Travel Places in Dalhousie
¤ The Mall
Every hill station has a Mall. So does Dalhousie. and as weve
said already, the Mall here connects the two anchor points of the town
Gandhi Chowk formerly Post office square) and Subhash Chowk
(formerly Charing Cross). But it is not one long stretch (like that in
Shimla or Kasauli), but two roads, twisted together like a figure of
eight. These are the Garam Sarak (literally Hot Road) and Thanda Sarak
(literally Cold Road). Queer as the names may sound at first, they are
actually rather logical: the former receives a lot of sunshine while
the latter does not. Simple. Garam Sarak is also the higher of the two
and is a pedestrian-only road. Signs warn motorists that walking
is the fashion in the hills.
word of caution here. Be careful while traveling through Garam Sarak
at night and remember to carry a flashlight. It might be bright and
sunny during the day but it is badly illuminated at night.
¤ The Shopping Hubs
Most of the shops are clustered around Gandhi Chowk, which is barely
a 15-minute walk up from the bus stand. A number of industrious
Tibetans make and sell various handicrafts, jackets, cardigans, rugs,
carpets and jewellery. There are also lines of small shops selling
walking sticks and other trivia. However the best place to buy lovely
handicrafts is the Tibetan Handicrafts Centre in Gandhi Chowk or the
Himachal Handicrafts Emporium. At the former you can have Tibetan
carpets made to order, with over 180 traditional designs to choose
from. Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium on Thandi Sarak has a good
collection of woollen shawls.
¤ Moti Tibba
The mall is around the hills Moti Tibba (formerly Tehra), Portreyn
Hill and Upper Bakrota, about 330m above Gandhi Chowk. This is the
most popular travel place to stroll as it runs through oak, conifer
and rhododendron forests. You can see black-faced langurs (a kind of
monkey) and rhesus macaques leaping from tree to tree. Guard your
snacks well, the monkeys might just snatch them from you! Hill ponies
are available for those who wish to ride, and there are shops selling
walking sticks too.
¤ Churches & Temples
Dalhousie has all kinds of places of worship Christian,
Buddhist and Hindu. The most prominent travel attractions are its two
churches: St Franciss Catholic Church at Subhash Chowk and St
Johns Church (Protestant) at Gandhi Chowk. Both are pretty
little structures set amidst lush green. and since there is no
Protestant congregation in Dalhousie now, the priest of St Johns
doubles as the postmaster!
¤ Picture Attractions
midway along Garam Sarak, there are some brightly painted low-relief
pictures of Tibetan deities, including Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)
and Avalokiteshwara (Chenresig), as well as a script bearing the
sacred mantra Om Mani Padmi Hum. (See Tibetan
Prayer Wheel in Tsuglag Khang, McLeodganj for details).
Again, close to Gandhi Chowk is another travel attraction, a rock
painting of the goddess Tara Devi. A little shrine has been
constructed here, to honour the sacred painting.
There arent many monuments to be seen at Dalhousie, but that
doesnt make the place less worthy of a visit. Its a groovy
place to be tucked away in for a few days with plenty of unforgettable
walks. About 1.6km from here beyond the GPO Square flows the spring at
Subhash Baoli (2,085m). It is an easy climb and the panoramic views of
the snow-capped mountains are lovely.
¤ Satdhara - Known For Its Medicinal Properties
Travel to Satdhara, take a road from Gandhi Chowk leads to the seven
springs at Satdhara (2,036m) which are rich in mica and other
minerals. Sat in Hindi is seven while dhara means spring, hence the
name. The spings are known to have medicinal and healing properties.
Beyond Satdhara is another pretty spot called Panjpulla (five
bridges). The Martyrs Memorial, a tribute to the freedom fighter
Ajit Singh stands here. Ajit Singh was executed by the British for
murdering a police officer. On the Panchpula road, at Luhali, is a
house called Tynance where one of the foremost leaders of the Indian
freedom movement, Subhash Chandra Bose, came to work out his
¤ Jhandri Ghat--A Pleasant Walk
Two kilometers from the post office is another pleasant walk to
Jhandri Ghat, The summer palace of the Chamba kings. You can see some
remarkable hunting trophies in here but only with the permission of
the raja himself. This may be a little difficult if he happens to be
away. The beautiful place is run as a hotel now.
¤ Bakrota Hill
A road above Gandhi Chowk leads up to Bakrota Hill (2,085m). It makes
a steep climb but is well worth the effort. Rabindranath Tagore, our
Nobel Prize-winning poet is said to have composed a part of his poem
Gitanjali here at a house called Snowden. The watchman will happily
open the house for Tagore fans.
¤ Lakkar Mandi
Eight kilometers from the post office, above Bakrota, stands the
village of Lakkar Mandi. From April to November, the village is home
to an itinerant group of Dogri families who originally hail from
Mandi. They earn their living by preparing charcoal which they sell to
the hotels in Dalhousie.
¤ Dainkund Peak
A right turn from Lakkar Mandi will take you to Dainkund Peak
(2,745m), known as the Singing Hill because of the sound of the wind
blowing through the trees.
On a clear day, you can have a birds eye view of the entire
valley with the Beas, Ravi and Chenab as thin silver ribbons cutting
across the landscape.
The top of the hill is occupied by the Indian Air Force, from there
travel to Pholani Devi Temple by taking a left turn before the main
gate, you can take a path which leads to the Temple of Pholani Devi.
A strange thing here is that the temple has no image, just a whole
lot of tridents (symbol of Shiva the third of the Hindu Trinity
of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) stuck into the ground.