Sarahan: The Gateway to Kinnaur

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Fateh Veer Singh Guram, Travel @ The Hush Post: A small village located on the ancient Hindustan-Tibet highway, Sarahan is known as the ‘Gateway to Kinnaur.’ Sarahan is famous for being the site of the famous Bhimakali Temple, and the village was the summer capital of the erstwhile Bushahr kingdom. Former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh belongs to the royal family of Bushahr. While Sarahan was considered to be the summer capital of the rulers of Bushahr, Rampur was the winter capital, because access to Sarahan would become difficult in view of heavy snowfall in the surrounding areas.

The Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan
The Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan

Situated at an altitude of around 2165 metres, the village is famous for its apple orchards, pine forests and small streams that criss-cross the region.

Places to Visit:

Bhimakali Temple:

Dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali, this temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths. Bhimakali mata is the presiding deity of the royal family of Bushahr. Believed to have been built nearly 800 years ago, the temple is known for it sunique architecture, which blends Hindu and Tibetan designs. There are two other temples within the Bhimakali Temple, dedicated to Raghunath and Narsingh. The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with great pomp and show here, every year.

Royal Palace:

The Royal Palace is a relatively new building, and is not open for tourists. However, visitors are permitted access to the gardens and orchards of the Palace. The royal family rarely visits the Palace; though there is great celebration in the Palace during Dussehra and Durga Puja.

Sarahan Pheasantry Bird Park:

The park is located close to the Bhimakali Temple. The ‘Monal’ species of bird is bred in this Pheasantry. The Himalayan Monal has a metallic green head crest that makes it different from other varieties of the same species. A beautiful bird, it is the national bird of Nepal. It is also the state bird of Himachal Pradesh.

Monals are bred at the Pheasant farm
Monals are bred at the Pheasant farm

Jeori Stream:

The warm water stream at Jeori has a dedicated bathing area with changing rooms. The waters of the stream are believed to possess medicinal properties.

Best Time to Visit:

The temperature varies between 10-30 degrees between the summer months of April, May and June. However, during the winter months of November, December and January, the temperature oscillates between 7 to -7 degrees, and the region receives light to heavy snow. Thus, summer months are an ideal time to visit the place.

How to Reach:

The nearest airport is in Shimla, located at a distance of around 180 kilometres. The nearest railhead is also in Shimla.

Chandigarh and Delhi are located at a distance of 246 and 564 kilometres, respectively.

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