Surrounded by high lush green mountains, this quaint little town known as Bharmour, remained capital of the princely state of Chamba for over 400 years. About 69 kilometers from Chamba, this fascinating little town ( 2130 m) surrounded by high ranges was then known as Bharmour. Its ancient temples endow Bharmour with an aura of a hallowed place. The abundant alpine pastures in the region are home to the nomadic Gaddi tribesman.
Bharmour, formally known as Brahmpura, situated at an altitude of 7000 feet in the Budhil valley, forty miles to the south-east of Chamba. The country around Bharmour is regarded as belonging to Lord Shiva and is sometimes called Shiva-Bhumi, abode of lord Shiva. Being the home of nomadic shepherds Gaddies it is also called 'Gadderan'. Bharmour is also known for its delicious apples and local blankets. Life in Bharmour centers around the Chaurasia – a temple square which owes its name to the data 84 shrines built with in its periphery. With varying architectural designs these temples were built between the seventh and tenth century. The towering shikara of Manimahesh temple dominates a square and a life size bull idol of Nandi, in polished brass the entrance guards. The Lakshna Devi temple’s sanctum sanctorum houses the meter high goddess idol cast in exquisite brass.
If Chamba is counted in the history of the North-Western Indian art and craft, then Bharmour (2130m) is its exhibition ground. Learned agree that the wooden architecture and the metallic idols of Bharmour temples depict the exquisiteness of the craft of Hinduism that developed in the hills in the medieval Period. Exemplary shrines are those of Lakshna Devi, Narsingh Dev and Lord Ganesh. Just 4 kms above Chaurasi temples is the hill temple of Bharmani Devi. A trek to this temple refreshes the visitors as it unfolds the green woods before him.
This place still regales in its glorious history with its treasure of ancient temples and monuments. Some of temples are believed to be existing from 10th century. Tucked away amidst lush green surroundings, your travel to Bharmaur will be no less than a magical trip. It is now getting the recognition it deserves due to increased tourism in Himachal Pradesh. Bharmour is best known for its serene surroundings and amazingly tranquil environs. Those interested in exploring this place can go to ancient temples and forests located here. One can also enjoy trekking here on the gentle slopes of the mountain ranges that surround Bharmour city of India.
It is also the base for the famed Manimahesh 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, 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 'Nursimha') 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.
Another remarkable feature of Bharmour which requires mention is the temple of ‘Bharmani Mata’, which can be reached by climbing a steep path of almost 4km on foot. It is considered auspicious to take a dip in the holy pool of the temple. The effort of climbing is also rewarded by the food or tea offered at the langar there. The view of the place is a treat to the eyes: open and wide meadows, gurgling streams apple-laden trees and hilltops surrounded by snow-peaked mountains.
There is PWD Rest-House and a Lodge for accommodation. A number of hotels, sarais and a mountaineering hut with dormitory facility for 25 persons is coming up at Bharmour. There is a regional centre of Mountaineering Institute, Manali, where courses are conducted by qualified trainers.