|Sarahan ( Sarahan Bushahr)
|temple and town|
Bhimakali Temple, Sarahan
|Elevation||2,313 m (7,589 ft)|
|• Total||1,500 approx|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Sarahan is small picturesque village in Himachal Pradesh of India. It is the site of famous Bhimakali Temple, originally known as Bhimadevi Temple (Bhīmā Kālī), dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali, presiding deity of the rulers of the former Bushahr State. The temple is situated about 170 kilometres from Shimla and is one of 51 Shakti Peethas. The village is known as the gateway of Kinnaur it being near the old Indo-Tibetan Road. Seven kilometers below (17 km by road) Sarahan is the river Satluj. Sarahan is identified with the Sonitpur mentioned in Puranas. Sarahan Bushahr has been the summer capital of Bushahr kingdom. Rampur Bushahr being the winter capital. The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shree Virbhadra Singh is a member of royal family (Son of erstwhile king Padam Singh) and is popularly known as "Raja Sahab" at Sarahan. He has been prominent member of Assembly/Parliament since 1962 and has held the post of Chief Minister for record 6 times. His wife Rani Pratibha Devi is also a member of Assembly.
Facilities Available :
HPTDC Hotel "Hotel Shrikhand" with facilities of rooms, villas, restaurant and bar. Contact:+91 1782 274234.
Bhimakali Temple Lodge and Dormitory with canteen. Contact : +91 1782 27428(Sarahan) +91 1782 234058(Rampur)
Other hotels with decent facilities and services. Rooms are generally booked in advance during heavy tourist season.
Bank: State Bank Of India Branch and 24*7 ATM. Another SBI ATM kiosk available on Jeori -Sarahan Road, 5 km from Sarahan at ITBP campus,Bonda.
Hospital: Government Hospital with emergency facilities and residential doctors. Private dispensary and medicine shop is also available.
Food/Restaurants etc.: Food joints, Daily Need Shops, Fruit shops, Internet Cafe, cloth shops, electronics shops, mobile recharge etc. are available.
Schools: Government Primary and Senior Secondary School, Sarahan Public School are there at Sarahan. Kendriya Vidyalaya is also available at ITBP campus,Bonda.
Apart from these a bus stand,Post office, Outdoor Stadium,3G mobile connectivity,Sulabh Sauchalaya (Public Toilet) are also available.
Places of Interest:
The Bhimakali Temple:
The Bhimakali Temple is an iconic structure housing the "Kuldevi" (The presiding deity of the dynesty) of Bushahr Kingdom. The Bhimakali Temple is noteworthy in that it contains both Hindu and Vajrayāna Buddhist statues and decorations which reflect the trade through here between India and Tibetan regions through ancient Indo-Tibetan Road. The traces of old Indo-Tibetan road still passes through Shalabag near Sarahan. It also shows Kushan influence in its architecture and possibly some of the images in it are Kushan (c. 1st to 3rd centuries CE).
There are two adjacent Identical looking temple buildings,One being old and resurrected and another one being new.The temple is built in Indo- Tibetan style of architecture.Alternate Rows of grooved and interlocked stones and wood provide flexibility and strength to the walls.Thick walls with lower roofs found in typical mountainous region buildings provide warmth during winters. Bushahr kings are believed to be dynastic priests of the temple and used to reside in temple premises before moving to palace some 100 meters from temple. Artistic wood work on the temple is worth appreciating.
King's and Queen's Palace: These are comparatively recent buildings adjacent to the temple. Palaces are generally not open for visitors,though they can roam around in the garden, orchard, around the palace and take pictures. The royal family does not live there any longer and visits occasionally during Durga Puja Festival in October.
Pheasantry : Jujurana is one of the protected species of birds in the region which is also present state bird of Himachal Pradesh. Pheasantry at Sarahan (500m from temple) caters to breeding of some local species of birds and they can be seen inside cages. Pheasantry remain closed during summer,it being the breeding season. Pheasantry is also a good place for a short uphill trek which may take 1–2 hours and gives good view of two of the prominent peaks the Gushu-Pushu and the Shrikhand Mahadev.
Hawa-Ghar: Its a small sitting area built under canopy with all round view of the peaks and valley. Tall trees have grown around it now and views are obstructed. Its built 2 km uphill of Sarahan and can be accessed by metalled road.
Stadium : Stadium is built near pheasantry and a Nallah (Large Natural Drain) passes underneath it. Its a good place to relax in sun and enjoy the view.
Hotel Shrikhand: Like most of the HPTDC Government Hotels, this one is aesthetically built and beautifully placed at edge of the hill. Its architecture replicates that of Bhimakali Temple. Its beautiful design and green roof can be seen while coming from Jeori.The lawn area provides beautiful view of Peaks and valley with clouds often hovering around at low heights. Lawn area is among the favourites for the photography enthusiast. The open sitting cum dining area with two swings near "Angoori Bar" is also a nice place to spend some time and enjoy sceneries. Native Apple and Plum wines are available at the bar along with other drinks. Chinese and North Indian foods are available at the restaurant.
Natural warm water stream: There is a warm water stream at Jeori just ahead of turn for Sarahan on NH22.There are dedicated bathing area with changing rooms at the stream. The stream is believed to have medicative properties by locals.
Sarahan is located at  It has an average elevation of 2,313 metres (7,589 feet)..
The cold climate is suitable for Apple crop and Apples from the region remain in high demand.
Winter: From November to March, the region receives moderate to heavy snowfall with intermittent rainfall. The temperature ranges from 7˚C to -7˚C. The days get adequate and clear sunlight.
Summer: From April to July. Summer season is pleasant with temperature between 10˚C to 30˚C. Apple plants with ripe fruits are a pleasant sight towards the end of summer.
Rainy : From August to October. The region receive moderate rainfall. Rare hailstorms spoil the apple crop.
Sarahan is 564 kilometres from New Delhi and 170 kilometres from Shimla. One can travel by train to Kalka or by air to Chandigarh and then travel by road to Sarahan. People also opt for the famous train ride from Kalka to Shimla.Taxis and jeeps can be hired to reach to Sarahan. Bus services are also available from Chandigarh,Shimla,Rampur and Jeori. It takes approximately 6 to 8 hours by road to reach Sarahan from Shimla and 9 to 11 hours from Chandigarh. Road Connectivity gets temporarily hampered during winters due to heavy snowfall at Narkanda and landslides at places like Jhakhri. There is an alternate route via Sainj which bypasses Narkanda, which is used during heavy snowfall. The NH 22 forks at Jeori (153 km from Shimla and 23 km from Rampur Bushahr) towards Sarahan making an uphill U turn. Sarahan is 17 km from Jeori. Buses ply between Sarahan and Jeori at periodic interval. Finding a taxi from Jeori might be difficult. Buses, shared taxi, public carriers are frequent between Rampur and Jeori. Buses heading to Reckongpeo also drops passengers at Jeori, where they need to take another vehicle for Sarahan. There are almost no snowfall on NH22 ahead of Narkanda and up to Jeori in winters. Snow on the roads near Sarahan are promptly cleared by government agencies. The nearest petrol pumps are at Jeori and Rampur.
Notable persons from this town
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sarahan.|
- Sarahan Tourism info page from official website of Himachal Pradesh State Government of India
- Prem N. Nag, Dainik Jagran, 26 August 2007
- Buddhist Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh. O. C. Handa. 1987. Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi, pp. 55,59.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Sarahan