Shri Hari Rai Temple

Shri Hari Rai Temple

  • Chamba
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • India

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Shri Hari Rai Temple, Chamba Overview

Himachal Pradesh is a state in northern India with many beautiful mountain ranges, rivers and valleys in every corner. The land is the next closest thing to what we would imagine heaven on earth to be like. Chamba, the town on Himachal located along the banks of Ravi river offers stunning scenic views of the countryside. Chamba popular for the numerous temples and palaces located there. The Chamunda Devi temple, the Champawati temple, the Laxmi Narayan temples are centuries old Indian temples of Chamba. Out of the various temples of Chamba is the Shri Hari Rai temple of lord Vishnu.

Shri Hari Temple is an ancient historical temple built by the Rajput rulers of that time. It is situated near the Chaugan Gate, the very heart of the city. The temple has idols crafted as wall carvings. The build and beauty of the temple all represent the unique Indian architecture.


A tip for visitors:

Travellers should keep in mind that though Hindu Gods are believed to be flexible with their devotees and would accept prayers, offerings or supplication any time of the day, the Shri Hari Rai temple has some timing bounds. The temple remains open for devotees or visitors from 10 the morning to 5 in the evening.


History and architecture of Shri Hari Rai temple:

Chamba is the beautiful gem of a place, concealed between the beautiful valleys. The temples of the place reflect the enormous wealth and prosperity of it’s rulers from the mediaeval times, the Rajput Kings.

Shri Hari Rai temple was built around the 11tg century A.D. The British built many structure near the Chaugan such as the Shitla bridge that leads to the temple, the Fire station building etc. This caused the temple to be overshadowed by the structures built near it. Yet the temple has maintained it’s spiritual and calming air.

The temple is build in the Shikhra style, the temple has elaborate intricate carvings on the stone walls. There are many niches in the walls which hold the beautiful carvings of Brahmanical deities.


Things to do in and around the Shri Hari Rai temple:

While visiting these temples of Chamba, one can feel the spiritual energy of the place. The place with its pure ambience and scenic beauty beings peace of mind. The Shitla bridge has a wonderful view of the blue sky, blue water and a stark contrast of the green valleys. It is a famous spot for taking photographs.


Availability of accommodation in Chamba:

There are numerous hotels in and around Chamba providing comfortable rooms, friendly staff and excellent hospitality. Though it is extremely easy to find a hotel for stay, many travelers might prefer to stay in Dharmshalas which is also an available option.

Festivals of Chamba:

Various yatras are performed in the Chamba town, given that the town has an interesting number of temples. The Minjar fair is one of the most well known festival of the town. The joyous affair is attended by a many townspeople as well as tourists.For the event, Chaugan is turned into a big, vibrant market. The festival is celebrated by people wearing colourful silk minjars and a procession of deities accompanied by dancing troops, the music from dhols and the happy crowd.
There are many other festivals like the Suhi mela, the Khaul mela, Baisakhi etc. which are celebrated with the same spirit and enthusiasm by the locals.


Best time to visit Chamba:
The pristine town of Chamba that lies in the folds of nature is a pleasant place to be almost anytime of the year. But since the place is located at the steps of the Shivalik range, it is cold during the winter season. The best time to visit from March to August because of the pleasant weather during this time.
Also, the weeklong Minjar festival is celebrated near the month of July and August.


How to get to the Shri Hari Rai temple, Chamba:

The nearest airport from Chamba is in Jammu which is about 120 km away. Cab and bus services are available for reaching Chamba from the airport.
The nearest railway station is in Pathankot which again is about 120 km away from Chamba. Same as before, both buses and cabs are available here as well.
Travelling to a place like Chamba definitely calls for a road trip. One can even travel from buses which go in and out of the city from the neighbouring states like Haryana, Delhi etc.
Chamba is a well known tourist destination, thus travelling inside the city would not be a problem. Cabs are readily available for travels but if you fancy travelling on horses even that is an available option.


An amusing trivia about this Vishnu temple:

The temple was built for Trimukhi Lord Vishnu, meaning the four-faced Lord Vishnu. The temple worships the sculpture of Lord Vishnu’s Trimukhi manifestation. These three faces are human, boat and lion. The alloy sculpture of Lord Vishnu is made of eight different metal mixture.
The temple has this infamous rumour surrounding it that once a gang of robbers tried to steal the idol of Trimukhi Lord Vishnu from the temple. It is believed that the thieves became blind during their attemp and left the temple.


Interesting nearby attractions for travelers:

Chamba is known for it’s numerous temples, their architectural uniqueness and soothing environment. It is also known for the Khajjar lake which is situated next to the snow-white mountains and also the Manimahesh lake located close to the Manimahesh Kailash range. While you are at it, you should definitely visit the kalatop wildlife sanctuary, an amazing place to experience nature and it’s creations.

 

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