Places of Interest : Bhawan Dwadshi Best Time to Visit : December to March
A well-laid out picturesque town of Nahan is situated on an isolated ridge in the Shiwalik hills, overlooking green fields. Known for its cleanliness and dust free streets, saints and princes are linked with the origin of Nahan. The city was founded as a capital by Raja Karan Prakash in 1621. Another version recalls a saint who lived with a companionable Nahar on the site where the Nahan palace now stands. "Nahar" means a lion and probably the town takes its name from this saint.
At an altitude of 9,32m, Nahan is a good base for visits to the surrounding pilgrim areas viz. Renuka, Paonta Sahib, Trilokpur temple and the Suketi Fossil Park. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year and is watered by man made lake and decorated with temples and gardens. It is also the headquarter of Sirmaur district.
PRIME ATTRACTIONS Nahan Town: The gentle level walks of Villa Round, Military Round and Hospital Round are evocative of the city's past. The hub of Nahan's activities is Chaugan, Bikram Bagh and Khadar-Ka-Bagh. Gift shops, Rosin & Turpine factory and local temples are among the other major attractions. In the heart of Nahan town is Rani Tal, where a large temple and a tank from the days of ex-rulers of Sirmaur state can be seen. Ducks and cranes are seen playing in the Ranital Tank, and Ranital Garden further adds to the charm.
Suketi Fossil Park: Suketi Fossil Park displays life size fiberglass models of pre-historic animals whose fossil, skeletons were unearthed here. The park is first of its kind in Asia to be developed at the actual site where fossils were discovered. At a distance of 21-kms from Nahan, the Suketi Fossil Park is located on the bank of Markanda river and is approachable by a link road 4-kms from Kalka-Ambala highway from Haryana. Located on upper and middle Shiwaliks, consisting mainly of soft sandstone and clay rocks, the park at present has six sets of life-size models of Stegodonganesa Sivatherium, Hexaprotodon-Sivalensis, Colosschelys Atlas, Paramachaerdus and Crocodilia, the animals which once thrived in the region.
Trilokpur Temple: Raja Dip Prakash built it in 1573 and is situated at a distance of 23-kms from Nahan and 6-kms from Kalka-Ambala highway, the gateway to Nahan from Haryana. Trilokpur is a place of great religious importance. The temple of the goddess Mahamaya Bala Sundri is very famous and attracts lakhs of pilgrims from all over northern India, especially from Haryana and Himachal. A fair is held twice an year during the Navratras in April and October when a large number of devotees visit this temple and pay their respects to the goddess.
Dhaula Kuan: On the road to Paonta Sahib 20-kms from Nahan, it is worth while to stop and see a sprawling orchard consisting of citrus plants and mangoes and a fruit canning factory of various kinds of juices, jams, pickles and canned fruits. A little away from Dhaula Kuan is Kastasan Devi temple where Raja Jagat Singh defeated the advancing army of Rulam Quadir Rohilla in a great battle. Their victory is commemorated in the Devi Temple, built in gratitude by the Raja. Dhaula Kuan also has a research station of H.P., KVV where useful research on tropical fruits is carried out.
Giri Nagar: Situated at a distance of 7-kms from Dhaula Kuan, this town has a power house of 60 M.W. capacity, constructed after diverting the Giri river through a 6-kms long tunnel.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Nearest airport is Chandigarh, with Delhi as an alternative.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are Ambala, Chandigarh and Kalka, which are connected by a regular bus service.
Road: Nahan is approachable from many directions by road: via Dehra Dun through Paonta Sahib; via Kalka-Ambala from Haryana and via Solan from Shimla. There are regular bus services linking it to the other towns like Manali, Delhi and Haridwar.
WHERE TO STAY
Sirmaur Mahal Guest House
Keshav Guest House
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Nahan celebrates Bawan Dwadshi towards the end of the monsoon, when fifty-two idols of local gods are carried in procession to Jagannath temple, where they are floated ceremoniously in a pool and are restored at midnight to their niches.
BALA SUNDARI FAIR
The Bala Sundari fair is held at Trilokpur near Nahan, this coincides with the sacred days of the Navratras.
Shravan Sankranti is celebrated at Nahan, in the month of July, at Arki. Buffalo fights mark the Sair Fair that is cunducted in the honour of Banar devta of Shari. The Rampur Jatar is held near Jubbal in district Shimla.