It is a well-known fact that Pranav Mohanlal is a hardcore travel junkie. A quick look at his past itineraries would reveal that he loves to visit places ridden with spirituality. And Himachal Pradesh is a destination that is very close to Pranav’s heart as he often shares enticing pictures of this scenic north Indian state on social media. Actor and the son of Malayalam superstar Mohanlal has again splashed Instagram with some mesmerizing snaps of Himachal Pradesh that are oozing with ethereal beauty.
Now Pranav has posted fab pictures of Sarahan, which is a stunning small town in Himachal Pradesh and known as the gateway to Kinnaur. It is believed that Sarahan’s ancient name is Shonitpur, which has found mention in the Puranas. History has it that Sarahan was the winter capital of Bushahr, a Rajput princely state.
Bhimadevi Temple and other places of interest
The Bhimadevi temple that houses Bhimakali, the presiding deity of the Bushahr kingdom, is a major attraction of Sarahan, which is located near the Indo-Tibetan road. Besides the idol of Bhimakali, the temple also has Hindu and ‘Vajrayana’ Buddhist statues and decorations that are a treat for the eyes. The temple was built ages ago by following the Kath-Kuni style of wooden temple architecture. Interestingly, some of the stone images date back to the Kushan era.
Two temple buildings stand next to each, and one temple is pretty old and other is relatively new. As seen in the buildings in the mountainous regions, the temples have low roofs and thick walls to retain heat inside the structure.
It is believed that the Bushahr kings were traditionally the priests of the temple. Former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh was a member of this royal family. The priests, the kings and their family members lived in buildings near the temple, and later a palace was constructed 100 metres away from the temple.
The tourists can enter the palace garden but they are not allowed inside the palace. Presently, the royal family is not staying at the palace but they will visit the palatial building and temple during the Durga festival in October.
It is worth noting that Sarahan is rich in biodiversity. There is a pheasantry near the temple where ‘Jujurana’, the state bird of Himachal Pradesh, is also protected. The pheasantry will be closed during the breading season of the birds in summer.
Land of mountains and valleys
Another attraction of Sarahan is Hotel Shrikhand that was constructed sticking to the architecture style of the Bhimakali temple. Moreover, there is a stream, just before taking the turn to Sarahan on NH 22, with lukewarm water where you can take a refreshing bath. The local residents say that the water in the stream has medicinal value. The Hawa-Ghar view point, which is 2km away from Sarahan, gives a bird’s-eye view of the mountains and valleys in the region.
How to reach
Sarahan is 154km and 172km away from Delhi and Shimla respectively. You can either travel by rail to Kolkata or by air to Chandigarh, and from there you can reach Sarahan by road. Otherwise you can board a train from Kolkata to Shimla. You can hire a taxi or jeep from Shimla to proceed to Sarahan. Bus services are also available from Chandigarh, Shimla, Rampur and Jeori.