Dalhousie-Khajjiar-Chamera-Anandpur Sahib: Beauty unleashed

25th Jun 2018
Photo of Dalhousie-Khajjiar-Chamera-Anandpur Sahib: Beauty unleashed by Saransh Gupta

A hidden treasure in Himachal Pradesh, want some refreshment, to engulf the beauty of mountains - this is the place for family outing. The peacefulness and tranquility in the atmosphere is what we cherished the most.

The five of us started the journey 6:30 in morning. We booked the Innova taxi & took the route via Pathankot and its a 310 km ride from Chandigarh. When it comes to travelling, we leave the word 'diet' at home, thus loading the car with lot of snacks, imli toffees, medicines, umbrellas, rain coats & 5-7 litres of water (Checklist)

Nearby Pathankot- notice from highway Ravi river - Ranjeet Sagar Dam- the splendid view which will force you to stop, its a 10-15 mins halt one can take.

Photo of Dalhousie-Khajjiar-Chamera-Anandpur Sahib: Beauty unleashed 1/1 by Saransh Gupta

At 10 mins distance from here, by taking a small diversion you can get a view of "Suicide point" which is very calm and lovely place. We have started experiencing the cold breeze by now.

Photo of Dalhousie-Khajjiar-Chamera-Anandpur Sahib: Beauty unleashed by Saransh Gupta

1 hr drive from Pathankot, you will encounter a place called "Dunera". Remember the Aam papad we used to love in childhood, cherish those moments again.

After around 8 hrs of journey, we reached the resort situated at thandi sadak, Snow Valley Resorts including breakfast/dinner buffet along. It was worth a stay with mesmerizing lush green mountains view, chair swings at the terrace + yum food with loads of variety, parking facility, a km walk to mall road & what not.

View from the Maharaja Suit - Snow Valley Resort

Photo of Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India by Saransh Gupta

We enjoyed the lunch at "Kwality restrau." which is situated at Gandhi chowk, Mall road being one of the oldest fine dining in the area. (Try to keep the taxi in hotel itself and don't park anywhere at random)

We were all pumped up for our first destination- Panchpula, famous for 5 water streams meeting at a hill which was 3-4 km drive. Go till the end point, parking is free here. Its a short trek of half a kilometer, check out the cafes where we had bhajjias and masala chai. Small showpiece and decorative items can be shopped. Lots of fun activities for children below age 12 can be done. I enjoyed Burma-bridge and Zipline (Rs. 200) One can get photos with cute rabbits for bare price of Rs. 20. Its just about experiences which counts + the quality time you spend. Satdhara falls are also nearby but are visible after monsoon only. Its perfect for a 2 hour stay.

Photo of Panchpula, Pathankot Road, Chatryara, Himachal Pradesh, India by Saransh Gupta

We reached back to the Mall road - tried roadside yum gulab jamuns which is a famous delicacy here. It suddenly started raining heavily. To escape the rain, we entered old-sher-e-punjab, the place proved to be a disaster. The mall road is just 200 mtr. long starting from Gandhi chowk and hasn't much to offer for shopping. There is a bakery - Bon appetit which is quite famous. Dalhousie, the place established by Britishers, how can one miss the famous churches, we visited the St. John's church - one of the oldest churches of India where you can read prayers, write wishes and relax. All wet, we went back to hotel, took some rest, went for a stroll to garam sadak, believed to receive the maximum sunshine which is a 2 km stretch. After our buffet at hotel, we relaxed at the chair swings of the resort terrace. It has been cold enough, nithered that we were all in our sweat-shirts. (Don't forget the handy rule to carry umbrella/rain coat while roaming around)

Day 2

Being a morning person, I went for a jog, it was refreshing with mesmerizing sunrise views. We left at 8:45 for Chamera lake, its a 35 km clear and amazing journey via Banikhet. One can take a shortcut through the Chamera dam towards the end by showing ID proof which could save 5 kms. (Not shown in G-map)

We enjoyed the splendid views of river Ravi through Chamera Lake. Its famous for boating - (350/person/30 mins, steamer boat)(450/person/8 mins, speed boat) Since we wanted to capture lots of photos + enjoy longer time, we took the first option. Its fantabulous journey between the moutains + cold winds added to the flavour. We enjoyed the maggi before leaving from there. One can spend 1.5 hours of quality time here, parking remains free. (Do opposite of what most people usually plan, visit this place in morning around 10-11 am rather than evening, )

Photo of Chamera Lake, Taleru, Himachal Pradesh, India by Saransh Gupta

Now, we are heading towards Khajjiar. We went to Khajjiar via Dalhousie only. It may take 2.5 hours, Rs. 200 as entry fee collected at a point 12 km before the destination. One can view the top schools of India - DPS & Hilltop at their way, Beiji's chowk for a 5 minute halt. (Trust locals more than the G-map- doesn't show the safer routes, newer routes)

Khajjiar: mini Switzerland of India as it is called. The view is really panaromic. Its a large green meadow grazed by sheeps centred by an almost dry lake surrounded all around by mountains which is said to be covered by snow during winters giving it the title. We started with our traditional gol-gappas, softy, rajma chawal being famous here. There is a small temple of Hidimba devi. We sat in the grass & relaxed, run after sheeps & photo sessions. There are options of zorbing and horse riding (600/4km/30 mins). Since, it started raining, we dropped the idea of horse riding. The place can be explored for 3-4 hours.

Photo of Khajjiar Lake, Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Saransh Gupta

On our way back to hotel, it was raining heavily, hailstorm of such intensity that we thought it will break the windshield. Due to time shortage and heavy rains, we cancelled few places like "Daikund peak" and "Kalatop" (2-3 km trek inside dense forest areas) while returning. (One rule in mountains - you should never stop when its raining & always keep moving)

At night, we went to St. Francis Church located at Subhash Chowk. It may seem quite haunting at night but beautiful from inside. After wonderful buffet dinner, we had an hour session of Table tennis in the game room of resort.

Day 3

After breakfast, we checked out. Thus, we left this beautiful place. (It makes sense to leave the city before 8:45 am to escape the rush)

No trip is complete in India without mythological places when you are with family. Not much known a place is Mukteshwar Mahadev mandir, 30 km before Pathankot, a small 0.5 km diversion from the main highway. The place is known where Pandavas from Mahabharat used to stay during their exile period, small guffa temples with shivlinga one can reach via 320 stairs downwards from the parking area - you can test your stamina here. One can take bath in fast streams of cold and clean Ravi river, 24-hours langar which served us Mandia and dal chawal. No parking fees, soothing sound of rushing water, 1.5 hours stay -a must visit.

Photo of Mukteshwar Mahadev Mandir Road, Thara Jhikla, Pathankot, Punjab, India by Saransh Gupta

After 5 hours of journey, some 80 kms before Chandigarh and near Satluj river, we went to Anandpur Sahib - Takhtshri Keshgarh Gurudwara where beliefs of kesh as one of the 5 takhts was built. We worshipped, sat there for sometime, had langar. There is a large covered sarovar where one can take bath outside the gurudwara. One can spend 1.5-2 hours here in peace.

Way back to Chandigarh. Thus, last day remained more of travel.

Tip: If time allows, book 3 night stays- 2 nights in Dalhousie + 1 at Khajjiar which can be more relieving and reduce the travel part. Can explore Kalatop also. No need of making any prior bookings except for hotel.

The two-way tolls did cost us nearly Rs. 1400 + driver's daily night charge of Rs. 200 + apprx. 780 km (13/km), thus total cost of travel turned to be= Rs. 12,000. Hotel booked from MMT for 2 night/5 people at Rs. 32,000. (Maharaja suites)

The place can really leave you mesmerized. Guyz, hit it to your wish list this summer & don't forget the follow me.