India >> Himachal Pradesh >> Dalhousie Travel Guide

Dalhousie Hotels and Travel Guide

Dalhousie is a quiet town, with a sense of enchantment. This hill station spreads over five low-level hills at the western edge of the Dhauladhar range, just east of the Ravi River. The picturesque town is interspersed with the colonial-era buildings, low roofed stalls and hotels. The pine-covered slopes around it are intersected with paths and treks, which are ideal for short undemanding walks. The British governor-general Lord Dalhousie established the gateway to the Chamba Valley, this colonial town in 1854. Covering an area of 14 sq. km. and surrounded by alpine vegetation, Dalhausie has charming architecture and panoramic views of both plains and the whitecapped views of the mountainous ranges.

The British bought the land around Dalhousie from the Raja of Chamba in 1853. They went on to build one of the popular hill resorts and sanatoriums and the town grew fast, gaining a municipality in 1867. In the early 20th century it became a cheaper alternative to the more celebrated hill station of Shimla. Prominent Indian personalities, including the Bengali litterateur Rabindranath Tagore and leader Subhash Chandra Bose, came to stay for some length of time in Dalhousie. Though its importance as a health retreat has declined over the years, Dalhousie continues to attract tourists from adjoining areas.

While on a shopping spree in Dalhousie you must check out the specialties of the Chamba region. The shawls, chappals, cane baskets, woolens and dolls are amongst the many items that make excellent gift items and souvenirs from 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. The best time to visit would be around September to December.

The hill resort of Dalhousie spreads across the hills of Kathlog, Portreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun. In order to enjoy the beauty ofdalhousie you may take a walk of Figure of Eight of Portreyn. From the Portreyn Mall you may cross the meeting places of Subhash Chowk and Gandhi Chowk. The colorfully carved pictures add to the charm of the walk.

Then there is the vintage point of Kalatope. You must be at the Kalatope, 8 km from Dalhousie to check out some of the most spectacular sights. You may even picnic in the hill resort of Dalhousie at the Panchpulla or the Five Bridges.

Then there is the Satdhara renowned for its mineral water. The water from Satdhara was once shipped to England on a regular basis. While in Dalhousie do visit Dainkund or the Singing Hill. The passage of mountain winds through the forest at Dainkund produces a series of effects - depending on the wind's velocity - ranging from a gentle humming to an eerie wail.

palampur-tea-garden - Dalhousie
Palampur Tea Garden - Dalhousie

Dalhousie Castle - Dalhousie
Dalhousie Castle - Dalhousie

Jandhri Ghat: Around half a kilometre away from the Subhash Baoli, Jandhri Ghat enfolds an elegant palace in the midst of tall pine trees. The palace houses a number of shikhar trophies. Beside the palace, Jandhri Ghat offers heavenly spots for picnicking-gushing streamlets in the midst of fragrant pine-scented breezes. Bakrota Hills and the 'Round' (2085m): Less than 5 km from the town centre, the Bakrota Hills frames a breathtaking view of the further snow-clad peaks. The 'round' is a walling circuit around the hill, very popular with residents.

Satdhara: On the way to Panjpulla, at an altitude of 2,036m. (6,678 ft.), these seven springs are reputed to have great therapeutic value as they contain mica with medicinal properties.

Subhash Baoli: Commanding a view of the snowcapped mountains, 1.6-km away from the G.P.O. (check spelling) Square, the spring of Subhash Baoli is situated at an altitude of 2,085 metres (6,678 ft.).

The Catholic Church of St. Francis: Dalhousie is another hill station with a number of old churches. The Church near the G.P.O looks untouched by time. The Catholic Church of St. Francis, built in 1894.

By Air: The nearest airport is at Gaggal (Kangra), 140 km. from Dalhousie.

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

By 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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