In western Himachal Pradesh, the hill station of Dalhousie is full of 'Old world' charm and holds lingering echoes of the 'Raj'. It covers an area of about 14 sq. km and is built on five hills - Kathlog, Potreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun. It is named after the British Governor - General of the l9th century, Lord Dalhousie. The town's height varies between 1,525 m and 2,378m, and it is surrounded by varied vegetation - pines, dodders, oaks and flowering rhododendron. Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its location presents panoramic views of the plains - and like a long silverline, the River Ravi twists and turns below Dalhousie. One of the highlights of Dalhousie tours is the spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar Mountains which are also visible from this enchanting town.
Climate: Very cold in winters and during rainy season and warm during summers
Weather: Min 0° C & max 30° C
Best Time to Visit: Heavy woolens for winters and light woolens or tropical clothing for summer
Suggested Clothing: Woolens and jackets in the winters and T-shirts and light colored clothing during summers
Places to visit
The colonial imprints can still be seen at this quaint hill resort. On sightseeing tours to Dalhousie one can simply stroll around the city and admire the treasures of nature. While on a walk across the city you will come across following sites:
There are four beautiful churches in Dalhousie. These are St. Andrew's Church and St. Patrick's Church at Balun, St. Francis' Church at Subash Chowk and St. John's Church at Gandhi Chowk.
- Panchpula (3 km):
This is picturesque spot where a stream feeds a series of pools. A monument has been built here in memory of the freedman fighter, Sardar Ajit Singh.
- Subhash Baoli (1 km):
It was at this enchaining spot surrounded by majestic trees that Subhash Chandra Bose spent a lot of time in 1937, contemplating and mediating.
- BaraPathar (4 km):
There is a small temple amidst a thick forest.
- Kalatop (10 km):
This wild life sanctuary is home to the 'ghoral' and Himalayan black bear.
Highlights of Dalhousie Tourism
Numerous trek routes lead out of the Dalhousie - Khajjiar - Chamba triangle and there are several within it. Some important ones are - Chamba to Bharmour, Chamba to Palampur (over the Dhauladhar ranges), Chamba to Pangi and Bharmour to Keylong via Kugti Pass.
Though less in numbers eating out joints in Dalhousie prepare for a delectable treat. The food mainly Indian and Mughlai is prepared to impress all and is available at affordable prices. The restaurants at the hotels are generally the ones known for quality meals at a bit higher prices. The region also offers a platter full of great Nepali, Kashmiri and Chinese cuisines. On your Dalhousie tour do not miss Kwality Restaurant which is one of the oldest places to sit along with locals eating their kind of food.
- Bengal Sweet Shop: Famous for its Bengali sweets like Ras Malai, Rasogolla and Gulab Jamun. Located at Gandhi Chow
- Dhabas: Alishan, Amritsari and Sheki Punjab dhabas are worth checking out.
- Glory Restaurant: A Gujarati thali costs Rs 75 (approx). Located near bus stand.
- Kwality Restaurant: Located near Gandhi Chowk. Good services come with reasonable prices.
- Lovely Restaurant: South Indian and Chinese cuisine are served here.
- Moti Mahal Restaurant: Near Subhash Chowk. South Indian food is served. A bar is also there.
- Preet Palace Restaurant: One of the joints where Mughalai cuisine is available. Also served are Kashmiri and Chinese foods.
Located on Thandi Sarak, the Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium has a collection of beautiful woollen shawls. Made to order Tibetan carpets can be procured from the Tibetan Handicrafts Centre. Besides carpets, Tibetan handicrafts centre showroom sells bags, purses and other memorabilia. Private shopkeepers, too, sell items of art and craft and woollen shawls including Kashmiri. The Tibetan market is run by Tibetans and is well known for Chinese electronics and toys.
For Dalhousie tours one can choose from a combination of air, rail and road travels or just by taking to the roadway.
There is no direct flight for Dalhousie. You can end your air travel at Delhi, Shimla or Chandigarh. From there onwards you can avail the bus or the taxi services. Other options are Gaggal (near Dharamsala), Amritsar (Punjab) and Jammu (J & K) lying with 130-200 km.
Lying on the Chamba-Pathankot main road. For those heading from Pathankot should divert at Banikhet, which is just 5-6 km away from Dalhousie. Otherwise also, the places are well connected from a number of centres.
- Road distances to important places (km about)
- Chamba via Banikhet: 55 km
- Chamba via Khajjiar: 50 km
- Pathankot: 80 km
- Chandigarh via Pathankot: 320 km
- Dharamsala via Banikhet/Chakki/Nurpur: 145 km
- Dharamsala via Bakloh, Lahru, Sihunta, Shahpur: 130 km
- Jammu: 190 km
- Mandi: 275 km
- Manali: 380 km
- Shimla: 340 km
Taxi stand at Dalhousie provides services to and from Pathankot, Chamba, Khajiar, Brahmaur, Kalatope and Dharamsala. Rates are as follows (Rs approx):
- Brahmaus: Rs 1400 one way
- Chamba: Rs 600 (one way) and Rs 850 (return via Khajiar)
- Dharamsala: Rs1400 (one way)
- Kalatope: Rs 400 (return)
- Khajiar: Rs 450
- Pathankot: Rs 850
Bookings can be made at the bus stand at Dharamsala, Pathankot, Chandigarh and Shimla. The booking office at Dalhousie opens at 9.00 am and works till 5.00 pm. Approximate fares are as:
- Chamba: Rs 40 - 3 hrs
- Dharamsala: Rs 90 - 6 hrs
- Khajiar: Rs 20 - 90 minutes
- Pathankot: Rs 50 - 4 hrs
For Pathankot, which is just around 80 km from Dalhousie, there are buses, almost every year. For Dharamsala, the bus is these only in the early morning hour. Alternatively, people opt for the bus heading to Pathankot, and change midway at Chakki. Two or three buses start for Shimla as well as Manali. Private buses are also available for Khajiar.