The Arcadia Incarnated
|State||: Himachal Pradesh|
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station|
|Area||: 13 sq. km.|
|Population||: 7,419 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: 1,954 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: March to November|
|Clothing recommended||: Light woolen in summer, heavy woolen in winter|
|Languages spoken||: Pahari, Hindi and English|
|Telephone Code||: India (01899), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 176304|
|What to buy||: Tibetan Handicrafts, Woolen Wares, Kashmiri Shawls, Himachal Handloom Articles, Bags, Dolls, Purses, Carpets, Scarves, Chamba Slippers, Ethnic Jewellery, Silver and Copper Lamps, Pahari Paintings, Kashmiri Art Work, China Toys, Electronics Items, Dried Local Trees|
|Food Specialties||: Sidu (Bread Made from Wheat Flour), Ankalos (Made from Rice Flour), Aktori Cakes, Patande, Dham (Rice, Moong Dal, Madrah of Rajma, Boor Ki Kari, Mash Dal, Khatta, Mittha made from Sweet Rice, Raisins and Dry Fruit), Khairu, Chha Meat, Bathu ki Khir, Sepu Badi, etc.|
|Local transportation||: On foot, horses, ponies, carriages, dandies, rented motorcycle, car, taxis.|
Dalhousie, one of the most treasured jewels deposited in the meritorious casket of Himachal Pradesh is a peachy little hill station of Chamba District that has earned an international standing as a popular tourist destination of Northern India. Spread across the five resplendent hills namely Kathlog (Kathalagli), Portreyn, Tehra (Moti Tibba), Bakrota and Balun (Bhangora) on the western rim of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range of the Himalayas, Dalhousie; the ‘toran’ to Chamba is a quiet and quaint hill resort dating back to the epoch of British Colonization in India. Established under the patronage of British Empire in 1854 AD, the civic receives its epithet from the name of Lord Dalhousie; the then British Viceroy and Governor-General of India. Originally conceived as a pleasant summer retreat for the British Bureaucrats and their army troops, the present day Dalhousie, still retaining its Victorian Aura and its old world charm immediately transports us back to the 19th century India.
Enclosed by staggering snow crowned Himalayan Peaks teeming with luxuriant pine, deodar and oak woods and studded with ethereal rhododendron flowers, Dalhousie is indeed the Arcadia descended upon the earth. The angelic river Ravi meandering through the Dhauladhar highlands and verdant valleys below the Dalhousie mesa adds to the pizzazz of this ‘Promised Land’. This quiescent hill station endowed with serene, calm and composed milieu offers an ideal vacation for those who want to loosen up and de-stress in the soothing and tranquil cradle of Mother Nature. Here one can form an intimate bond with cosmos and synthesize the tunes of one’s own heart with the melodies of majestic macrocosm. Perfect for the honeymooners and peace seekers, the undulating landscape of the five hilled Dalhousie yields excellent opportunities of hiking, trekking and long picnic walks for the nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
Exceptionally admired for its spectacular scenic pulchritude and immensely enjoyable and salubrious climate, Dalhousie is certainly a utopian holiday spot of India blessed with peerless picturesque vistas and enticing seraphic ambience. Brimming with lofty Victorian mansions, imposing Scottish edifices and archaic Anglican churches, Dalhousie, a repository of ancient Indian and English architectural and cultural legacy is best visited during summer.
History Of Dalhousie
Dalhousie, nestled on the western periphery of the Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges in the Chamba District of the state of Himachal Pradesh was established as a Hill Resort and a summer retreat by the British East India Co. in 1854 AD for the British Officials and army troops to escape from the blazing heat of the Indian plains. When Punjab was annexed to the British Empire subsequent to the 2nd Anglo Sikh War, Lt. Col. Napier; the Chief Engineer of Punjab paid a visit to Chamba and was absolutely dumb founded on witnessing the celestial scenery of this mountainous terrain. Aftermath his reports, a project of establishing a Hill Resort was approved and in 1851 AD, the site of the hill station was finalized. 13 square kilometers of land comprising the five hills viz. Kathlog (Kathalagli), Portreyn, Tehra (Moti Tibba), Bakrota and Balun (Bhangora) was acquired from the Raja of the state of Chamba and as compensation, the annual tribute that the Chamba State had to pay to the British Government was decreased by 2000 rupees.
The acquired estate was christened after Lord Dalhousie; the then Viceroy of India and it was made a part of the Kangra District of the Punjab State. By 1860, three level malls were contrived around the Bakrota, Portreyn and Tehra hills and the roads connecting these malls were also laid. Gradually the town burgeoned, many buildings, market places, schools and churches were erected and preeminent personalities of India including Rabindranath Tagore and Rudyard Kipling paid visit to this felicitous quinta. Electricity reached Dalhousie for the first time in the year 1920 and the crescendo of Dalhousie’s prime time as a foremost tourist destination of Northern India ensued.
After the Independence, the centenary of Dalhousie was celebrated in 1954 AD under the presiding of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru; the first Prime Minister of India when he also instigated the promotion of tourism industry saying, “Let’s go to the Himalayas”. After the Tibetan uprising of 1959, thousands of Tibetan refugees were sheltered in Dalhousie. Even though most of them have now settled in other parts of Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim, their influence over Dalhousie and their remnants are still intact. His holiness Dalai Lama visited Dalhousie in 1962 and 88. Dalhousie was allocated to the state of Himachal Pradesh from Punjab in 1966 AD during the Reorganization of Indian States. Post 1990s, Dalhousie has flourished as a greatly sought after tourist attraction and a popular shooting venue for the numerous Bollywood films.