Weekend Getaway from Hamirpur
If you are a lover of natural beauty Hamirpur is sure to attract you. The undulating country side along with its ruined forts and ancient temples can mesmerize any sensitive soul. Located conveniently at the juncture of NH 70 and NH 80, this town also attracts another category of tourists. Since the hotel rents are more affordable here, many visitors camp at Hamirpur and then visit different places of tourist interest located within a radius of 200 Km.
From Hamirpur over the WeekendFollowing are some of those places, which can be visited over the weekend. Students, who have come to this educational capital of Himachal Pradesh for their educational pursuit, may also gain from this list.
Shah Talai - Deot Sidh
Although Deot Sidh, the cave temple of Baba Balak Nath, is located within Hamirpur district, it is customary to start the pilgrimage with a visit to Shah Talai, the place where Baba undertook his penance. Indeed, it is said that one should first pay his homage at Baba’s Taposthali at Shah Talai. The next morning he should have a bath at Charan-Ganga (at Shah Talai) and then move on to Deot Sidh. Since the most auspicious day for visiting Deot Sidh is Sunday, devotees generally visit Shah Talai on Saturday.
Shah Talai is located on the Bhager-Badser Road in the Bilaspur district, at a distance of 55 Km from Bilaspur town and 45 Km from Hamirpur. This otherwise small town is famous for Baba Balak Nath’s Taposthali. The temple complex contains three main temples – the Temple at Vata Briksha, the Temple of Chapaties and the Temple of Chah Talai and Dhuna. Besides these three temples, there are also four other temples that the devotees must visit and there are Temple of Shivji, Temple of Kali Mataji, Temple of Guga Jahar Pirji and finally the Temple of Gurna Jharai.
Deot Sidh, located at a distance of 6 Km from Shah Talai, is famous for its cave temples. It is customary to offer rot made out of wheat flour and jaggery at this temple. The place also has a awe inspiring scenic beauty. Apart from many government as well as private hotels, there is also a Yatri Niwas and a Dharamshala run by the temple authority.
Naina Devi Temple
Naina Devi, one of the most famous Shakti Piths in India, is also located in the adjoining Bilaspur District. The driving distance between Hamirpur and Naina Devi is 129 Km and it takes around two hours to reach this pilgrim spot. However, as the crow flies, the distance between the two places is only 69 Km.
The temple of Naina Devi is located on the top of a hill of the same name. It was built by Raja Vir Chand in the eighth Century AD. It is believed that Sati’s eyes fell at this very spot. However, there is another interesting story about this temple. An Ahir girl named Naina used to graze her cows here. She observed that one of her cows was giving off all her milk at a particular spot in the forest. There a beautiful image of Devi Durga was found. When Raja Bir Chand heard it, he built the temple at that spot. Today, devotees from far and near come to visit this temple round the year.
Gobind Sagar Lake and Game Sanctuary
Gobind Sagar Lake is located at a distance of sixty-two km from Hamirpur town; it takes around one and half hour to reach the spot by car. This lake on river Sutlej was created when the dam at Bhangra was being constructed. Named after Guru Gobind Singh, this lake has a maximum depth of 163.05 m. In general, the water level of the lake is highest during the monsoon. In the month of October and November, different water sports such as rafting, kayaking, water skiing, water scooter racing and sailing are organized here. Fishing is also another popular activity here. Singhara, Catla, Jhalli, Grass Crap, Kuni Rohu, Guj, Ticto, Sarina are some of the species of fish that are found abundantly in this lake. It is also home to different species of water birds.
Gobind Sagar Game Sanctuary, consisting of an area of 10,034 hectares is also another tourist attraction. The forest here is populated by different species of deciduous trees such as Khair and Sisso. Different verities birds, mammals and reptiles also live here. To the south west of this game sanctuary lies Naina Devi game Sanctuary.
Nadaun and the Jwalamukhi Falls
While Nadaun is located in Hamirpur district, Jwalamukhi falls in the adjoining Kangra district. The distance between Hamirpur and Nadaun is around 19 km. Jawalmukhi is further 12 Km away.
People who go to Jwalamukhi to pay homage to Jwala Mata always stop to visit the Bilkaeshwar temple as well as the historic Gurudwara Shri Patshahi Dasvin Sahib and the Peer Saheb’s Mazar at Nadaun. The fort at Nadaun is also a major attraction.
Jawalamukhi, located among the undulating hills, is said to be the place where Sati’s tongue had fallen. Here, the Mother manifests herself as tiny but flawless blue flames, which bubble through the fissures of an ancient rock face. In all, there are nine such flames burning day and night since eternity. The temple was originally built by Raja Bhumi Chand. Later, Raja Ranjit Singh had the dome gilded.
Other than Nadaun and Jwalamukhi temple, this area is home to some other places of tourist interest. For example, the shrine of Baba Gorokh Nath is located just above the Jawalamukhi temple. Besides there are Nagini Mata, Shri Raghunathji Temple, Ashtabhuja Temple, Panch Teerthee, Haripur, Mangarh etc.
Kangra of the Katoch Dynasty
Around 75 Km away from Hamirpur lies yet another interesting place. Located in the district of the same name, the township of Kangra offers unique opportunities for the visitors. Kangra Fort belonging to the ancient Katoch Dynasty takes you back to the past. This fort, located at the confluence of Banganga and Majhi rivers, has witnessed the rise and fall of many political forces of this region.
Other than the fort, the place also holds many temples of repute. Among them Bjreswari Devi temple and Chamunda Devi temple holds special place. Dharamshala, the headquarters of Shri Dalai Lama, is located only 17 Km away. However, the scenic beauty that the place offers tops them all. The scope for adventure sports is also appreciated by many.
Una - The Gateway to the Hills
Located at a distance of 93.5 Km from Hamrpur, Una is the gateway of many towns in Himachal Pradesh. Unlike most other places in Himachal, Una is mostly flat. Chintpurni Temple dedicated to Mata Chhinnamasta is the prime attraction here. It is located on the highest peak of Sola Singhi range of mountains at a distance of 47.8 Km from Una Township. Bharwain, located on the way to Chintpurni is a beautiful hill station.
Bramhoti Temple is another of its attraction. After Pushkar it is the second temple dedicated o God Brahma. Beside these, some other attractions are Kila Baba Bediji, Gurdwara Damdama Sahib etc.
Mandi, the Chhoti Kashi
Mandi is located at a distance of 85.7 Km from Hamirpur. It was founded in 1826 AD by Ajbar Sen. It is a modern town with all modern amenities. At the same time, there are more than three hundred big and small temples in the town, most of which are dedicated to Lord Shiva. That is one of the reason why it is known as Chhoti Kashi. 'Panchvaktra Temple, Ardhnareshwar Temple, Triloknath Temple, Mata, Kaun Rani Temple are some of the main temples of the town. Gurdwara Palang Sahib is a historical gurdwara built in the honor of Guru Gobind Singh. It is named so because the palank, which means bed, used by the Guru has been preserved in this gurdwara till date. The Rewalsar Lake with its islands of floating reeds is also worth a visit.