Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi Temple Trek
Duration : ( 2 Days / 1 Nights)
Aadi Himani Chamunda or locally also called as Barfani Chamunda Trek is a popular trail to Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda at an altitude of 3185 metres nestled in the lap of towering Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra district.
Goddess Chamunda delivered the killing blow to two demons – Chand & Mund at this place. Chamunda killed them from the mountain top by throwing massive boulders in their direction. It is believed that one of these boulders can still be seen atop the Shiva Temple, situated at the Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dhaam along the scenic Dharamshala Palampur state highway.
History of Aadi Himani Chamunda
Maa Bhagwati is seated as Shakti in Aadi Himani Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham in district Kangra. Maa Chamunda is enshrined here as the northern gatekeeper of the Jalandhar Peeth. The area was known as Chander Bhan Nagar, where the ancient temple was located, and the place was named after one of the rulers, King Chander Bhan. The ruins of Raja Chander Bhan's palace were just 50 meters from the Adi Chamunda temple and 200 meters away from the temple, the ruins of the fort of Raja Chander Bhan indicate that the area was alive hundreds of years ago. It is believed that the Pandavas visited this place after the Mahabharata war. Just in front of the temple was seen the magnificent Talang Prabhat, the peak of which is known as Gauri Mukat, which is believed to be the board of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
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Treks to Aadi Himani Chamunda Temple
Route 1 : Jadrangal - Kardiana - Aadi Himani Chamunda
Distance : 8.5 Kms
Difficulty Level : Easy to Moderate
Aadi Himani Chamunda temple can be be reached via two well-defined treks. Jadrangal to Aadi Himani Chamunda is a route frequented by pilgrims and it is a much straighter and paved with stone steps. The 8.5 kilometres trek from the final motorable road at Kardiana to Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi takes approximately 6–7 hours and moderate expertise is required. There are many shops, dhabas and water sources till halfway from this side.
Route 2 : Jia - Aadi Himani Chamunda
Distance : 7.4 Kms
Difficulty Level : Moderate to Difficult
The trek from Jia to Aadi Himani Chamunda is 7.4-kilometre long and it involves a moderate yet relentless climb. You start at 1363 metres and steadily gain an altitude of 1500 vertical metres over the next 4-5 hours. The initial ascent is through dense pine forest . Within an hour of ascent, the pine jungle gives way to an opening (near the point where trail intersects the ridge) and most of the trail thereafter is without any forest cover.
The route is a mix of paved concrete, stony steps and grass mixed with scree. This trail is dotted with shelters and solar lamps and it is well marked. The trail is mostly paved with concrete except for the last one kilometre where the stone-paved trail leads into the grassland that lasts till the summit.
It is recommended to start early and reach the temple by the afternoon. Locals complete this trek and return to Jia in one day. The temple lies in a natural glade flanked by Dhauladhars and the natural beauty of this place is best savoured in late evenings or at early mornings. Late evenings paint the Dhauladhars in hues of purple and orange. The setting sun turns these frowning stone massifs into smiling friends. Once the sun goes down the whole Kangra Valley lights up in a sparkle of twinkling lights.
Best Time to Visit Aadi Himani Chamunda Temple
The temple remains open from 15 March to 15 November consistently. The best time for Aadi Himani Chamunda Trek is from April - June and September to 15 November. July - September are Monsoon months and it's not advisable to trek during these months. Moreover, after the end of october, the winter season starts and it snows heavily to make the trek even more difficult. After 15 November the temple is unmanned and inferable from cold climate. But the sarai in temple complex are left opened alongwith some cooking utencils and beddings.
Important Tips for the Trek
- There is scarcity of food and water for the most part. Please carry an adequate amount ( 5 Ltrs. Approx) of water and food from the shops near Jia or Jadrangal.
- Avoid planning the trek in monsoons.
- Carry essential thermal wears as it gets cold with ascents.
- Don't climb too fast.
- Airtel and Jio Network connects well.
- The temple provide bedding for pilgrims. It's better to carry your tents and camping equipment.
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