The bharmour region, home-land of the semi-nomadic, sheep-herding Caddis and the first capital of the Chamha mountainside, high above Buclhil, a large tributary of the Ravi river. Bharmour’s main attraction is the fascinating Chaurasi (literally, “Eighty- Four”) Temple complex, built in the 10th century under Raja Sahil Varman, to honour the 84 saints who visited Bharmour. The major shrines are dedicated to Narasimha, Ganesha, and the local deities Larkana Devi and Manimahesh. The intricate wooden carvings on the temple lintel and the images of the main deities are outstanding, and it is said that the sculptor’s hands were cut off to prevent him from replicating such remarkable work.

ENVIRONS: Situated at a height of 3,950 m (12,959 ft), Manimahesh Lake, 35 km (22 miles) from Bharmour, is the area’s most sacred lake, as its holy waters are believed to cleanse all sins. In August/September, thousands of pilgrims converge here to participate in the annual Manimahesh Yatra . The main motor road continues up to Hadsar, 16 km (10 miles) beyond Bharmour, and from there the yatma (procession) ascends in two, stages via Dhanchho to the lake, nestling at the base of the Mannishness Kailasa.

For the adventurous, Bharnsour also offers a tough five-day trek over the Kugti Pass (5,040 m/16,535 ft) to Lahaul . Holi, 26 km (16 miles) away in the main Ravi Valley, is the base for a number of trails over the Dhauladliar Range to the Kangra Valley. It offers the option of a longer walk to the Kullu Valley as well. Down the course of the Ravi, on the road to Chamba, the Chatrari Temple with its exquisite bronze image of Shakti Devi, is also worth a stop.

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