After a long time, We will share a story of a big tour in my life. This tour also organized during puja. In puja we went to Himachal Pradesh, this is one of the famous places of India and everybody knows that this tour is the very long tour.
Himachal Pradesh tour :-
We started our journey from Kolkata to Pathankot and this journey took almost 2 days. We had a large group almost 13 people and we started our journey description from Pathankot.
After we reached at Pathankot we got fresh in the wash room at the station. Then we had had some breakfast from outside the station and we started our journey to Dalhouse. The normal time taken to reached the Dalhousealmost 4 hours but we took some wrong route so we took almost 6 hours to reached that place.
On the way to the Dalhouse, there is only one place to visit and the place called Jhumahar. This is basically a valley.
Some tea and snakes stall are there but due to our 2 days journey we were very much tried so we did not spent too much time in that place. After that we reached our hotel almost in evening.
Our hotel had located at the front of the Dalhouse market and the name of the hotel is ‘City Light’.
City shopping, overview of Dalhouse
The bustling and vibrant street of Gandhi Chowk is known as the lifeline of Dalhousie. If you want to buy unique handicrafts and experience local talent, then Gandhi Chowk in Dalhousie is the place for you. Also known as GPO, this place is filled with various markets and shops; ranging from The Tibetan Market, the Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium, Himachal Handloom and Crafts Centre and Tibetan Handicrafts Centre. There is a plethora of various small shops to fulfil your list of gift items. All the major buildings and hotels are situated here, at GPO.
The Tibetan market is a popular spot, which offers a variety of goods including bags, dolls, carpets, purses and handicrafts. The Himachal Handloom Industry Emporium on Thandisarak is known for its traditional Kashmiri shawls; which reflects the intricate craftsmanship of the locals. These handicrafts are unique in their own way. Bhuttico was established by local women in the mid-19th century. It offers a wide range of the famous Kullu shawls; made from lamb’s wool, angora, pashmina. Recently, they have also started making the popular embroidered shawls. The costs for these exquisite articles start from INR 300 only.
There are lots of place in Dalhouse. Next day we covered 3 places called 1. KHAJIYAR 2. CHAMBA LAXMI NARAYAN TEMPLE 3. KALATOP. At first we visited KALATOP.
Dense and thick woods full of pine.
This was our first stop of our sight scene in Dalhouse. This place is almost 8.2 km from Dalhouse.
The vast natural beauty and the flora and fauna all around make this wildlife sanctuary a top most tourist spot. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from March to May when the weather is pleasant and favorable for hiking and trekking. Make sure you view the variety of fauna here like pheasants and black bears at this wildlife sanctuary. Enjoy a mesmerizing holiday amongst the snow-capped mountains, the hamlets, the valleys, ruggedness and the greenery in this wildlife sanctuary.
The sanctuary has a park, sunset view point, dense forest feel, muddy adventurous looking curvy roads and absolutely stunning tall and stout pine deodar trees… This place is surely a heaven for birds and first time during my Dalhousie visit I could feel utter silence just sprinkled in between with a chirping sounds of birds. The name is misleading.There is no Zoo,animals like Bear and Leopard are said to be present here but without any possibility to spot them. Not sure if they arrange any safari tours. The road till the park from the entrance of the sanctuary was very narrow and two vehicles can barely cross each other. Some may find it risky and accident prone but the native drivers are well trained to drive here. After approximately a stretch of 3 km of such curvy tricky road you shall reach the parking point and the forest office area starts from there. It has Forest office, forest lodge (I think it is operations during peak seasons only), a mid-size park. Park has good range of flowers and sunflowers are most prominent. As you cross the park, there are 3-4 roof top cafes overseeing the woods and you almost sit in clouds.
We had some breakfast at Kalatop and then we move to our next destination. The best experience of mine at Kalatop was the combination of cloud and fog; it was great experience of weather.
Our next destination was Switzerland of India, Khajiyar. This is a huge green valley and all the part of this valley is covered by dense hilly forest cover with snow. A small place but big enough to stay in your heart for a long time to come! A round valley surrounded by deodars and pines, an outstanding cottage in the midst of it all. No wonder it is referred to as a mini Switzerland in India.
That time this valley did not covered with snow so the place look like different and this place is almost 30 km away from Dalhouse.
Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by meadows and forests. It is about 6,500 feet (2,000 m) above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas and peaks can be seen in the distance. It is part of the Khajjiar Sanctuary.
Khajjiar can be reached from Dalhousie, the nearest major town and hill station, by bus in an hour or so. It has a rare combination of three ecosystems: lake, pasture and forest.
Mini Switzerland :
On 7 July 1992, Mr Willy T. Blazer, Vice Counsellor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by calling it “Mini Switzerland”. He also put a sign board of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar’s distance from the Swiss capital Berne-6194 km.
Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance with Switzerland. The counsellor 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 a “Mini Switzerland of India”
“Come, enjoy and feel the untouched beauty of nature and redefine yourself.”
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Khajjiar is between March and June.
Khajji Nag Temple
On the bank of Khajjiar Lake lies the Khajji Nag Temple that dates back to the 12th century. Dedicated to the Lord of Serpents, Khaji Nag, the temple stands out with its Hindu-Mughal architecture, complete with a gilded dome and intricate wood carvings. The temple has idols of snakes, Lord Shiva, Goddess Hadimba, as well as images of Pandavas and Kauravas.
What to see and do :
Though it is a tiny hill town, Khajjiar packs quite a punch in terms of adventure, nature, wildlife and culture.
Khajjiar Lake is situated in Khajjiar, in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated at a height of around 1,920 m above sea level between Dalhousie and Chamba Town. The lake is set in a huge grassy landscape, with evergreen cedar trees surrounding it from all sides. The lake takes its name from Khajji Nag, the deity in the temple nearby. The lake has considerably shrunk over the years and is now almost on the verge of vanishing.
Distance from Dalhousie: – 16 km.
Distance from Chamba (main city):- 25 km.
There are lots of restaurants in that place and we had some lunch in that place. Our next destination was Laxmi Narayan Temple. Our car dropped us a little away from the main gate of the temple so we had to walk some distance to reach on that place. There are so many shops located both side of the road. After walking some distance we reached on that temple.
Watching a 1000 year old art is divine
The majestic Laxmi Narayan Temple is a 10th century old building dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. It is the oldest and the largest temple. The temple is located in Chamba region and was constructed in theShikhara style by SahilVerman; Situated close to the Dalhousie Town, the Laxmi Narayan Temple is one of the most popular attractions in Dalhousie that houses three other shrines (eta bhujhenikiboltechiho) like GauriShanker Temple, Shiva Temple of Chander-Gupta, and Radha Krishna Temple.
These temples are really awesome. There are six temples together, they are really beautiful. Thesetemples are ancient and it’s really good to see it.
Old marvel of Chamba:
The beautiful Laxmi Narayan Temple was built during the 10th century with contributions from the Rajahs of Chamba. It is believed that Raja Balabhadra made the idol of Garuda and Raja Chhatra Singh decorated the temple tops. Also, there is a legendary story attached to the temple, which says that eight of Raja SahilVerma’s sons were killed in their search for suitable marble to build the temple. The eldest son- Yugkara successfully bring the marble with the help of a saint.
The Laxmi Narayan Temple resembles the Shikhara style of architecture with a Garb Griha, Shikhara, and a Mandapa. The roof of the temple was designed to hold the heavy snowfall, which is common in the months of December and January. Inside the temple, there is a main idol of Lord Vishnu, which is made using a rare piece of marble that has a glittering appearance.
Other Info :
The temple opens at 6 AM and closes at 8:30 PM with an interval from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM. To visit the temple, one can hire a taxi from Dalhousie and reach the Laxmi Narayan Temple, which remains open throughout the year. If one want to enjoy the scenic beauty around the temple and be comfortable in cool weather, then do visit the place in winter as Dalhousie looks its best during this season.
This is the oldest temple in Himachal and the whole temple is made up of wood. It’s mesmerizing and everyone should visit if one has made a plan for Himachal trip with family. One must visit that place to know the ancient history and to see the mind blowing architecture.
This is the end of our sight scene at Dalhouse. In next part we talk about our journey in Dharamsala.
Some More info :-
Address :- Norbulingka Institute PO Sidhpur Near Dharamsala, Distt Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, 176057, India
phone :- +91-94184-36410 | +91-1892-246405
Website :- http://www.norbulingka.org/
Carry list :- Good Camera and water bottle.
Shopping – Handscrafts things are famous in this place.
Tour Summary :
Date – 05/10/2010-14/10/2010
Tour Members : 17
Tour plan :
Day 1 : Howrah to Pathankot by train Jammu Tawi .
Day 2 : In train.
Day 3 : Reached Pathankot. Pathankot to Dalhouse by car..
Day 4 : Dalhouse sightscene . Kalatop, Khajiyara, Chamba, Night stay in Dalhouse..
Day 5 : Dalhouse to Dharamsala, Sightscene : Tilokpur..
Day 6 : Dharamsala Sightscene : Joyalamukhi, Chintapunni, Brojeswari.
Day 7 : Dharamsala Sightscene : Chamunda Mandir, Narbulinka Monestry, HPCA stadium..
Day 8 : Dharamsala to Amritsar Via Panchpulla. Amritsar : Jaliwanabagh and Golden Temple. Train : Amritsar to Howrah.
Day 9 : In Train.
Day10 : Reached Howrah.
Hotels Information :
Dalhouse : Hotel citilight (www.citylighthotel.com) Address: The Mall, Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh 176304.. Phone: 083770 04514
Dhramsala : Hotel Aman Deep
Address: McLeodganj Rd, Loharkadi Upper Sudher, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176216
Phone: 0189 222 6394..
My name is Supriya Kumar Mitra. It is the diary of travel experiences of some passionate travelers. We are sharing our tour experience in this site. As the name Exploretours is a blog on everything that leads to travel. To us, tour is not memory or images its connect to nature.. This website is dedicated for those who love to travel..