Known for its places of pilgrimage with legends woven around them, ed Sirmaur is a relatively unexplored area whose landscape is enhanced by fruit orchards. Habban valley, Haripur Dhar and Rajgarh have some of the most beautiful hideaways, yet to be explored. The region can be approached from Solan – Shimla or Chandigarh. After passing through the Horticulture University at Nauni, from a road bifurcating at Solan one reaches Giripul; Rajgarh is 20 kms beyond Giripul.
From Rajgarh one road takes you into the densely forested Habban valley, another to Haripur Dhar and a third one goes to Nahan through Baru Sahaib. Rajgarh with its peach bloom spring is blessed with considerable natural beauty. Haripur Dhar sixty kilometers from Rajgarh with its scared Devi Bhagain temple has one of the widest views on display — mighty Himalayan peaks to the north and the spreading Indo – Gangetic plain with river’s meandering through, to the south. A night view from here gives the feeling of space with stars all around, for in the vast spread one cannot distinguish the starlit horizon from twinkling city lights in the distance. Barusahib on the way to Nahan from Rajgarh is a famous Sikh pilgrimage center with an Akal Academy.
Dominating the entire landscape of fields, forests and ravines is Choor Dhar peak at 3647 meters. Approached from various points the climb is difficult but rewarding. Panoramic views from the peak have infinite plains; river’s and mighty ranges savoring in all in the same breath. Choor Dhar is among the highest peaks in the Shivalik range with many trail and trekkers’ routes that adventurer’s simply love. The forests enclosed in the valleys vibrate with birds of various hues including the majestic Monal pheasant; Black bear, Ghoral, Kakkar, musk dear, and leopard for wild life and also have some of the rarest herbs and medicinal plants. The streams have rich trout pools. Trekking in the deep woods will recharge city worn ambition to do the extra mile before sleep overtakes.
Along the way one may encounter locals’ inhabitants trudging in search for food and fodder. The people are very hospitable. The cult of Shrigul Devta dominates tradition, culture and festivals and is one of the larger deities of Himachal.
A journey to Renuka – Ponta Sahib – Nahan can become a quest for the elusive personality of the uplands. Renuka a stretch of water shaped like a sleeping woman with a circumference of 25 km is the largest natural lake in Himachal. The lake commemorates Renukaji, mother of Parashurama who was killed by her son in obedience of his father, the sage Jamdagni. Nearby is a pool sacred to the filial Parashurama with temples at each lake. Each year, in November, a fair is held which celebrates the immortality of Renuka and her son. The mountain folk gather to sing and chant the praises of the two immortals. A mini zoo, a lion safari, boating on the waters, and fishing at nearby Jataun are added attractions.
Its association with the Sikhs, where Guru Gobind Singh held court and wrote the major portion of the Dassam Granth, distinguishes Paonta Sahaib. Overlooking the river there is a majestic Gurudwara where weapons – memorials to the martial guru are kept.
Nahan was capital of the old princely state of Sirmaur. The town has several places and temples and is salubrious and cultivated. The famous shrine of Balasundri and the Simbalwara Wildlife Park are close to Nahan. Sirmaur also has a fossil park at Suketi. The largest fossil find in the Shivalik hills here prompted geologists to fabricate life size models in the park.