Places to Visit in Chamba

Laxmi Narayan Temple Complex

Chamba has a number of temples. Temples in Chamba epitomize the meaning of the word ancient as many of them date as far as back as 10 B.C.

A cluster of six main shikara style temples and many smaller shrines, Laxmi Narayan temple complex is largest and believed to be oldest of all. Three of the main temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and the other three are dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

In a corner within the temple complex premises is a small water body called the ‘Ardh Ganga’. The water of ‘Ardh ganga’ is considered holy and the believers follow the ritual of taking a dip here.

Each of the temples in the Laxmi-Narayan Temple complex bears a state umbrella supported by wooden brackets. These are apparently to protect the carvings on the exterior of the shrines from the inclement weather.


Champavati Temple

Dedicated to ‘Champavati’, daughter of Raja Sahil Varman, after whom the town was christened and who is now venerated as goddess Chamba in this region. During the Minjar Mela and other important occasions it was customary for the rulers of Chamba to visit all the important temples in the town. Their round of homage began and ended at this temple.


Chamunda Devi Temple

Chamunda Devi Temple is an ancient wooden temple which offers a spectacular view of the whole town. The temple was rebuilt in the 17th century and some of the finest wood carvings adorn its exteriors and interiors.


Hariraya Temple

Located near Chaugan, Hariraya Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. An 11th century temple Hariraya Temple is known for the bronze statue, of Lord Vishnu, inlaid with gold and silver. The temple’s idol was stolen in 1970s and was later miraculously recovered from Mumbai docks.


Brajeshwari Devi Temple

Built in shikara style, this is said to have been constructed in defiance of Aurangzeb’s order of demolition of all temples. Located at the northern end of Jansali Bazaar, Brajeshwari Temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Lightening.

Sui Mata Temple

Located on Shah Madar Hill, the Sui Mata Temple echoes the legendary tale associated with the place. As the legend goes, ages ago, when an aqueduct was being constructed to carry water to Chamba from the Sarota stream, the water simply refused to flow despite all efforts.

When everything else failed, supernatural forces were blamed and the local priests declared that the resolution lay only in the sacrifice of the then king Raja Sahil Singh Varman’s son or wife, that is, one of his dearest.

To please the Gods the Rani dressed as ‘Sati’, sacrificed her life and was buried alive at this spot. And the water began to flow!

To honour this huge sacrifice by the queen, a fair called ‘Sui Mata ka Mela’ is held every year in the month of March or April.


Bhuri Singh Museum

Named after Chamba ruler Bhuri Singh, who ruled from 1904 AD to 1919 AD, the museum houses miniature paintings originating from all over the state, a silver elephant throne, chamba rumaals, carved and painted doors, copper-plate inscriptions, weapons, a coin collection, hill jewellery, musical instruments, documents pertaining to the rule of the kings and ‘barselas’, the carved stone slabs.



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