Distance traveled: 660 Km from Delhi
Distance from Amritsar: 210 Km
No. of days: 2
We planned to visit Dalhousie from Amritsar, so we planned a 2 days visit. If you are planning to visit from Delhi or any other part of India please make your itinerary accordingly.
History of Dalhousie
Dalhousie town is named after “The Earl of Dalhousie” The British Governor-General. Dalhousie is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, established in 1854 by the British Empire in India as a summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats.
It is built on and around five hills, Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar Mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Dalhousie is situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level. The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September. Scottish and Victorian architecture is prevalent in the bungalows and churches in the town. This hill region is a repository of ancient Hindu culture, art, temples, and handicrafts preserved under the longest-running single dynasty since the mid-6th century. (Source Wikipedia)
I went home to see my parents who live in Amritsar, Punjab. We planned to go to Dalhousie which is very near to Amritsar, it is almost 210 Km from Amritsar via Pathankot. The distance from Delhi NCR is more than 660 km.
Day 1: We started our journey from Amritsar and headed toward our destination Dalhousie, which is blessed with enchanting beauty, a certain tranquility of its ambiance, and the serenity and sacredness of its culture. We planned to start the journey in the morning so that we can reach there by afternoon. Everything was as per plan and after 15 mins of driving, we were on the Amritsar-Dalhousie highway. The road condition was very good so we gained some speed and drove to Pathankot in just 1:30 Hrs.
We stopped at Pathankot to have our breakfast. After having breakfast we were back on our track. As Pathankot Is moreover on the plains, it did not take much time for us to reach there. When we crossed Pathankot the beautiful hilly landscape was a treat for the eyes. The road condition is also good the roads of Dalhousie are famous for their curves to form the shape of the number “8”.
We reached Dalhousie around 3:30 Pm. It was a small place overrun with tourists as it was a weekend. We looked for rooms and we got a room in a decent hotel at a good price. We relaxed for some time in our rooms and after that, we went up mall road. Mall road is situated at Subhash Chowk, de decided to eat something as we haven’t eaten anything after breakfast. After eating we decided to visit the St. Francis Church at Subhash chowk. The church was built in the early 19th century by English men and is famous for its British architecture. After that, we decided to stroll around mall road and Gandhi chowk.
Day 2: Early in the morning we decided to go to Khajjiar, and then return to Amritsar. After breakfast, we packed our bags and checked out from the hotel. Khajjiar is 23 Km away from Dalhousie, We headed towards Gandhi chowk, and from Gandhi chowk, there is another road climbing up towards khajjiar. There is the famous DPS, Dalhousie Public School which is one of the most beautiful schools I have ever seen. As there was no sign board we had to ask the locals. One among the locals warned us to be aware of the snow as it was a winter month. The road condition was not so good and there was snow all around the roads making it more difficult to drive.
Road to Khajjiar
The road was very narrow and surrounded by thick forest and snow as this road is part of a wildlife sanctuary. The curving road and the jaw-dropping cliff on one side of the road did nothing to assuage our troubled hearts. Thick forests of pine and deodar covered the hill slopes with the trunks of the trees easily a few feet wide. It was a thrill to drive on this road though.
We reached khajjiar at around 1:15 hrs. as the road was full of snow and was very slippery. Khajjiar is a saucer-shaped lush-green meadow, surrounded by Devadar Trees has a lake in the middle with a floating island. A little away from the lake there is a sacred Khajjinag temple. This temple is dedicated to snake worship. As per the locals, it is believed that a snake god used to live at this place, and Khajjiar was named after Khajjinag. He protects this place and also there is a hidden treasure in the middle of the lake if anyone tries to take the treasure out of the lake that person is cursed. This temple belongs to the 12th century AD.
There are eateries available beside the temple. Lots of adventure sports are also available here like paragliding, zorbing ball, etc.
Khajjiar is the most exotic and scenic beautiful place around Dalhousie and it is officially proclaimed the “Switzerland of India”. There is a story behind it once Mr. Willy T. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of the Chancery of Switzerland visited this place, gave it the name of Mini-Switzerland of India, and established a signboard showing the distance of Switzerland from Khajjiar. That signboard is still there.
We had a lot of fun there and then we decided to return to Amritsar with our hearts full of some amazing memories, and moments of the trip.
Hospitals in Dalhousie: There are a few hospitals on Dalhousie road. Raavi Hospital, Sukh Sadan Hospital and a Military Hospital.
ATMs: PNB ATM, Khajjiar road. SBI ATM, Mall road. Some private bank ATMs are at Subhash chowk.
Petrol Pumps: There is an Indian Oil Petrol pump on Dalhousie road and an HP fuel station on Banikhet road.
Always carry some woolens, the winters are very harsh with moderate snowfall.
Take some medicines with you, if you suffer from altitude sickness.
Never Park your vehicle on mall road.
Watch out for the road conditions if you are heading towards khajjiar.