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A summer hill resort par excellence, Dalhousie takes its name from its founder, Lord Dalhousie. In the British days, it served as a sanatorium. It is situated 563 kms from Delhi and lies on the outer slopes of the Dhaula Dhar Range of the Himalayas. Apart from its own considerable scenic attraction, it is the gateway to Chamba, the valley of milk, honey, springs and streams. Dalhousie, covering an area of only 14 Sq. kms, is a beautiful hill-station and popular spot with honeymooners.
Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Established in 1854 by the British Empire in India as a summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats, the town was named after Lord Dalhousie who was the British Viceroy in India at that time.
Dalhousie is built on and around five hills. Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is
Surrounded by the beautiful scenery of snow-capped peaks. Dalhousie is situated at 6000-9000 feet 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.
Dalhousie is a gateway to the ancient Chamba Hill State, now Chamba District of the Himachal Pradesh, India. 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. Chamba is the hub of this culture. Bharmour, the ancient capital of this kingdom, is home to Gaddi and Gujjar tribes and has 84 ancient temples from 7th-10th century AD.
Pangi Valley is remote and highly inaccessible most of the year. It is located between the Pir Panjal and the Greater Himalayan ranges. It is home to Pangwal and Bhot tribes.
Rivers Ravi and Chandrabhaga (Chenab) take origin and nourishment from its glaciers. There are several hydroelectric projects and dams being developed. There are several national forests and wildlife sanctuaries including Kalatop-Khaijjar located within its confines. Pilgrimage to Mani Mahesh Temple and Lake is an annual trekking event. Many trekking routes over Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges present a challenge to the serious trekker, while there are ample opportunities for the budding trekker.
Churches and Christianity
St. Francis Church, Dalhousie - 1894
This Catholic Church is located on a hilltop at Subash Chowk (aka Charring Cross). Army and civil officers raised the money for the church. It has beautiful glasswork and intricate stonework. The architectural design is Scottish.
St. John's Church, Dalhousie - 1863
This Protestant Church was the first church to be built in Dalhousie. It is located at Gandhi Chowk (aka GPO). Reverend John H. Pratt was its first paster in 1863. Its architectural design is Victorian.
St. Andrew's Church, Dalhousie Cantt - 1903
This Protestant is also known as the Church of Scotland.
St. Patrick's Church, Dalhousie Cantt - 1909
This Protestant church was built from contributions from officers of the British Army. The prayer hall has seating capacity for 300 people. It is located near the military hospital.
Sacred Heart Convent School, Dalhousie - 1910
This elite residential school for girls was established under the Archdioces of Lahore. The Belgian Sisters of Charity have been running the school.
Subhash Baoli (2085 m): A splendid walk from the GPO square leads up to the spring with its panoramic views of the snow capped mountains. (1.6 km)
Satdhara (2036 m): Close to the town, enroute to Panjpulla, are the seven sparkling springs of Satdhara rich in mica and noted for its medicinal properties.
Panjpulla: Another pretty spot where the water from a natural tank flows under five small bridges. (2 km)
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Bakrota Hills (2085 m): Not too far from the centre of the town is the Bakrota Mall, the 5 km popular walking circuit with splendid views of the mountains.
Kalatope (2440 m): Its scenic splendour, forest rest house and fine views of the surrounding country make it an ideal spot for a weekend retreat. The little Kalatope Sanctuary has a variety of wildlife. (8.5 kms)
Bara Pather (4 kms): Set amidst thick forests is the small temple of Bhulwani Mata, in the village of Ahla, on the way to Kalatope. A fair is celebrated in July to venerate the goddess.
Dainkund (2745 m): This tall peak outside town affords a birds eye view on a clear day, of the hills, verdant valleys and the rivers Beas, Ravi and the Chenab threading their silvery way down to the plains. (10 km)
Khajjiar (1851 m): While it is possible to go by road, Khajjiar is just a pleasant one day walk from Dalhousie (22 km). A picturesque spot with an, emarald, saucer shaped meadow set amidst a dense deodhar forest, it has a lake at its centre with a floating island, a forest rest house, a little temple with a golden spire and a golf course.
Just 56 km from Dalhousie, situated at a height of 996 m above sea level, Chamba still has a medieval feel about it. Founded in 920AD by Raja Sahil Varma, the little town, perched on a plateau overhanging the river Ravi, was named after his favourite daughter Champavati. Isolated by the high mountains in its beautiful valley, Chamba was allowed over the centuries to develop its own rich style of Pahari art and architecture. Much of this heritage has been preserved and Chamba is known today for the spendour of its temples and its exquisite handicrafts.
Still intact are a fine group of six ancient stone temples with tall vimanas, dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu, dating from 8AD. The richly carved Lakshminarayan temple is the oldest structure in this group.
Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: http://www.world66.com/asia/southasia/india/himachalpradesh/dalhousie/
December 08, 2005 change by katoch