THE enchanting Churdhaar mountain in Sirmaur is one of the Shivalik ranges at a height of 11965 feet (it is the highest peak in southern Himachal Pradesh), Churdhaar, commonly known as Churichandni (Bangle of Snow), is blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes in this region. The view from the summit embraces a vast panorama of lowland tracts towards the south and snow-capped ranges, including the peaks of Badrinath and Kedarnath in the Garhwal region, towards the north.
It is believed that this is the very place where Hanuman discovered the life-restoring Sanjeevini booti, which revived Lakshmana, Lord Rama’s younger brother. Ruins of an ancient town have been discovered at the nearby Dundi Devi.
A wealth of herbs and beautiful alpine flora cover these Himalayan slopes. Walking through the wildlife sanctuary, one spots the spectacular Monaal, Himachal’s state bird, along with koklass and kaleej pheasants. The canine-toothed musk deer and the endangered Himalayan black bear inhabit the higher forests.
Below the summit is the deodar-roofed, single-storeyed, square temple of Shirgul with a lingam, dedicated to Shiva (Chooreshwar Mahadev). Pilgrims sing and dance at night during the Navratras fair in this ancient temple.
Trekkers tread over small glaciers on their way to the wind-blown Churdhaar summit, which has moderate to heavy snowfall (average of 33 feet snow). Often the Srigul temple gets buried under it.
On a clear sunny day, you can be rewarded with a view of the Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines, Gangetic plains, the Sutlej river and hills of Shimla and Chakrata. Atop the Churdhar summit lie the lingams of Shiva and Kali, where once goat and sheep were sacrificed. Devotees hoist flags and make offerings here.