Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes in 2024!

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

Dalhousie, a charming hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India, tucked away in the peaceful highlands. Relaxation is Dalhousie’s enduring value. A tourist visiting Dalhousie can enjoy nature to the fullest if they spend some leisurely days here. The colonial charm, serene atmosphere, and stunning scenery of Dalhousie make it the ideal getaway from the bustle of the big metropolis. We will explore the many attractions Dalhousie has to offer in this in-depth tour, from its charming towns to its breathtaking natural beauty.

Beyond Sightseeing: Embracing Serenity in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

Most of the tourists cover the places that are kilometers apart in three-four days and are satisfied to have’settled’ them. Actually, trekking the hills of Himachal Pradesh is not just to see the tourist points; there are places to spend a few days and enjoy. One such place is Dalhousie, where the joy of spending moments of relaxation in the serene atmosphere is endless.

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

Beyond Temples: Exploring Himachal Pradesh’s Diverse Hill Stations

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

The Tourism Corporation of Himachal as well as the government there refer to their state as ‘Devbhoomi’ (Land of Gods), and the name ‘Devbhoomi’ is given due to the vast number of temples dotted throughout Himachal, which is rich in geographical diversity and natural beauty. But temples are not the only identity of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh is also the land of hill stations for the nature-loving traveler, as there are a number of villages and towns nestled in the towering hills here.

Unveiling Dalhousie: History, Culture, and Heritage

Like temples, hill stations also have a unique history as well as a unique identity. It is different that the definition of a hill station for the average tourist in Himachal has been limited to stations like ShimlaKulluManali. But in fact, although the three names are taken together, they have nothing in common. However, the reason why the trinity of Shimla-Kullu-Manali is popular is that they are about 250 km from each other.dalhousie chamera dam 3 scaled

This hill station is named after the Viceroy of British India, James Andrew Ramsey aka Lord Dalhousie. But before the place was named, it was considered the gateway to the Chamba kingdom. Inhabited by the Gaddi and Gujjar castes, the entire area of Chamba was a center of Hindu culture, arts, and temples. Even today, there are several temples dating back to the period around the seventh to tenth century. The Chamba kingdom remained dominant until the first half of the nineteenth century.

A gradual fall countdown started in 1850, when the British stepped in with the intention of establishing a solarium in Chamba. Before the invention of vitamin D tablets, patients with bone tuberculosis used to sit in a glass-roofed solarium for sun bathing. It was the common way at that time to make up the deficiency of vitamin D. At one time, there were fifty solariums in India, but they became useless after the invention and production of vitamin D tablets.

King Sri Singh ruled over hundreds of kilometers of Chamba in the mid-19th century. Some territory, where present-day Dalhousie is situated, was acquired (forcefully) by the British from Raja Sri Singh. This land was used to build solariums by the British.

Some more land came under the British, and finally, the hill station that was established in the hills is today’s Dalhousie.

Immersing in Dalhousie: Beyond Surface Sightseeing

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

Today the package tour terminology may say, ‘First day arrival in Dalhousie, second day local site seeing, third day in Chamba-Khajjiar and then home with sweet memories of Dalhousie!’ But Dalhousie is not a place to visit superficially. Rather, one should stay there comfortably for a few days to get into its true mood.

It is truly a pleasure to enjoy a walk on the steep roads here, to wander without worrying about getting anywhere, to stop at a good sight and fill your eyes with it, and to refresh your body with pure, fresh air. In the past, dignitaries like Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Subhash Chandra Bose had spent a good time at Dalhousie to enjoy this kind of fun.

There are many scenic spots around Dalhousie, like Kala Top, Dena Kund, where the natural beauty along with the serene tranquility is mind-satisfying. Apart from the temples here, let’s start the journey with a plan to visit all the places in Dalhousie without rushing. It started with Khajjiar.

Khajjiar’s two different faces

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

Surrounded by mountains, the greatness of Khajjiar is special as it is a vast and flat green plain. Given the flat surface of Khajjiar, the British developed it for playing golf. Today, it is one of the most popular places in Himachal Pradesh. Millions of tourists visit Khajjiar every year and are mesmerized by its beauty, calling it the ‘Mini Switzerland’ of Himachal Pradesh. Seeing the green color all around, the eyes get a feeling of coolness, and the body feels relaxation.

If we consider this a natural mood of Khajjiar, the other mood is artificial. For example, as soon as you come here, horsemen surround you, photographers insisting on being photographed in traditional Himachal attire chase you with albums, vendors shout to invite customers, etc.

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

Some locals who offer paragliding and sit in plastic jumbo-sized balls fall behind to give us a lot of ‘adventure sports’. Even the harassment of retailers insisting on buying shilajit, saffron, and Himalayan mountain herbs comes very close to us. Tired of all this, a true nature lover feels like running away from Khajjiar as soon as possible.

But if you don’t want to escape and enjoy the real beauty of Khajjiar, take a path that passes through the dense forests of deodar around the middle plain! There is no noise in the forests here. On the contrary, the melodious sounds of various birds can be heard. Somewhere one hears the music of gushing streams, blossoming forests are seen in the plains, and one gets a chance to enjoy nature more closely. This is the real Khajjiar!

Blend of Culture, Architecture and Beauty : ChambaDalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

After enjoying the nature in Khajjiar, Chamba is another place worth visiting. The hilly road to reach Chamba is so amazing in terms of natural beauty that for a while it seems that instead of reaching anywhere, better keep on traveling continuously. If the road climbs in an hour and brings us to the height of the peak visible in front, then in an hour one descends into the valley and makes us realize how dwarfed we are before the peaks.

The road continues like a rollercoaster journey until Chamba. One cannot help but be amazed to see the farmers farming with small bullocks the size of calves by making steps even on the mountain slopes wide enough for two men to stand.

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes
dalhousie chamera dam

Chamba is the district headquarters, barely fifty kilometers from Dalhousie. As the town is situated in a valley, the hill station has a different vibe from Dalhousie. It also seems more congested than Dalhousie. If you look down, you will see the Ravi river meandering through, if you look up, you can see the snow peaks standing tall in the background.

 

Several sub-genres prevailed in the style of Indian miniatures, one of which was the Pahari style. An importantDalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes center of this style was Chamba. Chamba style paintings mainly depict mythological events. The cultural history of the town, an original princely state as well as the birthplace of the famous Chamba style paintings, is preserved in the Bhuri Singh Museum here. A museum is worth a visit.

Kala Top, located at a distance of eight kilometers from Dalhousie, is another fun attraction that can also be enjoyed in peace. The route to Kala Top, at an altitude of eight thousand feet, is through dense forest. It is more fun to move forward quietly, enjoying the surrounding nature. One can also go to Khajjiar by trekking from Kala Top. The beauty and silence of this mesmerizing road are truly to be enjoyed.

One day trip to Sach Pass

Dalhousie Sach pass
Dalhousie Sach pass

The glaciers of Sach Pass are 120 km from Dalhousie, yet they can be seen from Dalhousie. After leaving Dalhousie, the first halt has to be taken at Chamera village. Here, the 226-meter (641-foot)-high Chamera Dam has been constructed by the National Hydro Power Corporation at the confluence of the Ravi and Siul rivers. The height of the dam is barely a thousand feet, but one has to wander seven kilometers in the mountains to reach its opposite end.

On the other hand, one can cross the dam in a matter of minutes by walking on foot. There is a tight cordon of security forces on the banks of the embankment. Therefore, permission from them is required before walking. The real beauty of the artificial lake can be enjoyed on the embankment of the dam. High mountains all around, a long, wide gorge in between, a lake, mind-blowing peace…Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

The road that goes along the edge of the mountains in the valley turns like a tapestry before the eyes with several views. Bridges over the river, dams, apple orchards, small villages with sparse population, etc. come along the way like a scene from a movie. Distant glaciers seem to be playing hide-and-seek, so close that you can see the shadows of the clouds falling on them, and so far as like a backdrop in a photography studio. After leaving Chamera village and passing Bairagarh, the human population becomes very sparse. As you get a little closer to the pass, scattered hill villages appear. The houses of the villages located far and wide look like match boxes.

As one approaches the sach pass, the number of giant cedar trees downed by the snowfall increases. Little lines of slowly frozen snow can be seen and suddenly a squeal of excitement and joy comes out of the mouth seeing a pile of snow covered on the opposite mountain! Such a scenario is seen here almost everyday in each season.

Discovering Dalhousie’s Charming Towns

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes
Dalhousie town

1. Gandhi Chowk

Gandhi Chowk is a busy square featuring buildings from the colonial era with stores and cafes in the center of Dalhousie. Enjoy the lively atmosphere by taking a leisurely stroll around the area and shopping locally for handicrafts and souvenirs.

2. Subhash Chowk

Adjacent to Gandhi Chowk is Subhash Chowk, another charming hub offering a variety of dining options and local delicacies. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor traditional Himachali cuisine at one of the quaint eateries dotting the area.

3. Bakrota HillsDalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes

For panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks, head to Bakrota Hills. A scenic drive or a leisurely walk along the winding roads will reward you with breathtaking vistas at every turn, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers.

Immersing in Nature’s Grandeur

4. Dainkund Peak

For adventure enthusiasts, Dainkund Peak offers exhilarating trekking trails and awe-inspiring vistas. Challenge yourself to reach the summit and be rewarded with panoramic views of the entire valley spread out below.

5. Chamera Lake

Nestled amidst the pristine surroundings of Chamba Valley, Chamera Lake is a serene reservoir offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and picnicking. Spend a leisurely day by the tranquil waters, surrounded by the majestic Himalayan landscape.

Cultural Marvels and Historical Treasures

6. St. John’s Church

Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes
St. John’s Church

Immerse yourself in Dalhousie’s colonial heritage with a visit to St. John’s Church, a stunning architectural marvel dating back to the British era. Admire the Gothic-style architecture, stained glass windows, and tranquil surroundings of this historic landmark.

7. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary

For wildlife enthusiasts, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven of biodiversity, home to a variety of flora and fauna, including Himalayan black bears, deer, and numerous bird species. Embark on a guided nature walk and witness the wonders of the Himalayan ecosystem up close.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Dalhousie is a treasure trove of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and serene landscapes waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into history, Dalhousie has something for everyone. Wandering in the lap of nature without any kind of planning is much more enjoyable than doing organized tours in the Himalayan mountains. A trip to Dalhousie cemented that notion.

So pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and uncover the delights of this enchanting hill station in the lap of the Himalayas.

All You Want to Know for a Perfect Trip……

Information Details
Location Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India
Best Time to Visit March to June; September to November
Weather Mild summers, cold winters; snowfall possible in winter
Language Hindi, English, and Punjabi
Local Cuisine Himachali dishes, Tibetan cuisine
Accommodation Hotels, resorts, guesthouses
Transportation Taxis, buses, private vehicles
Attractions Khajjiar, Dainkund Peak, Chamera Lake, St. John’s Church, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
Activities Trekking, boating, wildlife spotting, shopping
Local Festivals Summer Festival, Minjar Fair
Railway station The nearest railway station (80 km) from Dalhousie is Pathankot. (Pathankot also has its own airport). From here Dalhousie can be reached in three hours by bus or private vehicle.
Weather Dalhousie has pleasant weather from March to May, while October to February is bitterly cold. Roads are often closed due to snowfall.

Accommodations in Dalhousie:

  • Consider the time of year you will be visiting. Prices tend to be higher during peak seasons (summer and winter).
  • Think about your budget and what amenities are important to you.
  • Read reviews from other guests to get an idea of the hotel’s atmosphere and service.

(1) DALHOUSIE VALLEY By DLS Hotels :

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1 thought on “Dalhousie Delights: Exploring Quaint Towns and Majestic Landscapes in 2024!”

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