The land of five hills: Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Dalhousie is a small town in the Chamba region, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on five hills – Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora.
The town has an elevation of 1970 metres above sea-level. Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
The town was named after Lord Dalhousie, who was the British Governor General in India who established this place as a summer retreat for the troops.
Scottish and Victorian architecture are prevalent in the bungalows and churches in the town.
For accommodation purposes, tourists have variety of options to choose from, ranging from hotels, cottages, villas and bungalows. One can easily find an economical stay in Dalhousie, starting from Rs 400 to Rs 10000. Dalhousie, being a beautiful tourist spot plays a major role in the economy of the state.
The city is well connected via road and the drive to Dalhousie is pretty risky and fun at the same time. One can see the step farming and some really big mountains on the way to Dalhousie which offer beautiful panoramic views.
Being a quaint town, Dalhousie has places where one can go for long walks through the tall deodar trees. The sun rays play peek-a-boo with forest leaves as pretty patterns prance all around. Dainkund, the highest point in Dalhousie paints a perfect picture of that. Flitting past quaint schools and cottages, light and shadows on the winding roads, there is an old Pohlani Mata Temple.
Dalhousie has many other spectacular sights to offer. There is one potato field near Alla, which has a beautiful mountain view. Another popular spot is Karelanu which is famous for its precious water, which healed Shubhash Chandra Bose when he was suffering from tuberculosis. He regularly drank water from the natural spring in Karelanu and was healed.
Kalatop – the snow clad log hut of the film ‘Lootera’ fame – with one leafed tree and ‘kaccha’ trails is in the town of Dalhousie. A sight so pretty, you would wish to make that your home for as long as you live. The ‘kaccha’ trails take you through dense conifers and sunlit grass-carpeted glades. The 3 km of heavenly beauty is one to behold as you peer straight up to try and locate tree tops.
The forest rest house oozes English charm with secluded benches and well-manicured velvety lawns, bordered by tall deodars. Narrow stone pathways lead you to the backdrop view of the Pir Panjals, where the mountain range can be seen from Mall Road in Dalhousie.
The snow clad peaks of Dhauladhar towering enticingly beyond the deodar and pine forests is a walk into the wilderness which is known to be famous for brown and black bear. The breathtaking beauty of the place steals away the thoughts of bear attacks. The place is paradise for photography enthusiasts.
Other main attractions includes the view from Ganji Pahadi, the view from Subhash Bowli, Khajjiar, Bakrota Hills, Village Lohali, Cantonment, Sadar bazaar, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary Trek, Tibetan market, the sun reflecting off the waters of the Ranjit Singh Dam, Salooni (about 50 km from Dalhousie) provide a breathtaking view for visitors. There are a few pine forests around which are recommended for nature walks.
Panchpula is known for its waterfalls and few other water-streams, which are the main source of water for the Dalhousie region. There are various walk in Dalhousie town like the Mall Road, Subhash Chowk to Gandi Chowk and Dalhousie Church walks where one can go to see colourful birds. Go to the back side of the Church at Subhash Chowk during the sunset to spend some quality time in the evening.
Apart from the beautiful views, Dalhousie has amazing food to offer, especially non-vegetarian. Hotels are pretty economical and the taste is reasonably good. The best time to visit Dalhousie is during the summer months from May to September.
For those who love mountains and want to experience heights, Dalhousie is the place.
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Text & Photography By-Heena Raheja