July 2008
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Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh

Distance :80 Km from Pathankot, 119km from Dharamsala, 336km from Shimla, 56km from Chamba
Area: 13 sq. km
Altitude : 2,030m
STD : 01899
Temperature : Summer (max) 24° C, Winter (min) 1° C. Heavy woollens are required in winter and light woollens or tropical in summer.
Best Time To Visit: Mid-May to Mid-October
Annual rainfall :1,500 mm

In the rough country-side, as contrasted with luxuriant Kullu and Kangra valleys, a narrow winding road (off the main road to Pathankot), leads to the lovely scenic hill resort of Dalhousie, where the Daula Dhar Range just begins to dip into the river Ravi. Dalhousie is built around five little hills (Kathlog, Portreyn, Tehra, Bakrota, and Balun), and covered with a thick growth of ban oak, conifers and a large variety of trees and shrubs, in nestles amidst stately oaks and pines. The views are spectacular to the north; range upon range of hills culminating in the snow of the Pir Panjal mountains of Kashmir and to the south the plains of Punjab. Far below runs the valley of the Ravi, while the Beas and Chenab can be seen snaking across the plains. The town spreads is clothed extensively in stately groves of deodar and oak. Its two busy points, Gandhi Chowk and Subhash Chowk, are by two roads intertwined like the figure of eight. A number of picturesque walks run through the oak, pine and deodar forests around the town and offer excellent views of the Chenab, the Ravi and the Beas valleys.
Dalhousie’s natural beauty, invigorating air, warm sunshine and quiet surrounding add, enchantment to its open and colourful valleys, level walks and treks amidst the dense forests. On a clear day, once can see the rivers – Chenab, Beas and Ravi, meandering down the rose grey vista of the valley hills while the snow capped ranges of Dhaula Dhar rise to awe-inspiring height of 5,490 metres (18-20,000 ft) to 6,405 metres (21,000 ft).
Over 120 years old, Dalhousie it owes its name to Lord James Romsey, Marquis of Dalhousie who was born in 1812 and succeeded to the earldom at the age of 26 in 1838 and later took on the post of Governor General of India at the age of 35 in 1848, to succeed veteran Lord Hardinge. The British built Dalhousie to be a beautiful hill station for relaxation, away from the heat of the plains.
With its wondrous views and splendid charm Dalhousie touches the core of every leisure traveler’s and honeymooner’s heart. There are numerous budget hotels in Dalhousie which provide comfortable accommodation to travelers who come calling to Dalhousie.

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Places to see:
Inside Dalhousie, you should see the various Churches, Colonial Mansions, British Country Houses (some famous ones are St; John’s Church, St. Francis Church, St. Andrew’s Church, Sacred Heart School Church, St. Patrick’s Church). The colonial buildings in Dalhousie are constructed in the Scottish or Victorian style and are of interest to historians and architecture enthusiasts.
If you want to see outside Dalhousie, it really pays to take long walks to places like Subhash Baoli, Jhandri Ghat, Satdhara and Dainkund Peak. These are marvellous forest trails and picnic spots with splendid vistas over the Chamba Valley. But the best sites around Dalhousie are Khajjiar (22km) and Kalatope (9km).
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. If you fond of trekking, then Dalhousie is a great starting point.

Places to see in and around Dalhousie:

Subhash Baoli: Commanding a view of the snowcapped mountains, 1.6-km away from the G.P.O. (check spelling) Square, the spring of Subhash Baoli is situated at an altitude of 2,085 meters (6,678 ft.).

Satdhara: On the way to Panjpulla, at an altitude of 2,036m. (6,678 ft.), these seven springs are reputed to have great therapeutic value.

Panjpulla: Just 2 km away from the town lays the ‘five bridges’ memorial, built in memory of Ajit Singh, one of India’s well-loved freedom fighters. A natural tank and creams give the spot a fitting serenity.

Jandhri Ghat (2036 m): Around half a kilometre away from the Subhash Baoli, Jandhri Ghat enfolds an elegant palace in the midst of tall pine trees. Till the advent of Lord Dalhousie, Chamba’s erstwhile rulers governed from here. There are number of Shikhar trophies in the palace. Besides, Jandhri Ghat offer ample of opportunities for picnicking.

Bakrota Hills and the ‘Round’ (2085m): Less than 5 km from the town centers, the Bakrota Hills frame a breathtaking view of the further snow-clad peaks. The ’round’ is a walking circuit around the hill, very popular with residents.

Kalatope (2440m): 5 Km from Dalhousie, Kalatope is a pleasant getaway, with a panoramic view, an enchanting palace, and a forest rest house. Walking along the secluded and forested road through upper Nakorota hills, one reaches Lakkarmandi. The home of dhogri families, Lakkarmandi is nestled between 8,600 feet high Dayan Kund peak on its right and Kalatope on the left.

Dainkund (2745m): At an altitude of 2,745 m and 10 km from the town, this tall peak outside town affords a bird’s-eye view on a clear day, of the hills, valleys and the river Beas, Ravi and the Chenab threading their silvery way down to the plains.

Bara Pathar: Set amidst thick forest is the small temple of Bhulwani Mata, in the village of Ahla, on the way to Kalatope. A fair is celebrated in July to venerate the goddess. It is 4 km away from the town.

Golden Devi Temple Golden Devi Temple is one of the famous attractions of the area. The temple adds to the charms of kajjar. The golden spire of the Devi’s abode beckons one to the fringe of the lake.

Places to stay:
Hotel Grand View, Dalhousie
Hotel Dalhousie, Dalhousie
Hotel Mount View, Dalhousie (link) (Contact Number : +91-9418010822 / +91-9418050000 / +91-01899-242120, 240610)
Lall Ji Tourist Resort, Dalhousie
Surya Resort, Dalhousie
Alps Holiday Resort
Dalhousie Heights
Hotel Guncha Siddhartha
Hotel Monga’s
Hotel President
Surya Resort
Hotel Chanakya
Hotel Ark
Peace Channels
Hotel Shangri-La
Aroma n claires
Hotel Nest
Hotel Silverton

How to get there:
Air: The nearest airport is at Gaggal (Kangra), 140-km from Dalhousie.
Rail: The nearest railhead is Pathankot, which is well connected to Amritsar, Jammu, Delhi and Jalandhar.
Road: Onward journey from Pathankot to Chamba and Dalhausie is by road. Punjab and Himachal Roadways run services, as do private operators. Himachal Pradesh Tourism runs deluxe buses from Shimla and Dharamsala to Dalhousie. Road routes are good via Ambala or Patiala to Pathankot. Even though the roads are not very broad, the drive upto Dalhousie is quite comfortable.

Additional Reading:
1. ShubhYatra.com (link

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