Dalhousie Travel Guide

Dalhousie Travel Guide

Dalhousie Travel Guide

Dalhousie is a charming little hill station located in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It is known for its views of the rambling hill ranges and the lush greenery that one might find themselves mesmerized by in the summertime. Dalhousie gets its name from the British Governor-General, The Earl of Dalhousie, who picked the hill station for its wondrous views and therapeutic scenes as his summer retreat home.

Dalhousie primarily comprises the tribal population of Himachal Pradesh; Gaddis, Gujjars, Lahaulis, Kinnars, and Pangawals. It’s a small town brimming with old-school charm and breathtaking natural beauty that has a population of around 46,760. Here’s our ultimate Dalhousie travel guide to help you plan your trip. 

Also read: The Shimla Travel Guide

History And Culture Of Dalhousie

The hill station, which was initially considered one among the many aesthetic spots in Himachal, was granted the recognition it deserved after Lord Dalhousie cherry-picked it as one of his favorite spots of respite. Fittingly, the scenic attractions paired with the uncommon English name then began to be chosen by many and emerged as a popular, but not mainstream, tourist destination up north. The sights include the mountain ranges that house the little town and the forests lush and brimming with pine, deodar, and incredible wildlife. 

Dalhousie Travel Guide

The people of Dalhousie mainly speak the many Pahari dialects of Hindi, and Hinduism is the majority religion in the region, followed by Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The staple diet of Himachal includes rice paired with vegetables or meat cooked in a delectable variety of ways, each better than the last! Some specialty dishes that you must try while visiting are Dhaam (a rice-and-vegetable thali), Tudkiya Bhath (a pulao with potatoes and dal), Chha Gosht (curried lamb), Babru (flatbread with black gram-paste filling), Aktori (buckwheat pancakes), Bhey (spicy deep-fried lotus stems), etc. 

Dalhousians are also known for their general love for people and nature. They celebrate plenty of festivals like the Summer festival, which is a two-day festival at Gandhi Chowki to celebrate the beginning of the season as well as Losar, which is the Tibetan New Year celebrated in early March. Both these festivals are celebrated with great pomp and splendor and are an exhibition of their specific cuisines, dance forms, and folk music.

Also Read: Best Hostels In Dalhousie

How To Get To Dalhousie

Getting To Dalhousie By Air

For domestic and international passengers, the Gaggal Airport is the closest airport to Dalhousie, which is around 130 kilometers away from the hill station. The airport is fairly well-connected with frequent flights to and from almost all the major cities in the country. There are also bus and taxicab services from the airport that will enable you to travel to your destination with minimal hassle.

Getting To Dalhousie By Train

If you’re traveling by train, the Pathankot Railway Station is the closest station to the town. It is 80 kilometers away, which is easily traversable through a taxicab or shared cabs. The railway station is also known for its connectivity to other prime spots like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Bhatinda, Jaipur, etc.

Getting To Dalhousie By Road

Despite being small, Dalhousie is well-linked owing to its extensive road network system. The NH1 connects the hill station to Delhi. It is also connected to the cities of Chamba, Amritsar, and Shimla through other national highways like old National Highway 1A and National Highway 20.

Dalhousie Travel Guide

Best Time To Travel To Dalhousie

Dalhousie is beautiful in every season, but it is especially gorgeous to witness in the summer season. The best time to visit the hill station if you want to explore it in the beginning streaks of sunlight and warmth is from March to July. This is also when the Summer Festival of Dalhousie will be in full swing, which is worth the visit in itself. The temperatures are between a comfortable 18°C - 29°C and it is ideal for outdoor activities. 

While the months of July to September see a steady stream of rain and might impede travel, do visit Dalhousie in the winter months of December to February to witness snow falling in the mountain ranges, with temperatures sometimes dropping below 5°C. This is a spectacular sight to gift your eyes with, and if you’re from the hotter regions of the subcontinent, an experience you will never forget!

Also read: 6 Best Hostels In Manali That Backpackers Would Love

Dalhousie Travel Guide

Getting Around Dalhousie

By Bus

The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HPTC) and Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) offer public bus transport services that are not only cheap but fairly accessible and efficient. You can also book the services of private transport companies that will enable you to visit the major tourist attractions of the city.

By Rickshaw

Dalhousie is also a town where you can catch yourself a cycle rickshaw with ease. Not only will this enable you to travel cheap, but it will also offer an authentic travel experience to savor the bustling centers of the hill station.

By Car

You can always hire the services of a private cab to explore the city. Taxicab services are available from the airport too.

On Foot

Dalhousie is a beacon of a city that is perfect to be explored on foot. The hills, marketplaces, and the long, beautiful paths of the hill station paired with the comfortable, congenial climate means that there is so much the city will reveal through a simple walk through it.

Breaking Stereotypes About Dalhousie

"Dalhousie has nothing to offer but views of the hills."

While Dalhousie is primarily known for its postcard-perfect hills and the scenic mountain ranges, it also offers a wide range of other sights for the tourist in you. Wildlife Reserves that offer a deep and wonderful glance into the flora and fauna that make Dalhousie so special, a wide array of beautiful temples and structures that shed light on the spiritual and aesthetic sense of the place and so much more! Keep reading to know of a few other places that you can check out to witness the beauty of Dalhousie.

Dalhousie Travel Guide

Go Check Out

Khajjiar

Khajjiar is dubbed the Switzerland of India, and not for nothing! Surrounded by a superabundant variety of pine and deodar trees and nestled between the mountain ranges that are the heart of the soul of Dalhousie, lies this little haven of peace and natural beauty.

Dalhousie Travel Guide

The Khajjiar lake is exceptionally tranquil and perfect to host mini-picnics on the banks of. You should also plan a visit to the Cozy Swiss Meadows. Khajjiar is best visited in December because the place blooms with the prospect of the cold and is nothing less than a winter wonderland!

Kalatop Wildlife Reserve

No tourist trip is complete without getting a glimpse of the rare wildlife and flora that make the spot. The Kalatop Wildlife Reserve is famous for its impressive variety of flora and fauna that are specific to the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is home to the Himalayan black marten, barking goral, serow, jackal, langur, and a wide variety of blackbirds. If you’re a fan of all things nature, the Reserve also offers opportunities to undertake activities like bird-watching, bird photography, jungle safari, and trekking.

Sunrise At The Ganji Pahari

The Ganji Pahari, named Bald Hill owing to the lack of vegetation on it, is, however, a spectacular vantage point to the Bakrota Hills down below. Reaching the Pahari entails a stroll of about one hour from the heartland of Dalhousie and if you make it in time, you might even catch a once-in-a-lifetime sunrise or sunset from atop the hill! 

Rang Mahal

If you’ve got an eye for the architectural and the structural magic of Dalhousie, do pop in to visit the Rang Mahal. Literally dubbed Color Palace, the Rang Mahal is a confluence of Mughal and British architecture and stands testimony to the religious harmony that once characterized our country, as it also has paintings and engravings of Lord Krishna and the Hindu mythology on the walls. 

The Rang Mahal also houses the Himachal Emporium where you can get yourself and your family a few fun local specialties like locally-spun woolen fabric, Tibetan and wooden handicrafts, local jam, marmalade, etc.

Chamunda Devi Temple

Another exemplary example of a tourist spot that blends spirituality, culture, and architecture is the famous Chamunda Devi Temple that worships the sacred idol of Chamunda Devi. This temple is known to be more than 700 years old and attracts worshippers from across the nation.

Also read: The Manali Travel Guide

FAQs

How Many Days Are Enough For Dalhousie?

Dalhousie is a small hill station town with a lot to offer in terms of sights and experiences. 3 - 4 days should be sufficient to touch all the major tourist spots and gain the essence of the town. However, if you wish to spend more time exploring the beauty of Dalhousie, you may even extend your stay until a week or so.

Is There Snowfall In Dalhousie?

Snowfall is not uncommon in Dalhousie and can be witnessed in the months of December, January, and February. So make sure to arm yourself against the cold if you’re gearing up for a winter visit!

Does Dalhousie Have An Airport?

Although Dalhousie does not have an airport, the closest is the Gaggal Airport which is around 130 kilometers away from the town. You can avail bus and taxi services from the airport to reach Dalhousie.

Which Is The Best Month To Visit Dalhousie?

The best time to visit Dalhousie is between March and June when the weather is very pleasant and is perfect to enjoy all your sightseeing activities. However, if you wish to spend a snowy holiday, visiting Dalhousie between the months of December and February, would also be a great choice.

What Is The Distance Between Dalhousie And Delhi?

Dalhousie is around 563.5 kilometers away from Delhi.

How Far Is Khajjiar From Dalhousie?

Khajjiar is around 25 km away from Dalhousie.

How Far Is Dharamshala From Dalhousie?

Dharamshala is around 121 km awaay from Dalhousie.

 

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