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Home » Himachal Pradesh » Dalhousie  

Dalhousie

Dalhousie Travel Vacations Himachal Pradesh Holidays IndiaCovering an area of around 14 sq. km, this sprawling hill station stands at the foot of the spectacular Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. It is sprawled over five hills-Kathlog, Portreyn, Moti Tibba (formerly known as Tehra), Bakrota and Balun. Dalhousie exudes old world charm. Named after the famous British Governor General Lord Dalhousie, Dalhousie still retains much of the British Raj Style.

Dalhousie has a lush cover of towering pines, deodars, oaks and the beautiful rhododendron plants. Many fine specimens of colonial architecture, especially old churches, can be found here. The views from here are fantastic - to the north one can see majestic mountains of the Dhauladhar range, that end in the Pir Panjal mountains of Kashmir, to the south, the plains of Punjab can be seen. Far below, the beautiful river Ravi can be seen making its way through the plains. Dalhousie is also an excellent place to shop for woollen shawls and Tibetan carpets.

Spread eagled over five beautiful hills against the background of the majestic Dhauladhars, Dalhousie overlooks the valleys below where the rice fields glint in the sunshine. Known for it's bracing climate, picturesque scenery and beautiful picnic spots, it's natural beauty, invigorating air, warm sunshine and quiet surroundings make it one of the most cherished, the "darling-of- hill-stations" in India.

Located in Himachal Pradesh and easily accessible from Pathankot, the nearest railhead which is 90 km away, by luxury coaches, buses and taxis, present day Dalhousie is an army cantonment, a prominent location of the Chamba Valley, educational mecca and tourist paradise all rolled into one.

Purchased by the British from the Raja of Chamba in 1853, Dalhousie (2039 m) was established in 1854 by the British Governor General Lord Dalhousie as a sanctuary for the officers of the Raj suffering from the intense heat of the plains.

The background is a rich Himalayan tapestry ranged in tiers: jagged, snowy peaks pierce the skyline, distant folds of snow and rock merging in the far distance with a fading sky. The mountains constantly change colour from smoky blue to grey-green, orchid blue and violet. Giant conifer, pine, oak and deodar scale the sides of the valleys and in the forest groves, only the whisper of the falling leaves and chirping of birds breaks the stillness.

It was in this sanctuary that Nobel Laurete Rabindranath Tagore stayed as a teenager in a house close to the snows, and wrote his first poem. Here, Subhash Chandra Bose came incognito to plan his strategies. Other notables associated with Dalhousie are Sardar Ajit Singh and Khan Bahadur Wali aziz, the common link between the both being the young martyr, Bhagat Singh.

Most people come to Dalhousie with expectations. Dalhousie receives them as a courteous host and pampers them. The experience stays with the visitor forever. A number of scenic spots and hideaways entice the visitor to explore. Those with nimble steps can take in more than an eyeful of it's scenic charms. Some of the places worth seeing are as follows:-

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Prime Attractions of Dalhousie

» Panchpula (3 km)
An idyllic area where a charming stream feeds several pools, Panchpula (Five Bridges) is the site, where a monument dedicated to the great freedom fighter, Bhagat Singh's uncle, Sardar Ajit Singh, has been built.

» Subhash Baoli
This enchanting spot, surrounded by trees, was so named because it served as Subhash Chandra Bose's retreat.

» Churches
St. Francis' Church Dalhousie Tour Packages Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide IndiaThe St. Andrew's Church, St. Patrick's Church at Balun, St. Francis' Church at Subhash Chowk, and St. John's Church at Gandhi Chowk, are some of the beautiful churches that can be found in Dalhousie.

» Kalatope (10 km)
A wildlife sanctuary, Kalatope, is inhabited by many species of animals, which include the ghoral, barking deer, and the Himalayan black bear, and a large avianfauna population. There is also a Forest Resthouse, for those who wish to spend the night in the sanctuary.

» Satdhara (2036 m)
Close to the town, enroute to Panjpulla, are the seven sparkling springs of Satdhara rich in mica and noted for its medicinal properties.

» Dainkund (2745 m)
This tall peak outside town affords a birds eye view on a clear day, of the hills, verdant valleys and the rivers Beas, Ravi and the Chenab gleaming like silver threads as they make their way down to the plains. (10 km)

» Khajjiar (1851 m)
While it is possible to go by road, Khajjiar is just a pleasant one day walk from Dalhousie (22 km) passing through some of the most dense alpine vegetation in the world. A picturesque spot with an emerald, saucer shaped meadow set amidst a dense deodhar forest, it has a lake at its centre with a floating island. The lake is held sacred by the local people who come to worship at the nearby golden domed temple of Khajinag. Visitors are enjoined to make an overnight halt at the guest house here as the dawn in the mountains will make you feel as if you are in paradise.

Adventure in Dalhousie

Dalhousie is a good spot for trekking as numerous trek - routes emerge out of the Dalhousie - Khajjiar - Chamba triangle and there are some trek - routes within it too, like, Chamba to Bharmour, Chamba to Palampur (over the Dhauladhar ranges), Chamba to Pangi, and Bharmour to Keylong via Kugti Pass.

Climate of Dalhousie

Dalhousie ranges between 1,525m and 2,378m high from sea level. The maximum temperature of Dalhousie in summers is 30*C and the winter temperature comes down to almost O*C. Heavy woollens are required in winter and light woollens or tropicals in summer.

Places to Stay in Dalhousie

Being one of the most famous hill stations of Himachal, Dalhousie is well equipped with excellent accommodation facilities. One have got the options to stay from luxury and five star hotels to small budget hotels and tourist lodges, which offer accommodation at resonalble prices.

How to get there
Dalhousie Travels & Tours Himachal Pradesh Holidays India
» Air
The nearest airport is at Gaggal (Kangra), 140 km from Dalhousie.

» Rail
The nearest railhead is Pathankot, which is well connected to Amritsar, Jammu, Delhi and Jalandhar.

» Road
Onward journey from Pathankot to Chamba and Dalhausie is by road. Punjab and Himachal Roadways run services, as do private operators.

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