Kalatop Wildlife SanctuaryNext, we headed to Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary known for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Packed with picturesque landscape, dense deodar forests, little streams, and beautiful flowers and birds around, this is a perfect place for nature walk. If you are lucky enough you might get a sight of jackal, leopard, deer, bear and chimpanzees.Dainkund Peak, DalhousieIf you like to trek, Dainkund Peak is a place for you. It has an interesting story behind its name. Villagers say that in earlier days witches "Dayan" used to trouble villagers and hence the name "Dainkund".Though the hike is easy but reaching the top, gives you a breath-taking view of the beautiful Dalhousie Hill station, and you might even spot Satluj, Ravi, Chenab, and Beas River from the top.Read my trip advisor review about Dainkund Peak here.Next, we headed to the market, it was early evening but looked like night since it was raining heavily. The weather was getting cold but thankfully we had our jackets on. After having a perfect evening snack of momos, tea and potato fries, we roamed around the main market of Dalhousie at Gandhi Chowk and shopped Tibetan handicrafts.The couple who was traveling with us, they are lawyers but full of fun-filled life and love traveling just like us. On our way back to Zostel, we took a stop to this hippy and artistic café made entirely from wooden logs named as Magic Tree Cafe.You can find more about this cafe on trip advisor under top 10 best restaurants near Zostel Dalhousie.Enjoying the city view and thunder storm, we grabbed few drinks and snack chit-chatting about our lives and making plans for further trips.This is how our day ended with full of highs and lows, getting tired but exciting and exhilarating. This is how our lovely weekend ended in Dalhousie. If you are looking for a perfect weekend getaway from Delhi, this is the best place to visit specially during monsoon.If you're also like us staying quite far from Delhi/Himachal, you must be going for a trip of atleast a week. My next blogpost is about the rest of the trip we had after our weekend in Dalhousie.Read more about how your trip to Dhauladhar ranges can be super fun and adventurous with paragliding at Asia's second highest paragliding site - Bir. Till then, Happy Travels!!
There are two ways to reach Kalatop rest house; either you can walk 3 kms (it takes more than an hour to cover the distance) or take your vehicle by paying an entrance fees. As it was already late afternoon, I decided to go with the taxi which dropped me at the entrance of the guest house. Located amidst the oak and coniferous forests and in close vicinity of the Ravi River, this place is breath taking! For few moments, I was just staring at the gate without an ounce of belief that I am actually here.
Our next stop was a wildlife sanctuary, which was more of a car ride till the main location. We unfortunately could not experience the sanctuary but definitely had pakoras and chai at the local restaurant. Oh yes, one of the attractions was Zip Lining, which is open for tourists to experience.
We were first taken to Kalatop forest reserve. There is an entry fee of Rs. 250 for all vehicles entering into Kalatop but free for those who choose to walk down the road. We happily paid that sum and let our vehicle took us through the jungle. From the entrance, the main forest guest house is about 3KM.Staying right in the middle of a forest reserve is terrific and on seeing the arrangements around, I must say that spending a couple of nights there would indeed be a great idea. As we didn’t get much opportunity to explore the jungle and confined our survey only to the surroundings of the guest houses and eateries so, my overall experience regarding Kalatop was nothing overwhelming. I, though, must confess that the amount of time we spent there was very short to assess the beauty of Kalatop altogether.As we were approaching to our next destination Dainkund, our cab driver Mr. Raju reminded us about the physical exertions involved in Dainkund but we both were very confident about the distance we needed to mount there. In this context, I must say that in 2005, when I first visited Dalhousie I had not come across these places of attractions. At that time, places like Khajjiar, Panchpulla, Subhas ki Baoli, Gandhi Chowk, Garam Sadak, Subhas Chowk etc. were famous among the spots. That’s may be we preferred to explore places popular only for common. That moment, for many like ours, Himachal was nothing beyond Shimla, Kullu, Manali and Dalhousie. However, with the advancement in the virtual world, these unorthodox places coming into the limelight and getting there due recognition.On arrival at Dainkund, our driver dropped us at a point from where we needed to undertake a moderate trekking to the Pholani Devi Temple at the summit. At the entrance, some enthusiastic young lads were found collecting garbage in a sack and thereby contributing there bits towards the cleanliness of the surroundings on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti. Initially the place was felt nothing special but, to my utter astonishment, Dainkund turned out to be the most beautiful place of my entire tour. Bewildered by the charisma I, at times, forgot that I was accompanying my wife. Running frantically from one viewpoint to another, simply in a quest to find out which one offer the better view. Thankfully, my wife remained vigilant all along and periodically shouting at my madness and kept reminding me to watch my steps. The vividly blue sky, the panoramic view of fathomless hills, verdant valleys, the telescopic vision of the Manimahesh Kailash Peak, and the Temple at the zenith - all these have garnished Dainkund as a complete package for excursionists.
Kalatop Wildlife SanctauryIt is undertaken by Forest Department. The way to Kalatop starts from Lakkar Mandi. The Main attraction of Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is Kalatop Guest House-Movie Lootera frame.