Last December I visited Himachal Pradesh along with my Ash, brothers and cousins. The whole idea of the trip was to walk and hike in some of the most beautiful places of Himachal Pradesh, and get ourselves soaked in the rustic beauty of this place. There is no fun like family fun, it is one of my most memorable trip with loved ones.
It was a week-long backpacking trip and we were on a budget. We knew we were going to hike around whole day long so there is point spending a lot of money in fancy hotels, we used local transport i.e. buses, we ate local food and at the end of each day we played Black Jack (without money) to end the day with a bash 🙂 I will soon write a post on how one can plan a week long budget trip to places I visited.
Our first stop was Dalhousie- a very popular and beautiful hill station in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Dalhousie is built over 5 hills – Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora. Dalhousie is located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas.
A little bit of History – Dalhousie town was named after Lord Dalhousie who was British Governer General in India during British ruling days. It was established as a summer retreat for it’s troops and bureaucrats. A lot of churches, convent schools were opened up. In 1954 Pandit Nehru initiated promotion of tourism in Dalhousie with a call that stated Let us go to the Himalayas. Since then Dalhousie has become a popular tourist spot for people in India or abroad.
How to get to Dalhousie – There are a lot of way to get to Dalhousie via car/self drive, bus, train or flight. We opted for train as it is the most cost-effective and convenient way to reach Dalhousie. Pathankot’s Chakki Bank railhead is the nearest railway station from Dalhousie. Once you reach Chakki Bank, you can take a local bus ride to Dalhousie. It is a frequent service.
Places to Visit – Tourism plays a very important role in the economy of this state. Dalhousie being one of the most popular destination offers you a list of attractions – Dainkund Peak, Khajjiar, Bakrota Hills, Gandhi Chowk, Subash Bazaar, Panchupla waterfall, Kalatop forest, Tibetan Market. We could not visit them all as it was a winter season and there was a forecast of snowfall prediction for next week, we limited ourselves to fewer places and hiked to Dainkund Peak, Kalatop Forest, Khajjiar and boating in Chamera lake.
On our first day we strolled around in the streets of Dalhousie – Subhash Bazaar, Gandhi Chowk and some inner alleys while exploring the town. Subash Bazaar and Gandhi Chowk both are famous for shopping and a lot of restaurants. If you love Pashima Shawls or handicrafts- this is the place to be. But do not forget since is it is a tourist spot everything is costly.
I fell in love with the peaceful life of people living in the mountains. Life in hills is very much different from living in plain lands. Living in cities we are so much used to of comfort living and easily accessed life but still find ourselves complaining and grumpy many times in a day. But people I saw there were happy, smiling, strong. A man or woman will walk up to Dalhousie each day to earn their living on a fruit stall or vegetable stall, a shop keeper will travel to plain land to stock up his shop weekly, kids will walk upto hill to reach their school, a house wife will walk up and down on a hill to furnish the needs of house hold. They do not have massive shopping malls, loads of cafe bistros, cinema halls, yet they are happy and content.
Sharing few pictures of this beautiful town showing the beauty and street life.
I hope you enjoy reading it. Like always please feel free to get in touch with me in case you want further information. I will soon write another post that will talk about budget stay at Dalhousie.