The serene splendour of Himachal Pradesh allures a large number of travelers all around the world. Himachal is well-known for its majestic mountains delimited by lush bush and restful ambience offering an absolute delight for tourists, and the charming portrayal of Himachal Pradesh remains curtailed without mentioning the sleepy knoll of Dalhousie.
Positioned at an elevation of about 8000 feet, Dalhousie is unquestionably one of the fascinating tourist hubs in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This place is stuffed with chunky afforests of Pine, species of woody plants and free-flowing electrifying water of river Ravi. Well, this is not what Dalhousie is all about. This less rushed hilltop has many other attractions to offer. Let’s explore the sleepy hills of Dalhousie.
With an expanse of nearly 14 Sq Km areas, Dalhousie sprawls over five hills offering an absolute delight for all mount climbers and trekking freaks. This hill station was named after the British Governor General of Punjab, and there is an interesting tale associated with its emergence. Decades back, Dalhousie was an eminent part of Chamba state. However, this hill station was unveiled for the first time in 1853 by the British. Later, Dalhousie gained its popularity when a British nobleman Lord James Ramsay visited this site during his leisure time. After his pleasant stay amidst picturesque Dalhousie, Ramsay brought the climatic and natural exquisiteness of this place in the notice of Chamba’s King. Accordingly, Dalhousie began to get shaped up as a refuge for the British during scorching summers.
Dalhousie is a threshold to the erstwhile state of Chamba, which is now a district in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The inhabitants of Dalhousie are munificent by nature. They prime sources of earnings here are tourism, handicrafts, business and husbandry. The villagers here speak Pahari and Hindi languages and they live a very simple lifestyle.
The inhabitants of Dalhousie follow unique traditional attire. The easy-going lifestyle and ancient beliefs of villagers represents here the rich Hindu culture. They are quite religious. Lohri and Halda are two main festivals here that are celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people of Dalhousie. During festival seasons, the people of Dalhousie perform various forms of dances including folk dance, Charasay, Ghost Dance and Horn Dance. If you visit during their local festival, the people of Dalhousie will offer you great honour with food and drinks. The local women wear their traditional colourful attire Pattoo. However, due to wintry climate throughout the year, they mostly wear warm clothes.
Dalhousie is reckoned amongst one of the finest and soothing hilltops in the state of Himachal Pradesh to travel by. The place witnesses the summer in the month of March and it continues till May. In summers, the maximum temperature remains below 35°C. Monsoon hits the region in the month of June and lasts till September. If you visit Dalhousie during monsoon, intermittent windy drizzle will make your trip quite pleasant and happening. After monsoon, winter enters the sleepy hill station in December when the temperature lies between 10°C to 1°C. Winters are quite freezing here and it lasts till February.
Best Time to Visit:
Dalhousie is a place that can be visited throughout the calendar. If you want to get rid of the blistering summer of plains, visiting the sleepy knoll of Dalhousie would just be a boozer for you. For rain lovers, perfect time to visit Dalhousie is from June to September. On the other hand, for a bracing and snowy holiday, best time is between January and February.
Places to Visit:
One of the finest hill stations in India, Dalhousie is known for its captivating splendour offering breath-holding outdoor activities to adventure freaks. This amazing hill station has quite a lot of spectacular sites to explore. Let’s take a look in to some of the striking places in Dalhousie.
Situated around 2Kms away from Dalhousie, the word ‘Panch Pulla’ indicates ‘Five Bridges'; this place is a popular tourist puller in Dalhousie. Delimited by majestic mountains with electrifying neighbouring waterfalls will make your visit memorable. Panch Pulla is an absolute delight for trekkers. Local visitors flock near the bridges for picnic purpose. Besides, Panch Pulla also boats the Samadhi of freedom fighter Sardar Ajith. On the whole, visiting this site is a soothing experience for travellers.
How about exploring Switzerland without stepping out of India? This sounds tempting, isn’t it? Situated close to Dalhousie at an elevation of 6,500 feet, the gorgeous small town of Khajjiar is famed as the ‘Switzerland of India’. For a true nature lover and photo fanatic, Khajjiar is a must visit in Dalhousie. The arresting loveliness of Khajjiar has fascinated many Rajputs and Mughals. Apart from its natural beauty, Khajjiar offers you various outdoor activities like trekking and zorbing. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next trip to explore the ‘Switzerland of India’ and take home some eternal reminiscences.
#Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
One more offbeat tourist pullers in Dalhousie is Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. This Sanctuary is the abode of many endangered flora and fauna. The lush thick afforest of Kalatop Sanctuary houses several wild creatures like jackal, bear, Leopard, Barking Goral and Himalayan Black Marten. The tall stand Deodar trees and contiguous free flowing water of river Ravi offers you an amazing spot for trekking, natural walk and picnic. In addition, the gaming reserve also houses variety of colourful birds adding a new excitement to your trip.
# Satdhara Falls
Having said, Dalhousie has galore of attractions for visitors; Satdhara Falls is one of those eminent tourist pullers. An interesting fact behind the name of Satdhara Falls is seven beautiful springs. This magnificent cascade has been named after seven striking springs that are believed to have several salutary constituents. It is believed that during spring, the water of this falls contains mica, which is known for containing various healing elements. Positioned at an elevation of about 2036 metres above the sea level, Satdhara Falls offers you an amazing vista of beautiful environs.
It is said that the best way to reveal any mountainous region is to explore it from the zenith. Perched at an altitude of about 2755 metre above sea level, Daikund Peak is the highest peak in the area. So, if you want to have an aerial vista of lively river flowing below, Daikund Peak is the spot one must scale. This beautiful site is located merely 10Kms away from Dalhousie and it is also known as Singing Hill. The reason being, when the gentle breeze blow through the Pine trees, it makes a sound that can be heard from the peak.
Situated little away from Dalhousie, Chamba has an array of beautiful landscape filled with majestic hills, museum, local folklore and mystical temples. In addition, there is a popular Himachal Emporium in Chamba exhibiting some useful knick-knack items like chappels and shawls. This popular emporium is known as Rang Mahal, which can be visited on all days except Sunday. The Emporium is open from 10AM till 5PM with an hour break from 1PM to 2PM.
Apart from the above cited attractions, Dalhousie has many other impressive places as well that can be explored during your voyage. Some of these attractions include Chamunda Devi Temple, Bakrota Hills or Upper Bakrota, Subhash Baoli and St. John Church.
Having explored the fascinating landscape of Dalhousie, it’s time now to do some audacious activities amidst mountain.
Things to do:
#River Crossing and River Rafting
River Ravi is the popular source of performing all the water activities in Dalhousie. Ample of adventure lovers flock this river and involve into river rafting and river crossing under the supervision of trained instructors. There are various private and government organisations that organise such water activities here on regular basis.
Rock climbing is one of the preferred choices amongst the adventure freaks. The steep peaks of Dalhousie are ideal spots for rock climbing. Khajjiar is the spot in particular for experiencing the thrill of rock climbing.
Apart from water activities and rock climbing, Dalhousie has some breathtaking trekking sites. Places like Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary and Panch Pulla are ideal delight for trekkers. Trekking around beautiful greeneries and cascades is an amazing experience for trekkers.
After emerging your daring persona in Dalhousie, next exciting thing that you must do here is shopping. The township has several Tibetan markets, shops and malls offering you various local souvenirs like shawls, warm outfits, handicrafts and woollen clothes. Some of the important malls here are Potreyn, Bakrota and Moti Tibba. Two more attractions in Dalhousie for shopping lovers are Sadar Bazaar and the G.P.O. There are few libraries with reading rooms are also available in G.P.O.
How to Go:
Situated in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie is visited by numerous tourists all round the year. The growing number of footfalls from various travellers signifies that reaching Dalhousie is quite convenient from any parts of the country. Here are the important modes of transportation to travel Dalhousie:
By Air: There is no airport in Dalhousie. However, air travellers can commute to this hill station from the nearest airport in Pathankot (around 75Kms). However, Pathankot airport is merely connected to Delhi. One more air connectivity is from Gaggal airport, which is located in Kangra (140Kms). This airport is well-connected to various destinations. From Gaggal airport you will get many buses and taxis that will take you to Dalhousie. Bus fare may be somewhere around INR 150. On the other hand depending on the type of cab/taxi you hire the charges may vary.
By Train: The nearest railhead is Pathankot railway station, which is located around 80Kms away from the destination. Pathankot railway station is well-connected to various major cities like Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Bathinda, Delhi, Jammu etc. From railway station, you can hire private cars that will take around 3 hours time to reach Dalhousie.
By Road: The roadway connectivity between Dalhousie and other adjoining destinations like Delhi, Pathankot, Ambala and Ludhiana is well-built. There are regular state transpiration like Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HPTC) that travel till Dalhousie. In addition, you can drive of your own via NH 1 to reach Dalhousie. From Delhi, by road distance is nearly 565Kms, and from Pathankot the distance is about 72Kms to reach Dalhousie. Picturesque trail with an uphill drive gives you an amazing roadway experience to reach Dalhousie.
Places to Stay:
Being one of the finest tourist hubs and ideal destination for honeymooners, Dalhousie allures tourists from all over the globe on regular basis. Apart from its appealing landscape, availability of budget and premium accommodations is another key factor that pulls visitors throughout the year. These hotels/lodges are established covering all the basis amenities to visitors.
Considering a comfy holiday amidst the hill, few hotels ranging from INR 1500 to INR 5000 are listed for your convenience:
Opp. Guru Nanak Public School, Balloon Church Road,
Dalhousie Dalhousie India 176304
#Hotel Wild Rose
Club Road, Subhas Chowk, Dalhousie
Dalhousie India 176304
Bakrota Hill, Khajjiar Road
Dalhousie India 176304
Garam Sadak, G.P.O, Dalhousie, Distt. Chamba,
H.P- Dalhousie India 176304
#J.K Clarks Exotica
Church Baloon Road Dalhousie Distt.Chamba
Himachal Pradesh Dalhousie India 176304
#Snow Valley Resort
Snow View Area, The Mall Dalhousie
So, plan your next summer trip and plunge into the mesmerising natural grandeur of Dalhousie. Situated far from the buzzing cities, the tranquillity of dazzling Dalhousie is going to delight your presence manifold. If you are an adventure freak and want to emerge your daring persona at the peak, Dalhousie is the place you should visit without a second thought.