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Dalhousie

All local site seeing can be done on foot in Dalhousie. The main tourist attractions are Panchpula, Kalatop and Khajiar lake.

PLACES OF INTEREST

PANCHPULA:

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.

SUBHASH 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.

ST. 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.

ST. 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 Kothi". 

ST. 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 every Sunday.

LAXMI 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.

KALATOP:

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. Lakkarmandi is home for dhogri families that are engaged in charcoal making. Most of the dhogris have been driven to plains because of the fall in the demand for charcoal.

At Lakkarmandi there is a Wildlife Barrier to check movement of vehicles on the unpaved but narrow level road that runs 3 kms to Kalatop Forest Rest House. The walk from Lakkarmandi to Kalatop is through dense forest of pines and deodars. The solitude is occasionally broken by singing birds. The blissful solitude of Kalatop is ideal for the honeymooners. Permit for the rest house is obtainable from DFO, Wildlife, Chamba. 

KHAJJIAR:

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.

On 07-07-1992, Mr. Willy t. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by christening it "Mini Switzerlan". He also put a sign board of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar's distance from the Swiss capital Berne-6194 kms. Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance with Switzerland. The Counselor also took from Khajjiar a stone which will form part of a stone collage around the Swiss Parliament to remind the visitors of Khajjiar as Mini Switzerland of India.

 

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