A beautiful valley located in Himachal Pradesh, Chamba is known for its ancient temples, caves, and edifices that speak highly of Indian history. Nestled by the magnificent Zanskar, Pir Panjal, and Dhauladhar mountain ranges of the lesser Himalayas, this destination is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Flanked by Jammu & Kashmir, Lahaul, and Kangra, Chamba is elevated at 996 meters above sea level on the banks of the Ravi River, making it a picture-postcard town.
Chamba houses many ancient temples that are a must-see on your holidays in Chamba. If you are spiritually inclined or not, the temples including Chamunda Devi Temple, Katasan Devi Temple, and Laxmi Narayan Temple are a must-see. Built centuries ago, with wood and stone, you will witness the Nagara style of architecture and many others that will catch your attention and keep you captivated. These historical edifices in Chamba must be on your sightseeing itinerary. Chamera Lake, Himachal Emporium, Rang Mahal, Chaugan, and Manimahesh Lake are some other famous tourist attractions in Chamba you can visit.
Apart from this, Chamba is really popular for its traditional handicrafts and art along with the miniature Pahari paintings. They are a form of Indian painting that started from the Himalayan hill kingdoms of North India back from the 17th to 19th-centuries. Chamba is popular for its traditional handicrafts and art along with the miniature Pahari paintings - a form of Indian painting that originated from the Himalayan hill kingdoms of North India during the 17th to 19th centuries.
A mythological tale is also associated with Chamba that says it was from this place Lord Shiva began his sojourn to Manimahesh Kailash Peak with the intention of settling there. Thus, in the month of September, an annual fair is hosted at the temple where the Bhasmasur Dance is performed. It is the best way to experience the cultural heritage of Chamba.
If you want to know more about this beautiful town, we have compiled a comprehensive Chamba Travel Guide for you to plan your trip to Chamba easily.
Why visit Chamba?
Chamba is a stunning place offering pleasant weather and undulating views that can help you de-stress your mind from the hectic schedule of your daily life. Also, here you can enjoy the peaceful environment and spend quality time with your loved ones.
Nature lovers can enjoy the lush greenery in the summer season. Snow lovers can enjoy snow sports in winter and have a wonderful time. If you are a history buff, Bhuri Singh Museum is a must-visit tourist place in Chamba. It houses a huge collection of Raja Bhuri Singh’s jewelry, paintings, artifacts, coins, musical instruments, traditional arms, and armors. You can also see rare copper plate inscriptions and various other historical documents and artifacts.
For adventure enthusiasts, Chamba has opportunities for trekking as it is the base camp for several treks in the great Himalayan ranges. You can enjoy an exciting trek amidst the tranquil environs and natural beauty. Apart from this, shopping, camping, and river rafting are some other activities that can be enjoyed on your Chamba trip.
If you are looking for an offbeat place to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Chamba can be an ideal choice.
How to Reach Chamba
Being a popular destination, Chamba is connected to major cities in India by air, rail, and road. The well-connected roads of Himachal Pradesh make it easy to reach Chamba in spite of the fact that it does not have a railway station or an airport. You can board a bus from Khajjiar (24 km), Dalhousie (56 k), Pathankot (118 km), and Gaggal (114 km). Pathankot has the nearest broad gauge railway track and is connected to the major cities of the country.
Another option is to fly to Gaggal airport and board a taxi or bus to Chamba. It is the nearest airport and is well linked to airports in Chandigarh, Delhi, and Kullu. By train, you can reach Pathankot railhead from Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bhatinda, Jammu, Hatia, Udhampur, etc. You can get regular trains to Pathankot and from there, take a taxi to Chamba.
How to Get Around Chamba
The best and most convenient way to travel in Chamba is by HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation). Buses are frequently available throughout the town and are an inexpensive mode of transportation. Mini-buses are also provided by private companies and individuals. Taxis are also an option for sightseeing in Chamba. You usually get them at fixed fares during the tourist season and during non-tourist seasons, you can always negotiate the rates as per your intended distance.
If you want to explore the town on your own, you can rent a car or chauffeur-driven car from car rentals in Chamba. Also, Chamba is a hill station, and what better way to explore it on foot/trekking. This way you will observe nature closely and witness its scenic trails and enchanting beauty.
Best Time to Visit Chamba
Azure skies and pleasant weather make summer the best time to visit Chamba. The temperature from March to June hovers between 14 °C and 30°C, making Chamba a traveler’s delight. If you want a respite from the scorching summer heat, plan a trip to Chamba in the summer months. Also, Sui Mata Festival is celebrated in summer, which is a fifteen-day festival of local customs and traditions. For snow lovers, October to February is the best time to visit Chamba to enjoy chilly winds. The temperature in winters in Chamba drops to sub-zero, especially in December and January. Chamba becomes a winter wonderland, which allows you to enjoy snow fights, skiing, and snowboarding.
If you love rain, visit Chamba from July to September. You can enjoy the occasional showers that leave lush greenery behind. This charming town is filled with a romantic aura, inviting honeymoon couples to enjoy quality time. Minjar Fair and Bharmour Jatra Festival are also celebrated during this time, which gives you a wonderful spectacle of Himachali culture.
Places to Visit in Chamba
Known for its abundant natural beauty and magnificent temples, there are a lot of places to visit in Chamba on your trip. Dating back to the 5thto 19thcentury AD, there are stone temples displaying the Shikara style of architecture. If you love admiring the architecture, visit the temples in Chamba to witness exquisite carvings of gods and goddesses on temple walls.
Some of the most famous temples in Chamba are –
- Lakshmi Narayan Temple
- Sui Mata Temple
- Temple of Vajreshwari
- Hari Rai Temple
- Chamunda Devi Temple
- Champavati Temple
Apart from temples, there are other beautiful attractions you can explore in Chamba. For a delightful tour, here are some top tourist places to visit in Chamba –
- Chamera Lake
- Manimahesh Lake
- Church of Scotland
- Bhuri Singh Museum
- Hadsar Waterfall
- Akhand Chandi Palace
- St. Andrew’s Church
- Bhandal Valley
Things to do in Chamba
There are no dearth of things to do in Chamba on your holiday. Many places exhibit rich cultural heritage that can be experienced on a sightseeing tour across Chamba District. It is not only a place for the spiritually inclined but also for solace seekers amidst natural wonders. If you are in Chamba, here are some of the top things to do in Chamba for a fun-filled vacation –
- Explore the wildlife at Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Go on treks including Chobia Pass, Pangi Valley, Baleni Pass, etc.
- Witness the rare collection of artifacts, jewelry, etc. at Bhuri Singh Museum.
- Enjoy a boat ride on Chamera Lake.
- Shop for Chamba chappals, miniature paintings, and more at famous shopping markets.
- Camping at Manimahesh Lake.
- Explore the beautiful temples of Chamba.
- Enjoy thrilling river rafting in Chamba.
- Plan a picnic at Central Park.
- Attend the local festivals for a unique experience.
- Savor authentic local food.
How many days are enough to visit Chamba?
3 to 4 days are enough to explore the famous tourist places in and around Chamba, try various thrilling activities, and unwind amidst peaceful environments with friends, family, or significant other.
Accommodation in Chamba
Chamba hosts many tourists throughout the year and thus, has a range of accommodation options. You can choose from a mid-range to budget friendly place to stay in Chamba. Most of the places are located on Court Lane. If you are looking for a luxury stay, then, unfortunately, you will not find it in this town. But most of the motels, lodges, hotels, and guesthouses offer decent stays with decent amenities. Plus, you get to enjoy the views of snow-clad mountain ranges. Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department also provides hotels on a budget.
Here are the top places to stay in Chamba on your holiday -
- Anantson Resort
- Himalaya Holiday Inn
- Hotel Chamunda View
- Bimla Hotel and Restaurant
- Gautam Residency Chamba
- Classic Hill Top Resort
- The Terraces
- Aroma Palace
- Hotel Akhand Chandi
Where to Eat in Chamba
Foodies are in for a treat on their Chamba trip. There are many great restaurants and bars that sell lip-smacking food. As you must know now that Chamba is a temple town, therefore most of the restaurants are vegetarian and a few non-vegetarian. Indian, Chinese, South India, Punjabi, and Continental are all served by many restaurants. Madra, a local delicacy made from rajma in curd, is extremely popular and is a must-try. Street food stalls sell noodles, dumplings, and soups that can be enjoyed too. So, next time you are in Chamba, here are our top recommendations for places to eat in Chamba -
- Bon-appetit Bakes n Fries Fast Food Restaurant
- Mongas Café
- Old Sher-e-Punjab Dhaba with Himachali Kitchen
- The Dining Hut
- Illusion – Lounge Bar
- Café Ravi View
- Jagan Restaurant
Shopping in Chamba
Chamba is known for its handicrafts and miniature paintings and those can be bought as souvenirs on your trip. Also, handkerchiefs with Kashida style embroidery, Chamba chappals, handwoven shawls, slippers, and locally made memorabilia out of wood and metal are also popular things that you can buy from famous shopping places in Chamba. Do not forget to get your hands on Chamba Chukh, a mashed chili pickle, which is a specialty of this region.
Here are the popular shopping markets in Chamba -
- Himachal Emporium, Rang Mahal
- Chaugan Market
Useful Tips for Chamba Trip
- Carry sunglasses and sunscreen lotion, if you are visiting during the summer months.
- It gets extremely chilly in winters, so carry woolen clothes to protect yourself from getting sick.
- In peak tourist season, book your Chamba flight/train/bus tickets in advance to avoid last-minute trouble.
- You can find branches of all the major banks in Chamba that provide ATM service as well.
- In case you are traveling by your vehicle, there are several petrol pumps in Chamba and on the route. Mechanics are also easily available.
- In case of emergencies, there are many hospitals in Chamba.
- Both prepaid and postpaid mobile networks work fine in Chamba.
- While indulging in adventure activities, take proper guidance and follow instructions.
- Dispose of trash and plastics at appropriate places to keep the streets clean.