Sarahan is small picturesque village in Himachal Pradesh of India. It is the site of famous Bhimakali Temple, originally known as Bhimadevi Temple (Bhīmā Kālī), dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali, presiding deity of the rulers of the former Bushahr State. The temple is situated about 170 kilometres from Shimla and is one of 51 Shakti Peethas. The village is known as the gateway of Kinnaur it being near the old Indo-Tibetan Road. Seven kilometers below (17 km by road) Sarahan is the river Satluj.
Sarahan is identified with the Sonitpur mentioned in Puranas. Sarahan Bushahr has been the summer capital of Bushahr kingdom. Rampur Bushahr being the winter capital. The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shree Virbhadra Singh is a member of royal family (Son of erstwhile king Padam Singh) and is popularly known as "Raja Sahab" at Sarahan. He has been prominent member of Assembly/Parliament since 1962 and has held the post of Chief Minister for record 6 times. His wife Rani Pratibha Devi is also a member of Assembly.
Places of Interest:
The Bhimakali Temple: The Bhimakali Temple is an iconic structure housing the "Kuldevi" (The presiding deity of the dynesty) of Bushahr Kingdom. The Bhimakali Temple is noteworthy in that it contains both Hindu and Vajrayāna Buddhist statues and decorations which reflect the trade through here between India and Tibetan regions through ancient Indo-Tibetan Road. The traces of old indo-tibetan road still passes through Shalabag near Sarahan.It also shows Kushan influence in its architecture and possibly some of the images in it are Kushan (c. 1st to 3rd centuries CE).
There are two adjecent Identical looking temple buildings,One being old and resurrected and another one being new.The temple is built in Indo- Tibetan style of architecture.Alternate Rows of grooved and interlocked stones and wood provide flexibility and strength to the walls.Thick walls with lower roofs found in typical mountainous region buildings provide warmth during winters. Bushahr kings are believed to be dynastic priests of the temple and used to reside in temple premises before moving to palace some 100 meters from temple. Artistic wood work on the temple is worth appreciating.
King's and Queen's Palace: These are comparatively recent buildings adjacent to the temple. Palaces are generally not open for visitors,though they can roam around in the garden, orchard, around the palace and take pictures. The royal family does not live there any longer and visits occasionally during Durga Puja Festival in October.
Pheasantry: Jujurana is one of the protected species of birds in the region which is also present state bird of Himachal Pradesh. Pheasantry at Sarahan (500m from temple) caters to breeding of some local species of birds and they can be seen inside cages. Pheasantry remain closed during summer,it being the breeding season. Pheasantry is also a good place for a short uphill trek which may take 1–2 hours and gives good view of two of the prominent peaks the Gushu-Pushu and the Shrikhand Mahadev.
Hawa-Ghar: Its a small sitting area built under canopy with all round view of the peaks and valley. Tall trees have grown around it now and views are obstructed. Its built 2 km uphill of Sarahan and can be accessed by metalled road.
Stadium: Stadium is built near pheasantry and a Nallah (Large Natural Drain) passes underneath it. Its a good place to relax in sun and enjoy the view.
Hotel Shrikhand: Like most of the HPTDC Government Hotels, this one is aesthetically built and beautifully placed at edge of the hill. Its architecture replicates that of Bhimakali Temple. Its beautiful design and green roof can be seen while coming from Jeori.The lawn area provides beautiful view of Peaks and valley with clouds often hovering around at low heights. Lawn area is among the favourites for the photography enthusiast. The open sitting cum dining area with two swings near "Angoori Bar" is also a nice place to spend some time and enjoy sceneries. Native Apple and Plum wines are available at the bar along with other drinks. Chinese and North Indian foods are available at the restaurant.
Natural warm water stream: There is a warm water stream at Jeori just ahead of turn for Sarahan on NH22.There are dedicated bathing area with changing rooms at the stream. The stream is believed to have medicative properties by locals.
HPTDC Hotel "Hotel Shrikhand" with facilities of rooms, villas, restaurant and bar. Contact:+91 1782 274234.
Bhimakali Temple Lodge and Dormitory with canteen. Contact : +91 1782 27428(Sarahan) +91 1782 234058(Rampur)
Other hotels with decent facilities and services. Rooms are generally booked in advance during heavy tourist season.
Bank: State Bank Of India Branch and 24*7 ATM. Another SBI ATM kiosk available on Jeori -Sarahan Road, 5 km from Sarahan at ITBP campus,Bonda.
Hospital: Government Hospital with emergency facilities and residential doctors. Private dispensary and medicine shop is also available.
Food/Restaurants etc.: Food joints, Daily Need Shops, Fruit shops, Internet Cafe, cloth shops, electronics shops, mobile recharge etc. are available.
Schools: Government Primary and Senior Secondary School, Sarahan Public School are there at Sarahan. Kendriya Vidyalaya is also available at ITBP campus,Bonda. Sarahan Senior Secondary Public School.
Apart from these a bus stand,Post office, Outdoor Stadium,3G mobile connectivity,Sulabh Sauchalaya (Public Toilet) are also available.