Explore The Colonial Heritage of Dalhousie

Dalhousie is a hill station in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most pristine hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. It was named after British Governor-General Lord Dalhousie. Lord Dalhousie established the hill station in early 1854 and treated it as a great summer retreat.

Dalhousie is still one of the examples of neatly planned streets and colonial-era architecture. Along with the architects, the town is also rich in lush green forests, old-world charm, mesmerizing natural landscape, pine-clad valleys, flower-bedecked meadows, fast-flowing rivers, and snow-capped peaks of Himalayas.

It is a place that takes you far away from the busy city lives and gives you eternal peace. The still-not-urbanized colonies, pollution-free air to breathe, scenic beauty to calm your nerves down, ever-welcoming natives are what makes you feel alive and freshens you up to go about your life again. You might not get huge malls, multiplexes, and a crazy nightlife but if you’re looking for a tête-à-tête with nature and yourself, you will surely get in abundance, here.


In 1854, while on trips, Lord Dalhousie was enchanted by the refreshing and healthy beauty of Dalhousie. Adamant about building his landmark here, he proposed an offer to the Chamba ruler. As per the offer, the viceroy wished to acquire five hills- Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota, and Bhangora and in return, he would reduce the taxes of the ruler, to which the ruler obliged.

The project of Dalhousie began under the observation of Lt. Col. Napier, then Chief Engineer of Punjab. Upon completion, Dalhousie served as a summer retreat for the British troops and became a hill station soon after. The British used their architectural skills and constructed some famous bungalows in the city as a remembrance. 

In the year 1861, Dalhousie became a part of the Gurdaspur district in the state of Punjab. It was way after independence in 1966, when Dalhousie was excluded from Punjab as per the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 and became a part of Himachal Pradesh.


Elevation: 1,970 m (6,460 ft)

Altitude: 2,030 m above sea level

Population: 7,051 (as per Census 2011)

Languages: Hindi (official), Pahari (popular)

Also Read: Solang Valley


Being a hill station and surrounded by the Himalayas, Dalhousie tends to remain cold and icy. However, the different seasons affect the weather conditions of the hill station that you must know before planning a trip to ecstatic heaven.

1. Summer: The summers do justice to the nature of Dalhousie. With a maximum of 24°C, summers allow you to explore the region as much as you can. The surroundings are pleasant with natural green vegetation all around.

2. Winter: Being around the Himalayas, it affects the town in winters a lot. The temperature can drop to freezing point and the minimum temperature may go till 0°C. If you’re fond of snow and can bear chilling temperatures, you should visit in winters but with tons of warm/woolen clothes.

3. Monsoon: Dalhousie gets foggy and cloudy during monsoon. You may feel like walking in clouds if you happen to visit Dalhousie during monsoons.

Also Read: Dharamshala

Best Time to Visit Dalhousie

Even though there is no fixed time to visit Dalhousie as it depends on the preference of visitors, but it’s recommended to visit Dalhousie from March to August. If you’re more of a snow lover, you can visit between December to February. For the lush green view around, visit during summers, i.e. from March to July. Monsoon is not recommended to visit any hill station as the place gets very slippery and there are chances of heavy landslides.

Places To Visit In Dalhousie

The tourist city Dalhousie has many adventures in itself. There are many delightful places in Dalhousie where everyone enjoys natural beauty. There are many things to see in Dalhousie, including British-era churches and mythological temples. For the nature lover, there are also several outdoor activities like trekking, mountain climbing, and visiting waterfalls and forests. Remember to explore the local markets and shops to learn about the culture and try traditional food. Here has given the list of the most visited places in Dalhousie.

1. Chamera Lake

Chamera Lake is a stunning artificial lake located just 35 km away from Dalhousie. This lake is near Chamera Dam on the Ravi River, constructed under the hydroelectric scheme. The natural scenery around Chamera Lake is genuinely awe-inspiring. The lake has situated in a valley surrounded by dense forests of Bhandal Valley. Several water sports facilities are available here, such as canoeing, river rafting, motor boating, and kayaking, popular among tourists. The ancient Bheli temple near the lake is also a significant centre of faith among tourists. 

2. Mall Road Dalhousie/ Gandhi Chowk

The full name of Mall Road Market of Dalhousie is Mall Road Gandhi Chowk, a must-visit spot during your trip to Dalhousie. Unlike Manali and Shimla, Dalhousie doesn't have a mall road,. However, the Gandhi Chowk market here is also known as Mall Road. The Market looks stunning in the evening when it has all lit up. The Market also offers breathtaking views of Pir Panjal's mountain range. 

3. Saach Pass

Saach Pass near Dalhousie is the perfect destination for everyone. The 150 km trek from Dalhousie to Sach Pass provides a great experience. The site is at an altitude of 4,500 meters (14,500 feet), making it one of the world's most remote places. Despite the challenges, bike riders and adventure tourists worldwide still travel to Saach Pass. The rugged and inaccessible terrain of Saach Pass makes it a unique and breathtaking location. The snow-capped Himalayas mountains are visible from this pass, with stunning views. Most travellers visiting Pangi Valley in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh prefer the Saach Pass route. To experience the beauty of the Himalayas, Saach Pass is worth a visit. 

4. Tibetan Market

The most prominent Market of Dalhousie, near Gandhi Chowk, is the Tibetan Bazaar, the most suitable Market for buying Himachal's famous handicrafts and traditional clothes. Visitors can also shop for various home decor items at the Tibetan Market in Gandhi Chowk. Handmade carpets, warm clothes, Chamba's famous slippers, shawls, local toys and traditional jewellery are made here and available at reasonable prices. 

5. Chamunda Devi Temple

A visit to the ancient Chamunda Devi temple is a must. This temple is located 130 km from Dalhousie and has believed to be more than 700 years old. The temple has dedicated to Goddess Kali, the fierce incarnation of Goddess Durga. Thousands of devotees visit this temple yearly to seek blessings from the deity. The temple is situated in the dense forests of Patidar and Lahla and was built in 1762 by the then-ruler Umaid Singh. It is considered a significant centre of the Hindu faith in Himachal. The Shivling of Lord Shiva has also available inside the temple, and for this reason, the temple is also known as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Temple. The area around this temple is also vibrant, making it a perfect destination for a trip with family and friends. It is important to note that touching the idol of Goddess Kali installed in the temple is strictly prohibited.

6. Norwood Paramdham 

Norwood Paramdham is a beautiful place located near Bakrota Hill in Dalhousie. Swami Satyananda visited this place in 1925 during his visit to Dalhousie and stayed in Dalhousie for a long time. During his stay, Swami Satyanand also wrote many religious books. After he died in 1960, this place became known as Paramdham. Presently, the responsibility for the arrangement and care of Paramdham is on Hansraj ji, a follower of Swami Satyanand. The distance of Norwood Paramdham from Dalhousie's Gandhichowk market is just 5 km.

7. Beeji's Park

A park dedicated to the soldiers in Dalhousie called Beeji's Park. This park has recently been built and is located from Dalhousie to Khajjiar. The Indian Army commissioned this park, which has wholly dedicated to them. It is a grand tribute to the soldiers who received Veergati when visiting the park during the war.

8. Lakshminarayan Temple 

Lakshminarayan Temple has located near Dalhousie. This temple is the ancient one in the area dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There is a legend related to the construction of the temple, which states that the eldest son of King Sahil Varman, Yugkara, with the help of a saint, found suitable stones for the construction of the temple after his eight brothers had killed while searching for them. The idol of Lord Vishnu in the temple's sanctum sanctorum has made of a particular type of marble stone.

What You Can't-Miss

  • Do not forget to get your perfect dose of adrenaline rush through mountain climbing and trekking to up top hills and mountains.
  • Go to the Tibetan market and have a look around just for fun or shop if you like something.
  • Enjoy long walks in the perfect natural surroundings.
  • Have a barbeque if your hotel has the facilities to do so.
  • Star-gaze in the clear sky.
  • Enjoy a ride on the ponies in Khajjiar.

How to Reach?

1. By Air

The nearest airport to Dalhousie is Gaggal (140 km away) and Satwari Airport in Jammu (106 km away). You can find car options to reach Dalhousie from both the airports.

2. By train

The nearest railway station to Dalhousie is Pathankot, which is 78 km away from the town and can be reached via a hired cab or buses.

What to Buy?

Dalhousie is famous for its perfect presentation as an Indian brand. It never fails to charm visitors with its collection of souvenirs. The town has many shopping areas to make your trip more memorable. Get yourself handicrafts, gift items, and trinkets.

For a better exposure, visit the Tibetan market, at Gandhi Chowk, and get mesmerized by the Himachal Handloom and Crafts Center, as well as Tibetan Handicrafts Center, they have a vast collection of goods including handicrafts, bags, rugs, carpets, and dolls. The Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium also offers Kashmiri handicrafts and woolens, including traditional shawls and unique exquisite handicrafts.

You can also buy Buddhist paintings, a variety of silver and copper potteries and the likes.

Where to Eat?

Being a famous hill station, Dalhousie serves delicious food, available at some of the popular food joints in the city.

The Mall road of Dalhousie is a hub of shopping centers and food joints, where one can delight their taste buds with a variety of cuisines available. Be it Chinese, Tibetan, South Indian idlis, Kashmiri, or North Indian, Dalhousie serves it all. Some of the popular restaurants and food joints that just serve what you need:

  • The Preet Palace
  • Moti Mahal Deluxe
  • Kwality Restaurant
  • Shere-Punjab Dhaba
  • Dawat Restaurant
  • Café Dalhousie
  • Friends Punjabi Dhaba
  • Napoli
  • Punjab Restaurant
  • Lalls Restaurant
  • Aroma N Claire

Where to Stay?

Dalhousie offers tourists a variety of comfortable hotels and lodges. Some of the hotels and guesthouses are located in the quiet surroundings of the city that give people the much-deserved peace and privacy. Some of the hotels that you can try are:

  • Lall Ji Tourist Resort
  • Dalhousie Heights
  • Hotel Himgiri
  • Hotel Mohan Palace
  • Hotel Topaz
  • Grand View Hotel
  • Aamod at Dalhousie
  • Sagrika Resort
  • Hotel Amar
  • Hotel Kings
  • Hotel Mongas
  • Hotel Comfort Inn


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