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Weekend Getaways from Ludhiana to Dalhousie
Hill stations have been a favourite among the tourists to unwind and at the same time have a beautiful picnic. Although, throughout India, there are plenty of hill stations, the north Indian hill stations are a bit different from the south India’s, due to the snow capped Himalayan ranges in the north, providing view of these white and blue backgrounds from the lower ranges. One of such hill stations in north India in the state of Himachal Pradesh is Dalhousie, which was discovered by the Britishers and made famous as their summer capital. With the rough terrain and green valleys, the climate of Dalhousie remains pleasant throughout the year, bringing in thousands of tourists from various parts of India. for people from closer cities of north India, reaching Dalhousie is easier and thereby they go for the weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dalhousie. With the growing city of Ludhiana having plenty of working class, people try and visit the hill station of Dalhousie in the weekends, so that they can enjoy a couple of days in the scenic confines of the hill station and return back fresh for their work. Good communication by train and road makes it easier and convenient for these revellers to get a whiff of the freshness that is exuded in abundance in this particular hill station.
History of Dalhousie and highlights
Dalhousie was a famous hill station during the British occupancy of India, which was brought into focus by British offices in around 1850s, naming the region in reverence to the then British governor general, Lord Dalhousie. Situated amidst the Dauladhar ranges of the greater Himalayas, this hill station comprises of 5 surrounding hills, the valley having an average height of about 2700 mts. Although, most of the documented history signifies the British summer capital, yet the place in the Chamba hill state was inhabited by the tribal population, dominant of which were the Gujjars and Gaddi tribes, who had made a village called Bharmour their capital, below the foothills of this hill station, which is the reason for the presence of about 84 small and large temples in the region, most of them being built from 7th to 10th century. This was probably the longest running dynasty in the region, influencing the architecture and landscape of the constructions. During the rule of Britishers, a number of Scottish and Victorian styled houses and official buildings were constructed, which are present in Dalhousie till the present times.
Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station from where the views of the snow capped Himalayan Mountains are clearly visible. Rivers flowing down the Dauladhar ranges pass through the landscape of Dalhousie, adding fervent scenery to the green cover over the hill station. Viewing points are found in plenty in this hill station, which can be visited by tourists to watch the valley below and the distant mountains. Lush greenery all around the valley is visible in picturesque sceneries. The cool breeze of the mountains provides a comfort to the tourists. Temples are found in large numbers, belonging to different eras. Shopping centres and malls are found in the region, concentrated in the Mall Road or the boulevard. These malls are the centre of activity in Dalhousie, with most of the hotels in this region. One of the largest malls is located in the Upper Bakrota region. Gandhi Chowk or GPO is the primary region of shopping, where tourists can get a variety of woollen clothes, antiques, tasty food from the eateries lining the street and a simple walk through the hill station can be exhilarating. An important highlight of the hill station is the trekking activity that is available for the tourists, with large number of trek routes starting from Dalhousie towards the Chamba valley.
Reaching Dalhousie by air, road and rail
Train tracks do not go to Dalhousie, but tourists coming for the weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dalhousie can reach Pathankot, from where buses or private taxis can be taken till Dalhousie, which is about 2-3 hours of drive. By road, people can reach the hills station easily as roads lead up to the town of Dalhousie till the bus centre. Also, flights do not have direct connectivity to this hill station, but Pathankot is the nearest airport at a distance of 75 kms. Other airports from where road access is present are Amritsar, Gaggal and Jammu.
Famous sightseeing places
Within the confines of this hill station itself, there are plenty of tourist attractions that can be viewed by people coming for weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dalhousie.
Upper bakrota is the area, which is reached from the Mall Road in the town centre of this hill station. Upper Bakrota is the highest point in the town, where a number of estates from the British era are found. Also, a residential school and army barracks have been constructed here. Running around this highest point is the Bakrota walk, towards the area of Khajjiar and goes up to the Alah Water Tank, which is also a place to be seen due to the large water reservoir, arranged since the British era for the water supply to the town.
Kalatop rest house is in the way to the entry point of Kalatop wildlife reserve, which was recognised as a game sanctuary in 1949. Road from Dalhousie to Chamba falls within this reserve. Inside the sanctuary there are plenty of rough terrains, which have slopes and River Ravi flows through the park in different streams. Inside this sanctuary, there is regular snowfall and the different sightseeing locations are present inside it, such as Dain Kund, Bara Pathar, Khajjiar, etc. Kalatop is at an altitude of about 2440 and can be reached from the Upper Bakrota region, which is about 2 kms walk from here.
A number of trek routes are found in Dalhousie, which leads through the rough terrains and forest covers, providing a great weekend for the tourists. Ganji Pahadi walk is one of such trek routes.
The Mall Road and the shops lining the road are included in the places to visit in Dalhousie. Tourists from various regions arrive here and surely are interested to take a trip to the Mall Road, where they will find the best antiques, woollen clothes, eateries and various other handicraft items. Subhash Chowk is near to the mall and is quite famous for the daily market which is set up at this place. It is the point of intersection of the road from bus stand with the roads to GPO or Gandhi Chowk.
There are many temples and buildings in the hill station of Dalhousie. Many of these temples have been located in the region since the 7th or 8th century AD while the modern structures built during the British rule have Gothic and Victorian designs, many of which are nowadays functioning as schools and institutes or museums. Dalhousie is also well known for the residential schools, which were started during the time of the British.
Nearby tourist places
Near to the hill stations of Dalhousie, there are two other locations of Chamba and Dharamsala, which are possible to visit by the tourists, if they are aiming for excursions from Dalhousie. It is in these two places that a number of places can be found, which are suitable to be visited by the tourists.
Temples in the region of Chamba are Hariraya Temple, Chamunda Devi temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, etc, which are probably present since a long time, in the beautiful valley of Chamba. Laxmi Narayan Temple is probably the oldest in the region and divided into two complexes, inside of which are 6 shrines dedicated to different gods and goddesses. Churches are also present in Dalhousie, which were built by the British for the residents and holidaymakers who came into the hill station for their summers.
Natural sightseeing places in Chamba are also found in large numbers. About 10 kms from Dalhousie is the highest mountain in the region of Dalhousie, known as Dainkund peak, where trekking routes are found in plenty. On these trek routes, beautiful picturesque sceneries are possible to be seen and the valleys below provide scenic views.
In the regions around Dalhousie, the waterfalls are many, some of which are the Satdhara falls, which is formed by the flow of seven small rivulets, which fall down the steep cliff in one large stream. Water from this fall is believed to be having medicinal properties.
Khajjiar is a well known location for variety of activities including horse riding, playing golf and mountain climbing activities. There is also a lake in this region, surrounded by conifers and variety of temperate zone trees.
Best season to visit
Throughout the year, Dalhousie is having a pleasant weather, for which there are tourists coming to this beautiful locale almost in every month. Although, winters are chilly, with occasional snowfall in the winters, but still it makes for a great destination for honeymooning couples. In the rainy season, during June to September, there is some rain, which makes the greenery glow further, not allowing any discomfort to the tourists. During summer season, most of the tourists arrive in Dalhousie to escape the summer heat of the plains, so that at this time of the year, the tourism season is at its peak, making it the best season to visit Dalhousie.
Modes to commute locally
In the hill station of Dalhousie, the mall road is the centre of activity because of the presence of shops, hotels, restaurants, and other stores. Tourists can go for horse riding, carriage trips and the promenades are special attractions. From the mall road, many tourist spots are accessible, but walking is the best option because vehicles cannot travel in the undulating roads. Motorcycles and four wheel drives are better for going to distant places such as Khajjiar and Chamba.
Famous food joints
Food in Dalhousie is a treat as tourists arrive in the mall road during the evenings, where they get their meals before retiring for the day. These restaurants serve freshly cooked, hot meals in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus. It has been also well known for the sweet dishes, which are prepared regularly. In the Gandhi Chowk areas, most of these eateries are located, some of which are in the road side stalls, serving hot and freshly cooked items. Chinese cuisine, momos, continental food and north Indian diet are common.
Staying in the town of Dalhousie during weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dalhousie is a pleasure which many tourists would like to avail. To spend a few days of quality time, by going through various locations in and around Dalhousie, tourists can get the touch of the hill station’s climate and get relaxed during their stay.