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About Chamba

Chamba, the northwestern district of Himachal Pradesh state of India, is the headquarters of the Chamba district situated an elevation of 3,301 ft in the lower Himalayan range at the junction of Ravi River and its tributary, the Sal River. Chamba is a cluster of tiny villages and unblemished rivers; it is believed to be established by Raja Sahil Varman of Pahari dynasty during the 10th century. The town is bounded topographically by Dhauladhar and Zanskar ranges of the inner Himalayas. Chamba is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir to the north-west and west, the Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir and Lahaul and Bara Banghal to the north-east and east, Kangra to the south-east and Gurdaspur district of Punjab to the south. Tourism in Chamba today attracts tourists for its countless temples, Palaces and stylized buildings. Dhauladhar Range, PirPanjal Range, Zanskar Range are the main three mountain ranges that give a mesmerizing view to the hill station of Chamba. The old heritage monuments like- palaces and temples- are located in the old town on the lower slopes of Shah Madar hill.

History of Chamba

Chamba is believed to be the only state in northern India which preserve a well-documented history from circa 500 A.D. Chamba is mentioned in Mahabharata as Gobdika janapada (some sort of a kingdom). As far as the early history of this region concerned, the hills of Chamba region said to have been inhabited by people before the Aryan tribes came to this area. It is believed that this area was inhabited by certain Kolian tribes which were later, subjugated by the Khasas. After some time, Khasas were ruled over by Audumbaras (2nd century B.C.). The Audmabaras had republican form of government and worshiped Shiva as their principal deity. During the reign of Gupta period (4th Century A.D.) the Chamba region was under the control of Thakurs and Ranas. Thakurs and Ranas considered themselves superior to the low tribes of Kolis and Khasas. The Rajput Dynasties came in to power with the rise of Gurjara Pratiharas in 7th Century A.D.

Chamba region is believed to be established by Raja Sahil Varman of Pahari dynasty during the 10th century. It is said that before Raja Sahilla Varman, the Chamba region was divided into small territories called Rahnu which were occupied by numerous Ranas and petty Chieftains; they were carried on relentless warfare with each other. Raja Sahilla Verman was the most famous and dynamic raja of this period who repressed the Ranas and unified the territory. He changed his capital from Brahmaur to Chamba and extended the boundaries of the state. Chamapavati temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Chamba palace were created by him. 

The modern period began with the reign of Raja Charat Singh who ruled from 1808-1844. Charat Singh was succeeded by his eldest son Sri Singh. After Sri Singh, Raja Gopal Singh and then Raja Sham Singh ruled the region. Raja Sham Singh initiated in extensive building construction and beautification of the town of Chamba. In Dec. 1935, after the death of Sham Singh his son Raja Lakshman Singh succeeded him. After independence, on 15th April 1948 Himachal Pradesh state of India had been formed by merging the three principal states- Chamba, Mandi suket, Sirmour and all the other state falling in Shimla hills.

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