Chamba, headquarter of District Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, has two Inter State Bus Terminuses (ISBTs): new and old. Blue color local buses ply between these two terminuses. The bus ticket costs just ₹3 per passenger for the short ride.
A very small cloakroom is equipped with just two small luggage racks. The rent is very subjective: ₹10 for small luggage, ₹20 for big luggage, and ₹50 for bigger luggage. Entire rent is collected in advance. When enquired about rent period, the attendant did not specify the hours. He just said you might keep until 10:00 pm. It is meant for very short period. It is for emergency.
The attendant goes for lunch between 01:30 pm and 02:00 pm and dinner around 08:00 pm.
- Do collect the receipt while depositing the luggage and preserve it carefully. If you misplace it, getting your luggage back will be very difficult.
- Do not keep your valuables, including cash wallets, mobiles, laptops, and jewelry in cloak room.
- Do collect your luggage at least half an hour before your bus departure time to avoid any inconvenience.
The terminus has six platforms serving different destinations within the State (e.g. Bharmour, Killar…) and other states (Delhi, Punjab (Pathankot), Uttarakhand (Dehradun)…).
- Wait at correct platform to board the bus for your destination.
- Do remember, sometimes buses get full before being parked at the platform.
Two waiting halls appointed with iron, stone, and wood benches are behind the platforms first and six. Ceiling fans mildly affect the temperature in the halls.
The terminus has two paid toilets at two ends of the platforms. One is near platform number one and other near platform number six. There are gender specific toilets and a separate washroom for physically challenged passengers. The Indian toilet for ladies was reeking of urine when I used it in September 2018. Flush did not work. Door was too hard to open and close.
Washroom usage fee: ₹5 per use.
Food and Drinks
Indian sweet shops sell snacks, including biscuits, breads, bread pakodas, chocolates, cold drinks, pakodas, samosas, savories, sweets, tea, and the like. A cup of coffee or tea costs ₹10 and that of tomato soup costs ₹20. The onsite vegetable fruit vendor sells fresh produce.
Types of Buses
- Buses by Himachal Road Transport Corporation (H.R.T.C.)
- Blue color local buses run by government
- Private buses
The buses plying on long routes start from new ISBT between 07:00 am and 07:00 pm.
Although the terminus does not have any free mobile charging points, yet at the first floor, a meat chawal cum mobile shop allows charging for ₹20 per device.
- Bus workshop
- Drinking water
- Inquiry counter
- Petrol pump for H.R.T.C. buses
- Public address system
- Taxi Stand outside the terminus provides taxi services for very high fares.
- Ticket booking counter
I observed that the terminus was swept and garbage was collected in the late evening daily. It was therefore clean in the night. However, during day it was badly littered as many passengers did not use dustbins. They just threw waste anywhere they wanted, making cleaning difficult.
Old ISBT near Chowgan
Buses plying on long routes start from old ISBT between 07:00 pm and 07:00 am. The blue local buses connect the old terminus to the new terminus during day. The old ISBT also doubles as a parking lot. The old terminus, located in bazaar that is within an easy walking distance of the historic Chowgan, the heart of Chamba, has Sulabh Toilets and Bath.