Dalhousie – the little Switzerland of India welcomes you with open arms in the hills

Dalhousie has a colonial charm
Dalhousie has a colonial charm

Dalhousie is a hill station in the Himachal Pradesh. The town reverberates with a colonial charm that makes it one of the must-see attractions in India. The road distance is 555 Km from Delhi, 45 KM from Chamba and the closest railhead at Pathankot is 85 KM away.

Spread out over five hills (Kathlog Potreys, Tehra, Bakrota & Bolun) the town is named after the 19th century British governor general Lord Dalhousie. The town’s varying altitude shades it with a variety of vegetation that includes stately grooves of pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendrons.

It also represents a rich colonial architecture including beautiful churches. It has an eye-soothing forest trails overlooking vistas of wooded hills, water falls, springs and rivulets. Like a silver snake finding its way out of the mountains, the twists and turns of river Ravi are a treat to watch from many vantage points.

Dalhousie Mountains and Sky
Dalhousie overed peaks filling an entire horizon

There are also magnificent views of Chamba valley and the mighty Dhauladhar range with its awe-inspiring snow covered peaks filling an entire horizon. A veneer of Tibetan culture has added a touch of the exotic to this serene resort and along road sides are huge rocks carved in low relief painted in the Tibetan style.

A 5 km trek to Bakrota Hills is highly recommended for adventure lovers. A walk through the dense forests of the hills, dominated by deodar, pine and oak trees, rejuvenates completely. Explore the forests in the morning when it wears a relaxed look, with the mist embracing it completely.

Throughout the course of the walk, you are treated to views of the town spread out below. During the winters, when the leaves, branches, slopes and nearly everything else is covered in snow, it becomes a complete heaven.

Dalhousie is also home to two temples, Bhulwani Mata and Bhalei Mata. Bhulwani Mata Temple is famous for a fair that is held every July. Bhalei Mata Temple also holds a historic significance, as it was built in the 16th century by Raja Pratap Singh Varman.

The Malls around Moti Tibba and Potreyn hills are the most popular among the tourists as the two are level and most of the business activity and hotels are around them.

Gandhi Chowk, Upper bazaar. Subhash chowk, Catholic church of St. Frances, Sadar bazaar and the Convent founded by an Order of Belgium nuns and their Sacred Heart School are on these two malls. Dalhousie’s third and highest mall was built around the upper Bakrota hill nearly a 1000 feet above the G.P.O. (Gandhi Chowk).

The main mode of transport is a car or motorcycle; it can get very cold in the evening so a car is recommended.

How to reach

  1. By air: The airport closest to Dalhousie is Gaggal Airport, which is around 130 km away. …
  2. By road: Roads leading to Dalhousie might be long but are worth travelling on. …
  3. By train: About 80 km away, Pathankot railway station is the nearest railhead to Dalhousie.