Saturday, May 5, 2001

Trekkers’ Paradise
By A.S.Prashar

DALHOUSIE, as its name indicates, has been named after its founder, Lord Dalhousie. Situated at a height of 2039 m on the outer slopes of the Dhauladhar range, its quiet and scenic surroundings are ideal for a holiday.

It comprises five hills, namely Balun, Kathlog, Potreyn, Tehra and Bakrota, that range between 1525 m and 2378 m. It offers many interesting treks through dense forests. One can also view the Chenab, Ravi and Beas rivers on a clear day from Dain Kund.

Khajjiar is referred to as the Gulmarg of Himachal PradeshKalatop, Panjpulla and Khajjiar are the other places worth visiting. Kalatop is known for its wildlife sanctuary and Satdhara is famous for its seven water springs.

Some other interesting places and towns in this area are: Khajjiar, Chamba, Bharmour and the Manimahesh holy lake. Located at a height of 1951 m, Khajjiar is a saucer-shaped plateau and is surrounded by dense pine and deodar forests. Its beauty has been enhanced by a small lake in the centre with a floating island and a temple of the Khajjiar deity. Its forest, which has plenty of willdlife, is part of the sanctuary area. There is also a nine-hole golf course there but it is no more in regular use. You can get Himachal Tourism accommodation at Khajjiar, popularly referred to as the Gulmarg of the state.


Chamba, at 996 m, is situated on the bank of the Ravi, known in the ancient vedic literature as the Iravati river. Though there are a number versions about how Chamba got its name, the most commonly believed tale is that it has been named after Chambavati, the daughter of King Sahil Verma, who ruled in the 10th century.

The main attractions of the town are the Laxmi-Narayan temples, Bhuri Singh Museum, chaugan or a flat ground on the bank of the Ravi where people sit and relax, and an old palace of the Chamba rulers.

Bharmour, at a height of 2195 m, was the capital of Chamba state in the 7th century. It still has the ruins of old castles and 84 shivlingams/temples. Situated 64 km from Chamba, it is known as the homeland of gaddi shepherds.

This place can also be used as a base camp for undertaking short treks. A unit of the Mountaineering and Allied Sports Institute operates from here. It organises trekking and mountaineering excursions and provides the necessary assistance and guidance to trekkers and mountaineers.

The Manimahesh lake, at a height of 4170 m, is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. Most of the pilgrims take a dip here in the month of August-September when the chhari yatra is organised. The Manimahesh temple is one of the most ancient and beautiful shrines in Himachal Pradesh.

Dalhousie, which can be made the base for visiting or trekking a number of tourist destinations in the region, has a number of hotels, including those run by Himachal Tourism.

Dalhousie is about six and a half hours’ drive from Chandigarh.

How to get there

1.Rail: Connected with Pathankot (80 km) which in turn is connected with Jammu, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

2.Road: Links from Shimla, Delhi, Manali, Dharamsala and Jammu.

3.Air: Gaggal airport is 10 km from Kangra town on the Pathankot- Manali highway.

Helpline:Tourism Information Centre, Chandigarh (0172-708569), Dalhousie (Ph 42163) and Pathankot (Ph 0186- 20316).