28th Apr 2017
Photo of DALHOUSIE - Its EPIC✌️ by Siddharth Goyal

I am a professional moving slowly and gradually towards that 9 to 5 routine where week starts in the office and ends in the office. It has become a routine now and sometimes one has to work on weekends too.

Now if we add the hot summers with that routine, voyla! You all can guess what will be the outcome.

This is professional life where everyone is trying to keep up with the fast pace ever changing environment and reap the best out of it. For that, you have to work hard over your passion, over your skills. that's life.

But somewhere we do want to have a little bit of amusement and quality relaxation time. How are we going to achieve that? There are various options (i) watch a movie for some entertainment (ii) play sports - kind of adventurous (iii) spend your time relaxing at home (but where is the fun in that). Well, all of these can be combined and what comes out is an EPIC TRIP (planned or unplanned doesn't matter - coz it is going to be epic you just have to enjoy).

It is an awesome way for anyone to Explore | Experience | Blend | Feel the surrounding environment, the nice and cold weather (Delhiite in me speaking). It is so nice to just sit and stare at the landscape in front of you. I have a feeling that this is what everyone wants.

So, am I different? Nope

This spring I and a few of my friends (we were 5) went to a very famous hill station in the Himalayas away from the city shore and scorching heat and it was awesome. I am glad it was.

Let me share with y'll a few things from my experience of Dalhousie.

Dalhousie is a hill station in Chamba district, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on 5 hills and is located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Dalhousie is situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level. The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September (#Wikipedia). It is famous for its scenic landscape, fun loaded adventurous activities. Mostly people visit Dalhousie with there family and friends.

How to reach there?

By Train - Easiest and the most comfortable way to ride. There are many trains available from Delhi. Old Delhi Railway Station (in Chandni Chowk), New Delhi Railway Station & Hazrat Nizamuddin Station. It was a weekend journey so we booked our seats in a train (Cost is around INR 400 for sleeper class & INR 700 - 900 for AC class) on trains which departure on friday night.

The nearest station to Dalhousie is Pathankot Junction. From there you can hire a cab or a traveller ( as in a Tempo Traveller or Tata Winger). It will take around 2 to 3 hrs to reach and cost is around INR 300/person.

By Bus - Himachal Tourism and other private bus owners offer transportation services. (https://m.redbus.in/bus-tickets/delhi-to-dalhousie).

The cheapest fares can go to as low as INR 600. The time which it takes is between 12 to 14 hours.

By Private transport - You can take your own vehicle if you are feeling kind of adventurous or hire a self drive rental car from Zoom Car, Voler, or Myles, etc.

So plan accordingly in advance as a minimum of 2 days are required if you want to explore most of the places.

What to visit?

Like most hill stations, Mall Road in Dalhousie is no Different. Shops, food joints, road side vendors and an epic view, great place to have a walk under the stars in the night if its not monsoon there (Obvious). It soothes your inner-self, you feel refreshed. The Bus Stand is at Gandhi Chowk so if you go by Bus, you get off there only. There are also many hotels located nearby and a Church (St. John Church), you should visit it.

Khajjiar or the 'Mini Switzerland of India' is the most spectacular place in the whole of Dalhousie. It is a must place to spend time, located at around 20 kms from the main city. The landscape is surreal, I felt like sitting there on that green and unreal natural floor beneath me and getting lost in my own thoughts, I was awestruck by what was offered by nature. I can sit and meditate there for hours.

I may be exaggerating a bit, but believe me its worth every word. Loved it.

Fun activities - Locals offer few activities to pump up the adventurous spirit like Horse riding, paragliding and jumping ball.

We came back to Dalhousie after an hour or 2 and wandered in the market, had a lovely dinner and with good memories day one ended.

Walkway at Khajjiar.

Photo of Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Goyal
Photo of Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Goyal

The Landscape.

Photo of Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Goyal

The next day in the morning was pleasant, I could feel the breeze on me, it felt so nice. We woke up early and started strolling to Panchpulla, a divine place to be at with lush green environment.

This pic will give you an idea of the surroundings there.

After reaching to the top, had Maggie (which you will find at most places on any Hill Station), Sandwich & Cup of Tea for breakfast.

The View on the way to Punchpula. 

Photo of Panchpula, Pathankot Road, Chatryara, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Goyal

The Pose at this place. Couldn't Resist!!

Photo of Panchpula, Pathankot Road, Chatryara, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Goyal

Next stop, Chamera Lake!! located in Chamba District is an artificial lake, it is the collection of Chamera Hydroelectric Project that is built over the Ravi River at around 30Kms from Dalhousie, this place offers some great view. There is a water sports center which has set up by the Himachal Pradesh Department of Tourism to promote the water sports activity at the lake. The lake also provides abundant opportunities for boating and fishing. We hired a local transport which charged around INR 2200 as we were 14 in total (another group of 9) and reached there at around 1300 Hours in the noon. There was some problem with the engine, so had to stop at around 2 kms before the lake. It got us a chance to walk the whole stretch and see some great things. It was sunny which made our walk a bit sweaty but it was fun to walk around the lake.

After reaching there, we relaxed and had some things to eat. Our ride also got repaired soon.

Just like that the journey ended. From Chamera Lake to Pathankot Cantt, it took around 2 to 3 hours. Train seats were booked. I had a really great experience during the whole journey. The weather, the people, the food and the landscape, it was all worth spending our time out there. Do visit it once, perfect for weekenders who get free only for those last 2 days of the week . Get out on Friday in the night, spend the weekend there and get back to home on Monday morning. I am sure Delhi people follow this routine only for most of their trips.

This brings it to the end. It was great writing this time as I could relive those moments again. But that's the plan. Right!. I will see you guys some other time. Keep exploring!!

Have a great time. Goodbye!!

They just can't sit still.

Photo of Chamera Dam, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Goyal

Told you it was fun to walk. 

Photo of Chamera Dam, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Goyal