Emerging out of the colonial rule as a summer retreat for the colonial rulers, situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie was established in 1854 by the then Governor General of India Lord Dalhousie whose name the town bears. A picturesque and delightful destination like no other, Dalhousie provides a retreat which transports one to the heavenly rungs of nature along with the whiff of colonial times.
All you have to do is close your eyes and imagine- at an elevation of 1970 meters from the sea level, lush green trees, mesmerizing meadows and valleys, cool fresh air with the scent of pine trees, waterfalls and rivers gushing, snow-capped mountains in the background with a dab of the colonial lifestyle- a journey that you have been waiting to embark on, to experience the divine Dalhousie.
How to Reach Dalhousie?
Being a popular tourist destination, the journey to reach Dalhousie is quite accessible as it well connected and facilitated.
Gaggal airport which is also known as Kangra airport is the nearest airport to Dalhoisie. It is around 130 km from the hill station. There are options of cabs and buses to reach the destination from the airport.
The nearest railway station is Pathankot and is around 80 km away. There are several trains available from the major cities in the neighbouring regions. Cabs and buses are available to reach Dalhousie from the railway station.
Well-connected roads and highways make for a wonderful and scenic journey to Dalhousie. There are several public and private bus facilities available and also the option of driving down in private or hired cars. From Delhi it takes around 11 hours to cover the distance of 560 km.
Where to stay?
Hostels and camps
For solo travellers who want to cut down on the accommodation cost but want a cozy stay, hostels are the best option. They are comfortable and affordable options for stay and a great way to meet new people. As for the more adventurous travellers out there, camps are a good option too. With the basic facilities and amenities provided, this is an experience of its own.
Cost- Average of Rs 1000 per night.
Another option for comfortable and affordable stay is homestays. Amenities and provisions of a normal residence are provided which offers a home away from home.
Cost- Starting from Rs 500 to Rs 2000
Hotels and Resorts
To enjoy the luxury and relaxation that a vacation brings with it, hotel and resorts are the best option. Available in all price ranges (like star hotels, budget hotels, etc.) hotels are also location in extremely beautiful locations.
Cost- Ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 3000 per night.
What to explore?
1. Satdhara Falls
A waterfall deriving its name from the seven springs in the region which are believed to have therapeutic properties. This is a very popular spot which should not be missed. Located around 3 km from the town, this is a quaint spot with the blend of the refreshing water and the beauty of the wild surrounding it.
Entry fees- None
Another famous waterfall in the region, Panchpula derives its name from the five bridges built over the five streams with the medicinal properties that make up the convergence of them. It is the main source of water for the local areas in Dalhousie. It is located around 3 km from Dalhousie this is a popular spot for trekking and the viewpoints.
Entry fees- None
Timings- 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
3. Daikund Peak
Dalhousie is also known as the Singing hill which is the highest point in Dalhousie. It is located around 13 km from Dalhousie. The peak offers an absolutely amazing view of the valley, the houses located there, the forests, the mountains on the horizon. A serene and enriching experience for nature lovers, it is also an exciting trek for the adventurous. The Panchpula stream originates from the northern part of Dainkund.
Entry fees- none
Timings- 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
The most popular tourist spot in Dalhousie is Khajjiar. Popularly known as the ‘Switzerland of India’, Khajjiar is the most picturesque place that are often found on postcards. Located around 22 km from Dalhousie, this small town is dotted with cottages and homes located in the lush green clearings and meadows with forests lining the area and the mountains in the backdrop with a lake in its midst making it truly divine Dalhousie. This place also has activities like horse riding, paragliding and so on. In addition, this would make a great picnic spot.
5. Chamera Lake
Located 25 km from Dalhousie, Chamera lake is a place to relax and enjoy the beauty with family and friends. There are water activities that are available like boating, fishing, kayaking, etc. It is an artificial lake formed with the Chamera dam on thr river Ravi. This spot reflects how divine Dalhousie is for a vacation getaway!
Entry fees- None
6. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
The name ‘kalatop’ means black cap which is named so for the thick forest cover in the region. It is rich in the wild flora and fauna and is home to several fascinating facets of nature. A treasure for adventurers and nature lovers who can trek their way to explore the pristine beauty and preserved richness of nature.
Entry fees- Rs 250 for the permit to enter the forest reserve zone
Timings- 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
7. St. John’s Church
Reflecting the colonial architecture in the town, St. John’s Church is the oldest church in Dalhousie. It is located around 2 km from the town centre in Gandhi chowk, and is known for its glass paintings of St. John and St. Peter.
Timings- 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
8. Bakrota Hills
Located 5 km from Dalhousie, this spot is surrounded by deodar trees and has a splendid view of the gorgeous landscape of Dalhousie. In the winter, the entire region is snow covered and reiterates the divine Dalhousie that it is famous for.
Dalhousie has a range of cuisines to offer like Tibetan, Mughlai, Chinese, Continental, Indian. The local Himachali cuisine is not so easy to come across as tourists since it mainly comprises of a simple meal with rice, dal, and a side dish with it. A few popular places to eat in include:
A very famous place to dine in Dalhousie, the cafe is located in a neat spot which offers an unparalleled view of the landscape. The cafe is known for its pancakes, pasta, milkshakes, tea and homemade dessert.
2. Kwality Restaurant
Kwality Restaurant is famous for its Indian and Asian food. It offers noodles, Manchurian, pizza and much more! It is located in Gandhi Chowk.
3. Moti Mahal
Located in Subhash chowk, this restaurant is known for its American, Indian and Asian cuisine. It is best known for its north Indian food.
4. Mongas Cafe
Another well known cafe located in Gandhi chowk, this cafe is famous for its American cuisine. the coffee and tea as well to enjoy a relaxing evening.
With family, friends, or solo a trip to experience divine Dalhousie, this hill station is an exquisite recluse for the summer or winter. The pleasant and charming weather is an added bonus to the vacation to mini Switzerland to discover the nature lover, adventurer in you!