Trip to Dalhousie & Khajjiar: A Heaven like Tourist Destination
It was during my college days when I visited this hill station first time. We planned a short trip for 2-3 days and it was really wonderful trip. We all enjoyed a lot. Dalhousie is small but really beautiful tourist destination in Himachal. Nature loving tourists visit this hill station every year as the land is wonderfully blessed with natural beauty.
Built on and around five hills, Dalhousie is located on the west of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. Natural beauty is spread in each and every corner of this place. Situated at the height of 6,500 feet above sea level, this beautiful hill station is surrounded by long trees of pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendron. Awe-inspiring snow capped peaks filling an entire horizon can be seen any time whole the year. This place is perfect combination of all natural beauties. Lush green woods; warm sunshine and pleasant air and beautiful landscapes all are here to make your trip really memorable.
Dalhousie is named after the British governor General of the 19th century, Lord Dalhousie. Initially British people established this hill station in 1854 as summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats. This is the reason that there are lots of old building structures of that period. Rich in colonial architecture Dalhousie is also known for its old churches and other landmarks built in British period. It preserves some beautiful churches. St. John church is the oldest one built in 1863. Among few other churches are St. Francis, St. Andrew and St. Patrick.
By road Dalhousie is about 555 km from Delhi, 52 km from Chamba via Banikhet and 46 km via Khajjiar and the nearest railhead at Pathankot is 85 km away. From Jalandhar, my hometown Dalhousie is around 200 Km. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach there from Jalandhar.
I visited Dalhousie many times since my first visit during my college days. In this write up I am blending all impressions that I got on different occasions about this place. Last visit to this place was few years’ back. Here I am sharing all my impressions those I had and are still there like fresh memories.
Dalhousie is a famous destination which has pleasant climate for most part of the year making it tourist friendly. Summers are perfect for nature walks where as winters are too chilly.Snowfalls usually occur during winters.
Tourist Attractions in and around Dalhousie:
Panchpula: It means five bridges. It is beautiful spot covered in green forest with water flowing under five small bridges making it really amazing. People go and enjoy there like picnic spot. This place is so calm and quite that you can really spend good time here to relax your mind and soul.
This place is situated at approx. 4 km from Dalhousie. It can be walking distance for those who really enjoy waking in green forest. I love waking so I always prefer to go there walking. There is also a memorial of S Ajit Singh, uncle of Shaheed Bhagat Singh (A great freedom fighter) at this place.
A small fresh water spring Satdharais close by. It is a collection of seven natural cold-water springs. The water is said to have remedial properties for skin diseases. Situated at the height of 2040 meters, it's place with Amazing greenery, pleasant climate and natural scenic beauty. All these attractions makes this place really worth to spend time.
Trekking from Panchpula to DainKund is very popular and adventure lovers often love to explore the unknown paths.The Dainkund Peak is the highest and a popular peak of Dalhousie located at an altitude of 2755 meters.The peak offers a splendid view of the valley that is a treat to watch.
Surrounded with thick forest, Kalatop is situated at 10 km from Dalhousie. It is one of the places near Dalhousie that has snow all year round. The whole way from Dalhousie is surrounded with long pines and deodar trees. The other place touching Kalatop is Lakkarmandi.
Blissful solitude here makes this place an ideal choice for honeymooners. Couples can have wonderful time without disturbance from any body.
Nature is offering all they need to be with each other. I remember my visit few years back, this place was fully covered with snow. Road was completely covered with snow and It was really difficult to drive rather very risky on snow covered roads. It was hard time but today I still remember that we really enjoyed a lot. Tourists were playing with snow balls in less risky areas. We clicked many photographs there. I can’t forget those moments in my life ever.
The nearby wild life sanctuary shelters a variety of wild animals. The sanctuary, spread over an area of 1962 hectares, lies in the path of the Ravi River, and is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests. Jungle Safari is another highlight of the sanctuary that almost every visitor opts for along with families and children. Sanctuary houses wildlife like Bear, Himalayan Black Marten, Leopard, Deer, Barking Goral, Squirrel, Jackal, Langur and many more.
You can go for tracking along dense forest. You can walk here for hours enjoying stretches of silence, sloping roads and singing of birds. While walking you can have sips of hot tea, as there are lot of small tea stalls along the way. Forest has black bears, so it is better to take guide along.
I still remember the soothing sounds of birds. The silence of this place with occasional humming of unknown birds makes this place one of the most romantic places on the earth. It was really amazing jungle walk. This place has ability to set deep impressions on anyone’s mind. I still feel long back memories like it is thing of yesterday. Once you visit this place, it always keeps on calling you.
Situated on 13 km from Kalatap on the same road from Dalhousie, Khajjiar is also know as ‘Mini Switzerland’ and ‘Gulmarg of Himachal.’
Khajjiar is full of natural landscapes as it is situated at the base os mountains range. You can see snow capped mountains at the top of lush green tress of pines and deodars. Here you can view panorama views of natural beauty. Khajjiar is a unique combination of three environments-Lake, grassland and forest, all in one place. Khajjiar and its nearby places are an ideal destination for adventure sports like trekking, mountaineering, Para gliding and ice skating.
The best way to enjoy Khajjiar is by doing nothing and just gazing at the idyllic pastoral scenery featuring a lake, pine and cedar forests and snowcapped mountains, grazing sheep & horses. Khajji Cottage run by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism is very ideally located just opposite to main ground where you can book your stay to watch this place at different time of day. But we preferred different hotel to stay, which was in more dense forest, as I always prefer less crowded stay on such trips.
In the middle of main ground there is a natural lake with small wooden bridge up to center of lake. Tourists stand on this bridge and enjoying watching landscape and also clicking their photographs. There is also horse track on the circumference of ground. You can hire horses for horse riding. We really enjoyed horse riding there.
There are different stalls selling eatables and other things. Kids can enjoy different games. Air balloons are main attraction for kids and even grown ups. You can also get your photograph clicked in traditional dress and those can be saved in unforgettable memories.
Temple of ‘Khajji Nag’ is main attraction here to visit while you are in Khajjiar. This temple belonging to the 12th century AD is dedicated to snake worship and there are some snake idols inside.
On our trip to this place we spent whode day in beautiful surroundings, enjoying all what nature has gifted to this wonderful land and decided to go back to our hotel, which we preferred near to Dalhousie. It was short trip of two days but we enjoyed a lot. It has potential of longer holidays if you really have more time to spare. From Khajjiar you can further travel on same route to reach district head quarter Chamba. Again many options are there for tourists. I visited this place many times. I will prefer to discuss it in different article as Chamba itself has a lot to offer to nature lovers.
© 2013 Jaspal Singh
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