About Dalhousie Tour Package
Situated in and around five beautiful and densely wooded hills Kathlag, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora ranging from 1525 meters (5000 ft.) to 2738 mts. (7800 ft.) on the western foot of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas, Dalhousie is a popular hill station in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh. The gorgeous Dalhousie town is much quieter than the other two famous hill stations in Himachal Pradesh (Shimla and Manali).
Established in 1854, Dalhousie has one of the most spectacular settings for a hill station, with its snow capped peaks, bracing climate, colourful valleys, old British buildings etc. During peak season, over 700 tourists visit this hill station in a day. Dalhousie was developed on land purchased by the British in1853 from the Raja of the Princely State, Chamba and was made into a sanatorium and hill resort of the British. The settlement was named after the erstwhile Viceroy of India, Lord Dalhousie (1848-56).
The hill station is famous not only for its magnificent beauty, but also for the ancient temples, colonial buildings, mall roads, churches and temples of which some of them are now declared as heritage monuments. During the pre-partition days, distinguished personalities like Ravindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru used to visit Dalhousie. Nehru quotes about Dalhousie as "One of the finest hill stations from the beauty point of view, climate and agreeable surroundings. It is not a flashy hill station like some other and there are few amusements there… for my part, I would rather go to Dalhousie than almost any hill station in India, Kashmir apart". Rabindranath Tagore, the famous Indian poet wrote his first poem here.
This serene resort still has a touch of the British occupancy with its colonial style buildings and houses remaining intact. Along with this, the veneer of Tibetan culture has added a touch of the exotic to Dalhousie. Huge rocks carved in low relief and painted in the Tibetan style are seen along roadsides. A Central School, a small prayer hall and a Handicraft Centre selling mainly carpets and prayer mats is being run by the Tibetans in middle Bakrota Hill. The three level Malls which were laid in the early 1860's in Dalhousie are roads in and around Moti Tibba, Potreyn hill and Bakrota hills which remain the main centres of activity in Dalhousie. G.P.O square is the heart of Dalhousie town where most of the good restaurants, hotels, banks handicraft emporia, Tibetan market etc are located.
On a clear day it is fascinating to see the rivers Chenab, the Beas and the Ravi meandering down the greyish pink vista of the valleys of Dalhousie. There are also magnificent views of the Chamba Valley, Pangi hills and the mighty Dhauladhar range with its awe-inspiring snow covered peaks filling the entire horizon. It is a pleasure to see attractive cottages and villas cling to the deodar and pine mantled hills of Dalhousie, the Pink and red rhododendrons in bloom and the trees dressed in different shades of green. Today, the hill station is famous for a number of good schools in the locality and the presence of the army.
Attractions in Dalhousie
Subhash Baoli Spring (1.5km)
Not far from the G.P.O (General Post Office) Square along the G.P.O. - JandriGaht Road, Subhash Baoliis an easy climb and offers good views of the snow capped mountains. Surrounded by majestic cedar trees, this spring is a natural water body which has been named after the great Freedom fighter (revolutionary) of Indian politics, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. It is said that, he spent seven months here during his stay in Dalhousie in 1937. Hence a great place for Bengali tourists.
Panchpula (Five Bridges) (3 km)
Three kilometers from the G.P.O square is another pretty spot where the water from the natural tank in Dayankund peak flows down a narrow valley passing five little bridges. The Panchpula stream is the main source of water supply to Dalhousie. This place is also famous for the monument built in memory of the great freedom fighter Sardar Ajit Singh, uncle of martyr Bhagat Singh, at the point where several streams meet.
Satdhara (7 springs) (1 km)
One of the prime attractions in Dalhousie, on the way to Panchpula, is Satdhara, the famous seven hot water springs containing mica and other minerals and noted for their medicinal properties. It's a picturesque place where one can go for a walk and enjoy the natural beauty.
Bakrota Hills (5km)
The Bakrota Mall (2085 m) in the Bakrota hills is a popular walking circuit in Dalhousie. From the mall there are spectacular views of the snow covered mountains.
Bara Pather (4 km)
Enroute to Kalatope is the temple of Bhulwani Matha, in the village of Ahla at the foothills of Dayan Kund peak. The annual fair held in July is a popular holiday attraction.
Churches and Temples
Amongst the other must visits places in Dalhousie are its beautiful churches mainly St. Patrick’s Church and St. Andrew’s Church at Baloon, St. John’s Church at Gandhi Chowk and St. Francis Church at Subhash Chowk.
St. Andrew's Church
Situated about 1 1/5 km from Dalhousie bus stand, St.Andrew's church, also known as the Church of Scotland was built in the year 1903 at Balloon by Protestant Christians.
St. Patrick's Church
Located 2 kms from Dalhousie bus stand at Dalhousie Cantt., on Military Hospital road at Baloon, this is the largest church in Dalhousie having a seating capacity of 300 people in its prayer hall. This Protestant church was built in 1909 from contributions of officers of the British Army. Now it is maintained by the Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar.
St. Francis' Church
Located on Potreyn hill at Subash Chowk, St. Francis Church was built in the year 1894 from the contributions made by Army and Civil Officers and Civilians. This church is also maintained by the Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar. Designed in Scottish architecture style, the church has beautiful glass work and intricate stone work.
St. John's Church
Located at Gandhi Chowk, 2kms from Dalhousie bus stand, this protestant church was the first church to be built in Dalhousie (1863). Designed in Victorian architecture style in the lines of Roman Catholic church of England, it has a 19th century stained glass painting of Jesus flanked by St. John and St. Peter and is still in a good condition The chapel has an 18th century Mannborg piano.
Laxmi Narayan Temple
This 150 year old temple located in Sadar Bazar approximately 200 mtrs. from Subhash Chowk is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan
Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan situated near Moti Tibba, 300 mts. from Gandhi Chowk, holds great significance for the disciples of Radha Swami sect of Beas (Punjab). It is believed that Radha Swami Guru, Baba Swarn Singh Ji was enlightened in Dalhousie. Satsang is held here every Sunday from10 am to11 am.
Around Dalhousie are a wealth of places which beckon those who have an eye for beauty or a nose for adventure.
Kalatope (10 km)
Kalatope (2,440 m- 8000ft) 10 km from the GPO, is an ideal weekend retreat. Besides offering a panoramic view of the surrounding snow peaks, Kalatope sanctuary has many species of animals, which include the ghoral, barking deer, the Himalayan black bear and a large avian fauna population. Several tributaries of the River Ravi, which lies to its north, flow through the dense forest of pines and deodars of Kalatope. There is a Forest Rest house here built by the British in 1925, for those who wish to spend the night in the sanctuary. The place is ideal for trekking. From Dalhousie one has to approach Lakkarmandi, from there it is a 3km ride on the unpaved but narrow level road to Kalatope Forest Rest House. On the way to Lakkarmandi lies the Dalhousie water system, Tibetan Handicraft Centre and Dalhousie Potato Farm in Ahla village.