Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Situated on the western edge of the Dhauladar ranges, on and around five little hills is the serene and beautiful hill station of Dalhousie. This peaceful destination is a great retreat for people looking for tranquility and solace in the arms of Mother Nature. Dalhousie in comparison to other hill towns like Shimla, Nainital, Mussoorie, etc is not bustling with too many activities and people. Covered with thick forests of oak, pine and deodar trees, Dalhousie offers an enchanting environment for long peaceful treks and nature walks. One can hear the chirping of birds, feel the warmth of the shining sun and experience the cool breeze and explore the inner self amidst these mesmerizing beauty and invigorating environment. The pure serenity works as a great stress buster and helps one relax and rejuvenate. People love to take long hauls in this beautiful destination to soak in the beauty of this place and discover their inner peace. It has recently come up as a good honeymoon destination as well.
The distance to Dalhousie is a long one. The nearest railhead is Pathankot and Chakki Bank. One can take a bus or a cab from there to reach Dalhousie. The nearest airport is Gaggal airport about 135kms. Overnight buses are available from Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Kangra, Dharamshala and other key towns of the state.
While Dalhousie is a great destination to visit round the year, the best time to visit is during the summers. The period between March to May is apt to get away from the blistering heat of the plains. The period of June to September is the monsoon season having mild showers from time to time and the hill station looks extremely beautiful with lush green forests all around. It is a great time for honeymooners to visit this destination as the rainfall adds that required touch of beauty and romance. The winter season can be quite chilly from October to February, given the high altitude. But it is the apt time if you wish to experience snow fall.
Dalhousie is a place to relax and experience nature. There are valleys, waterfalls, high mountain ranges to trek, explore and soak in the beauty of nature. Panjpula is one such spot which is extremely popular for trekking. One can go on long walks, go on a picnic or take a ride on pony to explore this breathtakingly beautiful destination. The sky is exceptionally clear in Dalhousie so one can choose to simply star gaze in the night.
There are many places around Dalhousie which one can visit. About 22 kms away, at a height of 6430 feet is the mesmerizing spot of Khajjiar. Originally developed as a picnic spot by the Britishers, the large green meadows are a superb place for a picnic. One can also find the temple of Khajinag after which the place is named. The place has a spring at the center and is also referred to as the ''Switzerland of India''.
Satdhara and Panjpulla waterfalls are a must see while on a trip to Dalhousie. Satdhara, as the name suggests is a combination of seven tiny streams flowing down the slopes and are believed to have medicinal properties. About 1 km away from there is Panjpulla which is one of the most famous treks in Dalhousie. The place offers two impressive waterfalls and a great trek by the stream to Ahla water reservoir on the Barkota hills.
The highest spot in Dalhousie is the Upper Barkota Hills which comprise of a number of estates. One can experience the best walks amidst the cool breeze of the mountains and lush green meadows in this loop. There is also a preparatory school and Army Barracks on Upper Barkota Hills.
Amidst Dalhousie and Chamba region lays the Kalatop sanctuary covering an area of more than 3000 hectares. With a varied altitude ranging from 1185 meters to 2768 meters, Kalatop has a steep terrain which is typically found in the outer Himalayan region. The sanctuary offers panoramic views of the Pir Panjal range and a walk through the lush green pine forests is an experience in itself. The Kalatop Rest House is nestled in the midst of the forest and is made of log woods. While one can drive up to the rest house but a walk through the forest to the rest house is extremely enjoyable. To get an experience one can make a booking at the rest house and spend a night in the forest. The rest house and the sanctuary have served as a backdrop to many popular Bollywood movies as well.
Another popular spot near Dalhousie is Dainkund which offers spectacular views of the Dhauladhar ranges. There is a famous temple of Goddess Kali in Dainkund which is extremely popular amongst the locals. The Dainkund point offers breathtaking views of the Kailash Parbat of the majestic Dhauladhar ranges.