Dalhousie & KhajjiarDelhi - Delhi - Karnal - Ambala - Ludhiana - Jallandhar - Pathankot - Chakki - Banikhet - Dalhousie Total No of days - 3Dated - April 2017
Behind the wheel & ContributorVinod Kumar...know more about me
Route map Delhi - Dalhousie
Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station in Himachal, founded by the British Governor Dalhousie. The snow covered Pir Panjal ranges are visible from the place. Thickly wooded by the Deodar, oak, sal, fir and spruce trees, Dalhousie is a isolated mystic place ideal for those who prefer isolation in woods.
At this time the evenings were cool and we needed a light woollen top. Days are warm and hot. The best time to visit here is March to June and Sept to Nov. Dec-Feb being the time of snowfall is very cold.
Total distance - 579kms till HPTDC Manimahesh hotel. Breakfast break at McD Khanna. Opens at 8am.
Time - 8hrs approx
Route - Delhi - Karnal - Ambala - Ludhiana - Jallandhar - Pathankot - Chakki - Banikhet - Dalhousie (Last 80km is hill drive)
Roads all the way is in good shape and Chakki - Banikhet - Dalhousie (hills are wide and fun to drive). It took 8.5 hrs for Dalhousie.
Fueling - Reliance pump on Jalandhar - Pathankot road and while returning again at Reliance pump Pathankot.
Stay - HPTDC Hotel Mani Mahesh (Through Online booking) Sole reason for picking this hotel was safe parking area. Easily 25 cars can be parked. Rooms are average(as expected) but the view from room and food was good. Room service was also good. Rooms costed 3500 per night inclusive of taxes.
Pics of Hotel Mani Mahesh Dalhousie
The evening we visit Subash Chowk and gandhi Chowk. Its a good 2.5kms walk from the hotel. There is a small market there selling curios and clothes and ofcourse food stalls.
Map of Dalhousie
Views enroute the walk
Good place to have snacks
The next day we visit Dainkund, Kalatop, Kajjiar, Chamba, Chamera dam and back (around 145kms)Our first stop was Dainkund which is 14kms from the hotel. Its a towering peak offering a beautiful view of the valley of Beas, Chamba and Ravi rivers. Parking is on the road side, and then we climb a flight of steps to the top. Enroute there is a small temple.
In parking area
Further the entry to Kala top and Khajjiar is Rs 30/- To visit Kalatop we have to enter the Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary, which has an entry fee of 250/- for our own vehicle and guide. Our guide was Bipin Kumar. Around 3 kms we drive through the deodar trees to the Forest Rest House Kalatop. Can get booking from DFO office Chamba(DFO Chamba - 01899-222639). 5 rooms in total, 2 are for VIP bookings and 3 for General category. Further a private guest house is also coming up. There is a canteen serving tea and snacks. Adventure activities are also done in the ground below, but its costly.
Entry to Kalatop
Activity area of Kalatop
More about Kala top
Next stop is Khajjiar 22 kms away, the place is a nature lovers treat. The saucer shaped meadow has adventure activities, herds grazing, a small pond, kids playing, food stalls, a perfect location to chill. But the day time is quite hot so shaded areas were preferred. The Khajji nag temple, where nag devata is worshipped in human form is also seen here. The age old practise of goat sacrifice is still followed here, it seems. Days are hot, evenings will be comfortable.
Khajji nag temple
Chamba - Drive to Chamba via Sundla is very scenic. Baniketh - Chamba (10 kms is in very bad shape however Khajjiar - Chamba route is good)
View of Chamba
Mani Mahesh peak
Chamba is around 21kms from Khajjiar, and enroute is the point where the Mani Mahesh peak is visible on a clear day. There is a small enclosure at the viewpoint. Chamba is located in between the Dauladhar and Pir panjal ranges, and receives water from the Ravi river. In Chamba one can visit the Bhuri Singh Museum which has a good collection of old coins, arms and ammunition, miniature paintings, musical instruments etc which display the cultural heritage of Chamba. The Laxminarayan temple is a group of 6 stone temples dedicated to lord Shiva and Vishnu. The Chamunda devi temple has beautiful wood carvings and gives a bird eye view of the major Landmarks of Chamba. We could see non of the above, as suggested by the hotel guys due to constraint of time. Our next destination was the Chamera dam, on our way back to Dalhousie. The dam has to be crossed to reach Taleru, where boating has to be done, so show your ID card to cross through or else you have to take a longer route to cross the dam.
Drive views from Chamba
The Chamera lake and dam is an ideal place for boating, and a nice picnic spot. Boating is 300 for 30mins and 500 per person for 50mins. Speed boat for 3 people is 1200. The water now was said to be 750ft deep and has two rivers pouring in - The Shol and Ravi river.
Chamera dam from top
Bhalai mata temple was built by Raja Pratap Singh of Chamba. It is 7 kms further, its a beautiful and well maintained temple of Ma Kali. The black idol of Kali mata is pleasant, and believed to be swayambu. From the parking there is a 10min walk to the temple.
Back in hotel, it was already 7:30pm. Took rest and the next day return.
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