Chamba district offers a unique combination of spectacular views, splendid walks, adventurous treks and rich cultural heritage. The region is the home of Gaddi, Gujjar, Bhot and Pangwal tribes who preserve a traditional lifestyle even today. Colorful attire, melodious songs, rhythmic dances and a faith beyond belief in the omnipresent Lord Shiva is the way of life here. Chamba town, Dalhousie, Bharmour, Tissa, Salooni and Pangi are excellent holiday destinations. Chamba town (996m), on the right bank of the river Ravi, radiates the fragrance of a culturally rich past. Narrow lanes dotted with tiny shrines, slate-roofed house constructed on stone, mud and wood around a courtyard, ancient temples and good view all combine to transport you to an idyllic place-both internal and external. Modern concrete construction has overshadowed this quaint appeal to some extent but the flavor is still there.
Chamba has maintained a will-documented history since 500 AD. High mountain ranges sheltered it from invaders, making it possible to preserve relics and inscriptions. Temple’s erected by rajas of Chamba more than a thousand years ago continue to be valid under the law. Historians opine that pre-Aryan Kolian tribes inhabited this region who were later subjugated by khasas, the migratory Aryans. The Khasas, came under the sway of Audambars around the second century BC. The Audambars had a republican from of government and worshipped Shiva as their principal deity. From the Gupta period (fourth century AD) Chamba region came under the control of Thakurs and Ranas who considered themselves superior to the low tribes who considered themselves superior to the low tribes of Kolis and Khasas. By the seventh century Rajput dynasties rose to power in this area.
In lower parts of the district, Bhattiyat and Sihanta, the climate is similar to Kangra and Shivaliks. In higher regions, the climate is temperate with heavy rainfall. In the lower Ravi valley, it is semi-tropical with warm summers and mild winters with very little snow. In the higher altitudes, semi-arctic conditions prevail for several months in winter and the passes close due to heavy snowfall. The maximum rainfall in the entire district occurs from July to September. Lower areas receive rain in winter also while the higher ranges receive snowfall. In Chenab valley, summer is temperate but the winter is severe. Snowfall is a regular feature from December to the middle of March.
Both Chamba and Dalhousie are approachable by road from a Pathankot, the nearest railhead. There are direct trains to Pathankot from Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar. Frequent buses are available to Pathankot from Delhi and Chandigarh. Regular buses bly from Pathankot to Dalhousie and Chamba. Pangi, located across the mighty Pir Panjal range, can be approached on foot from Tissa area. However it is possible to travel by road to Pangi from Kullu and Kishtwar (Jammu).
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