhand Chandi palace is a palace built in 11th century, which is now a college.

How Do I Go to Chamba?

Chamba Hill Station town is at around 120 kilometers from Pathankot Junction railway station, the nearest railway station. Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh state and a major tourist center in India, is at around 340 kilometers distance from Chamba.

Chmba is at around 120 kilometers from the nearest airport at Pathankot. Amritsar, Chandigarh, Dharamsala and Kangra airports are other nearby airports. New Delhi international airport is at around 600 kilometers from Chamba.