The independent princely state of Chamba was founded in the 6th century ce and fell under Kashmir, Mughal, and Sikh rule before becoming part of British India in 1846. It was merged with Himachal Pradesh in 1948.
Chamba is built on two terraces; on the lower are public offices and the Bhuri Singh Museum, and on the upper is the residential area. It has some industry, including cloth weaving and the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, and has an active trade in agricultural produce. The area is noted for its 10th-century temples. The surrounding area’s economy is almost entirely agricultural, and there are large forested areas. Pop. (2001) 20,327; (2011) 19,933.