High up within the layers of the Greater Himalayas, is a town that has stood through the test of time, where the hills and valleys come alive with the sounds of nature, and it goes by the name of Dalhousie. Named after the Earl of Dalhousie and the British Governor General of India of 1854, this popular and populous hill town sits in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, at the slopes of the Dhauladhar Range. Spread across five hills, this picturesque settlement boasts classic colonial structures, mesmerizing landscape, and an old-world charm that brings you a feeling of joy and nostalgia at the same time.
Dalhousie is tucked away far from the maddening cities of North India and sits atop 6460 feet, in the lap of the mighty mountains. You can easily travel from Delhi to Dalhousie via Manali. But one of the best and the shortest routes is through Amritsar at a distance of 200 Km. You can opt for outstation cabs from Amritsar which take four and half hours on road (excluding traffic and road conditions).
The Himalayan town of Dalhousie is replete with the grandest Victorian bungalows, most of which have been converted into hotels and homestays. There are plenty of smaller lodges, guesthouses and local homes offering accommodations for tourists. You can also camp up on the campgrounds in designated areas.
Whether you want to tick off every point of interest from your travel checklist, or roam around the town aimlessly, or simply want to unwind in the refreshing alpine weather, Dalhousie and its surrounding landscape is a paradise for every kind of traveler.
Depending on what your wanderlust soul is seeking, you can explore all or any of these places in Dalhousie:
Mini Switzerland in Khajjiaar
Named after the local tribal Goddess Khajinag, this small grassland area gives you a Switzerland-like experience with the velvety slopes, lines of pine and deodar trees, and the rolling valleys. The settlement has countable eateries, guest houses, and a town hall, making it free from commercialization. It is located about 22 Km from Dalhousie town and you can take a local bus or hire a car for a day tour. In the peak season, the grasslands offer a variety of activities like pony rides, zorbing, paragliding, and a newly built 9-hole golf course.
Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread across 30.69 square Km. near Khajjiar, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is home to various wild mountain animals. Take a trek through the forests of pine, deodar, and varieties of alpine trees or look out for exotic species of Himalayan birds like the black Marten or the Barking Goral.
Rising to 9038 feet, this is the highest point of Dalhousie on the Dhauladhar Range. You can trek to the Dainkund Peak and get a panoramic view of the town and the surrounding mountain ranges. The viewing point has a constant reverberation from the breeze blowing through the forests and hence is also called the Singing Hill.
St. John’s Church
The oldest church in the town, this British-era structure flaunts a distinctive Scottish architecture. Built in 1863, the St. John’s Church boasts robust stone walls, high ceilings, stained glass windows, and arched columns, making it a visual delight. The structure has more historic and artistic significance than a religious one and invites photographers and history lovers to experience its century-old heritage.
Besides these, there are an endless number of forests, streams, and waterfalls around the town to visit and explore like the Panch Pulla, Satdhara Falls, Subhash Baoli etc. Discover a nature trail, pick an artifact, savor some Anglo-Indian delicacy at a local diner, or simply get absorbed by the mystic mountains and experience Dalhousie in its true essence! Book a direct cab from Amritsar to Dalhousie to make the most your trip!