Complete Guide to Dalhousie, Mini Switzerland of India
(image source: Wikimedia Commons by SriniG)
About Dalhousie India
The town of Dalhousie is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations for people to visit during their vacations. This town is popularly known as the ‘Mini Switzerland of India.’ It is one of the best Himachal tour packages people avail of for their holidays.
Dalhousie is located in the north-west region of the state of Himachal Pradesh. During British colonial rule in India, this destination was used as a vacation spot for British officers. It was also named after ‘Lord Dalhousie’ who was the viceroy during the British rule in India. This beautiful town is situated at an altitude of approximately 2300 meters. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains and situated at the foothills of the Himalayas. Dalhousie offers an unforgettable scenic view of nature.
The hill station of Dalhousie is considered to be the cultural hub of the district of Chamba. Dalhousie offers views of 3 major mountain ranges; the Dhauladhar range, Diankund range, and the peaks of PirPanjal. Although Dalhousie is open for tourists throughout the year, summers are considered to be the best time to visit. The tourist season is usually considered to be during the summer season. This is the time when most people from within India travel to Dalhousie.
When it comes to the choice of places to see in Dalhousie, there are ample opportunities to explore this region with majestic views and tourist activities to indulge in. Because of online resources and apps, it has become easier to explore the best Himachal tour packages from Delhi or any other state.
The people of Dalhousie are considered to be very welcoming to tourists. Most of the local people are engaged in tourism activities. Tourism plays a very important role in the local economy of this town. Being part of Chamba makes Dalhousie a cultural hub for the promotion of their arts, crafts, folklore, and history.
The district of Chamba and the local people are famous for their art. Among these art forms, the most famous are the local dances such as Naati, Ghureyi along with many painting styles as well. The locally-made handkerchief with embroidered art is famously known as ‘ChambaRumaal’. The local folk songs are full of cultural history and stories about the life that was common in the old days.
Another unique thing that one can appreciate for the local people is that they are very ecologically literate. People here understand the value of sustainability and responsible tourism activities. The respect for nature and the health of the land and rivers is important for the local people.
Along with the popular festivals of Diwali and Dusshera, the local community celebrates many other small festivals that are relevant to their community.
If you are planning to visit the district of Chamba in Himachal, Dalhousie should be considered because of its beauty and its many tourist attractions.
The upcoming list will include the popular destination in and around the town of Dalhousie. Following are the best places to visit in Dalhousie considering all the traveling needs that tourists have.
Even the people who have not been to Dalhousie know about Khajjiar and how it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Dalhousie. This is the place that gave Dalhousie the title of being ‘Mini Switzerland of India’.
Khajjiar is a small town situated at the height of 6500 feet. It is ideal for enjoying nature and the panoramic views it has to offer. The two most popular tourist activities in Khajjiar are Zorbing (which involves being rolled down the hill in a transparent ball) and Trekking.
There is a small lake in Khajjiar around which the tourists engage in picnic activities. It is a popular spot where the most number of people gather. It is quite common to see people engage in clicking photos and riding small horses with the assistance of a guide.
Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary gives a snapshot view of the local species of animals, plants, trees, and birds. Most of these species are native to this region of the Himalayas. You can experience the natural scenic beauty of mountains, landscapes, rivers, and trees. The Kalatop sanctuary is few kilometers away from the Chamba Dam.
KalatopKhajjiar Sanctuary has played an important role in the preservation of many rare bird and animal species native to the area. The most common animal and bird species that can be found here are Himalayan back marten, Himalayan black bear, mountain cats, Himalayan Monal and Asian Koala. Many other species can be found here and it is among the list of must-visit places in Dalhousie for wildlife enthusiasts.
Another popular tourist activity is trekking through the gorgeous trekking trails in this area. The wonderful view of the PirPanjal mountain range makes this the most stunning Dalhousie attractions to visit.
The Satdhara Falls
Satdhara Falls is considered to be the most prominent tourist places in Dalhousie. The views of the dense green forest filled with deodar and pine trees provide a beautiful view of the famous Chamba valley to admire.
The word ‘Satdhara’ loosely translates to ‘seven rivers’. The waterfall of Satdhara is made up of 7 different white water rivers. The wonderful sight of this waterfall is worth your time and money. The site of the waterfall is located at a height of approximately 1000 meters from the sea level. Tourists are allowed to bathe in the waters of the waterfall. The locals believe that the mineral-rich water is good for the skin.
This mountain peak is the highest point in Dalhousie and makes it one of the best tourist attractions in Dalhousie. The view from this spot is amazing with all beauty of the natural landscapes. The peak is 10 kilometers away from the main town of Dalhousie. The altitude of this peak is approximately 2700 meters.
Among the best tourist activities that you can engage in is camping. This peak provides an ideal location for setting up a Camp and a little bonfire. There are various tour operators who offer all the camping equipment that you might need during your stay at the peak.
This ancient town has the most historical and cultural significance among all the Dalhousie tourist spots in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by majestic hills and beautiful landscapes, this town is one of the most famous places in Dalhousie.
Chamba is famous for its temples which are revered by the local community and there are various traditions associated with these temples. Some of the architecture of the buildings can give a glimpse into the ancient way of living. The popular tourist attractions here are the museums and shops which are full of handicrafts, art, and souvenirs. People find locally made items such as ‘ChambaRumaal’, paintings, and shawls.
This lake is an artificial lake and it has been created under the ‘Chamera Hydroelectric Project’. Most tour operators include this site during their Dalhousie sightseeing tour. This lake provides essential water to the local villages which are used for irrigation and other uses. One of the popular tourist attractions here is the Bandal Valley with its amazing view.
Many adventure water sports are being held at Chamera Lake. Tourists can experience many water sports such as Kayaking and River Rafting. For adventure seekers, this is an ideal destination to consider for your vacation.
This popular destination is among the favorite spot for the trekking enthusiasts would love to trek through the majestic scenes of nature. Tourists also come here for a picnic with their families and small groups.
Panchkula waterfall is also a popular site for tourists who love posting their travel destinations on social media. The waterfall is made from a combination of five different river streams. The best time to visit this site is during the rainy season of the monsoon. The water flow is increased during this time and it adds beauty to the fall of this waterfall. The water from this waterfall is also used by the local villages.
Ganji Pahari can be translated as ‘Bald Mountain’. This peak is around 5 kilometers away from the town of Dalhousie. The unique feature of this hill is that no vegetation happens on the grounds. Hence, the name ‘Ganji Pahari’.
This destination is mostly chosen by trekking enthusiasts and it provides great trekking trails and amazing views. Picnic is another tourist activity which people enjoy at this spot.
Among the trekking community, the trail going through Sach Pass going to the famous Pangi valley is one of the most rewarding experiences. This site is close to the town of Dalhousie and it offers a great scenic view of the mountains and valleys.
The altitude of Sach Pass is around 14000 feet above sea level. There are also plenty of homestay and hotel options available for the tourists.
For the travelers who do not wish to trek, they can drive to this destination by road. The drive through the views is a memorable experience to cherish. Sach pass also provides plenty of opportunities for photographers. The sky changes its mood frequently and scenes during sunset and sunrise are worth capturing.
Saint Francis Church
This catholic church was built in the architectural style of Europe. The church is a very famous travel destination. It is also important for the people who come here to worship.
The interior of the Saint Francis Church has a very calming beauty to it. The stained glass windows with high ceilings with people in prayer together is one of the most memorable experiences.
For travelers who are interest in art and history usually find this place interesting. The regular tourists have also made a popular destination for their road trip. Tourists can be seen posing in front of the church for photographs.
The Mall Road
Strolling through Mall Road is a very relaxed way to enjoy your holidays. This road is full of shops and restaurants selling many different handicrafts and souvenirs along with various traditional and modern food items.
This road is the shopping hub of Dalhousie. There are plenty of places to simply sit and enjoy the grand picturesque view of the mountains of PirPanjal. For a relaxing vacation with amazing food options, this destination is famous for traveling families and short vacationers.
The Rang Mahal
Rang Mahal is also called ‘Himachal Emporium’ where many craftsmen sell their products. This is a historical place that is full of many British and Mughal design elements. Rang Mahal is a very important historical landmark in this region.
Its unique architecture with its interior full of paintings and art that are beautifully created. The tourists find this place worth their time due to its unique beauty with the background of lush green landscape. Apart from the paintings the Rang mahal also has traditional costumes, ornaments, coins, weapons, instruments, and many other items with historical significance.
Rang Mahal has converted some of the rooms into places to create for local artisans and craftsmen. Tourists can also take a look at the process of creating various crafts and art by watching these craftsmen at work. This destination is open for tourism throughout the year.
All the above-mentioned destinations have one thing in common. All these destinations offer a view that is full of mountains, valleys, rivers, and forests. These majestic views are often compared to the landscapes of Switzerland. That is exactly the reason why Dalhousie is called ‘Mini Switzerland of India’.
Dalhousie is an ideal destination for all tourist-related activities. It is also one of the favorite honeymoon destinations for couples.
Since the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, there has been a steady increase in the number of tourists visiting Dalhousie. In the coming months, it is expected that Dalhousie is expected to see a significant rise in tourism activities.
About The Author: Rahul Arora likes to explore by interacting with people and learning about their culture and traditions of Himachal Pradesh. Travel freak and a die-hard foodie are the synonyms that define him the best. He loves to explore new terrains in a different corner of the world. He believes in the idea of ‘Live and let live’