This web site is dedicated to Raja Bhuri
Singh of Chamba. Raja Bhuri Singh was one of the makers of modern Chamba and wanted to
usher in the new without destroying the benefits of the past.
An introduction by Prabal Pramanik
I visited Chamba in 1983 when I first came to Himachal Pradesh in
Himachal is a Himalayan region, where nature, in areas unpolluted by man, flourishes in
lavish sylvan beauty.
The superb pristine scenes can be enjoyed by sensitive souls in different ecological
settings in Himachal Pradesh. Every snow-clad peak in the panoramic ranges, each wooded
slope rolling down to a verdant valley has its own individual character to make it special
Chamba valley, surrounded by greenish blue hills adorned with fleecy clouds, has a
singular beauty of its own.
The mountain peaks that receive early snowfall loom behind the hills under the shifting
curtain of mists.
This dreamy glow of pastel shades form a magical backdrop to this town of ancient
I was thrilled by this magical atmosphere and thought that this place was ideal for
nurturing artistic emotions.
I made some sketches of the town that started with buildings on the hill slope and spread
out in the valley.
I sat on a bench on the spreading green meadow called Chowgan and drew the
town bordering this open space, that is a vital feature of this place.
The town scape of Chamba is incomplete without the old temples.
These ancient stone temples of typical architectural style have created the individual
identity of Chamba for ages in human history. The town seems to have developed around
these temples and undoubtedly the social life of this town in ancient times and in
medieval times centered around these places of worship.
As I drew the ancient town that may have existed well over thousand years, I was aware
that winds of change were blowing over the valley and Chamba, after crossing centuries of
tradition and gradual social evolution, was facing a situation of rapid and drastic
I knew that as the range of exposure due to the spread of electronic media, westernized
values and this settlement in the valley surrounded by sylvan environment would face
situations of rapid change.
Even twenty five years ago I walked along the lanes bordered by shops and old buildings of
this town I felt that a changes of values and life style were making inroads in the
socio-economical structure here.
A lot of physical change in the structure of the town has been made since I first visited
Chamba. Entire roadside row of old buildings have been demolished to make way for new
shopping malls and the town has become much more congested.
The growth and development of information technology and media have made an immense
difference in the social value system and the attitude to accept life on a global context
has influenced this growing settlement in the valley.
Chamba, or Champa, is entering a new age, and this has exerted many positive as well as
negetive influences on life here.
Chamba exists on the identity of its past, yet cannot deny the future.
Today, in November 2008, standing at the threshhold of a new age, I understand, that to
keep a balance between the past of rich heritage and a future of social development in the
age of widespread information technology, the people of Chamba require a conscious
attitude of greater dimension.
This conscious attitude greater dimension that would promote heritage consciousness in a
positive globalized aspect that accepts the benefits of modern technology without
sacrificing the past, can be brought about through the spread of information technology.
This web site created and launched by Prabal Pramaniks Academy of Arts, will
positively help in developing that vital consciousness.
Moreover, people all over the world, even in faraway countries will now be able to have a
much greater understanding about old and modern Chamba through this web site.
With the inevitable growth and acceptance of the worldwide net in the life of this
Himalayan town, this web site is certain to become an integral part of the development and
progress of this place in a positive
Prabal Pramanik ©
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