By: Johar Singh
Dalhousie is a small hill station set along the western edge of Dhauladhar ranges. Perhaps the most idyllic of places in Himachal Pradesh if one is looking for a hill station in its true meaning – calm, serene, and still natural – Dalhousie offers an excellent retreat for people who speak the language of nature and can communicate with it.
This beautiful hill station is named after Lord Dalhousie, who was the governor general of India in 1854 when the British had envisaged the idea of developing a sanatorium for their soldiers and officers along with their families, away from the slithering heat of the plains. Lt. Col. Napier of the British Army made the necessary recommendations for acquiring this piece of land from the state of Chamba, of which it was a part. Dalhousie has been bestowed with a very nice and amazing climate. The cool environs of the town set amidst the Deodar, Oak and Rhododendron forests make this place very different from other hill stations and it pleases one and all. Commercialization, which has ruined various other hill stations of the state have not hit this part of the state with such a great force. The town has maintained its erstwhile charm of the British era. Dalhousie can be defined as a walker’s paradise. The town is among the few beautiful hill stations of India that have level walks. These level walks around the hills of Dalhousie are popular among both the locals and the tourists alike. Thus, Dalhousie may aptly be called ‘the walkers paradise’.
Mineral water springs at Satdhara and Subhash Baowli are believed to have medicinal properties. Subhash Chandra Bose of the Indian National Army, who visited Dalhousie in the year 1937, used to drink water from Subhash Baowli, which has been named after him. He recuperated from his illness while staying at this beautiful hill station.
Gandhi Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Mall Road, Bakrota Hills as some of the popular spots which are frequented by tourists. The sizable chunk of Tibetan population adds to the cultural fiesta of this town. A beautiful temple of the Tibetans situated at Bakrota should be a must-visit for all. Tibetan Handicraft Centre at Bakrota, which is managed by the Tibetan Welfare Office, provides you with the best of carpets at fixed prices.
The Jandrighat Palace, which is situated at some distance from Subhash Baowli, belongs to the erstwhile rulers of the Chamba state. This palace shows the lifestyle of the kings and queens of Chamba.