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Dalhousie Travel Guide : The Offbeat Victorian Town

by Vivek Singh

Dalhousie : The Offbeat Victorian Town

STD: 01899

From the aspect of natural beauty, Dalhousie is compared with Scotland. In Chamba valley, the then Governor-General Lord Dalhousie initiated to establish Dalhousie as a hill station in1854. It was treated as a summer move away for British officials. In course of time, it has become a popular tourist spot in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. In Dhauladhahar and Shibalick mountain range five small hills encompassed 13 sq, Dalhousie, at an altitude ranging from 1525meter to 2378 meters. It is engulfed by snow-capped peaks. Cherub, Ravi, and Beas are the three mountain rivers flowing around Dalhousie.


Bungalow pattern buildings in Dalhousie are looed very attractively. As hill station reputation of Dalhousie reached its summit IN 1920. After the Chinese occupation in Tibet Tibetans came here and established colonies. From the Tibetan Refugee, Handicrafts Shop handicraft goods can be collected as souvenirs.
Dalhousie is the center of ancient Hindu culture, art, and handicrafts. Gaddi and Gujjar tribes are the aborigines
Of this Chamba Valley. There are 84 ancient temples of the 7th to 10th centuries.


Dalhousie experiences a winter-like cold climate right through the year. Heavy rain with thundershowers is experienced during the period from June to September. In May–July it is usually warm in the morning and afternoon but gets cold early in the evening and quite cold at night. The weather becomes very cold during winter and if it rains. Dalhousie has a report of snowfall during the hit the highest point of winter in December and January. Being a hill station, Dalhousie is famous for its healthy climate. The Dalhousie Town was named after Lord Dalhousie who was the British Governor-General in India while establishing this place as a summer retreat.

Economy and industry

Dalhousie is one of the gorgeous tourist spots that play a significant role in the economy of the state. The major industry is tourism.  Dalhousie also offers several non-hotel stays like independent villas and bungalows which offer an alternative to typical hotels. There are just over 600 hotels, which provide temporary jobs to about 5,000 to 8,000 people every year. This town alone counts for almost 3% of the GDP of its state.

Points of interest

Sunset of Dalhousie is fascinating. In the lap of silent nature travel on foot can be an exciting mission for tourists. Rhododendron, Pine, Oak, and Deodar trees engulf Dlahousie with green elegance. The decency of the natural beauty of Dalhousie is the main attraction of Dalhousie. The season to tour Dalhousie is March to November. In summer temperature is 16to23 degrees and it comes down 1 degree to minus  10degree.

Important areas

  • Gandhi Chowk
  • Diankund
  • Bakrota Hills
  • Dalhousie Cantonment
  • Sadar Bazar
  • Tibetan Market
  • Panchpula

Quick Information

Location: 92 km away from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, India

Tourist Attractions: Jandhri Ghat, Satdhara, Subhash Baoli, Churches of Dalhousie, Lord James Ramsay, Marquis of Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Kalatope, Panchpula, etc

Popular Hangout: Subhash Baoli, Satdhara, Khajjiar

Popular Activities: Trekking and strolling around

Nearby Tourist Destinations: Chamba 29 km, Kangra 83 km, Dharamshala 92 km, Shimla 254 km, Kullu 275 km.

Best time to visit: Mid-May to Mid-October.

Area: 332 Sq. Km

Altitude: 1,954 m above Sea level

Geographical location:  North Latitudes: 32.53° East Longitudes: 75.98°

Climate: Pleasant

Rainfall: 214 cm

Primary Rainy season: December to February

Temperatures: Summer : Temp: 26°C Max 16°C Min

Winter : Temp: 10°C Max 1°C Min

Population : 7,419

Languages: Hindi, Pahari

Best Season: Throughout the year

Tourist Attraction Petreyn, Tehra, Bakrota, Balun and Lathlog, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Patrick’s Church, St. Francis’ Church, and St. John’s Church, Dayankund, Kalatop, Khajjiar.

How to get there

By Air: The nearest airport is  Gaggal in Kangra. Distance is 135 km.
By Road: The distance from Delhi to Dalhousie is 485 km by road. From Chamba, it is 52 km.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Pathankot which is 80 km away.
Taxis and buses are available comfortably from these places.

Tourist attractions in and around

Khajjiar is perhaps the most delightful spot in Dalhousie. It is 22km away from Dalhousie and 24km away from Chamba. Khajjiar is famous for its profound silence and landscape beauty.
Fringed by deep woods of oak, cedar, and pine trees Khajjiar is a tiny lake. It looks like a beautiful lady adorned by the elegance of nature. There are two floating islands in the water of the lake. The lake is home to the Khajjia snake from where it is named Khajjiar. It is 500meter deep.
Six kilometers away  Bakrota hills are located at 2085 meters high. From here snow-capped Mountain ranges are visible. From nearby Nehru Tibba  Shultaje, Beas, Ravi, and Chenab rivers can easily be identified. Walking just one and a half kilometers you will see Snow Dawn, the house where Tagore spent a few months in his childhood.
Set like a jewel against the splendid backdrop of the legendary Dhauladhars, the temple of Baijnath-the abode of the Lord of Physicians, continues to attract people from all corners of India, and the world. Built by two merchant brothers-Manyuka and Ahuka-more than a thousand years ago, in 804 A.D., the temple of Baijnath has acquired an aura of mystic invincibility.
Bakrota Hills and the ‘Round’:
Less than 5 km from the town center, the Bakrota Hills frame an ‘out of this world view ‘of the further snow-clad peaks. The ’round’ is a walling circuit around the hill, very popular with residents.

Subhash Baoli is a spring Eminent freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose came here to get recovered from broken health in the year 1937. He was in Dalhousie for 7 months and got back healthy by drinking water this spring. It is a popular place for picnics. The place is highly attractive for its natural beauty. Views of a snowy mountain range from this spot are amazing. Walking along the tranquil forest and feeling the charm of nearby waterfalls is fascinating’

Banikhet Banikhet is the entry point to Dalhousi.Here the road is bifurcated toDalhousi and Chamba.The lately built housing colony of the Chamera Hydro-electric Project is responsible for attaining importance.

Kalatop: It is best explored on three days trek from Dalhousie to Kalatop, Khajjiar, and back Dalhousie. The trek requires good endurance and a pair of sturdy walking shoes. Kalatop at an altitude of 8000 feet. Walking through upper Nakorota hills takes one to Lakkarmandi. In between lies the Tibetan Handicraft Centre, Dalhousie water system, and Dalhousie

In the early days, Chamba valley was renowned for milk and honey and so Chamba is called the Valley of Milk and Honey. In the ninth century king, Sahil Verma founded the kingdom. Chamba was named after Prince Champavati. Three square kilometers wide Chamba is situated at 996 meters high in Dhauladhar mountain pervading Ravi and Chenab valley. Ravi is flowing down and meets in Chenab. A number of Hindu temples are spread over the valley of which Chamunda temple, Vishnu temple Champavati temple are remarkable. Chamba`s slipper,  embroidered handkerchiefs, shawl, and leather products are famous.

Manimahesh is famous for the lake situated at an altitude of 4080 meters. It is within the territory of the Bharmar subdivision of the Chamba district. During August/September Manimahesh Yatra takes place. It is a pilgrimage tour to Manimahesh. It starts from Lakshmi  Narayana temple in Chamba. The Chhari is taken to the holy lake of Manimahesh.
Manimahesh is an attractive trek for both devotees and non-devotees because of its natural beauty. It is located straight below Manimahesh Kailash Peak and a dangling glacier. On a cloudless day, the reflection of Kailash Temple is visible on the lake surface.

Hotels in Dalhousie

Snow Valley Resort
Snow View Area, The Mall
Phone –01  899  242700
Mobile—09318513788HOTEL GRACE MOUNT
Near Nehru Park  Bakrota Hills
Chamba district, Dalhousie  HP
Phone—91 1899 225677
Mobile—91 97361 04009HOTEL ASHIANA REGENCY
The Mall Road  Dalhousie
Dt-Chamba   H.P
Phone—91  1899  242208
91  1899  242298
Mobile—94183 85200

Baloon Church Road
G.P.O  Dalhousie
Phone—91 01899 242415
Mobile—91 98161 72444

Bus Stand  Dalhousie
Phone—91 9418010754
91 941824275

Shopping Dalhousie

Exclusive wools: Close to Gandhi Chowk on Garam Sarak, you’ll find reasonably-priced Kullu shawls and hats at Bhutto. Established in 1944 by a group of village women, Bhuttico charges fixed prices, so it’s a good place to shop.

Handicrafts and decorative: It is quite exclusive about buying handicrafts at the Tibetan Market which is located at Gandhi Chowk or alternatively selecting stuff like carpets, jewelry, woolens, Chamba slippers, scarves, and shawls are really good buys. The Himachal Handicrafts Emporium is also a good place for handicraft shopping.

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