Some 160 Kms from the picturesque state capital city of Shimla, is the ancient town of Sarahan. This small town once served as the summer capital of Bushahr kingdom and now is famously well known as the gateway to the Kinnaur and Spiti valley region of the state. Set against a backdrop of scenic high mountains lined with the pine trees and Deodars trees, crisscrossed by multiple sooth sounded water streams and amidst the contrasting landscape of apple orchards, Sarahan is truly a nature lover’s paradise. It’s a place with which you will fall in love with, every time you visit, making it a perfect offbeat weekend getaway place in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Entrance Gateway to the Main Temple Complex
The town of Sarahan is mainly known for its ancient temple site of the Goddess Bhimakali Temple which is one among the 51 Shakti Peethas spread across Indian subcontinent. Dedicated to the goddess Bhimakali, an incarnation of Goddess Sati is the presiding deity of the former rulers of the Bushahr kingdom, who used to rule the region.
The temple architecture is very unique that is found only in this mountainous region of Himachal Pradesh. Made as per Kath-Kuni style of architecture, the temple’s layered structure has many panes with the lower roofs made up of thick walls having alternate rows of grooves, interlocked with stones and wood. And the upper structure can be visualized as the dome of a mushroom that takes strength from the lower base and seems as if it’s floors are suspended in the mid air. The interlocked stones and wood architecture provides the base to whole of the structures and the much needed strength to it’s upper walls along with providing its dwellers the warm shelters from the harsh chilling winters of the region.
Where to Stay in Sarahan
For the ease of public, visiting the temple the temple administration have recently opened the newer complex having facilities of single 10 bedded dormitory room and 12 double bedded rooms. To book a room contact Mr Amar Nath ji on +91-8091731477. He can assist you with your room bookings. If you are visiting Sarahan and the Temple during the peak months around the Durga Puja days, you will definitely get to find a huge rush. Do not worry Sarahan has now many options available in the form of home stays. So you may not find problem of finding good and cheap homestay accommodation.
How to reach Sarahan in Kinnaur Valley?
Sarahan lies just 17kms off the Shimla-Kaza-Spiti Valley Road and it takes at least 170 km to cover by road from Shimla to Sarahan. But to reach one has to first reach the towns of Kullu or Shimla which are the only nearest town connected via airlines.
Taxis to reach Sarahan town and to any other places in Himachal Pradesh are plentifully available from the capital city of Shimla. You can always get connected with local taxi drivers. The daily charges may be around Rs 3500- Rs 4500 depending on the type of taxi and the number of days the taxi is booked for. We hired a local driver for our Spiti Valley trip :Mr Jugnu – Contact Number +91 9861080031. He drives a Innova Crysta vehicle and is damn good and decent driver.
By Bus, Sarahan can be reached by hopping into one of the many buses and few Semi Luxury buses that ply between Shimla- (Reckong Peo) route. List of buses and their latets timing can be found by clicking the following hyperlink : HRTC buses ply the Shimla – Kinnaur . Get down at Jeori town bus station, and catch a local bus, that traverses the route to Sarahan which is 12 km from Sarahan. This journey from Jeori to Sarahan might cost you Rs50 and it takes not more than an hour to reach.
The suggested route is (Click the hyperlink to view the whole route on Google map) : Delhi » Chandigarh » Shimla (2200 mt) » Narkanda (2708 mt) » Rampur (1350mt) » Jeori » Sarahan (2314 mt)
What is the best time to visit Sarahan town?
Though August/ September are termed as best days to visit Sarahan as its falls in the apples harvest season and the festive season of Durga Puja. But August /September months are also the time for Heavy rainfall in the Kinnaur region. When we visited Sarahan during the month of August this year of 2019, we were greeted with a mixed spell of heavy rainfall and a dry clear weather. No doubt being the apple harvesting season the landscape will surely make it a sight to never to be forgotten, it’s all depends on the mood of the Rain god.
Then comes the winter months of December to February .a Visit to Sarahan during winter months can also be a pleasurable time to visit, though chillingly cold when temperature hovers around 7 to -7 degrees, yet can always be enjoyable experience when in the hills and it’s snowing. The roads are mostly well connected throughout the year with Sarahan and you’ll be happy to get into the heart of the hills.
Sarahan is bestowed with it’s fair share of its Summer days when temperature averages around 20 degrees. Making it a most favored months to visit and relax soothing your eyes with the heavenly beauty.
Other Places of Visit near Sarahan
Othe rthan the temple, other places of visit includes the Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary, which is only 4 km from the main town of Sarahan. If lucky one can easily sight Musk Deer, Gorals and Thar. After if time permits do visit the many Apples orchards. It will be much memorable, savouring apples directly from the trees.
Shopping at Sarahan
The local handicrafts of Kinnauri toppis or caps, Kinnauri Shawls, and Nehru mufflers are readily available in the main market near the rear side of the Bhimakali temple. One will also come across unique religious items to buy from the immensely decorated shops, representing both Hindu and Tibetan cultures, synonymous with the region. Do visit those to find a good deal on the items and the handcraft from the local hand looms. Of course, apple jams and apricot quash drink are deemed as a must to have because of the great buy in the region. Do also taste the local liquor made up of apples.