17 Best Monuments In Himachal Pradesh
The state of Himachal Pradesh is known for its scenic beauty along with the various temples in the state. This combination of hill stations and religious place attract people from everywhere. Check out the 7 most interesting monuments in Himachal Pradesh.
1. Rashtrapati Niwas – A Grand Palace In Shimla
The Rashtrapati Niwas also known as the Viceregal Lodge is one of the historical monuments in Himachal Pradesh. It not only shows the history of the state but of the entire country. The Rashtrapati NIwas is situated on the Observatory Hills of Shimla and was the home of the Viceroy Of India during the colonial rule. It contains many historic and important artefacts, documents and photographs of the British rule. THis amazing piece of history was designed and made by an British architect named Henry Irwin.
2. Hadimba Devi Temple – Ancient Looks And Beliefs
Hadimba Devi temple is also known as Dhungari temple or Hidimba Temple and is in the hills of Manali. It is a cave temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi, a figure in the Indian epic Mahabharat. People worship Hadimba as a deity in the form of a huge rock protruding out of the ground. The temple is surrounded by Cedar forest and the place is called as Dhungiri Van Vihar. Outside the temple there is a small part of Mahabharat written and displayed for the public which tells the story of the Pandyas staying in Himachal while they were in exile.
3. Tabo Monastery – Located Amidst Valleys
The Tabo Monastery was founded by a Tibetan Buddhist named Ringchen Zangpo. The monastery is situated in the Tabo village of Spiti valley. The walls of this monastery are filled with Buddhist teachings and consist of a large number of scrolls, manuscripts and statues that depict the Buddhist religion. It is one of the oldest and active monasteries in Himachal Pradesh and India. Unlike other monasteries in the valley which are situated above the valley, the Tabo monastery is situated below the valley. Above the monastery are caves where monks can meditate. Many of these cave walls are inscribed by Buddhist teachings.
4. Kangra Fort – One Of The Oldest Forts
The Kangra Fort can be traced back to the Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the epic Mahabharata and is one of the largest and oldest forts in India. The history of this fort is very interesting, especially the fact that so many big rulers were unable to conquer this fort. The fort consists of two very old temples; the Laxmi Narayan temple and the Ambika Mata Temple which holds a statue of Rishabnatha.
5. Champavati Temple – Fascinating Architecture
Champavati Temple is in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It has many temples and other historic palaces. The city is famous for hosting two major local festivals, the Suhi Mata Mela and the Minjar Mela. Both these melas last for several days and is celebrated by the local people in the form of dance and music. The mountains of the Chamba city are also filled with various wall paintings and is famous for its art and craft and textiles. The Champavati Temple was built by the king of Chamba for his daughter. The architecture of the temple fascinates many. The temple is now under the Archaeological Survey of India due to its historical importance.
6. Rock Cut Temple – An 8th Century Monument
Rock cut temple, more famous by the name of Masrur Temple is an early 8th century Hindu temple. The architecture of the temple is devoted to various deities like Shiva, Vishnu, Devi and Saura, the major HIndu gods. The architecture of this temple could never be studied properly due to extensive damage particularly because of earthquakes in the region. The architects say that the temple had a more complex and massive design which could not be completed. Even after being damaged this temple attracts people by its amazing design and interior.
7. Prashar Rishi Temple – Located In A Serene Zone
The Prashar Rishi temple is situated along the Prashar lake in Himachal Pradesh.There are many mysterious stories that exist regarding the formation of this temple. The temple has been made after the famous epic, Mahabharat. According to the epic the famous rishi Prashar meditated on the banks of this river. In the centre of the river lies a floating island. The depth of this river has not been recorded yet by any diver.The temple is an attraction to many Hindus throughout the country and the world.
8. Key Monastery – Feels Like Bhutan
Key Monastery in Spiti Valley is one of the most famous historical monuments in Himachal Pradesh that is visited by hundreds of tourists every year. Over a thousand years old, this monastery is the largest in Spiti. Inside, you will find old scriptures and idol of Buddha. Hundreds of monks receive religious training at the monastery. There is a long history of attacks on the monastery which makes it of primary importance.
9. Jaitak Fort – Located Atop A Hill
Located on top of Jaitak Hills, this ancient fort was built by Gurkha leader Ranjor Singh Thapa in 1810. What gives it a place in the list of historical places in Himachal Pradesh is its historical importance. It was constructed from the material procured from Nahan fort and was ransacked and destroyed. However, the panoramic views from the top are astounding. On clear days, you can see mountain ranges. On other days, you can enjoy being on top of the world. It is only 25 km from Nahan.
10. Baijnath Temple – The Most Famous Temple
If you have ever been to Bir on a bus, you would know that Baijnath is the end stop. When you get down at the bus station, the first thing that your eyes notice is the ancient Shiva temple, popularly known as Baijnath temple. This temple was built in 1204 A.D. the architecture of this temple is unique and alluring complimented by the mountain views in the background. The peaceful vicinity of temple offers serenity to mind and soul.
11. Chokling Monastery – For Beautiful Sights
One of the most popular monasteries in Bir, Chokling houses a grand stupa and a mesmerizing statue of Padmasambhava. Even the sight of the statue ignites peace and enlightenment in you. So, it is a must-visit if you are going to Bir. The monastery is located in Bir Tibetan Colony and was established in 1960 following the exile of Tibetans.
12. Naggar Castle – A Wood Mansion
Built around 1460 A.D., Naggar Castle is included in the list of famous monuments in Himachal Pradesh because of its ethereal beauty. The old mansion is made of wood and stone and overlooks the Kullu valley. It has now been converted into a tourist place that houses a gallery where heritage artifacts are placed for visitors to learn about the culture and traditions of this place. On top of it, the views from this place are absolutely amazing.
13. Palace Hotel – Enjoy A Royal Stay
Palace hotel in Chail was constructed by the king of Patiala, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh. When he was banished from Shimla over his affair with the daughter of British Commander-in-chief, he came to Chail and made this place his summer capital. The Palace Hotel is open to tourists to enjoy a royal stay. It comes with lavish gardens, captivating log huts, royal furniture, and a private orchard. It is surrounded with dense forests and mountains all around.
14. Kuthar Fort – A Magnificent Architecture
Nestled at the top of Kuthar mountains, you can revisit time with this historic monument. The Kuthar fort might not come under the list of most famous monuments of Himachal Pradesh but it doesn’t mean that it does not cater to history. Some of its sections are almost 800 years old. Some portions of the fort are relatively new and spread over a large area with fresh-water springs. The Fort showcases Rajasthani style of architecture with convoluted pillars that feature a great design within the fort.
15. Barselas – A Traditional Memorabilia
Memorial stones, otherwise known as Barselas, are erected to honor women who performed the ritual of sati at the time of the king’s death. Located near the Sukreti river, the royal barselas an impressive funeral monument in the erstwhile Himachal. Some famous monuments of Himachal Pradesh are special but the Barselas are a constant reminder of the prejudices and weird traditions that were followed in the previous centuries.
16. Lord Elgin’s Tomb – A Horror’s Place
Now this one comes straight from the horror movies. Have you seen an ancient church located within deodar forests in the midst of the wilderness? Well, visit Lord Elgin’s tomb and you get the same feeling. Try to relish each moment you spend here as this might be an inspiration for your next trip. The tomb belongs to James Bruce, the 8th Earl of Elgin (Lord Elgin) (1811-1863. The tomb is situated near the John in the Wilderness Church where mass is held every Sunday.
17. Nurpur Fort – About 900 Years Old
Built in the 10th century, the Nurpur fort is mostly in ruins after first being destroyed by Britishers and later an earthquake in 1905. However, some parts of this 900 year old fort are still intact making it a great place to visit in between the mountains. A 16th century temple is built inside the fort called Brij Raj Swami temple where idols of Lord Krishna and Meera Bai are worshipped.