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Geography of Chamba

Geography of Chamba

The city of Chamba is located in the heart of Chamba District in the state of Himachal Pradesh.  The region is wholly mountainous and possesses extraordinary scenic beauty.

Location of Chamba

Chamba town is situated in the Chamba Valley at the confluence of River Ravi and its tributary River Sal. Its geographical coordinate is 32.57° N 76.13° E and the average elevation is 996 meter (3268 feet).

Geography of Chamba Valley

The Chamba Valley is an isolated valley system, touched by three mountain ranges. The valley is located between Dhauladhar Mountain Range and Zanskar Mountain Ranges.  While the Dhauladhar Range cuts it off from Kangra Valley, it also has Pir Panjal Range separating it from Lahaul and Kashmir Valley. The River Ravi runs through its entire length in east-west direction often forming deep canyons.

Topography of Chamba Town

Topography of Chamba

The city of Chamba is rather elongated in shape. It has been built in the lap of Shah Madar Hills on successive flat terraces. Although the region is mainly mountainous the town has many large pieces of flat lands. The Chougan, with 800 meters length and 80 meters width, is the largest among them. River Ravi, running along its western border is the prime water body in the entire district. 

River Ravi near Chamba

River Ravi is an international river flowing throw North West India and Eastern Pakistan. It is a snow fed perennial  river. It originates from Bara Bhangaal glacier (4300 meters) in Multhan Sub Tehsil of Kangra district and then flows in a north western direction to enter Chamba District. The river also has a number of tributaries like Budhai, Nai, Seul, Saiwa, Tant Gan, Sal etc flowing into it.

Initially, River Ravi runs along the western border of Chamba town. It then enters the town near the Shitla Bridge in Jansali locality and then flows out through the Sultanpur locality. Chamera Dam built at a distance of 37.5 km from Chamba provides electricity to the whole area. 

Chamera Dam near Chamba

Chamera Dam near Chamba

Chamera Dam, built across River Ravi, is located at a road distance of 37.5 km from Chamba town. It impounds water of River Ravi to support one of the most important hydroelectricity projects in Chamba district.  The project has three units built in three stages. While Chamera-I generates 540 MW of electricity Chamera-II generates 300 MW and Chamera III generates 231 MW. All these three units are owned by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.

Chamera Dam has a catchment area of 472.5 sq km and the reservoir, popularly known as Chamera Lake, has a live storage capacity of 110 MCN. While the maximum water level of the lake may reach up to 763 meter, the minimum water level remains around 747 meters. The mean annual inflow of the lake is 1,273 BCM. Unfortunately, the lake does not support any kind of aquatic life; consequently, it has become an ideal spot for water sports.

River Sal in Chamba

River Sal is another important river for Chamba. It originates from Saho Range and then runs for 15 km before it meets River Ravi near Chamba. Bhuri Singh Power House built on this river is the second oldest hydroelectric power project in India. It was built by Raja Bhuri Singh in 1920.

Natural Resources in Chamba

The hill sides of Chamba are covered with different varieties of trees such as olive, pomegranate, peepal and shisham. Different types of aromatic and medicinal plants also grow naturally on these hill slopes. In addition, farmers of this region have traditionally grown cereal crops such as wheat, maize, rice etc.

However, today farmers have started diversifying their crops. Now they not only grow different types of seasonal vegetables and flowers, but have also gone into cultivation of fruits, mushrooms and medicinal plants in a big way.

Seasons in Chamba

Seasons in Chamba

Chamba has five distinct seasons and they are summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The summer season in Chamba starts in April and ends in last week of June. During this period, the temperature varies from 38 °C to 15 °C. Consequently, the days are rather warm and the nights are pleasantly cold. While light cotton clothes are ideal for day time one may require slightly warmer clothes at night

The monsoon in Chamba starts in the month of July and continues till mid September.  With greenery all around the town looks at its best during this period. Autumn comes after the monsoon and generally lasts up to the November. During that period, the weather remains thoroughly enjoyable.

The winter in Chamba sets in December and lasts until February. During this period the maximum temperature hovers around 15°C and the minimum may reach the freezing point. However, because of its low elevation, the town rarely witnesses snowfall.

After winter, the town enjoys a brief spring. From the month of April, the temperature begins to rise and summer season sets in once more

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