Enveloped within the high mountain ranges, the original
capital of Chamba district, Bharmaur also
known as Brahmour, is a facinating little town. Mainly popular for its
several ancient temples and monuments that reflect the towns glorious
past. It is also the base for the famed
Yatra and for various marvelous treks in the region.
Known as 'Brahmpur' in the 6th century, it was the seat of power of Chamba state for some 400 years till AD 920, when a new capital was founded at Chamba by Raja Sahil Varma. All the temples present in Bharmour stand on a level area, which is called the Chaurasi after the 84 Siddhas, who are believed to have meditated in Bharmaur over 1,000 years ago. These Siddhas hailed from Kurukshetra and visited Manimahesh.
The oldest temples in the complex are those of Lakshna Devi and Ganesh. Both these temples are made in the hill style with gable roofs and rubble masonry. The tallest temple in the whole complex is of Manimahesh, built in shikhara style of architecture. The temple has a Shiva Lingam on a raised platform. The other temple in shikhara style is of Nar Singh. Lord Vishnu in his avtar as Nar Singh (also spelt as 'Nrusimha') has been cast vividly. There is a bronze 'Nandi' of life size, which stands facing the Manimahesh temple.
There is a small water source called "Ardh Ganga" in a corner of the temple complex. Bathing in its water is considered religiously significant. The country around Bharmour is regarded as belonging to Lord Shiva and is sometimes called Shiva-Bhumi. Being the home of nomadic shepherds Gaddies it is also called 'Gadderan'. Bharmour is also known for its delicious apples and local blankets.
Chaurasia: Life in Bharmaur centres around the temple square-Chaurasia, which owes its name to the 84 shrines built within its periphery. The beautiful shikhara of Manimahesh temple dominates the square. A life-size image of Nandi in polished brass stands before it.
Manimahesh: This place 34-km away from Bharmaur is at a height of 4,170m and is an important place of pilgrimage. The view of the towering peak of the Manimahesh Kailash (5,656m) and its mirror image in still waters of a little lake are quite fascinating. Bands of pilgrims wend their way up the arduous track to bathe in the icy lake and to worship at the little temple there. Thousands of people come for the main pilgrimage, the Manimahesh Yatra in the months of August / September. Himachal Tourism Tents are also available here.
Chhatrari: The Shakti Devi temple in Bharmour is of great archaeological importance. This place is 40-km away from Bharmaur and 45-km from Chamba via road. The village is inhabited mostly by the Gaddies who are semi-postral lot, engaged in rearing of sheep and goats. Situated at a height of 6,000 feet, it's famous for its remarkable hill-style temple of Shakti Devi. The temple of Chhatrari is regarded as one of the holiest ones competing with well-known temples of "Lakshna Devi" at Bharmour and of "Bhawani" at Kangra.
Kugti: The last inhabited village of Bharmaur is not too far from the Kugti Pass (5,040 m) and is on the challenging trail from Bharmaur to Keylong. Overlooking splendid forests of conifer, Kugti has a little forest resthouse too. The famous temple of Keylong Wazir is just 2-km away from here.
of 5-8 day duration, viable from June to October include:
Bharmaur to Triloknath / Udaipur in Lahul over the Kalicho Pass (4,803m).
Bharmaur to Udaipur over the Chobia Pass (4,996m).
Bharmaur to Manali over the Kugti Pass (5,040m).
Bharmaur to Manimahesh (4,170m).
A branch of the mountaineering Institute, Manali , at Bharmaur organises treks and provides information and equipment like tents, sleeping bags etc. more...
Road: Bharmaur is 65-km away from Chamba along an attractive hill road that follows the river for much of its route. During the yatra days, the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HPRTC) provides special bus services between Chamba and Bharmaur. Chamba is 56-km drive from Dalhousie, which is well linked by road with public and private transport. Bharmaur is situated 80-km away from Dharamsala.
One can find a handful of simple guesthouses in Bharmour such as the PWD Resthouse, except during the times of Yatra when everywhere is booked.