Dalhousie

Like many other marvels in India, Dalhousie is one of the most beautiful hill stations in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Be it the Honeymooners or a group of people travelling together there are loads of things to explore. If you are among those who wish to have an extraordinary trip which lasts throughout your life then this can be one of those travel destinations. Make sure you read and know everything about the place before you actually visit the place.

Primarily, Dalhousie is a small cute hill that has a charm of itself borrowed from its past culture and traditions. This beautiful place is a part of the Dauladhar Range and comprises of 5 different hills. It was Lord Dalhousie who actually developed this beautiful hilltop during the British reign. Nature seems to be at its best with jungles surrounding the area. However, it is something which makes it different from the others as it’s less crowded and gives you the time to relax.

The 5 hills which comprise of the entire area are Kathlog, Tehra, Balun, Bakrota and Patreyn. The taste and charm of the colonial architecture is prevalent among the buildings especially the churches around the area. A view of the amazing Dauladhar Mountains wearing the cap of snow is definitely an enchanting experience. The other things which have made Dalhousie a popular place are its public schools and its evergreen forests.

Dalhousie
Dalhousie

Interesting Facts about Dalhousie

  • For all the trekkers it presents a great opportunity with varied trails across the region. Carrying out picnics or even long walks could be a romantic affair.
  • It is a place for people who wish to stay away from the hustle bustle of the city life. For those seeking a happening nightlife this is not the place to be.
  • Search for a hotel that offers barbeque facility, it can be an exciting proposition.
  • Also get friendly with the locals, could help you in exploring the place much better.
  • Star gazing is another activity which you might love to do at Dalhousie.
  • Horse riding can also be a great option for exploring different areas.

Dalhousie’s Location

As mentioned earlier it is one of the beautiful hilltops in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The location of Dalhousie makes it pretty accessible from any part of the country. Moreover, it is its location that has contributed towards its increased popularity all over. It’s at an altitude of 6000 feet above sea level and it is at couple of hours from Pathankot. (Also Read Pathankot). Dalhousie is about 345 kilometres from the State’s Capital and it takes approximately 6 hours to drive to Dalhousie from Shimla. (Read More About Shimla).

Dalhousie Winters
Dalhousie Winters

Languages Spoken

  • Pahari
  • Hindi
  • English

How to reach Dalhousie?

Reaching by Air

For the travellers the best form of travelling to Dalhousie is through air. It would not only save time but make it convenient for the travellers. The hill station does not have its own airport but flights to Gaggal which is about 135 kilometers away are available on a regular basis. The other airport option can be Amritsar Airport (about 190 kilometers). Once at any of these airports road transport through private taxis can be taken to reach Dalhousie.

Reaching by Train

Trains are one of the most cost effective solutions to travel to any corner of the country. In order to reach Dalhousie through a train the nearest railway station is at Pathankot in Punjab. It is about 80 kilometers away and trains from all the metropolitan cities of India are available to this city. It has to be mentioned that regular train services has actually contributed towards the development of tourism within Dalhousie.

Reaching by Road

There are many who would love to travel to Dalhousie by road. This can actually be a great option due to the fact that the road connectivity to this hill top is very good indeed. Some of the popular places from where Dalhousie has a direct road link are:

Location Distance Time Taken
Jalandhar 202 Kilometers 3.5 hours
Chamba 50 kilometers 1hours
Amritsar 204 kilometers 4 hours
Pathankot 80 kilometers 1 hour 50 minutes
Shimla 400 kilometers 8 hours
Manali 360 kilometers 6 hours 15 minutes
Palampur 176 kilometers 2 hours 50 minutes
Dharmshala (via Chamba) 195 kilometers 4 hours
Delhi 560 kilometers 14 hours
Katra (Vaishno Devi) 235 kilometers 5 hours 30 minutes

Best time to visit Dalhousie

Being at a high altitude Dalhousie is freezing cold during the winters where the temperatures touch the sub 0 levels. It goes without saying that woolens are mandatory if you are here during the winter season. The summer months are milder and are one of the best months to visit. So if you wish to be at this beautiful place we recommend visiting it during the months of February to June. You may even visit it before the winters from the months of September to November. November to December it would not be a wise idea to be here as it receives heavy rains and snowfalls.

Dalhousie Forests
Dalhousie Forests

Recommended stay at Dalhousie

To explore the area in the best possible manner a stay of 4 nights and 3 days can be ideal to relax your senses.

Travel Around Dalhousie

Travelling to Dalhousie from any of the places mentioned above promises spectacular views, especially from Pathankot to Dalhousie. Stopping midway for some hot chais and amazing parathas could be one of the best experiences. Certainly you would feel your holiday has begun even before you are there at the actual destination. Moreover, make sure that you do not take big breaks and ensure that the AC is switched off while travelling. It is recommended as there are turns which are very sharp and people suffering with motion sickness could feel sick.

Places to explore once you reach Dalhousie include the popular markets i.e. Gandhi Chowk and Subhash Chowk. While you travel around the markets, trying out the food available at the roadside stalls is recommended. Churches are the other places on the must visit lists when in Dalhousie. St Francis Church and the St John’s church are the two popular ones here. Mornings are soothing and witnessing the sunrise could be a nice experience. Snow clad Himalayas seem to look just awesome, especially in the early hours of the day. Travelling around the region on foot is a great option even though you can take your vehicles to the locations nearby. For the adventure seekers paragliding along with trekking options are available as well. In case you wish to turn local and take back fond memories of being at this place, there are several photo studios offering the option of wearing the local attire and clicking some pictures in them. Lastly for the romantic heads out here a walk worth trying is through the calm and peaceful roads of Bakrotha.

Attractions at Dalhousie

Sight Seeing at Dalhousie

  • Kalatop: When at the hills, wildlife is certainly among the popular sights. The Kalatop Sanctuary is a must visit for the travelers coming to Dalhousie. The sanctuary is on the north western extremity of Daula Dhar and houses about 15 villages within. The sanctuary being at 2440 meters offers some spectacular views of the forest and nearby mountains. It is about 9 kilometers from the main Dalhousie area.

    kalatop dalhousie
    kalatop dalhousie
  • Dainkund Peak: This peak is around 10 kilometers from the center of Dalhousie and is one of the highest mountains in the area. It provides breath taking views of the scenery surrounding the entire range. One of the attractions to this place is the trekking trails which provide an awesome experience for the adventure seekers. Many people have referred it as the singing hill due to the musical sound created through the passing breeze. Walking by the Airforce Base and visiting the Pholani Devi temple are the major attractions to the peak.
  • Khajjiyar: One of the most beautiful places that we have in our country, Khajjiyar has been referred to as the Mini Switzerland of India. A must visit place when at Khajjiyar is Wooden Nag temple situated near the Lake which is over 500 years in age. At Khajjiyar the forest comprising of the pine, green meadows and the deodar trees provide an exceptional view to this region. Besides that the Dauladhar Mountains look at their best when viewed from Khajiyar. It also has a small Khajjiyar lake which is in the shape of a saucer and is bordered by the floating island.
  • Kyance: This is one of the private residential buildings belonging to the Dharamvirs and was built in the year 1933. It is famous as a site where Subhash Chandra Bose resided when granted a parole from the British High Court for over 7 months. It is about 50 kilometers from the Grand Post Office.

    Kyance
    Kyance
  • Panchpula: This beautiful area which is about 2 kilometers from Dalhousie means the 5 bridges. Walking can be the best option to reach this place which features the Samadhi of Sardar Ajith Singh who was a freedom fighter. At Panchpula the other attractions include the small waterfalls. Trekking is certainly an activity to go for at this place. Besides having some unexplored trails the adventure seekers might love to have a bath in the famous Satdhara falls which comes midway.
  • Thandi Sadak: One among the popular sites within the town is the Thandi Sadak. It presents to its visitors various criss-crossed roads which actually seem to resemble the shape of number 8. Walking along this road provides exceptional views of the Pangi Mountains along with its surrounding valleys.
  • Subhash Baoli: This particular place gets its name from famous Subhash Chandra Bose who resided here for over 7 years. Besides offering spectacular views to the area, this place offers the option to picnic and stroll around for the visitors. The Subhash Baoli also has the famous cave which is covered by the transparent waters. The best feature of being at this cave is that although being covered by the water people getting inside would never get wet.
  • Ganji Pahari: Another location famous for picnicking in the area is Ganji Pahari which means a Bald Hill in English. People can walk from Dalhousie which takes an hour to this place. The hill has no trees over it and looks as if it has a bald patch around.Ganji Pahari
  • Garam Sadak: This area features some of the most beautiful trees in the entire Dalhousie. It’s a part of one of the two criss cross roads and has a much warmer atmosphere compared to the other regions. It is not at all recommended to walk around the Garam Sadak during the dark hours.
  • Bharmour: Located at about 60 kilometers from Chamba it is an amazing village which comprises of exceptional natural bliss besides housing several ancient temples. It was the capital of Chamba in the past and was ruled by the Gaddi tribes. For the tourists it’s a place to shop for blankets and fruits. Coming to the historic values of the place it has temples which date back as much as 1,000 years in age. The months of August and September sees an increased number of pilgrims to this place for the Manimahesh Yatra to the Manimahesh Lake. For the adventure lovers a 4 km trek is among the attractions which go up to the Chaurasi temple.
  • Jandri Ghat: It is famous for the spectacular views and provides ample opportunities for the tourists to organize picnics in the area. It also has the palace which was the residence of both the Governor of Chamba and Lord Dalhousie.
  • Chobia Pass: It is one of the must see places at Dalhousie. Located at a height of 5000 meters it is a part of the Pir Pinjal Range. Giving panoramic views of the Zaskar range it offers adventurous routes for trekking. However, the trek can be tedious and is recommended to the experienced trekkers only.

    Chobia Pass
    Chobia Pass
  • Chhatrari: At about 35 kilometers from the Bharmour district it is among the most beautiful villages near Dalhousie. The famous attractions at this place include the Shakti Devi Temple which boasts of architectural excellence. It is famous for the yearly pilgrimage where devotees bring water from the Manimahesh Lake for Shakti Mata in the 3rd Day of Mahimahes Yatra. The yatra is held in the month of September.
  • Upper Bakrota: Among the places recommended to be explored on foot. It is at an altitude of 2085 meters and provides panoramic views of the mountains in the region. It is famous for the Bakrota walk which is a day hike.
  • Banikhet: This place is at an altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level. Visitors need to travel around 7 Kilometers from Dalhousie to reach this place which features attractions such as the Nag Temple and the Chamera Hydro-Electric plant.
  • Satdhara Falls: Exceptional scenery and refreshing streams is what characterizes this place. With amazing green surroundings it is located in the middle of the trip to Panch Pulla. The falls comprise of 7 beautiful springs which contain mica in them. Due to the presence of mica it is famous for its therapeutic features among people.

    Satdhara Falls
    Satdhara Falls
  • Bara Pathar: In the middle of the Kalatop and Allha is the Bara Pathar. The place has a temple of Bulwani Mata while the annual festival in her name is one of the major attractions. The festival is held in the month of July. Besides the temple this place offers an opportunity to the trekkers through the thick forests.
  • Central Park: This Park offers spectacular views of entire Dalhousie. It is located near River Ravi and is also referred to as Chaugan. Central park is also famous for the regular cricket tournaments which were conducted during the British rule in the country. A nearby temple of Lord Shiva is also among the famous attractions. It is this place from where the Manimahesh Yatra originates.
  • Moti Tibba: Moti Tibba is another beautiful place situated about 330 meters above the Gandhi Chowk. Catching the sight of the amazing forest full of pine and oak trees. You may come across running langurs or the macaques inside the forest while walking here.

Monuments and Buildings at Dalhousie

  • Bhuri Singh Museum: This museum has been named after the King Raja Bhuri. It contains the paintings which were compiled by the Raja along with the inscriptions on the Sarda scripts. These scripts provide vital details of the medieval period in the entire Chamba region.

    Bhuri Singh Museum
    Bhuri Singh Museum
  • Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan and Hospital: Built by the followers of Radha Swami sect. this hospital is situated at about 300 meters from the Gandhi Chowk. Though it is not an attraction, people may visit this place as it has gained loads of importance in the last few decades.
  • Chamera Dam: This particular dam is said to be the lifeline of the entire region. Chamera Dam is about 35 kilometers from Dalhousie and has no aquatic life within. It is famous for the water sports activities which are organized by the local private agencies which include paddle and motor boating, rowing, shikaras, angling and much more.
  • Akhand Chandi Palace: Dating back to the 1750s this palace was once resided by King Umed Singh and was built with the assistance of the British Engineers. It stands as a beautiful palace today and resembles the great class of architecture from the period. One can even check out the beautiful views which this palace has on offer.

    Akhand Chandi Palace
    Akhand Chandi Palace
  • Alah Water Tank: Having a capacity to hold more than 100,000 gallons of water, it is one of the popular attractions in the region.
  • Rang Mahal: Raja Umed Singh constructed this marvel in the Surara Mohalla. It stands as an architectural excellence of being the mixture of Mughal and British styles. The walls have numerous paintings where one section is total dedicated to the life of Lord Krishna.

Temples and Churches in Dalhousie

  • St. Andrew’s Church: The Church dates back to the early 20th century which stands in a great shape even today. One of the well-known churches in the area it depicts the charm of the British era. Surrounding the church is the spectacular scenery which surely mesmerizes the visitors here.

    St. Andrew's Church
    St. Andrew’s Church
  • St. Patrick’s Church: Another popular church in Dalhousie, this is just 2 kilometers from the central area. It also dates back to the early 20th century and is reachable by all modes of transport.
  • St. Francis Church: One of the other popular locations is the St. Francis Church which was built at the end of the 19th century. The mass celebrations that take place each Sunday draws in the locals besides being one of the most visited churches. The church has some amazing glass work along with stone embellishments on its walls.
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple: It is the oldest temple in the district of Chamba. The primary gods worshiped here are Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The temple includes a few other shrines as well, namely Gauri Shanker Temple, Shiva Temple of Chander-Gupta, Radha Krishna Temple. The construction of this magnificent temple dates back to the 10th century and was made by the Rajas of Chamba. Open from morning 6 AM to 8:30 PM this temple depicts the great architecture of the Indian history.

    Lakshmi Narayan Temple
    Lakshmi Narayan Temple
  • Shivkul and Dakshina Murti: Vimla Thakur who is one of the well-known religious leaders from the state of Gujarat created this Ashram. The Ashram has been built in such a way that it provides spectacular views of the Chamba District, the state of J&K and the Pir Panjal ranges. On the other hand, Dakshina Murti is the yoga institution which was set up by Dr. R.P. Kaushik who belongs to Delhi.
  • Bansi Gopal Temple: Dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha, the shikara form of architecture characterizes the temple. It is believed that the temple was built during the end of 16th century and is a popular temple in Dalhousie. The temple is surrounded by amazing landscapes besides containing exceptional artwork within.
  • Golden devi temple: Located in the middle of the golf course this temple is named Golden devi due to the golden dome built over it.
  • Hariraya Temple: This temple has been dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located near the Central Park. The deity inside is made of bronze and the temple exhibits the Shikara Style architecture. Built in the 11th century the specialty of this place is the amazing sculpture of Lord Vishnu which is present with six horses.
  • Khajji Naga Shrine, Khajjiar: Regarded as the oldest as well the holiest temple in the entire state this temple is dedicated to Lord Khajji Nag. It is believed that the temple was built in the 12th century whereby the specialty of this architecture is the construction which is done by the use of wood.
  • Church of Scotland: The mission of Church of Scotland has created this magnificent church which dates back to the early 20th century. The construction of the church resembles the Scottish architecture which has now been converted to a library.
  • Chamunda Devi Temple: This beautiful temple is built near the Baner River. Built in the name of goddess Kali it houses a ferocious incarnation of Durga Mata. The surroundings of this temple are truly enchanting while one can witness the amazing views right from the temple. Believed to be built about 800 years back this temple is regarded as the place where Goddess Ambika killed the demons Chanda and Munda.

    Chamunda Devi Temple
    Chamunda Devi Temple
  • Bajreshwari Devi Temple: Famous for the stone carvings within the temple, it was built in the 11th century. This temple is dedicated to Durga Mata and also has the idol of Lord Vishnu in the Vaikuntha form. Although it is a hectic pilgrim spot in Dalhousie one should make sure of not missing a visit to the temple.
  • Gauri Shankar Temple: Dating back to the 11th century this temple is built in the name of Lord Shiva. The marvelous brass statue of both Lord Shiva and Parvathi inside the huge temple.

Adventure Sports and Activities at Dalhousie

  • Horse Riding: While travelling in Khajjiar it is recommended to try some horse riding. It would definitely be a great experience for both the experienced and first timers.
  • Trekking: Khajjiar presents numerous trekking trails for the adventure lovers. Both easy and moderate routes are available which makes it easier for people of any age group to try some trekking. Some of the popular trekking trails are: Khajjiar To Chamba And Chamba To Khajjiar, Lakkar Mandi To Khajjiar, and Khajjiar To Lakkarmandi

    Trekking
    Trekking
  • River Rafting: People in search of river rafting in Dalhousie should try it out at Chamba. The option is available on the river Ravi and Saal. However, it one wants to indulge in rafting then the best months would be from June to October. The services are available from both government and private operators.
  • Zorbing: Zorbing is one of the recent sports which have gained popularity throughout the country. It is yet another option available for the people visiting Khajjiar. Priced at Rs.200-300 people can enjoy this sport during the summer season.
  • Mani Mahesh Lake: Visiting this place could be a great experience as well. Passing through Bharmour from Dalhousie it is around 112 kilometers from Dalhousie. The specialty about Mani Mahesh Lake is the trek which is at an altitude of 14,000 feet. As mentioned above it is also a famous spot for the piligrims especially during the Mani Mahesh festival held during the time of Janmashthami.

    Mani Mahesh Lak
    Mani Mahesh Lake

What’s in store for the shoppers at Dalhousie?

For the shoppers Dalhousie presents several options and includes things which could please even the non-regular shoppers. Some of the popular markets which would be a must visit when at Dalhousie have been mentioned below:

  • Tibetan Handicrafts Centre: One of the most popular markets of Dalhousie, this market is about 2 kilometers away. It presents ample opportunity for the shoppers to shop some Tibetan Handicrafts and Chinese products. Carpets, handlooms, mats are some of the famous things to shop here.
  • Lakkarmandi: Lakarmandi is at a height of 8000 feet and is about 10 kilometers from the GPO. It is situated at the end of the secluded and forested area which passes through the Nakorota hills. The area belongs to the dhogris families who engage themselves in charcoal making. It can be an ideal location for both adventure seekers and the honeymooners as the walk from Lakkarmandi to Kalatop is through dense forests which comprises of beautiful deodar and pine trees.
  • Gandhi Chowk: Popular for being the liveliest places on the hills Gandhi Chowk can be a paradise for the shoppers visiting Dalhousie. It comprises of several bistros and shops besides the popular Tibetan Market being very near to it. The range of Jewelry, cardigans, carpets and handicrafts make this market a popular hotspot in the region.

    Dalhousie Pictures
    Dalhousie Pictures

Where and What to Eat at Dalhousie?

When it comes to eating out in and around Dalhousie there are several Indian Dhabas which offer sumptuous foods. The Dhabas here are a bit different from the normal ones as they offer some authentic Indian delicacies. Popular names include Sher-e-Punjab, Amritsari, Royal Dhaba, etc.

If you are a Mughlai or a Kashmiri food lover then Preet Palace can be an option for you. To list down some of the popular eateries in Dalhousie it would include the following names:

  • Bon Appetit: Bakes n Fries: The Mall, Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie
  • Dalhousie Heights Restaurant: Lovers Lane, 100 Meters from Main Bus Station, Dalhousie, Phone: 01899 240731, 01899- 242810
  • Manmahesh Rasoi Pure Vegetarian: Punchpulla Road, Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: +(91)9418105171
  • Old Sher-e-Punjab Dhaba:    Subash Chowk, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: +(91)9857351483
  • Moti Mahal Deluxe: Mall Road, Dalhousie
  • Glory Hotel & Restaurant: Near Bus Stand,  Dalhousie 176304, Phone: +91-94180-10533

Where to Stay in Dalhousie?

There are 100s of hotels available in and around Dalhousie. Based on the budget people can select the hotels they prefer.

Hotels above Rs.2000 in Dalhousie

  • Grace Mount: Near Nehru Park Bakrota Hills, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: 0189 922 5677
  • Grand View: Near Dalhousie Club, Dalhousie 176304
  • Sagrika Resort: The Mall, Court Road | Court Road, Dalhousie 176304
  • Hotel Mount View: Club Road, Dalhousie 176304
  • Lall Ji Tourist Resort: Lovers Lane | Near Bus Stand, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: 094 18 010549

Hotels between Rs.1000 and Rs.2000

  • Hotel Himgiri: Near Bus Stand, Dalhousie 176304
  • Hotel Dalhousie Palace: Near Subhash Chowk, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: 0189 924 0374
  • Hotel President: Satdhara Road,Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: 0189 924 0825
  • Surya Resort: Ballon Church Road, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: 0189 924 2158
  • Alps Spa Resort: Bakrota Hills, Dalhousie 176304
  • Hotel Pearl: Subhash Chowk, Dalhousie 176304, India (Formerly Hotel Dalhousie) Phone: 099 14 759999

Hotels below Rs.1000

  • Hotel Shangri-La: THE MALL, Dalhousie 176304, 0189 924 0439
  • Hotel Megha View: Bakrota Hills, | Khajjiar Road, Dalhousie, Dalhousie
  • Hotel Monal: Garam Sarak, The Mall | Distt. Chamba, Dalhousie 176304
  • Hotel Mehar’s: The Mall, Near Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie 176304, Phone: 0189 924 2179
  • Hotel Ranjeet Sagar View: Potryne Mall,Court Road, Court Road , Himachal Pradesh,176304

Points to Remember

  • Even though you must be travelling to the place in summers, make sure you equip yourself with enough woolen clothes. Nights can be cold even in summers.
  • Pack in an umbrella with you as the weather gods may not be too good at times.
  • Booking hotels or cottages outside the main town is recommended.Dalhousie Pictures
  • Usage of plastic is banned in the states so avoid throwing or carrying plastics to Dalhousie. You can be fined for Rs.500 is spotted.
  • Dalhousie is not a place for visiting tourist spots. It is a small place which can be an option for staying amidst nature and spending some relaxed time.

Post Author: Abhishek Gupta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *