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Dalhousie- The Tourist Place in Himachal

Updated on December 31, 2017
SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

Travelling is my passion as it gives a chance to visit different places and enjoy the natural and manmade marvels.

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The Majestic view of DalhousieDalhousie, Himachal Pradesh. Trees in foreground are Cedrus deodara.The nature at Dalhousie
The Majestic view of Dalhousie
The Majestic view of Dalhousie | Source
Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh. Trees in foreground are Cedrus deodara.
Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh. Trees in foreground are Cedrus deodara. | Source
The nature at Dalhousie
The nature at Dalhousie | Source

The Summer Retreat of the British

Lying on the outer slopes of the Dhauladhar Ranges among the forests of scented oaks, deodars, Rhododendrons and pine trees, Dalhousie was conceived as an ideal retreat by its founder Lord Dalhousie, the British Governor General of India.

The place was developed in 1854 AD as a summer retreat of British troupes. The town presents a panoramic and spectacular view of the plains including the snow-capped peaks of Dhauladhar Mountains.

Location and Climate

It is situated at an altitude of 2036 meters above sea level and extending over an area of 13 square Km.

Dalhousie comprises of five distinct hills namely, Balun, Kathlog, Patreyn, Tehra and Bakrota with their heights ranging between 1525 to 2375 meters.

The temperature of the place goes down up to the freezing point in winters, while the summers are pleasing. The best time to visit the place is from May to September.

The Eternal Charm of Dalhousie

Colorful valley, level walks and zigzags trails passing through pine forests, and if the weather is clear, the fascinating view of Chenab and Beas Rivers, as a serpentine silver line, at a distance combine to make Dalhousie distinct and different from other Hill Stations in Himachal Pradesh. The local markets of the handicrafts of Himachal including Chamba chappals or slippers, Chamba Rumal or Handkerchief and carpets are a tourist’s delight. The Tibetan Market is a place not to miss.

The route to Dalhousie is enchanting and one is compelled to stop several times to see the surrounding heavenly beauty.

St. John’s Church at Subhash Chowk Dalhousie
St. John’s Church at Subhash Chowk Dalhousie | Source

The Ancient Churches of Dalhousie

Dalhousie has a number of old and beautiful churches in colonial architecture of Gothic style dating back to 18th century, which is now lying in a state of neglect. It seems there is no one to look after these historical buildings.

The famous churches of Dalhousie are the St. Patrick’s and St. Andrew’s church at Balun, the St. Francis church at Subhash Chowk and the St. John’s church at Gandhi Chowk.

The Architecture

Unlike many other hill stations in Himachal Pradesh, where the houses have tin roofs. We find slate rooftops in Dalhousie and the surrounding areas. They do not require paint and nor do they ever rust or fade. Thus the houses look as stately and new as ever

The popular architecture is that of Scottish and Victorian style. Several old bungalows are still found in Dalhousie.

The Places of Interest

Beautiful carvings on the rock depicting Lord Buddha and local deities can be seen all over Dalhousie. Small pitchers containing water are kept near them, but the water is not offered to the deities.

Dalhousie has a number of places of tourist attraction. They include Banikhet, Devi Kund, Jandrighat, Kalayop, Khajjiar, Panjpula, and Satdhara.


Panjpula, some 2 Km from the town post office on the Ajeet Singh Road is a picturesque spot with a natural tank and the water flowing under the five small bridges. A stream feeds a series of pools at Panjpula. It was here that, Ajeet Singh the uncle of Shaheed or martyr Bhagat Singh died on 15th August 1947, the day India became independent. A Samadhi memorial on the spot stands in the memory of this great revolutionary.

A view from Subhash Bowli in Dalhousie


The Subhash Baoli

It is about 1 Km. from the town. This spectacular place is situated among dense forests.

It was here that the noted Indian Freedom fighter Subhash Chander Bose stayed in 1937 during his illness.

It is said that he recovered from tuberculosis by drinking the mineral water of a natural source here.


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Pasture in Khajjiar
Pasture in Khajjiar
Pasture in Khajjiar | Source

The Khajjiar Lake

Lord Curzon, the Governor General when visited Khajjiar could not help exclaiming, “It is the prettiest place I’ve seen in India’. Situated at an altitude of 1960 m above sea level, the place is just 22 Km. from Dalhousie and is lovingly called the Switzerland of India. The Khajjiar Lake has a circumference of 5 Km.

This beautiful place is surrounded by thick deodar forests and the snowy peaks are also visible at a distance.


Kalatop, about 8 Km. from Dalhousie, offers dense forests beneath the dark top. It is a wildlife sanctuary and an abode of Himalayan black deer or Ghoral. The place probably derives its name from the forest covering standing out against the azure of the sky during the day and the pink hues of sunset.

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Kalatop Wildlife SanctuaryEntry to Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary | Source
Entry to Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
Entry to Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary | Source

The Pangi Valley

Pangi is a trekker’s delight. It is completely isolated from the outside world. It can be approached by crossing 15000 feet high Sach Pass. Pangi forms a part of Chandra Bhaga valley.

Chnadrabhagha river flowing through Pangi valley in Himachal Pradesh
Chnadrabhagha river flowing through Pangi valley in Himachal Pradesh | Source

Mani Mahesh

Mani Mahesh is the most famous place of pilgrimage in Chamba. The pilgrims find it very difficult to visit the mount of holy Kailash which is 18564 feet above sea level. However, they can have a glimpse of Kailash from Mani Mahesh, a place 6000 feet below the beautiful and divinely Kailash. The holy peak is clearly visible from a small lake at Mani Mahesh.

The snow field at the base of the mountain is called Shiv Chowgan or the playground of Lord Shiva. But Chamba offers other attractions also.

Kailash Manimahesh


How to Reach Dalhousie

The place is about 486 Km from New Delhi. The nearest railway station Pathankot is 80 KM from the town. The nearest airport is Gaggal, which is at a distance of 135 Km. from Dalhousie. Regular bus services and cabs are available from Gaggal, Pathankot, and Delhi.

© 2014 Sanjay Sharma


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    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile imageAUTHOR

      Sanjay Sharma 

      13 months ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks, Shaloo Walia for the visit and the comment. The place is still almost the same except few concrete structures. It is certainly a beautiful place.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      14 months ago from India

      I visited Dalhousie a couple of years ago. I loved it because it was still untouched from rampant commercialization. I don't know if it is still the same!

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile imageAUTHOR

      Sanjay Sharma 

      3 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks Greensleeves Hubs for the visit and the comment. The place is really wonderful and I myself have visited Dalhousie several times.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 

      3 years ago from Essex, UK

      I echo what others have said Sanjay. Although I have not heard of this region, it looks appealing, and the climate would be easier for many of us Westerners to adjust to, than much of lowland India! The whole area looks very attractive, and I can well understand why Khajjiar is described as the 'Switzerland of India.' Thanks :)

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile imageAUTHOR

      Sanjay Sharma 

      4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks aviannovice for the visit and the comment. It is indeed a beautiful place.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is one of the most lovely areas that I have ever seen. I could get some wonderful photos.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile imageAUTHOR

      Sanjay Sharma 

      4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks teaches12345 for the visit and the comment. I have visited the place. But there are so many beautiful places in the world and we are not in a position to visit all of them. We can enjoy these places through the eyes of others.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      You have me wanting to visit this place but I am going to have to be thankful for your tour through this article. Looks like a lovely place and it has so much for people to enjoy.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile imageAUTHOR

      Sanjay Sharma 

      4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks Nell Rose for the visit and the comment. I am glad you likes the place.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 years ago from England

      Such a wonderful place to visit. I love the photos, and I could see why they went there, especially the one who was ill to recover, once again I had never heard of the place, but its so beautiful, wonderful hub! voted up and shared, nell

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile imageAUTHOR

      Sanjay Sharma 

      4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks suzettenaples for the visit and the comment. I have visited the place and I wish I could lived there permanently.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      What a beautiful place. It looks like heaven on earth from the stunning photos you have included. Thanks for an article of this amazing place. There is certainly much to see here. I have never heard of this mountain and the valley beneath. Thanks for an interesting and informative hub!


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