Dalhousie is a famous hill station on the northern side of Himachal Pradesh. For the last three months it has been covered with snow and is our very own Indian answer to the most beautiful destinations on this planet.
Founded as a summer retreat during the British Raj, whatever is documented about Dalhousie dates back to the colonial era and has a certain amount of nostalgia. Everyone is mesmerized by the beauty of the region and no amount of appreciation can do justice to this magical town.
As the snow cover recedes and we step into summer, tourists are making a beeline to this heavenly abode. We look at some reasons on what makes Dalhousie so popular and the first choice as a summer holiday destination for both domestic and international travelers. The temperature during peak summers shuffles anywhere between 18-27 degrees while the rest of India is reeling under the heat wave of over 45 degrees.
Geographically, Dalhousie is very scenic with layers of hills engulfing each other till eternity. Dalhousie itself is a combination of five hills of Kathlog, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora with views of snow clad Pir Panjal range at a distance. The region is covered by a thick cover of pines, deodars, oaks, flowering rhododendron trees and wide variety of seasonal flowers. At a height of over 6500 ft above sea level, the location of Dalhousie presents panoramic views of the distant plains as the river Ravi twists and turns glistening in the sun right below Dalhousie. On a clear day three of the five great Punjab rivers i.e Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi are visible from the high points of Dalhousie. If you are an ardent fan of nature, scenic landscapes, views of snow-clad Himalayas, virgin forest land (some of it marked as forest reserve), meadows, colonial styled hamlets, tasty Himachali snacks, warm affectionate people etc you will immediately fall in love with this region still unscarred by the devil of concretization.
In addition to marvelling over the beauty of this region, there are a lot of things to experience in and around Dalhousie. There are a lot of options to choose from. We have listed a few for you:
A walk and shopping at Mall Road – You can choose from a variety of woolens, shawls made from sheep wool, Tibetan artefacts and souvenirs, traditional jewellery, handicrafts and wooden memorabilia.
Churches – Built during the British-era, the churches form a major part of Dalhousie’s colonial heritage. St John’s church near Gandhi Chowk built in 1863, St Francis Church near Subhash Chowk built in 1894 and St Patrick’s Church built in 1909 on Military Hospital road are top recommendations.
Picnic at Panjpulla and or Satdhara Waterfall – The waterfall is due to the confluence of different mountain streams and local believe it to have medicinal properties. Both places are naturally scenic and a great venue to enjoy your picnic lunch.
Visit Khajjiar – Commonly called the mini-Switzerland of India, Khajjiar is a beautiful scenic town close to Dalhousie. It derives its beauty from the excellent amalgamation of lake, meadows and forests. Visit the temple near the lake to know the history on how Khajjiar acquired its name.
Trek to Dainkund and Pholani Devi Temple – Dalhousie is home to many famous temples like Bhalei Mata Temple. The trek till Dainkund top and to the temple is an ideal treat to the city eyes as it offers a 360 degree view with breathtaking views of Pir Panjal Range, the town of Dalhousie from a bird’s eye view and the famous hills of Dalhousie.
Take it slow – Do not be in a rush to cover Dalhousie in one go. Relax, rejuvenate and breathe in the fresh air of Dalhousie. Enjoy leisurely strolls in the lanes, sit-out at your favorite spot and think about the beauty of nature, gaze at the Himalayas and think about life and what you are chasing. Get philosophical, just do say it out loud. Get one with the wilderness and you will thank yourself for it.
Escape Route recommends a stay at either of our two partner properties to explore the beautiful Dalhousie and make the best out of your time:
Aaroham Resort Dalhousie – Machan shaped cottages in a thick cover of oak and rhododendron tress, Aaroham Resort is located approximately 4.5 km from Dalhousie town on the road to Karelnu. Each cottage has its private sit-out area opening towards the vast valley. The spacious cottages are marked into Deluxe and Super Deluxe categories and offer all modern amenities to its discerning guests. Aaroham is undoubtedly one of the freshest and contemporary additions to the beautiful offerings by Dalhousie.
Aamod at Dalhousie – Mud-finished cottages perched on a mountain ridge adjoining the Kalatop wild life sanctuary, is located approximately 5 km from Dalhousie town on the road to Khajjiar. Aamod at Dalhousie offers unparalleled views of Pir Panjal range from its open-air restaurant and its hospitality stands up as an epitome of excellence.
The nearest airport to reach Dalhousie is Ghaggal airport (110 kms away). Nearest Train station is
Pathankot (87 kms away). One needs to take public transport to the reach Dalhousie from either of the two points.
About Author: This article is written by Sumit Singh Jamwal. Sumit is the MD of Escape Route, an experiential travel company, loves to explore off-beat places and share Escape stories with the world through Escape Route.
Follow him at www.instagram.com/jamwal_saaaab/ on instagram and Escape Route at https://www.instagram.com/escaperoute.co.in/. You can also watch Escape Route videos at https://www.youtube.com/c/escaperoutein