On 25th December we started at night for our holiday destination Bharmour at midnight in Maruti Ritz from Faridabad. We reached Chandigarh at a 2.30 hours journey from Faridabad from where one of our friend was also accompanying us in his Maruti Alto. We started from that friend’s house at 10.00 am after having breakfast and decided to travel to Bharmour via Nangal,Una route which was an unusual route we found in our internet search. The popular route is via Pathankot, Chamba. At 3.15 p.m we reached Una where we took our lunch at Maya restaurant which was very delicious. During our break at Una we discussed with the local people about the route to Bharmour. They suggested that it is impossible to reach Bharmour today so we decided to stay at Dalhousie. After an hour of break we started our journey and reached at Dalhousie at 9.30 p.m night by crossing a hectic route of Talwara , Nurpur. Due to heavy rush it was difficult to get hotel at Dalhousie. After an hour of search we finally got an accommodation at Hotel Kumar’s near bus stand.
Dalhousie is a popular hill station of Himachal hills situated at an altitude of 2036m named after the 19th century British Governor General Lord Dalhousie. This tourist destination is surrounded with the lush green grooves of pines, deodars, oaks, rhododendron flowers and breathtaking view of snow cladded Dhauladar ranges and Chamba valley. This small hill station is rich in British colonial architecture and oldest churches namely St. John church, St. Francis, St. Andrew & St. Patric constructed during British period. The popular sightseeing in and around are Subash Baoli, Panjpulla, Bakrota hills, Kalatope, Bara Pathar & Dainkund.
Next day after taking breakfast we started at around 10.00 am and on way we took some photos on the Dalhousie Mall and proceeded for our main destination Bharmour via Khajjiar which is 23 kms and Bharmour being 107 kms. Enroute our travel through pine, oak, deodar trees from Dalhousie the scenic beauty of snow studded Dhauladar ranges was a memorable experience for us. After half an hour of travel we reached at Khajjiar [6400 feet] which is popularly known as the mini-Switzerland of India & Gulmarg of Himachal. Khajjiar is a beautiful valley with lush green meadow surrounded with pine, deodar and cedar trees and herds of sheeps, goats grazing around making the sloppy terrain very picturesque. The landscape of Khajjiar is a photographer’s delight. The tourists here enjoy the adventure sports like Para-gliding, horse-riding and balloon-riding. Khajjiar is also popular as picnic spot. The best time to visit Khajjiar is between March and June. The place is also known for its nine- hole golf-course. We spent an hour at Khajjiar enjoying the beauty of the landscape.The other watchable places near Khajjiar are Khajinag Temple, Golf Course.At 12.00 noon we started for Bharmour which is 84 kms from Khajjiar & 65 kms from Chamba . There are two routes by road to Bharmour, one is via Banikhet and Chamba while the other is via Khajjjiar and Chamba. The Banikhet route is a little longer road with better condition and wider space. The Khajjiar route is very narrow and hilly. The road near Luna is very tough with broken and bumpy roads as the construction process of Hydel project on River Ravi is going on thereat. Public buses regularly ply from Chamba via Bharmour.
After an exhausting 6 hours travel from Khajjiar via Chamba we reached at Bharmour at 6.30 p.m. As said earlier, the road from Chamba is very narrow and broken due to NHPC’s hydal project on Ravi river for which they were constructing several tunnels by charging dynamites & creating hollow space inside the mountains. Due to this wear & tear and dusty route our friend Subhankar was driving slowly & cautiously.
Bharmour was the capital of nomadic shepherds locally called “Gaddies” in ancient state of Chamba hills for about 400 years in the 6th to 10th century. This 2195m altitude high hill station is famous for its ancient archeological temples called Chaurasi temples. Bharmour is also called as Shiva-bhumi as Lord Shiva is believed to reside on this snow-cladded mountains. The best period to visit Bharmour is between July and September. This small hill station is surrounded by the majestic snow capped Dhauladhar range, lush green forests of pine, oak and rhododendron and is also known for its delicious apples and local blankets. There are a number of small hotels and lodges are available here for accommodation but the PWD Rest-House is the best place to stay at as it is located centrally.At the end of the December the weather at Bharmour was chilling cold at approximately 2 °C.
Tourist Attractions at Bharmaur –
Chaurasi devi Temple – Next day at 8 a.m we went to visit Chaurasi devi temple which is about 5 minutes walk.. This ancient group of temples are the examples of enormous spiritual belief of the local people. All these temples with archeological importance are constructed on a level area with exotic landscapes and snow studded mountains behind them creating the surrounding atmosphere heavenly. According to the old belief, in the 10th century 84 yogis [holy men] visited Bharmour previously known as Brahmpur. Pleased with the hospitality of King Sahil Varma they blessed him with ten sons and a daughter named Champavati. This 84 yogis were passing through the area to Manimahesh chose Bharmour to settle down and meditate. To commemorate their visit King Sahil Varma built cluster of 84 shrines in this place which were known as Chourasi Temple. This shrines
include the Lakshmi Devi Temple, the Ganesh Temple and the Narsingh Temple. The sculpture of the idols here are of exquisite brass of ancient vintage. These temples are made of stones in the hill style with gable roofs and the ceiling are elegantly carved. The idol of Lakshna Devi in her incarnation as Mahisasurmardini is magnificent.
The tallest temple in the whole complex is of Manimahesh built in Shikhara style of architecture with a idol of shivling on the platform . The life sized bronze idol of Nandi stands facing towards the Manimahesh temple.The temple of Narsingh the avatar of lord Vishnu is also of Shikhara style of architecture. There is a small source of water called Ardh Ganga in a corner of the temple complex where bathing is considered holy. We learnt from a young priest that there is a temple of lord Yamraja, known as the god of death in hindu mythology is the only temple of lord Yamraj in the world. Nearby there is a helipad in Bharmour.
4 kms trek above the Chaurasi temples there is a hill temple of Bharmani Devi. After visiting Chourasi Temple, at 10.00 am we started our travel towards the last motorable village in this region Hadsar which is 13 kms from Bharmour. While traveling towards Hadsar lush green forest of deodar, oak trees with snow packed peaks were creating exotic mountainscape. After a half an hour drive we reached Hadsar, a small beautiful himachali village and proceeded towards the route of Kugti pass but due to broken road we decided to return back. Here we saw a waterfalls turned into ice. Enormous beauty of this region was a memorable experience for us.
After a long and hectic journey we finally reached Faridabad via Pathankot – Chandigarh route.
Treks in this region –
Manimahesh(4,170m) – –
Manimahesh lake which is also known as Chamba kailash is situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft. is 35 Km from Bharmaur . Three day trek starts from Bharmour via Hadsar and Dhanchho through Gaddi villages with wide meadows, bare rock and snow fields to the Manimahesh lake at the foot-hills Manimahesh Kailash peak . The deep blue waters of the lake at the feet of the Manimahesh Kailash Peak the mythological abodes of Lord Shiva with goddess Parvati. An annual festival during the month of August or Sepetember is arranged at the Manimahesh lake every year when the people from all over the villages of Himachal come here to worship. Thousands of people visit the lake to bathe in its sacred water, on Radha asthami , the 15 th day following the festival of Janmashtami every year. The breath taking natural beauty around the Manimahesh Lake enchants the trekkers which is one of the favourite destination for the trekkers.
Bharmaur – Kugti – Udaipur- Manali trek –
This is also a very popular trek route which takes approximately 7 days trek to reach Keylong through kugti pass [5040 meters]. This is one of the toughest trek in Himachal region passing through lush green forests and Lahaul and Zaskar valley.
Important Distances –
Distances from Dalhousie
Places to visit Km
Mani Mahesh 152
Chandigarh To Nangal Dam – 103 km
Distances from Chamba
Places to visit Km
Important Note – Please avoid Nangal,Una route to reach Bharmour as it takes extra 80-85 kms .
Situated at the height of 996 m. above sea level on the south bank of the Ravi River, the ancient Pahari capital was founded in 920 A.D. by Raja Sahil Verma, who named it after his favourite daughter Champavati. A place know for its art, unparallel scenic beauty has drawn tourist since years. Chamba’s serene beauty makes it the ideal holiday retreat. The land of mystic serenity, enchanting vistas, refreshing air, lofty mountain passes and slopes, provides ample opportunities to nature lovers.
Chamba valley is noted for the magnificence of it’s scenery-touching the fringe of the Shivaliks and having three well-defined snowy ranges, the Dauladhar, constituting the outer Himalayas, the Pir Panjal or the mid Himalayas, and the Zanskar range or the inner Himalayas.
The Chamba District is situated between north latitude 32° 11΄ 30″ and 33° 13΄ 6″ and east longitude 75°49 and 77° 3΄ 30″, with an estimated area of 6528 square Kilometers and is surrounded on all sides by lofty hill ranges. The territory is wholly mountainous with altitude ranging from 2,000 to 21,000 feet. The climate here ranges from semi-tropical to semi-arctic.
Main watchables here at Chamba are Chaugan, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Champavati Temple , Vajreshwari Temple, Sui Mata Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, Hari Rai Temple, Akhand Chandi Palace, Rang Mahal , Bhuri Singh Museum , Church of Scotland , Art Garden / Minjar Camping Site , Rock Garden At Devi Dehra , Rajpura and the Famous Majar of Sai Jamal Shah , Dayanand Math, Chamba , Chowari Jot (Chowari Pass)
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