“When one is travelling, one must expect to spend a certain amount of money foolishly.” – Robertson Davies
One of my motto while travelling is to travel on budget. A certain amount of money should always be kept in buffer for emergencies and some unexpected things that comes along the way. In my last series of posts on Dalhousie, I did mention that we planned an economical back packing trip around beautiful hills of Himachal Pradesh. Here is the planning for my 5 days trip to Dalhousie with accommodation, restaurants, transport sight seeing. We visited Dalhousie during winters, but if you are planning in summer, I must tell you something : PLAN IN ADVANCE, summer is popular, lots of people want to go there, and everyone is planning same things, you would not want to miss anything from your list 🙂
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. Note: Bus Service starts at 5am in the morning. So if you are arriving by early morning train, you can choose to sit in waiting room at station or take a taxi. For a 4 seater car taxi it might cost you INR 700 and for a 6 seater taxi it will cost you around INR 1400, depending on the car and the no. of people.
Accommodation – Dalhousie is very popular summer retreat hill station, so undoubtedly during peak season hotels & cottages prices are very high. Things are not that cheap during winter as well. So we decided to stay in a youth hostel at Banikhet, 10-12 kms from Dalhousie.A lovely hostel with nice big rooms, comfortable bed, clean toilets, and a lovely view of the hills around. They are also listed in YHAI (Youth Hostel Association of India), do not have website of their own so providing the details below:
The owners are very very helpful and good people, always ready to help. A Double bedroom will cost INR 1050 per night for 2-3 people, they have options for dormitory, standard bedroom as well.
Food/Restaurants: I love Indian food, and there are many options in Dalhousie and Banikhet. Since Dalhousie is a popular destination, once again the prices in the restaurants are high too. Some restaurants claim to be the best and oldest in town, but in actual food does not taste good. We were victim of such restro on our first day in Dalhousie. Hence we decided to give a try to a small vegetarian restaurant called ‘Vaishnav Dhaba- Pure Veg’ near to our hostel in Banikhet and that was our food joint for breakfast, dinner for next 5 days. Absolutely delicious and mouth watering food. Every meal per person will cost you around 60-70 INR. It is opposite to Banikhet bus station.
Transport for Visiting Places: You absolutely do not need taxi to see places around dalhousie, unless very necessary. You want to save some money, get up a bit early and board on a local bus to various places like Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Kalatop,Lakkar Mandi. A bus ticket will cost between 10-40 INR per journey. It is very cheap as comparable to taxi which will cost you per journey around INR 1500 and above. Since it is a hill station with a low population, you might not find frequent service. You will have to morning buses and return by 6 or 7PM as life takes a halt in evening time on hills.
Places to Visit: I have already written posts on each visit of mine. Please browse through all Dalhousie posts from drop down menu to get more details.
As always do let me know if you are looking for further information. I will be glad to help you in planning.