Chamba, certainly is one of the places you must visit
once. You are going to love the environment and people of the place. It is
having balanced temperature throughout the year, which makes it the perfect
place to be visited whenever you want. The beautiful thing about this place is
the River Ravi cutting across the town.
In this sub-Himalayan area, you are going to come
across variety of flora and fauna you are going to fall in love with. You are
going to like the views of the place to make it a best spot for your next holiday
trip. It is a place where you are going to find enough lakes, wildlife
sanctuary, and temples to be visited by the tourists.
More on Chamba
It is a place that is famous for its customary art and
handicrafts. Mainly, it is known for its small Pahari paintings. It was from
the 17th to 19th centuries that these paintings, which
are a type of Indian painting, sprung from the Himalayan hill kingdoms of North
India. Even the Basohli style paintings are famous in this area.
Most of the paintings here portray themes from the Hindu
mythology like the romantic scenes between Shiva and Parvati, Radha and Krishna.
These also have animals such as deer and diverse birds. You are absolutely
going to love the art of the area. In some paintings, you are also going to
find the lovely-dovey monsoon season in the backdrop that will attract you. You
can find such paintings in Chamba across different museums.
The place is also known for its wonderful handiwork
items like weapons made from the metals like brass, copper and iron. There are big
plaques which are brought in use for wall decoration and temple cupolas as well
out of these metals.
The place has its own traditional shawls and
handkerchiefs, local footwear, wood carvings, and jewellery and to offer its
people and tourists. The town is also good at making musical instruments like
Nagara, cymbals, and other traditional instruments.
Chamba is having its history from 2nd
century BC when it was being ruled by the Kolian tribes. After being ruled by
different dynasties like the Guptas, the Thakurs and the Ranas, in 7th
century it came into the hands of the Rajputs.
Going by the history, the rule of the Rajputs can be
traced to an individual called Maru. He migrated from Kalpagrama in north-west
India around 500 AD. It is said that Champa became the capital of the Rajput
dynasty in 920 AD when it was being ruled by Raja SahilVerman, the king of
Bharmour. It is being said that to honour his daughter, Champavati, he shifted
the capital. The town was having an isolated location behind hilly and rugged
terrains that helped in successful evasion of capture, mainly by the Mughals.
It is believed that both Emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb
tried to occupy Champa. But it is was during the friendly ties with Emperor
Shah Jahan that after some years entered the Mughal lifestyles in the region.
The strength of Champa weakened in later years after
the attacks by the Gurkhas, and then the British. Couldn’t do much, in the
mid-1800s the leaders of Champa decided to agree with the British suzerainty in
the region, and under the Treaty of Lahore surrendered the territory to the
But even after this, the leaders decided to live at
good terms with British and witnessed progressive reforms and development in
the region. And after the independence of India, the princely state of Chamba
approved to merge with the country in August 1948.
There are 2 famous festivals in this region- Suhi Mata
Mela is one. It takes place in March or April for 4 days and the second is the
MinjarMela, which is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of the Shravana month, or
Suhi Mata Mela is famous to pay a tribute to the forfeit
made by the Rajputi Queen of Chamba. She sacrificed her life to help her town obtain
the water from the Sarota River. So, the main part in this celebration is
played by children and women. They carry out a procession and take along the
banners. The banners have a printed picture of their queen with the Rajput
solar symbol. They sing and dance throughout the procession to the Suhi Mata
While Minjar Mela is celebrated to honour the victory
of the king of Chamba over the Trigarta ruler in the 900s AD, it also celebrates
the harvest of maize and paddy crops, and makes contributions of minjar – rupee
coin, golden silk, paddy, a seasonal fruit and a coconut enfolded in a red
cloth. During these 7 days full of celebrations, the people pursue a flag
hoisting ceremony at the Chaughan, worship Lord Raghuvira, and on the final day
they pay tribute to the River Ravi as well. During the festival, people also present
various folk dances and songs, recognized as Kunjari Malhar.
places and Local Food in Chamba
As Chamba is situated in Himachal Pradesh, mainly it
serves North Indian cuisines. But you can find the local Himachali food as well
to try different flavours. While you are there, you must try Madra. It is a local
dish of Chamba that is made using the lentils like Kidney Beans and Rajma. It
is prepared in many dry fruits and spices to make it yummiest. Yogurt is the main
ingredient of the dish, and tastes divine.
There is nothing much to be visited in this place, so,
you can take a tour in a day. You can hire a taxi or a cab at a reasonable
price and visit the amazingly maintained temples and very old buildings in
Chamba that were established in 500 AD. During the trip do not forget to carry
some food items, because there are no restaurants in some remote areas.
You can also see
the Bhuri Singh Museum as well, which was built to as a tribute to Raja Bhuri
Singh – the king of Chamba. And if you have time, you can then visit the Laxmi
Narayan temples, Akhand Chandi Palace, and Chamunda Devi temples as they are
believed to have the immense religious values.