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Dalhousie :Little Switzerland of India

The tiny tinsel town Dalhousie tucked away in the lap of Himachal Pradesh is a piece of paradise for all the travellers. It boasts of old world charm, mesmerising natural landscape, pine-clad valleys, flower bedecked meadows, fast flowing rivers, magnificent misty mountains and some of the most spectacular views in the world. The air smells of the Scottish and Victorian architecture and the ambience reminds you of the pristine British flavours.

Dalhousie, one of the favourite among most tourists travelling to Himanchal Pradesh is famously known for its mesmerizing natural beauty and its old world charm. This hill station was one of the most favourite summer destinations of the ruling Britishers and this is truly reflected in the majestic Victorian style mansions in this region. Situated far from the buzzing cities in the country, this quaint town transports you to a pollution-free environment in the lap of nature. Dalhousie is known for its scenic beauty has a number mountains and river streams that tourists must visit. Among them the most famous are panch pula, satdhara falls and the daikund falls.

Khajjiar

Khajjiar

Often referred to as ‘mini-Switzerland of India’, Khajjiar is a small town near dalhousie which provides tourists a unique combination of forests, lakes and pastures.

The mesmerising beauty of this place has greatly influenced and inspired many kingdoms throughout the years, including the Rajputs and Mughals. Located at an altitude of 6,500 feet, the natural beauty and picturesque landscape of this place are bound to leave an everlasting impression on a tourist. Khajjiar is known for its nine-hole golf-course which is nestled in the midst of lush greenery and a breathtaking landscape. Khajjiar is a small plateau which also has a small lake which is one of the most favored tourist spots in this town. Khajjiar is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests and it is also known for its beautiful temples. This region also attracts adventure seekers and has a lot of options in adventure sports like paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, trekking etc. Khajjiar is a must visit place for everyone coming to Dalhousie and its nearby regions. However, the way to Khajjiar can be closed sometimes during winters because of heavy snowfall.

Satdhara Falls

Satdhara Falls

The stunning Satdhara Falls is situated in the Chamba valley, surrounded by fantastic views of snow-covered ranges, and fresh, green pine and deodar trees. ‘Satdhara’ means seven springs, thus the Satdhara Falls get its name from being the waterfall that brings together the waters of the seven beautiful springs.The waters in these springs meet at a point 2036 meters above the sea and dive magnanimously in unison. This is the perfect place for people in search of some tranquillity in their hectic life. The water here is said to contain mica, which has medicinal properties to cure skin diseases. It is known as ‘Gandhak’ in the local language. The water here is clear crystal and serene.

The water of the majestic Satdhara Falls gurgles with joy as little droplets bounce off the rocks onto us. The pleasant fragrance of wet mud fills the air with a refreshing scent as the water pours into a sparkling and smooth aquamarine pool. The sweet nougat smell of flower washes over you and the sun smiles as it peeks through the tall dense trees. The view of the white water surging and plunging from the height hypnotises you with its beauty. The sound of the crashing water is loud but pleasant; it is noisy but in a satisfying way. The edges of the fall hemmed with silver lines glisten in the sunshine. The gigantic waterspout looks as if it belongs, as though the flow of the stream is meant to be cut off to birth this beautiful phenomenon.

The backdrop of these mesmerising Satdhara Falls is lush green landscape, sky-touching trees and fog tinted hills, multiplying the beauty of the waterfall. The pine and deodar trees packed densely together for miles make the landscape look like a thick olive green blanket, and the smooth bumps of the hills looks like snow covered waves of perfection; the view that surrounds the Satdhara Falls surrounds the onlooker with its magnificence too.

Panchpula

Panchpula

Surrounded by a cover of fresh, green pine and deodar trees, Panchpula is a waterfall, and an amazing picnic spot in Dalhousie. The spot where five streams come together. Panchpula’s main stream supplies water to the various localities of Dalhousie. This stream originates from the northern side of Dain Kund, and a sight for the sore eyes. This place is best known for trekking and its marvellous beauty. 

A Samadhi (monument) is built near Panchpula in the memory of a great revolutionary, Sardar Ajit Singh (Uncle of Martyr Bhagat Singh), who breathed his last here. Moreover, the pristine water is best enjoyed during monsoon when the water gushes down the falls and the surroundings leave you stupefied.

Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary

Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary

Thick deodar foliage, a plethora of wildlife, snowcapped mountains, carpets of verdant grasslands and easy on the eye streams of fresh water make up the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary. Also called the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, it is located in the picturesque hilly chambal district of Himachal Pradesh. The name Kalatop means ‘black cap’, which probably refers to the thick black forest cover on the highest hilltop in the sanctuary. Situated a few kilometres away from the Chamba dam and Chamera reservoir on the river Ravi, it is known to be rich in flora and fauna. Hundreds of small streams of freshwater empty themselves into the Ravi river to the north of the sanctuary. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect weekend getaway destination, with very few other places coming close to its natural charm.

The well laid out trekking and hiking trails in the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary offer a pristine, mesmerizing experience with nature and are arguably the best means to explore the beautiful untouched forests of the park area. Views of the towering and immaculate Pir Panjal range from the enigmatic Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary resthouse is a breathtaking sight to immerse yourself in. The countryside landscape is sure to provide you with a sense of astonishment and wonder. Over the years, it has gained popularity as an extremely scenic picnic spot and a great place for trekking and nature walks. 

Dainkund Peak

Dainkund Peak

Dainkund Peak, also known as the Singing Hill, is perched at an elevation of 2755 metres above the sea level in Dalhousie. Being the highest point in Dalhousie, the peak offers a bird’s eye view of the astonishing verdant valleys and mountains. For nature fanatics, seeking for a serene and calm place, Dainkund Peak is surely worth exploring.The impression of tall Deodar trees and colourful flower valleys is everlasting. As you make your way upwards, you can hear the gentle breeze passing through the trees making a musical sound. The scenic charm of Khajjar lake and picturesque view of the mud houses amidst lush greenery is a treat to the eyes. The Pholani Devi temple and an Air Force are also major attractions of Dainkund Peak. Camping and trekking to the peak make your trip all the more exciting.

River Crossing and River Rafting

River Crossing and River Rafting

River crossing is done across the river Ravi or Saal under the supervision of trained instructors while River Rafting too is a growing favorite in Chamba, usually done on the Rivers Ravi and Saal, too.

Both private as well government tourism organizations organize these activities.

Shopping in Dalhousie

The bustling and vibrant street of Gandhi Chowk is known as the lifeline and the best place for shopping Dalhousie. If you want to buy unique handicrafts and experience local talent, then Gandhi Chowk is the place for you. Also known as GPO, this place is filled with various markets and shops; ranging from The Tibetan Market, the Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium, Himachal Handloom and Crafts Centre and Tibetan Handicrafts Centre. There are a plethora of various small shops to fulfil your list of gift items. All the major buildings and hotels are situated here, at GPO.

The Tibetan Market is another popular spot for shopping in Dalhousie, which offers a variety of goods including bags, dolls, carpets, purses and handicrafts. The Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium on Thandi Sarak is known for its traditional Kashmiri shawls which reflects the intricate craftsmanship of the locals. These handicrafts are unique in their own way. Local women established Bhuttico in the mid 19th century which offers a wide range of the famous Kullu shawls, made from lamb’s wool, angora, pashmina. Recently, they have also started making the popular embroidered shawls. The costs for these exquisite articles start from INR 300 only.

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