If you are looking for a lovely destination to spend summer vacations, Dalhousie in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh could be a good choice. Located at an altitude of 2036 meters above sea level, Dalhousie is blessed with salubrious climate and beautiful scenery that made British to develop Dalhousie as a summer retreat. It was not only the English who were in love with Dalhousie but our own statesmen Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore and Subhash Chandra Bose also spent some time here. Dalhousie, today, is a popular summer getaway. It is great for long peaceful walks and offers beautiful views of the snow laden mountains of the Pir Panjal range.
Like most hill stations in India, the credit goes to the British for establishing Dalhousie as a hill resort. Especially, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India who founded the town in 1854. And it is after his name that the town has been named. Even today, Dalhousie bears the raj era stamp, be it the Mall Road, Churches or the British style bungalows.
Places to See
Most of the action in Dalhousie happens around the two Mall Roads, which are locally known as garam sadak and thandi sadak. And as the names suggest, ‘garam sadak’ receives a lot of sunshine as compared to the ‘thandi sadak’. Gandhi Chowk is the shopping hub and it is where most of the hotels and restaurants are located. Here you can shop for Tibetan handicrafts, jackets, carpets and junk jewellery.
St. Francis’ Church, built in 1894, is a major landmark in Dalhousie. The church is located at Subhash Chowk. St. Andrew’s Church near bus stand and St. Patrich’s Church about 2 km from bus stand are other two popular places of interest that tourists should visit. A little away from Dalhousie are Dainkund and Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, which make for a day’s excursion. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature lover’s delight. It is home to a variety of bird species and wild animals, which include blackbird, monal, black bear, jackal and langur.
A day should be reserved for Khajjiar, which is known as mini Switzerland of India. Khajjiar, a lush green meadow is a popular picnic spot located around 25 km from Dalhousie. Surrounded by pine and cedar trees with a small lake at the center, the saucer shaped meadow presents picture post card look. One can also visit the Khajji Nag Temple situated at little distance away from the lake. Khajjiar is not only a picnic spot to lounge and relax but also a place to get some photos clicked in local Himachali dress.
Stay Options in Dalhousie
With the growing number of tourists, the accommodation options have also increased in Dalhousie. There are quite a few hotels and resorts in Dalhousie where you can stay. Most of the hotels are located around Gandhi Chowk, which is the hub of Dalhousie. Himachal Tourism has two hotels – The Manimahesh and Geetanjali, which offer decent accommodation. For those in search of solitude and looking to stay away from the humdrum of Dalhousie, can choose to stay at Khajjiar. The Devdar run by Himachal Tourism is a good stay option here.
Dalhousie can be reached by taking an overnight train from Delhi to Pathankot or Chakki Bank railway stations. One can take a bus or hire a taxi to cover the remaining distance of 80 km to reach Dalhousie from Pathankot. Gaggal in Kangra is the nearest airport, which is 135 km from Dalhousie.
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