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.It 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.
Bhuri Singh Museum: Bhuri Singh Museum is a hidden gem in Chamba and a must see for any serious visitor to Dalhousie and Chamba. The museum is a storehouse of the original Pahari art and sculpture. Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba was a visionary, and he realized the importance of preserving ancient artifacts. He donated the Royal Collection to the museum. Then, he hired an eminent, British scholar and archaeologist, Mr. JP Vogel as its first curator.The museum provides a broad view of the traditions and history of the Chamba people from the 6th century AD and onwards.
Ancient Temples and Hinduism: Chamba is the home of many anicent temples dating back from the 7th century A.D. to the 12th century A.D.. They are in a fairly well-preserved state. Most indigenous people are devotees of Lord Shiva, Devi, and Naga Devta. Royal clan and urban dwellers are devotees of Lord Vishnu. While most of the ancient temples in northern Inida were destroyed by Muslim invaders. Chamba was left alone because of its remote location. Rulers of the Chamba state were great patrons of art and sculpture, and they successfully ignored the diktats from the Mughal Emperor to destroy the temple. Many master craftsmen from northern India took shelter in their kingdom, and they were patronised by the rulers. Their work in the form of superb bronze idols can be seen in many of these temples.
Churches and Christianity:
St. Francis Church, Dalhousie - 1894.
This Catholic church is located on a hilltop at Subash Chowk (aka Charing Cross). The money for the church was raised by army and civil officers. 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.
Palace Trail: Jandrighat Palace is about 3 kilometers from the GPO. The pleasant walk along the western edge of Bakrota Hill offers beautiful scenery. The Palace belongs to the Raja of Chamba. This jeep-able trek winds its way through Karelu Khad and Chail Kothi on the way to Chamba. On the way is a popular spot called Subash Bowli. It is a natural water spring. It is claimed that Netaji Subash Chandra Bose spent many hours at this spot during is his sojourn in Dalhousie in 1937.
Jandhri Ghat (2036 m): Around half a kilometre away from the Subhash Baoli, Jandhri Ghat enfolds an elegant palace in the midst of tall pine trees. Chamba's erstwhile rulers governed from here till the advent of Lord Dalhousie. The palace houses a number of shikhar trophies. Beside the palace, Jandhri Ghat offers heavenly spots for picnicking-gushing streamlets in the midst of fragrant pine-scented breezes.
NEAR BY DESTINATIONS:
Chamba 29 kms
Kangra 83 kms
Khajjiar 27 kms
Dainkund 10 kms
BEST TIME TO VISIT: May to September.
THE WAY TO DALHOUSIE:
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. Nearest railhead is Pathankot 80 kms.
By Road: Onward journey from Pathankot to Chamba and Dalhausie is by road. Punjab and Himachal Roadways run services, as do private operators. Delhi 485 kms Chamba 52 kms. State buses ply from Delhi to Pathankot, from where it is another three hours drive to Dalhousie. The hill station is also well connected to Shimla and Dharamsala.
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