DalHousie

A Detailed Travel Guide

This pristine hillstation has been on my bucket list ever since a good friend shared pictures of her visit. So, when I had a long weekend lined up, I knew that this is the place I want to visit. This was right after the monsoons (infact, right after the devastating Manali floods) and I witnessed a completely different side of Dalhousie, not to mention how cheap everything was since it was off season time. I spent good 2 days there and the experience has been completely surreal.

Right from trying out local Himachali food to having a comforting bowl of ice-cream in the freezing cold, from trekking alongside mountain goats to wandering aimlessly in the pretty lanes of Dalhousie, from a tingling encounter with the clouds as they danced their way through to early morning hikes to waterfalls, we had it all. I also ended up burning a hole in my pocket by shopping to the heart’s content at Mall road. 

The drive around Dalhousie offers stunning panoramic views and is a great sight to witness. So, here I present to you my encounter with Dalhousie and I hope, it helps you plan your trip better and have an awesome experience like the one I had :).

Dalhousie, a quintessential hill-station in the chamba district of Himachal pradesh is located along the western edge of the dhauladhar range of the himalayas. Set amidst beautiful pine and oak forests, this hill station offers panoramic views and is quite known for its colonial architecture. Dalhousie is ideal for those who want to relax themselves, take a lazy stroll through the woods and soak up in the warmth of nature

The best time to visit is summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September. But Dalhousie is a visual treat during winters as well, with snow-ladden peaks all around and fresh snow on the pine-clad valleys. Monsoons should be avoided, as there are landslides which happen at places, and also the mountain views aren’t quite clear during this time.

Pathankot is the central hub for reaching Dalhousie. From Pathankot, one can take either a bus or a cab to reach Dalhousie. Pathankot is easily accessible by bus and train from Delhi. There are also direct buses available from Delhi to Dalhousie.

There are immense good and budget friendly options available at Dalhousie. I stayed at Hotel Kumars for my entire duration of stay. Located at Subhash Chowk which is the main taxi and bus stand, this turned out quite convenient for me. But you can also opt-in to stay at Gandhi Chowk which is the main shopping hub. There are 2 main streets called “garam sadak” and “thandi sadak” which runs between the 2 chowks and both of them offer stunning views. So, staying in the hotels lined along those streets is an excellent option as well.

Exclusive of the travel cost to Dalhousie (flights to Delhi and bus from Delhi), the cost for two for 2 days of stay in Dalhousie came to be around Rs 5500. Here is the cost breakdown for us:

1. Hotel – Rs 2000 for 2 nights of stay
2. Cab – Rs 2000 (We took a cab to visit Khajjiar, Dainkund and Panchpula, but those can be easily visited via local buses)
3. Food – Rs 1500

The Mall Road situated at Gandhi Chowk is lined with lots of restaurant and also offers a wide street food variety. The options are quite diverse ranging from sophisticated Cafes to street vendors selling momos.  

I tried out pasta at Monga’s Cafe situated at Mall Road and it was very delicious. Bon appetit, another one situated at Mall Road is Dalhousie’s version of KFC. I quite liked their spread of menu and their food was lip-smacking as well. I also ended up having traditional Himachali food at the famous Sher-e-Punjab situated near St. Francis Church, but sadly enough, I did not like it.

Places to visit

Dalhousie with its colonial architecture will surely take you back in time. This hill town set amidst lush green surroundings overlooking snow capped peaks is a beauty to witness in a lifetime. Here I list down the best places which needs to be visited to experience the beauty of Dalhousie.

1. Panchpula Waterfall

Set amidst lush green forests, Panchpula is a popular picnic spot. With a trail lined with food joints, you will have to trek up for 10-15 minutes to reach the waterfall and the view is amazing. There is also a cafe right beside the waterfall where you can enjoy a hot plate of maggi and submerse in the scenic beauty, the place has to offer. 

Dalhousie_Panchpula

2. St. Francis Church

Dalhousie-church

Situated at a walkable distance from Subhash Chowk, this is definitely one of the beautiful churches I have visited. The peaceful environment, astounding architecture and the picturesque surroundings are the key striking factors of this church. Right outside the church, there lies a vast expanse of mountains with cute little cottages here and there, and this is where I witnessed the most beautiful dance of the clouds.

3. Khajjiar

Rightly called as the mini Switzerland of India, Khajjiar is a small valley with a lake in between and is beautifully lined with pine and deodar trees. Its a well known picnic spot with the backdrop of snow capped mountains and offers options for horse riding and zorbing. There is also a Khajji Nag temple nearby.

Dalhouse-Khajjiar-bridge

4. Dainkund Peak

Dalhousie-dainkund

Dainkund is the highest peak in Dalhousie and a trek to the top of the peak is very easy and a must-to-do. It is also called the “Singing hill” as the noise of the breeze passing through the trees makes a musical sound here.The 360 degree view of the lush green valleys with snow ladden peaks at the backdrop and the khajjiar lake is quite amazing from Dainkund. At the end of the trek, lies the Pholan Devi temple

5. Garam and Thandi Sadak

Garam and Thandi Sadak are two important pedestrian roads in Dalhousie lined with restaurants and hotels. A visit to Dalhousie is incomplete without a lazy stroll through these two streets. The streets offer a spectacular view of Dalhousie and is a great way to experience the place. 

Dalhousie-streets

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