5 Best Places to Visit in Dalhousie

Dalhousie, is an eye-catching hill station in and around five hills in Himachal Pradesh. For the British Empire in India, it was a place of summer retreat. Situated between 6000 to 9000 feet above the sea level on the western boundary of the Dhauladhar mountain range in Himalayas, it hosts glorious snow-capped peaks.

Dalhousie is a hill station full of colonial charm of the British era. The city is named after the 19th century British Governor General Lord Dalhousie. Different levels of altitude of the city with a great variety of vegetation that includes pines, cedars, oaks and rhododendrons in bloom. There are also magnificent views from the Chamba Valley and the mighty Dhauladhar range with its imposing snow covered peaks fill an entire horizon.

The English made Dalhousie a summer resort during the colonial period, in order to take advantage of its mild climate while the plains of Lahore or Amritsar cooked in the sun. Dalhousie keeps track of this past with a number of luxury but dated hotels. Just like Manali, even Dalhousie is a perfect place to enjoy your quality time without your spouse and family members. It is one of the best places to visit in India during winters for amazing views.

Dalhousie is blessed with varying altitudes with a variety of vegetation such as deodars, oaks, and pines. The little town of Dalhousie flaunts a rich architectural legacy, much of which is visible in the sacred churches like St. John's Church, St. Francis Church, etc. The hill station gets its name after India’s former Viceroy Lord Dalhousie. It is an ideal destination to avoid the crowd of Shimla, Kullu, and Manali.

Dalhousie is a village scattered on the mountainsides at 2000 m altitude. The panorama of the Pir Range mountains to the north is remarkable. The Dalhousie hill station is filled with a primitive charm that evokes nostalgic memories of the British Raj. The hill station is one of the best tourist places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

You can see the prevalence of the Scottish and Victorian carving styles in the cottages, bungalows, and churches in the town. You can see the flowing Ravi and Chandrabhaga (Chenab) rivers from the Himalayan glaciers at the base of Chamba. The town has many national forest and wildlife sanctuaries, the famous one being the Kalatop- Khajjiar along with the Khajjiar Lake.

An important annual event is the pilgrimage to Mani Mahesh Temple and the lake present over there. In addition, there are several challenging trekking routes over Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. There are also good trekking routes for the budding trekker. Minjar Fair is a great fair celebrated in the month of August for one full week.

People of Chamba always long for this fair. At this time, many tribal people in thousands and tourists assemble in the Chamba Chaugan to give offerings to the Ravi River. As an offering, coconut, coin, fruit, and some Sherfs of paddy are kept in a piece of red cloth that is then tied to pour into the river. This red cloth offering is known as Minjar.

On the last day, a procession is carried out from the Akhand Chandi palace to the bank of the Ravi River. This fair commemorates the victory of King of Chamba over the ruler of Trigarta (Kangra) that was celebrated by greeting him with sheafs of paddy and maze. Summer is the best time to visit Dalhousie, but most of the tourists visit it from May to September.

You can also visit the National Himalayan winter trekking expedition held between December 1st week till January week one. The famous food that you can enjoy here is Mudra, Dham, Aktori and Luchi Poti.

The ideal getaway to soak in natural beauty with minimum distraction and maximum comfort. You will find yourself immersed in the rejuvenating power of nature at every turn. Wake with the gentle light of sunrise, energised by the joyful chirping of birds. As evening sets in, sink into the feeling of peace as the stars take over the vast canvas of the sky.

The beauty of Dalhousie can be estimated rightly by its title, the Little Switzerland of India. This charming hill station is settled on five majestic mountains namely Kathalagh, Terah, Potreyn, Bakrota and Bhangora. The beautiful lakes, enticing waterfalls and dense green wildlife sanctuaries are the main elements that make Dalhousie one of the top scenic hill stations of India.

If there is any location in the checklist that looks most remarkable throughout the snowfall, it is Dalhousie. The classic atmosphere created by the Scottish as well as Victorian-style will certainly teleport to a different time-zone. Vacationers hoping for the finest places to go to in Himachal in winter months can choose this location.

best places to visit in dalhousie

1. Bhuri Singh Museum

For any visitor to Chamba and Dalhousie, this is a must see hidden jewel in Chamba. It is a repository of the novel Pahari art and sculpture. The king of Chamba, Raja Bhuri Singh was a prospect thinker and he knew the importance of conserving the age-old relics. His contribution towards the museum includes the donation of the Royal Collection and appointment of a British scholar and archaeologist named Mr. JP Vogel as the first guardian.

In the museum, the culture and history of Chamba since the 6th century AD is conserved. The museum includes the collection of Pahari paintings of 18th and 19th centuries, Bhagwat Puran wall paintings of 19th century, Chamba Rumals, sculptures depicting the Kashmiri style, Gupta tradition, and Gandhara and Kushan schools, carved fountain slabs, arms and ammunition of the 19th century, wood carvings of 6th and 9th century A.D. from Bharmour, jewellery, old coins and rare images.

2. Dainkund Chowari Jot

This hillside station was one of the most preferred summer locations of the Britishers that is reflected in the majestic Victorian style mansions in this area. Among them, one of the most well-known is Panch Pulla, Satdhara Falls as well as the Dainkund Peak.

The places forming the religious heritage of Chamba and are well-preserved until date. Most of the local population are worshippers of Shiva, Devi (goddess), and Naga Devta. The urban and royal groups are worshippers of Vishnu. It was the temples of the Chamba town that were not attacked by the Muslim invaders due to its remoteness, while most of the old temples of North India were in their attacks.

The other reason for their current existence is that the rulers in this region supported art and culture due to which they fought against the dictatorship of the Mughals trying to destroy the temples. To stimulate this never-dying spirit, many excellent masons and craftsmen from North India made Chamba their dwelling place whose skills in the form of magnificent bronze statues are still noticeable in many temples.

Listed here are the famous temples. Hari Rai Temple is in Chamba created in 11th century AD in a Shikhara style and is dedicated to Vishnu. Chamunda Devi Temple is in Chamba built after the 11th century AD in a pent-roofed style. It is situated at a distance of 1 km from Chamba Chaugan on the top of the hill from where a calm view of the Chamba valley and the Ravi River is a must to see.

Mindal Vasini Temple is at a distance of 15 km from Killar in the Pangi Valley and reveals the Buddhist and Hindu temple styles. The Temple of Purthi is at a distance of 30 km from Killar in the Pangi Valley and is well conserved. Mani-Mahesh Temple is the temple at an altitude of 14000 feet dedicated to Shiva, built in the Shikhara style. It was built before the 6th century AD.

3. St. John's Church

Listed here are the famous Churches all of them located at Dalhousie. Rich in colonial architecture, the city preserves some beautiful churches such as the St. John's church (the oldest built in 1863), St. Francis' Church (built in 1894), St. Andrew's Church in 1903 and St. Patrick's Church in 1909.

Created in Victorian style, it is a Protestant Church located at Gandhi Chowk. St. Andrew's Church is a Protestant Church and is famous as the Church of Scotland.

4. St. Patrick's Church

This is a Protestant Church situated near the military hospital and its prayer hall carries a capacity of 300 people. Sacred Heart Convent School is a school for girls that are run by the Belgian Sisters of Charity.

5. Kalatop wildlife sanctuary

Go for picnics under the sun, explore sight-seeing tours, and don’t forget about Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. With its exotic flora and fauna, the Kalatop wildlife sanctuary is a joy for nature lovers and wildlife photographers. The place is very wooded, the beautiful cedars of the Himalayas (Deodar) and the giant rhododendrons, in bloom in early April form a very pleasant setting.

The serene atmosphere and hustle free ambience of Dalhousie works as an icing on the cake! Pick up your camera and go to places like Panch Pulla, Chamara Lake, Satdhara Falls, Khajjiar and Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary to get the best shots.

Kalyan Panja