All local site seeing can be done on foot in Dalhousie. The main tourist
attractions are Panchpula, Kalatop and Khajiar lake.
Panchpula, a beautiful spot, is barely 3 kms. from G.P.O. On the way to Panchpula is
Satdhara springs gurgling with refreshing water, believed to contain some medicinal
properties. Panchpula stream is the main source of water supply to
Dalhousie and Bahloon. The stream springs from the north side of DayanKund and runs down a
picturesque ravine to the waterworks of Panchpula. There is an elegant monument erected at
Panchpula where several streams meet at one point. This monument, a samadhi was built in
memory of great revolutionary Sardar Ajit Singh who breathed his last in Panchpula. There
is a Tourism restaurant and several chai shops in Panchpula, that offer hot and cold
beverages and snacks.
KYNANCE: Kynance is a private residential building of
Dharamvirs. This building was constructed during the year 1933 by Dr. N.R.Dharamvir of
Lahore. This building acquired historical significance due to the reason that Neta Ji
Subhash Chander Bose, a class fellow of the wife of Dr. Dharamvir, stayed with them for a
period of 7 months beginning May, 1937. Before arriving in Dalhousie, Neta Ji was in
British Jail where his health had deteriorated. On the request of his younger brother the
British High Court released Neta Ji on parole on health grounds. It brought Neta Ji to the
climate of Dalhousie. Kynance is barely 50 kms. from G.P.O. It lies hidden from the public
eye below the road. An insignificant looking board bearing the name of Kynance hangs from
a tree and is discernible to only those tourists who have an eye for details.
BAOLI: Just approximatly 1 km from G.P.O. is a charming natural spot called
Subhash Baoli. Neta ji Subhash Chander Bose during his 7 months sojourn in Dalhousie in
1937 is believed to have spent most of his days by the side of this water body, meditating
amidst dense woods of Cedar and meeting his party workers. This place lies on the G.P.O. -
JandriGaht Road. A canopy with seating facilities has been created by the local
administration at this place.
ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH: St. Andrew's Church commonly known
as the Church of Scotland was built in the year 1903 at Baloon by Protestant Christians.
The Church is approximately one and half kms. from Dalhousie's bus stand. The Church
building is in good condition, recently a brick boundary wall has been erected around it
to save the building from mischief mongers.
PATRICK'S CHURCH: This Church is situated in Baloon, Dalhousie Cantt., on
Military Hospital road approximately 2 kms. from main bus stand. St. Patrick's Church is
the largest church in Dalhousie having a seating capacity of 300 persons in its main hall.
The Church was built in the year 1909 and the dressed-stone building is still in good
condition. This Church was built exclusively from contribution made by officers and ranks
of the British Army. At present the Church is managed and maintained by the Catholic
Diocese of Jalandhar.
FRANCIS' CHURCH: This Catholic Church is a very prominent monument on the Subhash
Chowk. This Church was built in the year 1894 from the contributions made by Army and
Civil Officers and Civilians. This Church is managed and maintained by the Cathoilic
Diocese of Jalandhar. St. Francis' Church on Prtrain hill is believed to have been built
on the lines of a certain church in England. Beautiful glass work and intricate stone work
can be seen in the Church. Service is conducted every Sunday.
By the side of the Church is the residence of the Priest. The building is
called Alverna better known to the local people as "Lambe Chole Wale Padri Ki
JONH'S CHURCH: This Church stands on the Gandhi Chowk approximately 2 kms. from
the main bus stand of Dalhousie. This Church was the first to be built after the town of
Dalhousie was founded. Prior to 1863 a wooden structure stood at this place. The idea to
build a stone structure took birth with the arrival of Rev. John H. Pratt who came to
Dalhousie on 11-04-1863 and inspired the Christian community to build a permanent church
building at this place. Building of this church is a copy of Roman Catholics church of
England but this church belongs to Protestants. The church building stands in a good
condition but its surroundings demand much better care. Service is conducted on
NARAYAN TEMPLE: This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was built more
than 150 years ago. The temple enshrines a beautiful image of Lord Vishnu. The temple is
frequented by local devotees. The temple is located in Sadar Bazar approximately 200 mtrs.
from Subhash Chowk.
SHIVKUL: Shivkul is an Ashram of Vimala Thakur, a
re-knowned religious philosopher lady from Gujarat. Shivkul is on the Mall Road betwen
Gandhi Chowk and Subhash Chowk. From here one can enjoy the beautiful panorama of Pir
Panjal Hills, connecting Chamba Distt. with Jammu & Kashmir. During summer when Vimala
Hi popularly known as Vimala Bahen comes to Dalhousie many foreigners as well as Indian
disciples of Vimala Ji from all parts of the coutry and abroad gather in Dalhousie to
attend her lectures on spiritualism.
DAKSHINA MURTI: Dakshina Murti is a yoga institution
created by Dr. R. P. Kaushik of Sonepat/Delhi during mid seventies. Dr. Kaushik travelled
all over the world to teach yoga and spiritualism. He died in July 1987. His followers
still come to Dalhousie and stay at Dakshina Murti 200 mts away from Subhash Chowk on the
small Mall known as Garam Sarak.
PARAMDHAM: Norwood is a beautiful House situated on the east of upper Bakrota
Hill of Dalhousie. This house is also known as Kainth Wali Kothi is a local name
given by people of Dalhousie. Approximately 5 kms from Gandhi Chowk on the Bakrota Mall,
the kothi is surrounded by thick forest of deodars.
Seven kms short of Dalhousie is Banikhet - the gateway to Dalhousie. At Banikhet the road
bifurcates for Chamba and Dalhousie. This small place has gained importance with the
setting-up of residential colony of Chamera Hydro-electric Project. There is a PWD rest
house at Banikhet. A Nag temple in Padhar Maidan now called mini stadium is a place of
worship for the people of Banikhet and villages around. The temple is approximately 150
Kalatop and Khajiar are best explored if you take a three days walk from Dalhousie to
Kalatop, Khajjiar and back Dalhousie.The trek is more or less level and requires good
health, a pair of sturdy walking shoes. Kalatop is 10 kms from G.P.O. at an
altitude of 8000 feet. Walking along the secluded and forested road through upper Nakorota
hills, one reaches Lakkarmandi. Between G.P.O. and Lakkarmandi lies the Dalhousie water
system, Tibetan Handicraft Centre and Dalhousie Potato Farm at Ahla. Lakkarmandi is
nestled between 8600 feet high DayanKund peak on its right and Kalatop on the left. Dayan
Kund has military installations and is closed to civilians except the local people who
visit Bhulwani Mata temple near DayanKund.
23 kms from Dalhousie by road and 13 kms from Kalatop is the mini Switzerland of India at
a height of 6400 ft. Hutchison writes, "Khajjiar is a forest glade of great beauty,
6400 feet above sea level".
Khajjiar is often reffered to as "Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh".
The lush green meadows are surrounded by thick pine and cedar forests. Grazing herds of
sheep, goats and other milch cattle present a prefect pastoral scenery. There is a small
lake in the center of the saucer shaped meadow which has in it a floating island. Much of
the lake has degenerated into slush because of heavy silting during rains. Still the
landscape of Khajjiar is picturesque and a photographer's delight.
A little away from the lake is the temple of Khajji Nag belonging to 12th
C. AD. In the mandapa of the temple one can see the images of the Pandavas and the
defeated Kaurvas hanging from the roof of the circumambulatory path. The sanctum of the
temple has been beautifully carved from wood.
There is a Tourism Hotel and some Tourism cottages at Khajjiar where the
tourists can stay . Besides there are two rest houses one each of P.W.D. and Forest Deptt.
A couple of private hotels have also come up, which do not match the above places in terms
of location and amenities. Bus service to and from Khajjiar is limited and timings change
according to local demands. There used to be a golf course in Khajjiar which is not
maintained. The best entertainment in Khajjiar is to walk around the lake or to go for
long walks in the thick pine forests. Children enjoy this place because of the freedom of
movement and the slopy terrain which permits them to roll down to the lake without getting
hurt. Another attraction like any other hill station is horse riding.
In the month of August/September the famous JATRA of Mani-Mahesh commences from
Laxmi-Narayana Temple in Chamba. The CHHARI is taken to the sacred lake of Mani-Mahesh,
which is one of the chief tirthas in the district. Off late people from north India and
beyond have started visiting this sacred lake. According to an estimate nearly one lakh
people visit this sacred lake every year and take a holy dip. The lake is situated at the
height of 13,500 feet above sea level and at the base of Mani-Mahesh Kailsah peak (18,564
feet). Mani-Mahesh kailash is a virgin peak. In 1968 an Indo-Japanese team led by Nandini
Patel made an unsuccessful attempt to scale the peak. The devout attribute the failure to
the divine prowesses of the holy mountain. On the margin of the lake is a small marble
Shivlaing called CHAUMUKHA.
45 kms from Chamba via road is this famous village of Chhartrari. The village is
inhabited mostly by the Gaddies who are semi-postral lot engaged in rearing of sheep and
goats. This village, situated at a height of 6000 feet, its famous for its remarkable
hill-style temple of Shamti Devi.
The temple of Chhatrari is regarded as one of the holiest ones competing
with well known temples of "Lakshna Devi" at Bharmour and of "Bhawani"
at Kangra. The construction of the temple is simple. It consists of a small Cell or
sanctuary in which one of the rare brasses by the master craftsman Gugga is enshrined. The
walls of the temple are built of rubble masonry alternating with beams of wood. The
structure is surmounted by a sloping roof of slate. The roof is supported by richly craved
wooden posts which form a VARANDAH or circumambulatory path round the sanctum. The Shakti
Devi temple is of interest owning to the elaborate decoration of its facade, ceiling and
pillar. The sanctum, its architecture and sculpture betray a conscious effort on part of
its builder to introduce a highly refined post Gupta art in this remote part of Chamba.