Dalhousie, named after the British Viceroy Lord Dalhousie in 1854, is an eye-catching hill station established in and around five hills in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Found by the British Empire in India, it was a place of summer retreat for its official people and other administrative groups.
Situated in between 6000 to 9000 feet above the sea level on the western boundary of the Dhauladhar mountain range in Himalayas, it is a host of glorious snow-capped peaks. It is a doorway to the old, famous Chamba Hill State, currently known as the Chamba district in India. This part of the Himalayas is a warehouse of prehistoric Hindu art, culture, temples, and hand works conserved since the 6th century, where Chamba is the nucleus of this human spirit. The primitive capital of this kingdom named Bharmour is an abode of 84 temples dated back in the 7th–10th century A.D. and beholds the Gaddi and Gujjar tribes.
You can observe the prevalence of the Scottish and Victorian carving styles in the cottages, bungalows, and churches dwelling in the town.
Due to the flowing of Ravi and Chandrabhaga (Chenab) rivers from the Himalayan glaciers at the base of Chamba, there are many hydroelectric projects and dams that are currently in the construction stage.
The town comprises of many national forest and wildlife sanctuaries, the famous one being the Kalatop- Khajjiar along with the Khajjiar Lake.
An important annual trekking event is the pilgrimage to Mani Mahesh Temple and the Lake present over there. In addition, there are several challenging trekking routes over Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. There are also good trekking routes for the budding trekker.
This is a great fair celebrated in the month of August for one full week since 935 A.D. People of Chamba always long for this fair. At this time, many tribal people in thousands and tourists assemble in the Chamba Chaugan to give offerings to the Ravi River. As an offering, coconut, coin, fruit, and some Sherfs of paddy are kept in a piece of red cloth that is then tied to pour it is the river. This red cloth offering is known as Minjar. On the last day, a procession is carried out from the Akhand Chandi palace until bank of the Ravi River. This fair commemorates the victory of King of Chamba over the ruler of Trigarta (Kangra) that was celebrated by greeting him with Sherfs of paddy and maze.
Bhuri Singh Museum
For any visitor to Chamba and Dalhousie, this is a must see hidden jewel in Chamba. It is a repository of the novel Pahari art and sculpture. The king of Chamba, Raja Bhuri Singh was a prospect thinker and he knew the importance of conserving the age-old relics. His contribution towards the museum includes the donation of the Royal Collection and appointment of a British scholar and archaeologist named Mr. JP Vogel as the first guardian. In the museum, the culture and history of Chamba since the 6th century AD is conserved. The museum includes the collection of:
- Pahari paintings of 18th and 19th centuries
- Bhagwat Puran wall paintings of 19th century
- Chamba Rumals
- Sculptures depicting the Kashmiri style, Gupta tradition, and Gandhara and Kushan schools
- Carved fountain slabs
- Arms and ammunition of the 19th century
- Wood carvings of 6th and 9th century A.D. from Bharmour
- Old coins
- Rare images
Temples and Churches of Visit
These places form the religious heritage of Chamba and are well-preserved until date. Currently, the most of the local population are the worshippers of Lord Shiva, Devi (goddess), and Naga Devta. The urban and royal groups are worshippers of Lord Vishnu.
It was the temples of the Chamba town that were not attacked by the Muslim invaders due to its remoteness, while most of the old temples of North India were in their attacks. The other reason for their current existence is that the rulers in this region were in the support of art and culture due to which they fought against the dictatorship of the Mughals to destruct the temples. To stimulate this never-dying spirit, many excellent masons and craftsmen from North India made Chamba their dwelling place whose skills in the form of magnificent bronze statues are still noticeable in many temples. Listed below are the famous temples.
Hari Rai Temple
Is in Chamba created in 11th century A.D. in a Shikhara style and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Chamunda Devi Temple
Is in Chamba built after the 11th century A.D. in a pent-roofed style. It is situated at a distance of 1 km from Chamba Chaugan on the top of the hill from where a calm view of the Chamba valley and the Ravi River is a must to see.
Mindal Vasni Temple
It is at a distance of 15 kms from Killar in the Pangi Valley and reveals the Buddhist and Hindu temple styles.
Temple of Pruthi
It is at a distance of 30 kms from Killar in the Pangi Valley and is well conserved.
This is the temple at an altitude of 14000 feet dedicated to Lord Shiva, built in the Shikhara style. It was built before the 6th century A.D.
Listed below are the famous Churches all of them located at Dalhousie.
St. John’s Church (1863)
Created in Victorian style, it is a Protestant Church located at Gandhi Chowk.
St. Andrew’s Church (1903)
This is a Protestant Church and is famous as the Church of Scotland.
St. Patrick’s Church (1909)
This is a Protestant Church situated near the military hospital and its prayer hall carries a capacity of 300 people.
Sacred Heart Convent School (1910)
This is a school for girls that are run by the Belgian Sisters of Charity.
Days of Attraction
Summer is the preferred time, but the maximum tourists visit it from May to September.