Dalhousie - Little Switzerland

by - December 23, 2020


            The small city Dalhousie is heaven tucked away in the heart of Himachal Pradesh. It boasts old-world beauty, mesmerizing natural landscapes, pine-clad valleys, flower-covered meadows, fast-flowing rivers, and majestic misty mountains. This hill town was one of the British's favorite summer attractions during the Indian colonial period. Scottish and Victorian architecture is reminiscent of its colonial roots, whilst the feathery air tends to refresh British odours.

            Nestled far from the busy towns of the countryside, this quaint town brings you to a pollution-free setting in the lap of nature. Dalhousie has a range of mountains and rivers that visitors need to see. The most popular are the Panch Pulla, the Satdhara Falls, and the Daikund top.

1. Panchpula Waterfall

            Encircled by a canopy of fresh, green pine trees and deodar trees, Panchpula is a waterfall and a famous picnic site in Dalhousie. It is best known for trekking and its marvelous, cascading elegance. 5 streams combine to create this waterfall, while the primary source of Panchpula provides water to the various regions of Dalhousie. The main flow originates from the northern part of the Dain Kund River and is a vision of sore eyes.

  One monument is constructed near Panchpula in the remembrance of the great revolutionary, Sardar Ajit Singh (uncle of Martyr Bhagat Singh), who breathed his last. What's more, the pristine water is better experienced during the monsoons, as the water flows down the waterfalls and the surroundings leave you awestruck.

        Panchpula can be toured throughout the year, be it rainy or hot, as the mesmerizing spot is always a pleasure to spend time at. Panchpula is 4 km from Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie. The fastest way to get here is by getting a bus or a rent taxi. It's best to go on foot to admire the spectacular scenery on the way.

2. Dainkund Top

            Dainkund Top, also famous as Singing Peak, is perched at an altitude of 2800 m above sea level in Dalhousie. As the highest point in Dalhousie, the peak gives a bird's eye view of the beautiful green valleys and mountains. Dainkund Peak is worth exploring for nature enthusiasts looking for a serene and quiet spot.

            The feeling of towering Deodar trees and vibrant flower valleys is eternal. You can feel the gentle wind moving through the trees creating a musical sound as you begin your journey up. The scenic beauty of Khajjar lake and the spectacular view of the mud houses in the lush greenery is a pleasure for the eyes. The Pholani Devi temple and the Air Force are also the main attractions of Dainkund Peak. Hiking and trekking to the top make your journey even more thrilling.

            The great season to visit Dainkund Peak in Dalhousie is all year round. Every season has its own beauty and uniqueness. The summers start from Apr and until Jun, with temperatures at around 25 degrees Celsius. However, if you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the snow-capped hills and the soothing greenery, consider visiting the top during the winters that last from Oct to Feb.

3. Satdhara Falls

            The gorgeous Satdhara Falls is located in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh. It is encircled by amazing views of the Chamba Valley, with snow-covered ranges and young, green pine and deodar trees. 'Satdhara' means seven springs. This waterfall brings combined the waters of seven magnificent springs-their meeting point being 2050 m above sea level, cascading graciously at the same time. Water is said to contain mica, which has healing uses to treat skin diseases.

            This is the ideal platform for tourists looking for some tranquility in their busy life. The extremely clear water of the magnificent Satdhara Falls gurgles with joy as little particles bounce off the stones. The sweet smell of wet mud fills the air with a soothing aroma as the water pours into a stunning, smooth aquamarine tub. The sweet nougat scent of flowers washes over you, as the view of white water rising and falling from the heights, hypnotizes you with its elegance.

4. Khajjair

        'Mini-Switzerland of India,' Khajjiar is a tiny city close to Dalhousie that provides tourists with a rare combination of forests, lakes, and grasslands. The mesmerizing beauty of this place has greatly influenced and motivated many kingdoms over the years, such as the Rajputs and the Mughals. 

        The mesmerizing beauty of this place has deeply influenced and motivated many kingdoms over the years, such as the Rajputs and the Mughals.  

        Situated at an elevation of about 6,600 ft, the natural scenery and picturesque beauty of this place are expected to leave a long impression on the visitor. Khajjiar is renowned for its nine-hole golf course located in lush greenery and stunning scenery. Khajjiar is a small hill which also has a small lake, is one of the most popular tourist spots in the region. This area also attracts adventure enthusiasts and has many opportunities for adventure sports such as paragliding, horseback riding, zorbing, trekking, etc. However, often the way to Khajjiar can be blocked during the winters due to heavy snowfall.

Khajjiar Lake and Trekking 

            Nestled in the Chambal district, the spectacular Khajjiar Lake is located on a massive height of 1930 mtrs and offers a picture-perfect bird's eye view of the 180-degree valley area. The waters of Khajjiar Lake are sparkling against the blue of the sky, and visitors can enjoy it in a variety of fascinating ways-walk through the landscape as the sun sets, or visit the temple of Khajji Nag, which features exquisite wood carvings and a gilded dome. If you are fortunate and the sky is clear, visitors can also catch a sight of Mount Kailash from Khajjiar Lake.

            The Khajjiar trek is a about 15km trek through the landscapes of Deodar and Pine trees punctuated with streams. Although the scenery and views are stunning, the trek can be a bit of a challenge. Carry a guide or a specialist with you. Apart from this, the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is also suitable for trekking.

Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary

            The Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is made up of dense deodar forest, a plethora of birds, snow-capped mountains, green grassland carpets, and simple freshwater eye streams. Also known as the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, it is situated in the picturesque hilly Chambal district of Himachal Pradesh.

          The word Kalatop means 'Black Cap,' which refers to the dense black forest on the highest hilltop of the sanctuary. Nestled a few kilometers downstream from the Chamba dam and the Chamera reservoir on the river Ravi, it is considered to be rich in flora and fauna. Hundreds of small freshwater streams flow into the river Ravi north of the sanctuary. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is the ideal weekend getaway spot, with very few places similar to its natural beauty.

Best Time to Visit

            Dalhousie, with its perfect climatic conditions, is one of the few locations that can be visited throughout the year. The great season to visit Dalhousie, however, is from Mar-Jun. The snow starts to melt in the months of Mar and Apr, and its beauty can be seen as the sun's rays touch the snow-covered peaks and grasslands. During this time, the weather remains very nice and people can continue to feel the chills.

How to Reach

By Train & Air :

            The closest railway station & airport is Pathankot, which is approximately 90 km away. 145 km away, Kangra Airport is the best-connected airport in the area. Visitors can take a bus or a taxi from either location to get to Dalhousie.

By Road :

            Dalhousie is well linked with the major towns of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and other states in the area. A number of busses, both private and state-owned, run daily from Delhi's ISBT to Dalhousie (approx. 600 km).

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