Location: Sirmaur District of Himachal Pradesh
Climate: Pleasant all round the year.
Places to See: Ranital, Jagannath Temple, Churdhar Peak, etc.
Best Time to Visit: December to March
Nahan is a picturesque town situated on a ridge atop the Shivalik Hills, in the Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is a well planned city that is known for its cleanliness. Further, its charm gets fuelled with a number of gardens, streams, and temples. Nahan has a few tales to its origin; one of the tales depict that a saint namely Baba Banwari Das once stopped a king, who was about to kill a lion by saying, “Na har” which means “do not kill”. Another story states that Nahan was actually found by Raja Karan Prakash in 1621.
Climate in Nahan
At an elevation of 932 meters from the sea level, Nahan essentially has moderate weather all round the year. Summers here prevails from the month of April till June where the maximum temperature soars to 38°C and minimum goes to 6°C. June is the hottest month of the year with an average temperature of 28.9 °C. Monsoon season receives heavy amount of rainfall, with a total of about 2174 mm annually. Winter season is observed during the months of December till March, when temperature ranges between 3°C and 17°C. Nahan gets more rains in winters than summers. The lowest average temperature i.e. 11.4°C is observed in the month of January. While the average annual temperature remains 21°C. The best time to visit Nahan is from December to March seeing that the weather remains agreeable for tourists.
Tourist Attractions in Nahan
Rani Tal is a nature’s treat in the heart of Nahan. It has a small temple and lake amidst peaceful surroundings, making it a great place for picnics. Jagannath Temple, dedicated to Lord Neel Madhav, was built by Raja Budh Prakash in 1681. Built resembling the architecture of original temple at Puri, this temple is visited by people in large numbers. It also conducts the famous fair and procession at the occasion of Dwadashi during monsoons. Apart from a number of tourist places, Nahan is also known for its celebration of various religious and cultural festivals like, Bawan Dwadashi, Gugga Peer Fair, Jamta Mela, etc, with much gusto and fervor.
Thanks to the number of perennial streams and rivers, fishing is a popular local activity in Nahan. Besides fishing, trekking is a great activity to explore the region. In case you love to trek, Churdhar Peak at a height of 3650 meters is a great place for trekkers and can be approached from Dadahu, Sangrah, Bhawal, Gandhuri and Nauhra. The trek is little difficult but rewarding. The peak offers an amazing view of the Gangetic plains and the Satluj River in the south, and Badrinath in the north, as well as the hills of Chakrata and Shimla.
Excursions from Nahan
Renuka Lake is the most famous attraction among tourists, at a distance of 38 kms from Nahan. It is surrounded by Renuka Wildlife sanctuary which is home to a variety of animals and birds like, Asiatic lions, lion tailed macaques, Indian antelope, red-jungle fowl, chital, sambar, peacock, black-pheasant, etc. Located about 8 kms from the lake, Jamu Peak is a famous peak that offers a striking view of Renuka Lake from the top. It has a small temple which is believed to be the meditating place of sage Jamadagni.
Trilokpur Temple is another attraction, located about 23 kms from Nahan. It is dedicated to Goddess Bala Sundari Devi and is said to have been built in 1573 by the erstwhile King of Nahan. One major attraction is Suketi Fossil Park where gigantic Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) ancient animal models are put on display. It is about 21 kms from Nahan and is an actual unearthing site of fossil skeletons of these pre-historic animals. Here, you can also check out the museum that has a range of fossils, models, charts and paintings related to the various aspects of plants and animals life in the Shivalik Range.
Dhaula Kuan is a beautiful orchard sited about 20 kms from Nahan, on the way to Paonta Sahib. Here you can see plantation of mangoes and other citrus fruits, along with other plants. It also has a food processing factory where all types of jams, marmalades, jellies and pickles are made. Near to Dhaula Kuan is Kastasan Devi temple which is symbol of victory of Raja Jagat Singh over Rulam Quadir Rohilla in a battle. Simbalbara Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Paonta valley region, is a great place for nature and wildlife lovers. It comprises of Sal forests and lush green grasslands with waterfalls and streams in the Shivaliks.
Sirmouri Tal or Rajbans is an interesting place that has ruins of an old city. According the folklores, this city used to be loaded with curses and intriguing tales of betrayal, craftiness, and treachery attached to it. Jaitak Fort is a historical fort situated on the top of Jaitak Hills, about 25 kms from Nahan. It was built by Gurkha leader, Ranjor Singh Thapa in 1810, using the material recovered from the Nahan Fort.
Accommodation – Hotels/Resorts in Nahan
Nahan is a beautiful place that has got a number of hotels and resorts. Here you can find luxurious resorts as well as mid-range hotels to match your taste and budget. To name a few are, The Sirmaur Retreat, Black Mango Resort, Grand View Resort and many more. Chaugan Road is the best place to shop and eat in Nahan. There are many restaurants and local eateries that serve lip-smacking food. Or else, all the hotels have their in-house restaurants to cater your taste-buds.
How to Reach Nahan
Chandigarh International Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 85 kms from Nahan. The other nearest airports are at Shimla (135 kms) and Dehradun (95 kms). From all the airports, you can find regular bus services and taxis to reach Nahan.
The railway stations at Ambala (65 kms), Kalka (90 kms), Chandigarh (85kms) and Barara (65 kms) are closest railheads to Nahan. All these towns have regular bus services for Nahan. Or else, taxis make the easy option to cover the remaining distance.
Nahan is well connected through a network of roads and can be reached from different states via different routes. It can be approachable via Dehradun (Uttrakhand) through Paonta Sahib, via Kala-Amb from Haryana, and via Solan from Shimla (H.P.). One can also avail regular bus services available from Manali, Delhi and Haridwar to reach Nahan.