Jun 15, 2011

Dharamshala & Dalhousie Himachal Holidays

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Explore the Famous Tourist Attractions in Dharamshal, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Dalhousie Himachal Pradesh Sightseeing ...

Dalhousie is a quiet town, with a sense of enchantment. This hill station spreads over five low-level hills at the western edge of the Dhauladhar range, just east of the Ravi River. The picturesque town is interspersed with the colonial-era buildings, low roofed stalls and hotels. The pine-covered slopes around it are intersected with paths and treks, which are ideal for short undemanding walks.



Dalhousie, Himachal Hill Station is 590 km and takes approx 14 hrs by road. The best way to go to this hill station is to break this journey.

By Air
The nearest airport is at Gaggal (Kangra), 140-km from Dalhousie.

By Rail
The nearest railhead is Pathankot, which is well connected to Amritsar, Jammu, Delhi and Jalandhar.

By Road
Onward journey from Pathankot to Chamba and Dalhausie is by road. Punjab and Himachal Roadways run services, as do private operators.


But since we had a weeks break so we planned our trip differently. We planned our journey from Delhi to Dharamshala and then to Dalhousie.

Delhi (Delhi) to Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) is 479 km and takes approx 13 hrs by road. We took halt of 3days in Dharamshala. We planned our first day to relax after a long journet and enjoyed local Dharamshala and kangra valley. We enjoyed the scenic view of the Dharamsala Cricket Stadium (overlooking the Dhauladhar ranges) created in Dharamshala. Then we drove to kangra valley and enjoyed serathana village in kangra valley which is like 45 minutes drive. It’s a beautiful valley covered from four sides with Dhauladhar ranges. If you wish to you can also plan kangra temple circuit which includes Chamundaji temple, Jwalamukhi, Mata Brajeshwari Devi, Jayanti Devi. For more info click here

The second day we planned to go to McLeod Ganj which is 30min drive uphill dharamshala. Mcleodganj, is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Here you would find pleasant weather as compared to Dharamshala. Many people come here to study Tibetan Buddhism, culture, crafts, etc. as well. The town is also known for Tibetan handicrafts, thangkas, Tibetan carpets, garments and other souvenirs.


Mecleodganj is famous for Tibetan & Russian Food. Some of the famous restaurants are Hot Spot, Mcll'o, Tibet Restaurant, Sunset Cafe. To know more about Restaurants In Mcleodganj Town


Reviews and photos of McLeod Ganj attractions posted by real travelers and locals.
Read more


Personally for shopping I found this place a bit highly priced for clothes, shoes and accessories which are not worth the price. Even these Tibetans have a rude approach towards locals. But still you can explore some good shops and roadside vendors for some good bargains. Best things to buy here are lingeries, footwear, junk jewelry, Tibetan pattern tshirts with motives like dragon, chakras, om, etc..


If you can drive half an hour more than you can explore an unexpected spot Dharamkot, upper Dharamshala at a distance of 1.5 km from Mcleodganj town. The Scenery From Dharamkot Is Simply Breathtaking And You Also Meet The Gaddi Folks. This Favourite Picnic Spot Affords A Panoramic View Of The Kangra Valley And The Dhauladhar Ranges. It's a famous spot for russians. Here you would find lots of russians holidaying. Lots of foreigners have made Dharamkot their home and rent fields and houses from local Indians.


In fact Dharamkot is also known as a hippie colony. Hebrew is spoken on the streets perhaps as much as in Israel itself. Motorbikes of every make zip around the place bearing a tattooed, long haired free spirit and many cafes offer international fare. You too can rent a house from the locals if you are planning a long stay here. You can choose to just stroll among the rhododendron trees or visit the Tushita Research Centre where you can take yoga and meditation classes. Also visit the Tibetan Children's Village which takes care of Tibetan orphans and children whose parents have had to go back to Tibet but need to keep their children safe. If trekking is your thing, you'll find a rocky winding trail to Naddi village here. Naddi also offers you a 360 degree view of the mountains and is a nice place to just wander around. It is said that Naddi is so quiet you can hear the heartbeat of a sparrow. Dal Lake is a small oval shaped lake between Naddi and McCleodganj. The waters are quite muddy, but the area is charming because of the trees that surround the lake. Also a Lord Shiva festival is celebrated here once a year. Dharamkot is must-do on your Himachal Pradesh itinerary if you have some breathing time and the trip is not rushed. .

Few of the places you can stay here are: Dev Cottages, Hotel Eagles Nest


If you want you can plan one more day at mecleodganj you won't feel bored and still find lots more things to explore. You can visit Dalai Lama's temple, Namgyal Monastery, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Mani Lakhang Stupa, Nechung Monastery, Norbulingka Institute, which is 8 kilometres away. Also you can visit Naam Art Gallery, Peak Art Gallery.


Other places you can explore around are

Triund: A day's trek at the upper reaches of Mcleod Ganj, located 9 kilometres from McLeod Ganj.
Bhagsu's water fall, McLeod Ganj, Stupas near Tsuglag Khang, McLeodGanj, Palampur, Kangra, Tatwani and Machhrial.



For McLeod Ganj travel guide



Then third day we planned our journey from Dharamshala to Dalhousie. Dalhousie is 3-4hrs drive depending upon your driving skills and stopovers. The best route to take from Dharamshala to Dalhousie is via Nurpur. In summers don’t expect these hill stations to be cold unless some rain showers happen. Nights would be pleasant but day would be pretty hot. Personally I didn’t find Dalhousie to be a lively hill station in Mid May. Weather is really hot unless you get some rain showers. You don’t have good restaurants to eat, nothing much to shop, no activities to do. Mall road is also very small. And no bars or coffee shops are here to enjoy evenings. You can have all this if you book in some good hotel which has all these facilities. We stayed at Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Guest House(HPSEB) which was pretty decent, well located near bus stop and walking distance to mall road. Food was like homemade and has good lawn to enjoy and relax. When we were here I personally checked some best options to stay here.


Dalhousie is in 8 shape, you can stay near Gandhi chownk which is like one curve of 8or you can stay on subhash chownk which is other side of the curve and in mid of this 8 fold is the mall road. If you want something near gandhi chowk then you can opt for GrandView Hotel Best located with best of views. The other good option is mount view even this has beautiful views, good accommodation and food. If you try on the other side of the curve then Lalaji is a good option or Indraprastha is a wonderful option with spas and all.


Then from mall road there is a lane going down to panchpulla here you can try Peace Channels or a home stay Bird n Chirps. Peace Channels is a wonderfull property in dense forest. Another new concept here is bird n chirps. This is a homestay. It is above peace channels. You need to climb 200 stairs to reach bird n chirps. Accomodation is okay with wonderful views to nature and you get homemade food. There are hammocks and 200 bird species to watch. Mr. Bhalla is the owner, and he can arrange for some good barbeques for you on request. Stay is pretty reasonable. For Non veg its 750 per night with all meals inclusive and 500 for veg. In Dalhousie the best option is to take package inclusive of all 3 meals as you don’t have much options to eat on mall road. In panchpulla there is not much to see apart from a small waterfall.


The next day we planned to Khajjiar and Kalatop. No trip to Dalhousie is complete without going through this trail, through the thick forests of Deodar (Cedar) trees and alpine hills. Kalatop falls on the way to Khajjiar. Drive to Khajjiar is like one hour drive. You should first go to Khajjiar and then go to Kala top on your way back. Khajjiar is a good spot but not very well maintained and it’s a day spot. Here you can do some activities like rolling ball, para sailing. Eat bhuttas, fruit chats, enjoy scenic beauty and enjoy cup of tea and Maggie. Here you can do horse riding. You can get free from here around 4:00 and drive back to kalatop.


Kalatop is a Paradise for nature lovers. Trek or drive to Kalatop Forest rest house. You can also do the other uphill trek which goes to Dain Kund, the highest point around Dalhousie. One can get a panoramic 360 degree view from this strategic point. Gujjiar tribal people have their huts and herd their buffaloes on the ranges of this mountain.


Kalatop Forest Rest House is a very beautiful place to stay for few nights. The Kalatop Forest Rest House, which is an attractive colonial-style wooden cottage can be booked from Chamba. There is a narrow level road that runs 3 kms to Kalatop Forest Rest House. Avoid taking big cars like safari, endevour etc.. and rather trek down. This place has maginificient views and is very cold also. You can expect hailstorms and rain showers here. Highly dense forest area, dark even in daytime and beautiful views. We regretted that we didnt do bookings for this place and didnt stay for a night. When we reached here there was a rainfall followed by a hailstorm. We just rushed to small dhaba in this forest resort and enjoyed adrak wali tea and hot vegetable maggi. We sat on stairs and enjoyed the cool weather and hot tea. You cannot come to this place without a light woolen, coz maybe in Dalhousie or khajjiar you may not feel the need to wear any woolens but this place you have to pull out your woolens and wear them and specially if you get unexpected rain showers.

For more on Kalatop Forest Rest House


If it rains then even Dalhousie gets cold but if its full sunny day then don’t expect much from this place as this going to be very hot being on height sun is really bright and days very warm, but yes evenings are pleasant and you might need light blanket in night to sleep.


That’s it for Dalhousie not much to do here so I call it a dead hill station. Heard the best time to visit is in October. In December, jan, feb its cut off as there is a heavy snow fall. If you want you can explore the same in October and share your experiences on Unexplored Weekend Getaways Fan Page.


Don’t miss Kalatop and Mecleodganj!

To view picture gallery:
Serathana Photogallery
Dharamkot Videos
Dalhousie/Khajjiar/Kalatop

References:
Best Accomodations in Dalhousie
Lal Ji Tourist Resorts Dalhousie
Hotel Grand View Dalhousie
Hotel Mountview
Peace Channels
Indraprastha Resort - Luxury Spa Resort in Dalhousie
Birdsnchirps Homestay

Kalaltop Forest Resort Booking
Bookings for the rest houses may be done through DFO (WL) Chamba Division ,Chamba – 176 310 Himachal Pradesh or Range Officer (WL), P.O. Khajjiar, Tehsil Brahmaur, District Chamba Himachal Pradesh