Dalhousie - The Serene Beauty

Dalhousie is a hill station in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most pristine hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. It was named after British Governor-General Lord Dalhousie. Lord Dalhousie established the hill station in early 1854 and treated it as a great summer retreat.

Dalhousie is still one of the examples of neatly planned streets and colonial-era architecture. Along with the architects, the town is also rich in lush green forests, old-world charm, mesmerizing natural landscape, pine-clad valleys, flower-bedecked meadows, fast-flowing rivers, and snow-capped peaks of Himalayas.

It is a place that takes you far away from the busy city lives and gives you eternal peace. The still-not-urbanized colonies, pollution-free air to breathe, scenic beauty to calm your nerves down, ever-welcoming natives are what makes you feel alive and freshens you up to go about your life again. You might not get huge malls, multiplexes, and a crazy nightlife but if you’re looking for a tête-à-tête with nature and yourself, you will surely get in abundance, here.

History

In 1854, while on trips, Lord Dalhousie was enchanted by the refreshing and healthy beauty of Dalhousie. Adamant about building his landmark here, he proposed an offer to the Chamba ruler. As per the offer, the viceroy wished to acquire five hills- Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota, and Bhangora and in return, he would reduce the taxes of the ruler, to which the ruler obliged.

The project of Dalhousie began under the observation of Lt. Col. Napier, then Chief Engineer of Punjab. Upon completion, Dalhousie served as a summer retreat for the British troops and became a hill station soon after. The British used their architectural skills and constructed some famous bungalows in the city as a remembrance. 

In the year 1861, Dalhousie became a part of the Gurdaspur district in the state of Punjab. It was way after independence in 1966, when Dalhousie was excluded from Punjab as per the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 and became a part of Himachal Pradesh.

Geography

Elevation: 1,970 m (6,460 ft)

Altitude: 2,030 m above sea level

Population: 7,051 (as per Census 2011)

Languages: Hindi (official), Pahari (popular)

Climate

Being a hill station and surrounded by the Himalayas, Dalhousie tends to remain cold and icy. However, the different seasons affect the weather conditions of the hill station that you must know before planning a trip to ecstatic heaven.

Summer: The summers do justice to the nature of Dalhousie. With a maximum of 24°C, summers allow you to explore the region as much as you can. The surroundings are pleasant with natural green vegetation all around.

Winter: Being around the Himalayas, it affects the town in winters a lot. The temperature can drop to freezing point and the minimum temperature may go till 0°C. If you’re fond of snow and can bear chilling temperatures, you should visit in winters but with tons of warm/woolen clothes.

Monsoon: Dalhousie gets foggy and cloudy during monsoon. You may feel like walking in clouds if you happen to visit Dalhousie during monsoons.

Best Time to Visit Dalhousie

Even though there is no fixed time to visit Dalhousie as it depends on the preference of visitors, but it’s recommended to visit Dalhousie from March to August. If you’re more of a snow lover, you can visit between December to February. For the lush green view around, visit during summers, i.e. from March to July. Monsoon is not recommended to visit any hill station as the place gets very slippery and there are chances of heavy landslides.

 Top 12  Best Places to Visit in Dalhousie

  • Kalatop Wildlife Reserve
  • Khajjiar
  • Dainkund Peak
  • Ganji Pahari
  • Francis Church
  • Panchpula
  • Chamera Lake
  • Garam Sadak
  • Subhash Baoli
  • Sach Pass
  • Satdhara Falls
  • Bakrota Hills or Upper Bakrota

What You Can't-Miss

  • Do not forget to get your perfect dose of adrenaline rush through mountain climbing and trekking to up top hills and mountains.
  • Go to the Tibetan market and have a look around just for fun or shop if you like something.
  • Enjoy long walks in the perfect natural surroundings.
  • Have a barbeque if your hotel has the facilities to do so.
  • Star-gaze in the clear sky.
  • Enjoy a ride on the ponies in Khajjiar.

How to Reach?

By Air:

The nearest airport to Dalhousie is Gaggal (140 km away) and Satwari Airport in Jammu (106 km away). You can find car options to reach Dalhousie from both the airports.

By train:

The nearest railway station to Dalhousie is Pathankot, which is 78 km away from the town and can be reached via a hired cab or buses.

What to Buy?

Dalhousie is famous for its perfect presentation as an Indian brand. It never fails to charm visitors with its collection of souvenirs. The town has many shopping areas to make your trip more memorable. Get yourself handicrafts, gift items, and trinkets.

For a better exposure, visit the Tibetan market, at Gandhi Chowk, and get mesmerized by the Himachal Handloom and Crafts Center, as well as Tibetan Handicrafts Center, they have a vast collection of goods including handicrafts, bags, rugs, carpets, and dolls. The Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium also offers Kashmiri handicrafts and woolens, including traditional shawls and unique exquisite handicrafts.

You can also buy Buddhist paintings, a variety of silver and copper potteries and the likes.

Where to Eat?

Being a famous hill station, Dalhousie serves delicious food, available at some of the popular food joints in the city.

The Mall road of Dalhousie is a hub of shopping centers and food joints, where one can delight their taste buds with a variety of cuisines available. Be it Chinese, Tibetan, South Indian idlis, Kashmiri, or North Indian, Dalhousie serves it all. Some of the popular restaurants and food joints that just serve what you need:

  • The Preet Palace
  • Moti Mahal Deluxe
  • Kwality Restaurant
  • Shere-Punjab Dhaba
  • Dawat Restaurant
  • Café Dalhousie
  • Friends Punjabi Dhaba
  • Napoli
  • Punjab Restaurant
  • Lalls Restaurant
  • Aroma N Claire

Where to Stay?

Dalhousie offers tourists a variety of comfortable hotels and lodges. Some of the hotels and guesthouses are located in the quiet surroundings of the city that give people the much-deserved peace and privacy. Some of the hotels that you can try are:

  • Lall Ji Tourist Resort
  • Dalhousie Heights
  • Hotel Himgiri
  • Hotel Mohan Palace
  • Hotel Topaz
  • Grand View Hotel
  • Aamod at Dalhousie
  • Sagrika Resort
  • Hotel Amar
  • Hotel Kings
  • Hotel Mongas
  • Hotel Comfort Inn

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