Dalhousie

It was many years back. It was my first time. And I fell in love. Love with the hills. Since then the hilly affair continues and we have been coming back again and again. This time our travel is to this awesome destination, Dalhousie.

Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Dalhousie is a hill station in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on 5 hills and has an elevation of 2,030 meters above sea level. The town was named after The Earl of Dalhousie, who was the British Governor-General in India while establishing this place as a summer retreat. This hill station was one of the most favourite summer destinations of the ruling Britishers and this is truly reflected in the majestic Victorian style mansions in this region and it’s old world charm.

The tiny tinsel town Dalhousie tucked away in the lap of nature is a piece of paradise. It boasts of magnificent misty mountains, pine-clad valleys, fast flowing rivers, mesmerising natural landscape, flower bedecked meadows and some of the most spectacular views in the world.

Hotel Mount View and Spa, Dalhousie, Himachal, India
Hotel Mount View and Spa

We took the Jammu mail from New Delhi station, got down at Chakki Bank station, took a cab and in around two hours reached here. Had booked our accomodation in Hotel Mount View and Spa. It was the first hotel in town built in the year 1895, then known as ‘Bulls Head Hotel’ run by the same family since then. In the height of British Raj ‘Bulls Head’ was the premier hotel in town. It still maintains the same tradition till now. We got a great package for four nights which included breakfast and dinner on all days, unlimited tea / coffee with cookies, one night bonfire/ dinner with live music and a complementary spa package for two of us. Let’s look around a bit.

Hotel Mount View and Spa, Dalhousie, Himachal, India

Hotel Mount View and Spa, Dalhousie, Himachal, India

Hotel Mount View and Spa, Dalhousie, Himachal, India

Hotel Mount View and Spa, Dalhousie, Himachal, India

Hotel Mount View Spa, Dalhousie, Himachal, India
Hotel Mount View Spa

The hotel is strategically located in the center of town near Gandhi Chowk. After our late lunch we went for a walk nearby and did a little bit of shopping in Tibetan Market. This market is renowned for it’s handicrafts, gift items and trinkets to take back home as keepsakes. You could also visit the Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium and Himachal Handloom and Crafts Center to buy spectrum of goods including traditional shawls, exquisite handicrafts, bags, dolls, carpets, rugs, purses, Buddhist paintings, a variety of copper and silver ‘diyas,’ and souvenirs.

The evening was spent playing a few rounds of Tambola and listening to some live Ghazals followed by dinner and lots of relaxation. The next few days was about going around. Come let’s enjoy the peace and beauty of Dalhousie and it’s nearby towns.

Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Subhash Bowli in Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Subhash Bowli is a picturesque site named after Subhash Chandra Bose the famous Indian freedom fighter, who had spent a lot of time in Dalhousie. This site is surrounded by several huge towering trees and offers beautiful views of the snow capped peaks and high mountains. The mind-blowing surroundings of the place are perfect for a holiday maker and a photographer, who can capture some of the best sights here.

People say that it is the same place where Subhash Chandra Bose used to sit and meditate while he was staying at a guest house in Dalhousie. Today a seating arrangement has been made for the tourists to come and sit here and enjoy the natural beauty of the overlooking mountains. It’s said that Subhash Chandra Bose who had an ailment and had lived in Dalhousie for seven months was cured and rejuvenated by the medicated water of the spring. We now move towards Khajjiar.

Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar is a hill station approximately 24 km from Dalhousie. Dating from the 12th century, it sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle. The hill station is surrounded by meadows and forests. It is about 2,000 meters above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas and has a rare combination of three ecosystems: lake, pasture and forests.

On 7 July 1992, Mr. Willy T. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by calling it “Mini Switzerland”. He also put a sign board of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar’s distance from the Swiss capital Berne-6194 km. Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance with Switzerland. The counselor also took from Khajjiar a stone which forms part of a stone collage around the Swiss Parliament to remind the visitors of Khajjiar as a Mini Switzerland of India. Lets enjoy the beauty of this wonder location.

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Khajjiar

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar lake near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Khajjiar Lake

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Khajjiar near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

The day was well spent and the evening was full of fun and entertainment with a hotel organized bonfire and music followed by dinner. The next day was for more nature and a visit to another famous town, Chamba.

Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
On our way to Chamba

Chamba is the headquarters of the Chamba district, bordered by Jammu and Kashmir to the north-west and west, the Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir to the north-east and east, Kangra to the south-east and Pathankot district of Punjab to the south. It has an average elevation of 1,006 metres from sea level.

The town of Chamba is located at the junction of Ravi River and its tributary, the Sal River with the Shah Madar hill forming the backdrop. The Ravi flows in east-west direction forming deep canyons. During the spring and summer months, the levels of the river rise significantly from snow melt and pose a flooding risk. Located on the right bank of the Ravi river valley, built on successive flat terraces, the town is bounded topographically by the Dhauladhar and Zanskar ranges, south of the inner Himalayas.

Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
River Ravi

Ravi River in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Ravi River in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Ravi River in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Buildings in Chamba were traditionally constructed out of dry stone masonry, with the walls and floors of the older houses plastered with a concoction of clay and cow-dung. Thick wooden beams were used to support the walls, paying attention to durability and to withstand earthquakes, and wooden cantilever construction was often used to support the verandas. The staircases and doors were made from wood, with the doors often decorated in religious reliefs and flanked by two lamps to light it at night. Before the arrival of the British, who introduced slate roofs to Chamba, roofs were covered with planks, coated in clay. Few of these houses remain today, although a number still have wood-clay roofs in villages in the suburbs.

The old heritage monuments, which are palaces and temples are located in the old town on the lower slopes of Shah Madar hill. They were built in the lower valley where the two rivers and steep thickly forested hillsides provided a strong defense. Located here is the 10th century Champavati Temple, said to have marked the birth of the town, the Lakshmi Narayan group of temples (built from 10th-19th century), the 10th century Sita Ram Temple, Bansi Gopal temple, Kharura Mohalla and Hari Rai temple, the 11th century Sui Mata Temple and Chamunda Devi Temple. The temples built in Chamba demonstrate a strong Kashmiri influence with their stone temple architecture and temple iconography. Let’s visit some of the temples.

Laxminarayan Temple in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Laxminarayan Temple

The Lakshmi Narayan temples complex, devoted to the Vaishnavite sect, includes the main Lakshmi Narayan temple, built in the 10th century by Raja Sahil Verman. It has been built to suit the local climatic conditions with wooden chatries and has a shikara, and a sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha). A metallic image of Garuda, the vahana(mount) of Lord Vishnu is installed on the dwajastamba pillar at the main gate of the temple. In 1678, Raja Chhatra Singh adorned the temple roof with gold plated pinnacles as a riposte to Aurangzeb, who had ordered demolition of this temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

Chamunda Devi Temple in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Chamunda Devi Temple

Chamunda Devi Temple is located in a prominent position on the spur of Shah Madar range of hills, opposite to the Chamba town. It was built by Raja Umed Singh and was completed in 1762. It is the only wooden temple with gabled roof (single storied) in Chamba, while all others in the town are built from stone in the north Indian Nagara architectural style.

In the past, the temple was accessed through a stone paved steep path laid with 378 steps, but it is now approached by a 3 kilometers motorable road. There is a mandap in the foreground of the temple of 5.1 metres (17 ft) x 6 metres (20 ft) size with an agni-kund or fire pit in the centre and a gable roof covered with slates. The mandapa has carvings in wood in its multi paneled ceiling with reliefs of human figures on the pillars and brackets. Votive bells are provided in the mandap entrance and it has a Nagari inscription, which records it as the offering from Pandit Vidhadhara to the goddess Chamunda deified in the temple.

Sui Mata Temple in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Sui Mata Temple

The Sui Mata Temple dedicated to Sui Mata (a local princess, who gave her life for the people in Chamba), is located between the Chamunda Devi temple and Brajreshwari Devi temple. Colorful paintings within the temple depict the life of Sui.

Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Paintings in Bhuri Singh Museum

Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Bhuri Singh Museum is situated in the heart of Chamba town. It was founded in 1908 to collect and preserve the scattered cultural heritage of Chamba State. Raja Bhuri Singh, the then ruler of erstwhile Chamba state, had gifted his inherited art collection and Dr. J. Ph. Vogel imparted his invaluable services for setting up this Museum. The art objects displayed in the Museum were related to art, craft and cultural history of the Chamba State and stand as an eloquent testimony to the life of past and have their value in the assessment of art and culture of this region. Museum possesses more than 8500 antiquities and art objects related to Art, Archaeology, Craft and Cultural Anthropology. Being a regional museum, more emphasis has been given to the Art, Cultural and History of Chamba region.

We were now on our way back to Dalhousie and on the way is Chamera Lake. Located at a distance of 25 km from Dalhousie, the exquisite Chamera Lake is actually a reservoir formed by the Chamera Dam, which is positioned at an altitude of 1700 meters. It is a major source of water supply for the villagers and is continuously fed by the Ravi River.This popular tourist spot of Himachal Pradesh is loved by every tourist and is a must visit place while in Dalhousie.

Chamera Lake near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Chamera Lake

Chamera Lake near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Chamera Lake near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Chamera Lake near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Chamera Lake near Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

The next day was for roaming around, a visit to some other attractions of Dalhousie followed by some complete relaxation in the hotel. Let’s go around and relax.

Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India

Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
A temple under construction

St.Francis Church is a prominent monument of Dalhousie. It is more than 100 years old. One can see some of the finest examples of glass and stonework in the interior of the church. It was constructed in the year 1894 by the Army and Civil Officers and civilians. The church is maintained and regulated by the Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar. The church is built in British architecture and bears resemblance to many famous churches of England.

St.Francis Church, Dalhousie, India
St.Francis Church

Shrouded by a green blanket of pine and Deodar trees and enfolding refreshing water streams, the picturesque Panchpula has always been one of the most favorite spots of tourists in Dalhousie. It is a nice picnic spot, where you can spend some time with your family and friends and enjoy the loveliness of exotic waterfalls and refreshing streams. Some of these streams even contain medicinal properties that are helpful in healing skin diseases. The Panchpula is a scenic place, which is surrounded by picturesque mountains and green valleys and is only three kilometers from the main city of Dalhousie.

Panchpula in Dalhousie, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India
Panchpula

Dalhousie, a few days of refreshing change. Amongst beautiful surroundings and nature.

Come to Dalhousie. Experience the beauty of nature. Experience India Beautiful ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

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90 Comments Add yours

  1. Guy says:

    Another wonderful introduction to place I have not been to, but have now put on my list of places to visit. Dalhousie, and surroundings look fantastic and surrounded by currently and historically interestingly contested boundaries that create very interesting cultural mixtures

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Guy. Waiting for you to come over man again ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Bachha – this was the first place we went in our 3rd year with Das Babu, Papa, Nunu Dh, etc. Really great trek from Dalhousie to Chamba via Khajiyar with great ‘rolling the grass’ – great memories!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      These are the memories which keep us going Gafi.Or rather keep us growing. We the BITSian’s have seen it all ๐Ÿ˜Š Again and again.

  3. Shantashil says:

    Thank you… daroon

  4. Hossain says:

    Excellent pictoral guide to the khajjar and Dalhousie

  5. Stacie says:

    Oh wow! The views from up there are absolutely amazing! You can see everything!

  6. Sarah Bailey says:

    What an amazing area to go and visit. Absolutely stunning views, I bet they take your breath away when you see them for yourself.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes it’s beautiful Sarah ๐Ÿ˜Š

  7. artch33 says:

    It’s very enjoyable to see so many trees hillside and mountainside. I bet the air you breathe there is significantly different from the main cities.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes absolutely clean unpolluted air to breathe.

  8. Kristine Nicole Alessandra says:

    This place is so idyllic! I love the views and the lush greenery all around! I wish someday I can visit.

  9. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    Oh wow! India sure is THE place to visit this year! There are so many scenic places to explore. Dalhousie has jaw dropping beauty!

  10. Elizabeth | Tired Mom Supermom says:

    Wow! This is definitely on my list of places to visit and soon! So beautiful.

  11. KeshiaRichmond says:

    I grew up in the mountains among foothills and share your love of hills. I would love to visit Dalhousie.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      You must come over Keshia ๐Ÿ˜Š

  12. Erin Knight says:

    There are so many scenic spot in Dalousie. and I love the nature and the mountain view. That hotel you stayed is pretty nice, with good food and spa.

  13. What has been interesting to me since discovering your site is the varying topography of India. Something I had never realized. Now with this on Dalhousie we get a chance to see the mountains and some beuaxiful views. It is truly a beautiful country and much greener than I would have imagined. I’d always hear of the heat in India so I assumed it would be browner and not so lush.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come over Scott sometime with your family. You would love the experience.

  14. India is such a beautiful place. Definitely on my destination list. It has been a favourite for a long time since i watched my first Indian movie in the 90’s.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      So glad to know. Do come over sometime.

  15. Colleen says:

    It’s so pretty there! I’ve been trying to get a trip to India together for a couple of years now. I’m going to get there one day!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Do come over Colleen sometime soon ๐Ÿ˜Š

  16. mamabee1981 says:

    Looks like such a fun time. I am glad that you shared this with us. I love anything outdoorsy.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      It’s truly my pleasure ๐Ÿ˜Š

  17. tcleland88 says:

    There’s something about mountains that just calls to your soul. I love to watch the mist rising between the hills. Dalhousie is the perfect place to unplug and relax.

  18. Jennifer McCormick says:

    The River Ravi area reminded me of the landscape of New Hampshire in the United States. What a view of Chamera Lake! Simply stunning. Thanks for sharing your travels.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      My pleasure Jennifer ๐Ÿ˜Š

  19. Megha says:

    what a beautiful and peaceful place it is. its in my wishlist for a long time.

  20. Pia says:

    Just like you I’m into hills as well! This is so lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. travelwisesr says:

      So good to know Pia ๐Ÿ˜Š

  21. Lauren Ash says:

    What a lovely destination! You travel to the coolest places!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Lauren ๐Ÿ˜Š

  22. katrina kroeplin says:

    looks amazing. i could only imagine if i could visit here one day.

  23. Michael David Oyco says:

    Do you always travel? Like 24/7. It seems you have been doing this for quite a while now. Wow!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Michael I keep traveling. It’s my passion ๐Ÿ˜Š

  24. Lia Mae says:

    I’ve always wanted to travel to India since I was younger. It looks beautiful.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come over Lia sometime ๐Ÿ˜Š

  25. How great must it be to have so many places in your home country to visit! I think most of us are in the same boat, no matter the country, but don’t take advantage of it like you do! I really love the mountains of Dalhousie.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Ashley for enjoying. Makes me glad.

  26. Anagha says:

    I am yet to visit those places. I love hilly regions and I have heard about Dalhousie.

  27. emman damian says:

    I love the photos! So nice! I canโ€™t wait to visit the place. So good!

  28. artch33 says:

    I like the places you travel to where there are a lot of trees and nature.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      There is perhaps nothing more fascinating than Mother Nature ๐Ÿ˜Š

  29. Lavern Moore says:

    The temples look so intriguing. Would love to see them in person.

  30. Surekha Busa says:

    Wow, such great views here. It looks so refreshing here. I’m sure it is more stunning in person.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes it is stunning for sure Surekha ๐Ÿ˜Š

  31. Wow the views are amazing, this is certainly somewhere to stay where you comehome feeling refreshed x

  32. blair villanueva says:

    Seeing the view from that hotel overlooking that gorgeous nature, plus that OMG spa – I am complete sold! Glad you had an amazing experience!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Blair ๐Ÿ˜Š

  33. locd2gether says:

    the beauty is uncanny. I just want to go for the views. Geez!

  34. Trish says:

    Fascinating post and beautiful pictures, as always. I love reading of your travels – India is such a beautiful country, and I enjoy learning more about the culture and histiry too.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Trish so much. You made me extremely happy ๐Ÿ˜Š

  35. Lauren Ash says:

    I’m so jealous of your travels! I would love to make it to Dalhousie someday!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come over Lauren ๐Ÿ˜Š

  36. India has so many hidden jewels. I was just showing the pictures to my hubby and he says that retired life is sorted, visit all these pristine places in India while they still exist. Wonderful write up and love how you suggest what one can do around Dalhousie.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Mayuri. Your hubby is very right ๐Ÿ˜Š

  37. Elizabeth O says:

    I recall reading something, years ago, about this fantastic place. Your descriptions and photos do it justice.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Elizabeth ๐Ÿ˜Š

  38. Snehal says:

    We are planning our trip to Dalhousie ๐Ÿ˜€ very excited! Will keep in mind about hotel mount view spa ๐Ÿ˜ it is so luxe! Btw beautiful pictures! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Best wishes Snehal. Enjoy your trip ๐Ÿ‘

  39. Dalhousie sounds really amazing. Definitely worth a visit. I can see you had a lovely time.

  40. Great post and pictures. Your passion for travel is so high that I doubt if there’s anyone out there that can compete with you. Is there any country in this world that you have not visited?

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks so much Toyin. Lots of countries to go ๐Ÿ˜

  41. Dalhousie sounds like a beautiful what an amazing experience

  42. Ivan Jose says:

    The views are amazing. It’s like everywhere you look, there’s stunning architecture or natural wonder to see.

  43. Heather says:

    Really enjoy following along and finding out about all these new places. Love the pics.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Heather ๐Ÿ˜Š

  44. Alexandra Cook says:

    So many things to love about Dalhousie! It’s really beautiful out there. Truly a bucket list material.

  45. Kay says:

    What breathtaking photos. The views are absolutely amazing. Looks like a place worth a visit or two or three!!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come over sometime Kay ๐Ÿ˜Š

  46. rachaelthrive says:

    The view from the first picture hooked me right away! Can we talk about that hotel spa?!!!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      The spa was really so refreshing Rachael ๐Ÿ˜Š

  47. Wow, this looks like an amazing and relaxing place to visit. I love the hills and the view of the water. Thank you for sharing.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      My pleasure truly ๐Ÿ˜Š

  48. I’d love to try the Hotel Mount View Spa, I can stay there for days! I love your super informative blog!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Karla ๐Ÿ˜Š

  49. Iโ€™ve read your blog extensively, and I can say this is easily one of my favorites! Iโ€™m amazed by the history of India that I get to learn about here, and the pictures. Even if I had just looked at your pictures alone, Iโ€™d be convinced to visit! This looks like such an incredible area of India. Iโ€™m captivated by Chamera Lake and those views. Itโ€™s so cool that the hotel you stayed at had been in the same family since it opened. Thereโ€™s history even there!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Erica. You make me so very happy ๐Ÿ˜Š Yes India is indeed full of history and heritage.

  50. blair villanueva says:

    The view outside the hotel is very gorgeous and inspiring. I bet the air is also lovely! I would be inspired to write more with this.

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