Spread out on the crest of five low hills on the western edge of the Dhauladhar range in Himachal Pradesh, is the sleepy hill station of Dalhousie. Named after the British Governor General of Punjab, it is replete with colonial buildings set amidst pine forests. Dense forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak surround Dalhousie, the river Ravi flows nearby, and cool breezes soothe.
Considered less rushed than most hill stations, Dalhousie’s magic works on you as you wander around Subhash Chowk and stroll down the inevitable Mall, with its shops and restaurants.
How to Reach Dalhousie?
By Air : There is no airport in Dalhousie. The nearest airport Gaggal in Kangra district is 140 kms away.
By Rail : The nearest railway station is at Pathankot, 78 kms down in the plains. Pathankot can be reached from Delhi by train. From Pathankot there are buses and taxis that can transport you to Dalhousie.
By Road : A national highway links Dalhousie with Pathankot with regular state roadways and private buses plying on the route. Dalhousie is also connected by buses to Chamba, Dharamshala and Shimla. The arduous journey along steep winding mountain routes from Shimla and Dharamshala can get quite uncomfortable but is also incredibly scenic - so take your pick.
Best Time to Visit Dalhousie
Dalhousie is place for all seasons. The best time to visit would really depend on why you are visiting. If you are getting away from the heat of the plains then summer between March and June is a very good time as is September to November. The weather is cool and very pleasant at these times.
Winters are a slack season in some ways and hotels offer good prices at this time. Dalhousie is very pretty at this time of the year and it does snow too in January, so if you want peace and quiet, scenic beauty and great hotel prices head here in winter. It is beautiful!
Things to do in Dalhousie
There is no dearth of things to do or see in Dalhousie – a stunning hill resort in Himachal Pradesh.
Offering best sightseeing options along with an array of activities – Dalhousie is a traveller’s delight. For some stunning views you can take a pleasurable walk to Panchpulla – a scenic spot with water flowing under the five small bridges. After you have admired the striking beauty of Panchpulla, you can also visit a small fresh water spring known as Satdhara – water from this stream is believed to have curing powers.
If you are an adventurous sort then you will definitely enjoy trekking in Dalhousie. You can follow the famous charismatic trekking trail of Khajjiar-Chamba-Khajjiar. You can also trek to Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary.
Are you interested in Kullu shawls or Tibetan carpets? The market in Dalhousie offers some exquisite variety of Kullu shawls and elaborately woven carpets, jewellery, woollens, Chamba slippers among various other things.
And when all these sightseeing and shopping tires you out, you can drop in to some of the famous restaurants like Moti Mahal or Kwality for a scrumptious meal and in case you want to savour some traditional North Indian cuisine then you can visit dhabas like Sher–e-Punjab or Amritsari Dhaba.
Pleasant walks off the main road into the forested slopes, with bright coloured modern Buddhist rock paintings, Dalhousie with its picturesque mountains, cascading waterfalls, gorgeous landscapes makes for a memorable holiday experience.
Places Near Dalhousie
Some of the places nearby Dalhousie are quite interesting and you could make a day visit.
Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary is a 30 km trek from Dalhousie along the steep road to Chamba and you can cover this either by road or on foot. To drive in to the sanctuary you will need a permit from the department of forestry in Chamba. Besides offering good views of the surrounding snow peaks, the sanctuary has a small number of wildlife including deer, ibex, mountains bears and leopards. Most of them, however, remain hidden in their enclosures and are rarely sighted.
Khajjiar is further on the road to Chamba, and the road ambles down into the meadows surrounded by a towering deodar trees. The green pastures roll down to a small lake in the centre. Visitors hire ponies to take a tour of the green expanse. The 12th century shrine of Khajjinag stands near the lake. Khajjiar can be covered by day trips from Dalhousie. Alternatively you could stay overnight at any of the resorts or the Himachal Tourism hotel near the temple.
Hotels in Dalhousie – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Dalhousie ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.