Dalhousie is a popular hill resort situated in the Dhauladhar range of Himachal Pradesh. It is the gateway to the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. The hill station of Dalhousie comprises of five distinct hills - Kathlog, Portreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun, which covers an area of about 13 sq. km. Situated in the western Himalayas, Dalhousie is at a distance of about 563 km from Delhi, 300 km from Chandigarh, 191 km from Amritsar and 56 km from Chamba.
History of Dalhousie
The Dhauladhar range of Himachal Pradesh had attracted the British during the period of British colonisation. Lord Napier Magdala wanted to set up a hospital for chronic diseases in Chamba in the outer slopes of the Dauladhar range.
In 1853, the Raja of Chamba agreed to transfer the plateau of Kathlog, Portreyn, Tehra and Bakrota to the British Raj to establish the sanatorium, which was eventually named after Lord Dalhousie, the first British Governor General of India. In 1866, Balun was also taken over by the British.
Things to do in Dalhousie
Dalhousie offers interesting period architecture that range from ancient temples to Gothic styled churches. St. Andrew's and St. Patrick's at Balun, the St. Francis' Church at Subash Chowk, and St. John's Church at Gandhi Chowk are some of the most frequented churches. The exquisite architectural beauty of the summer palace of the Chamba rulers at Jandrighat is also popular. Panchpula and Subhash Baoli of Dalhousie are known for the monuments of the famous freedom fighters like Ajit Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose.
There are several places within and around Dalhousie that are good picnic spots. Dainkund, Khajjiar, Chamba, Palampur, Baijnath, Bir, Billing, Triund, Dharamsala, etc. are some of the prominent places that attract tourists. One can witness a blend of adventure, historic significance and natural beauty at all the major tourist spots in Dalhousie.
Being the most popular and quietest hill station of India, Dalhousie attracts thousands of tourists all round the year. It offers different experiences during different seasons. The summer season is the best with the temperature remaining within 25⁰ Celsius for most of the time. This makes it ideal for exploring the hill station.
Those who want to experience snowfall can visit during the months of December to February when snowfall occurs. However, the weather is quite chilly during this time and adequate protection must be taken. June-September and October-November see some rainfall. October and November are also the months when the festivals of Dusshera and Diwali are celebrated with pomp and gaiety and are a good time to visit. Like in the rest of North India, Holi is also an important festival here.
Travelling to Dalhousie
Dalhousie is easily approachable from all the major cities of North India. It is connected by air to Pathankot and Jammu. Jammu is well connected to Delhi and other cities in North India. The Gaggal Airport at Dharamshala is another airport. Pathankot is also the nearest railway station which has connections to major cities within the country including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bhatinda, Amritsar and Delhi. By road Dalhousie is reachable from Delhi and other places nearby.
Travelling within Dalhousie
Tourists can hire taxis to travel within Dalhousie. Tourists can also opt for buses to travel around the city which costs about Rs 30.
Accommodation in Dalhousie
Tourists in Dalhousie can avail various accommodation options, ranging from budget hotels to 5 star hotels. Tourists can opt for British era Mansions converted into hotels to stay in Dalhousie.