Dhauladar range in Himachal Pradesh is the home to many beautiful places and Dalhousie is one of them, a small hill station established in 1854 by British Empire.
Surrounded by the snow-capped peaks, thick green cover of forests, refreshing ambiance makes Dalhousie a perfect place where one can relax, retreat himself physically and mentally.
Not only it's a place which makes you realize you how beautiful nature is in itself but also gives you a feel of Scottish and Victorian architecture in its buildings and churches.
Dalhousie's natural beauty, refreshing air, sunshine and nature's blessed surroundings add charm to its treks and walks over the dense forests. Thick forests look like beautiful green carpets covering the surrounding hills.
In this first part of our article series we will cover Dalhousie city and in the follow-up articles will take a closer look at some of the beautiful surroundings of Dalhousie which make it a must visit places of every traveller.
Dalhousie is situated approximately 2,100 Meters above the sea level. Spread over an area of 14 sq km, Dalhousie is build on five hills.
What to Do
Best things to do at Dalhousie is to go for a walk around the city. The place in itself is blessed with nature and its pleasant beauty so one needs not to think much where to go, all we need is to start walking and feel refresh-full air touching you, sound of wind passing through the forest, hide-and-seek of the sun, and magnificent snow-capped hills.
We strongly believe that such beautiful places are there for us to spend some time leaving away all our worries, admire beauty of nature, realize how much nature has to offer to us.
How may times have we seen the sun going down and how many times have we heard whistles of wind when it is passing through the trees - this is the perfect place to feel all of this.
Gandhi chowk (GPO) is the center of activities, shopping and restaurants, this is also the starting point of most treks. If you love to do shopping or trekking this is your area so don't wait just get set and go.
On the western side of Dalhousie there is Subash chowk, starting point for a walk around Potrein Hill. One of the place namely Alla offers mesmerizing scenic landscape.
- St. Andrew's Church
- St. Patrick's Church
- St. Francis' Church
are some of the places for all those who love to admire architectural work.
Places To Visit
Beside the walks along the treks there are many places to visit at Dalhousie and in this article we will only cover the places in and near to the city.
Bakrota Hills: At the height of around 2,085 meters it offers tourists brisk walk and the snow-clad peaks. Every turn around Bakrota hills offers its traveller a new view and the unpredictable hide and seek of the sun along the path will add ever refreshing memories to your journey. Journey to Dalhousie is incomplete if you miss this magnificent walk through the hills.
Panchphulla: A place associated with one of the great freedom fighter in Indian independence "Sardar Ajit Singh", a scenic place. While on the way to Panchphulla one can also get a view of Satdhara spring
How to Reach
Dalhousie is connected with all the major places within Himachal as well with other major cities in India.
By Air: The nearest Airport to Dalhousie is Gaggle (Kangra) which is around 125 Km away from Dalhousie. One has the option to hire a taxi from the airport or can go for public transport (Bus). Please note that bus service to Dalhousie from Kangra will be time based, being a hill place and unpredictable weather flights can be delayed on canceled.
Kingfisher is the only airline providing its services on this route from Delhi.
By Train: Nearest broad gauge railway station is at Pathankot which is around 80 Km. One has the option to hire taxi from the Pathankot or Himachal Roadway and other players operate frequently between this route.
By Road: Dalhousie is well connected with all major cities within Himachal and other states. Himachal Roadways and some other state Roadways as well private players operate buses from all major cities to Dalhousie. For the detailed time table of Himachal Roadways buses refer to their website Himachal Roadways. In case of lack of direct buses we advise you to take a bus up to Banikhet. Dalhousie is about 6 Km away from this place. Buses that go to Chamba will pass through Banikhet.
Since it is a hilly area and there are unpredictable weather conditions one can not expect smooth road conditions but excluding some bad patches under land slides zones, road connecting to Dalhousie be it from Pathankot or from Dharmshala/Manali side are in good conditions.
If you are driving with your own vehicle and are not comfortable with hill driving we advise you not to go for the night driving.
The drive towards Dalhousie gives you some panoramic eye-catching views. Driving along rivers, under the hills, zig-zag roads with beautiful greenery surrounding you will not let you feel tired.
All major mobile service providers are operating in this area so you will not face any communication problem, though during our stay in Dalhousie we faced some network issue in out Hotel room but we believe that it was because of the Hotel location.
Where To Stay
Being a popular hill station one can find a plenty of hotels/guest houses to stay in. If you are not planning to go there during peak season (April-June and New year time), chances are high to get a good accommodation at reasonable prices and during peak season our advise is to book a room in advance in order to avoid any heart-breaking price quotes.
First level medical facilities will be available at Dalhousie for any major problem, either Chamba District Hospital or Pathankot are the best places to get help. In case of any emergency don't forget to dial 108 - an emergency medical support service (First Aid and an Ambulance) provided by Himachal Pradesh Government.
Dalhousie experiences winter like cold climate conditions throughout the year. Heavy rains occur often with land slides and road closing during July-Mid September. During summers (May-July) it's a bit warm in the day time but cold in the mornings and in the night. In winter time (October-February) weather becomes quite cold, during December-January you can enjoy the snow here. Dalhousie is famous for its healthy climate.
In the subsequent article(s), we will cover some of the most beautiful places around Dalhousie as well will provide our suggestion about the best time to go and other things to do at this beautiful place.
We hope that you have made up your mind to explore this beautiful destination, so start your preparations from today.