Friday, October 10, 2014

Dalhousie Trip Itinerary and Attractions

         Recently did a family Trip to Dalhousie on the Gandhi Jayanti-Dusshera weekend 1st-6th October 2014. Though I have done Dalhousie trips previously also with clients, but this time could really explore the whole region in a relaxed manner and would like to share the Travel experience and for Dalhousie in a kind of day wise itinerary and focusing on the offbeat and just brushing on the regular ones.
           Dalhousie is a small hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India named after Lord Dalhousie who was the British Governor-General in India while establishing this place as a
summer retreat in 1854. Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range
of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level.

Distances- Delhi 560k, Patahnkot the nearest rail head 75 km about 2.5 hrs, Dharamshala 140k, 6 hours and Manali 350k. People also try and combine it with Amritsar about 190k away, 5 hours. Chandigarh is around 325k about 7-8 hrs by road. I have mentioned these places as you will most be coming from one of these places if coming from a distant part of India. For people in Punjab like Ludhiana and Jallandher it is an easy road drive.


How to reach The best way to come from Delhi or other places is take a train till Patahnkot and then by road by a bus or a hired taxi. You can also travel by road from Delhi directly or other places mentioned above.


                We took the overnight Dhualadhar express from Old Delhi station and for one of the group cars the trip could have ended before its start as they got struck at Azad Market and had to literally walk to the station with luggage in tow. Do try and keep a good margin if you are travelling from the old Delhi station as the area may be quiet crowded. There is a Rajdhani you can take from New Delhi station, all trains going to Jammu stop at Patahnkot (PTK or PTKC) but still you need to book well in advance.

Stopover for a quick bite to Dalhousie

       Day1        The train was in time and we stopped over at Mama's Rasaoi on the way which is a small resort  with green lawns, lot of sit down options and swings etc.



 The rates though are slightly on the higher side. Food was good though. It took us about 2.5 hrs and after Banikhet, the woolens were out and the clouds were all around us as they would stay for almost the whole of our stay period.
 
For our stay we had chosen the Mount View, one of the oldest hotels in Dalhousie along with Grandview. Mount View is situated right in the heart of the city with easy accessibility. There was a big fire in the hotel abut 2 years ago and one of the old building was totally burnt. The resort now is a mixture of old and new and a fine combination at that. The reception is modern and has a crisp look, the same building now also houses Kettle Pot the restaurant, Spa and Games room and Gym. Rooms are spacious and all old rooms are being slowly renovated with about 18 renovated rooms as of now. The resort affords some beautiful views of the valley and the gardens, terrace and the fountains et  al gives it a resort feeling. 
Room at Mount View Dalhousie
Mount View Dalhousie


View From Mount View

After a sumptuous lunch at Kettle Shop and some rest, we headed to Panchpulla and Sadhopaul. Dalhousie is a walker's paradise with a lot of opportunities to test your legs and lungs. About 2 km from Gandhi Chowk, the famous bazaar of Dalhousie is the Panch or Panjpulla (5 bridges), a pictersque place to walk down to with some streams, small water falls and a monument of Sardar Ajit singh, Bhagat singh's uncle. There is a small fresh water spring called Saptadhara nearby. Water levels in these places varies according to seasons. One can continue for another 3 km till Ganji Pahari another trek, but we had to leave it out due to lack of time.
Back to the hotel by the evening some went on to the spa to destress while for others the Gazebo at Mount View served as a perfect rendezvous for some fun and masti.

Day 2
After an early bfast we headed to Khajjiar officially christened  'Switzerland of India'
The Beautiful Khajjiar
by Mr. Willy T. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India in 1992 is all green during summer and a complete white blanket of snow during winters each having it's own charm. I must admit though being very picturesque and beautiful from a distance the place needs a 'Swach Bharat Abhiyan' to be carried out by the tourists and Government alike as lots of filth, stray animals and city kachra like water/beer/pepsi bottles and lays/kurkure wrappers sends on a wild goose chase to find a quiet corner. It was more so on this particular long weekend as things were better when I visited it a year back. Another drawback is lack of good eating joints, apart from the dhabas and overpriced hotel restaurants you don't have any place to satisfy the hunger pangs. Need to work out on the Switzerland for sure. After grabbing whatever we could to eat we headed back to Dalhousie but stopped short by 12 km at Lakkadmandi to do the Kalatop trek of about 3k each side.

LMandi to Kalatop Map

Kalatop Trek
                 One of the best places to visit around Dalhousie if you are a nature lover and love to walk.

Spread in around 30 sq km of dense deodar, fir and oak forest Kalatop gives a lot of opportunities to trekkers to do trek of various lengths from 3-14 km each side. The easiest of them is from Lakkadmandi to Kaltope FRH (forest rest house) about 3 km from the main track. One can take a detour at 2 places to a non motor-able road really multiplying the fun many times (see pic or the map at start of trek). First part is real fun and more green, quiet and just great. We followed both detours but got lost in the second and had to turn back after walking for about 1 km,
FRH Kalatop

but still there was no regrets as detour 2 takes you to through dense jungle where even sun light was difficult to reach. One can hire a guide too for various treks to help you and also help you in bird sighting etc. The trek ends at Forest Rest House which also offers some basic rooms but a wonderful locations surrounded by dense forests. Had some nice tea and pakoras once we reached the FRH and relaxes in the lush green lawns there. By the time we reached back Lakkad Mandi we had trekked for about 8 km, a job well done.(to be continued)

For Dalhousie Itinerary and bookings Please call Anand 09811193634/Seema/Sonu 9891458220 or mail us at arounddelhi(at)gmail.com.

Stay at Dalhousie Mount View   Call us at Around Delhi Holidays Pvt Ltd for bookings-09891458220/09811193634. Package start at Rs 2000/- pp per night with bf & dinner.

Dalhousie also makes for a wonderful Honeymoon Destination in India through out the year, with wonderful snow white views in Winter and green surroundings rest of the year. Plan your Honeymoon package with Around Delhi and relax, we will arrange all aspects including pick up drop from Kathgaodam/sightseeing etc. Call us at 9811193634/9891458220 for a 'tension free' trip to Dalhousie.
Visit AroundDelhi.com