Tour to Dalhousie

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Dalhousie Packages

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Dalhousie india
Compared to other hill stations, Dalhousie, 80 winding kilometers from Pathankot, is markedly different and off the beaten track. Spread over five hills, Dalhousie has a serenity with its own distinctive flavor. Attractive cottages and villas cling to the deodar and pine mantled hills of Dalhousie. Here at Dalhousie, nothing seems to matter except the beauty and the moment. Pink and red rhododendrons are in bloom. The trees are dressed in different shades of green. There is no swirl of traffic. The shops are small and trim. Whistling softly to himself, a shopkeeper arranges embroidered Chamba shawls in his showcase. Tourists appraise Chamba chappals embroidered with gold thread, cane baskets, colorful woolens, and life-like Chamba dolls — all specialties of the region. Piles of walnuts and red, black and green Chamba chilies adorn many shop fronts. We pass children joyfully picking strawberries from a hillside decorated with alpine flowers.

In 1851, the princely state of Chamba was approached by Lord Napier of Magdala. The British wished to establish a sanatorium for Europeans on the outer slopes of the Dhauladhar range. There, the sun shone warmly on scented forests of pine and oak, the air was crisp and invigorating, the scenery beautiful. Negotiations were carried on with the Raja of Chamba and in 1853, the plateau of Kathlog, Portreyn, Tehra and Bakrota were transferred to the Government of India against a compensation of Rs. 2000 to be paid as an annual tribute to Chamba state. On the recommendation of Sir Donald McLeod, the new sanatorium was named Dalhousie, after Lord Dalhousie, the first British Governor General of India. In 1866, the cantonment area of Balun was also taken over and remains a cantonment to this day.

Lined against the railings, several people admire the exquisite views that are a special feature of Dalhousie. The clouds come skimming down and dally amongst the mountains for a moment. The next moment, they begin playing hide and seek with the Dhauladhars, changing the shape of the skyline with astonishing rapidity. Soaring up to 21,000 feet, the Dhauladhars themselves are constantly changing color – smoky blue, gray green, orchid blue, violet. On the nearer hill slopes, every tree stands distinct and green and lordly. In the valley below, the rice fields glint in the sunshine.

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Though spread over five distinct hills – Kathlog, Portreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun, covering an area of 13 sq km – the main center continues to be at Portreyn. The Figure of Eight of Portreyn is the most popular walk in Dalhousie. Starting from the Portreyn Mall, it crosses the meeting places of Subhash Chowk and Gandhi Chowk. Along the rocks on the way, Tibetans have carved colorful pictures in relief.

One of the best views of the glorious surroundings of Dalhousie can be obtained from Kalatope, 8 km from the center of Dalhousie. At Panchpulla (Five Bridges) – a good spot for picnics – can, if one is lucky to run into an old Dalhousie resident, be heard interesting snippets that intertwine India’s freedom struggle with Dalhousie. Satdhara has long been known for its mineral water which was once shipped to England on a regular basis. Dalhousie also has Dainkund – the Singing Hill. The passage of mountain winds through the forest at Dainkund produces a series of effects – depending on the wind’s velocity – ranging from a gentle humming to an eerie wail.

The nearest railhead is Pathankot, 80 kilometers downhill. Buses and taxis ply regularly from Pathankot to Dalhousie. Hotels at Dalhousie are mostly below Rs. 700. These include the classy hotels, the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Corporation’s Tourist Bungalow, and a Youth Hostel.

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