Himachal Pradesh – A hub of natural beauty. The state that nestles some of the most scenic and enchanting mountains is one of the biggest tourist attractions of India. Among many hill stations in Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie is one of the most frequented. It is a great vacation spot, spread out over five hills with scenic snow-capped mountains, pristine churches, magnificent mansions and the cool fresh air. The tiny hilly town is called the ‘Switzerland of India’ and rightly so. For bikers, mountains always pose a thrill, and what could be better than exploring the Switzerland of India? Here’s all you need to know about exploring Dalhousie on a bike.
Best Time To Travel
Any weather is good weather to travel to Dalhousie. The temperature generally doesn’t rise above 30°C throughout the year, making Dalhousie a ‘you-can-visit-anytime’ kind of place. It’s a hilly town, and the temperatures are naturally pleasant the year through. The best time preferred by tourists is between the months of March and May. This is the summer season, and the snow has already melted by March, making it easy to explore the area. In case you’re on an expedition to witness the town covered in snow and want to experience the thrill of riding through ice cold winds, then October to February is a good time to visit Dalhousie. But ensure you and your bike have the right gear to traverse the slippery snowy roads.
Traveling to Dalhousie via road is the only choice you have as it is a hill station. You can reach Pathankot, either by train or air, and start your bike trip from here. It will take you about three hours to reach Dalhousie from Pathankot via NH154 and NH 154A. The roads are in pretty good condition and you’ll enjoy the ride if you leave early in the day.
Dalhousie being a hilly region, you can expect many mountain tops and peaks on your trip. One of the most famous attractions in Dalhousie is Dainkund Peak. It is the highest peak here and receives the maximum amount of snowfall in winters. The towering Deodar trees and lush green valleys teamed with vibrant and colorful flowers will leave you awestruck as you ride through on a fairly motorable road. Dainkund Peak is also known as “singing hills” as the cool breeze flowing through the trees creates a very soulful sound. It would take you roughly about an hour to reach the peak from Dalhousie town.
If you are planning a trip to Dalhousie during the monsoons, don’t miss witnessing the majestic Satdhara Falls. The glistening waterfall brings together the waters of seven beautiful springs and the experience of the droplets bouncing off the rocks and falling onto you makes for a great experience. It is a spot to spend some tranquil time appreciating the beauty of Himachal Pradesh. Post a tough yet eventful bike ride, the sight of Satdhara Falls will leave you calm and refreshed. It is located on the Panchpula route and will take you barely 10 minutes to reach from Dalhousie. Ensure you ride slowly since there’s a fair bit of sharp turns and slopes to navigate.
Chamera Lake is an artificial lake situated at an altitude of approximately 1700 meters, formed from a reservoir that provides water to villages around it. Even though it’s an artificial lake, the enchanting beauty surrounding it makes for a sight to behold, and the greenery around it will leave you mesmerized. It is roughly 32 kilometres away from Dalhousie Gandhi Chowk, and will take you an hour to reach, provided there’s less traffic via NH 154A. From here, you can head to Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary which is about an hour away. You can witness some of the most exquisite birds, white water streams and more at the sanctuary.
Situated near Dalhousie, Khajjiar is known as the “Mini Switzerland of India”. It is a must-visit place when in Himachal Pradesh, around 21 kilometers away from Dalhousie. The road trip from Dalhousie to Khajjiar is a very fascinating one, with some wallpaper-worthy views unfolding in front of your eyes. It nestles a pretty lake in between the mountains that also has an island. Khajjiar is also known for its massive golf-course which is another big tourist attraction.
Things To Remember
While the climate of Dalhousie is pleasant throughout the year, expect some surprises. You may start your days with timid rays kissing your cheeks, but by the end of the day, you may be witnessing some showers. Or even a little snowfall for that matter. So be prepared. When on a bike trip, carry an extra pair of clothes and shoes. Have a raincoat handy just in case you witness some mild rainfalls.
Being a hilly region, do not expect the roads to be straight. In fact, the roads are majorly winding around in the shape of the number 8, which means you have to be very careful while riding. Keep a check on speed limit posts. Himachal Pradesh, and Dalhousie, have become famous spots among thrill seekers, so it is always advisable to keep a check on the speed while riding to avoid mishaps.
It is also advisable that you carry some munchies to kill the hunger pangs. There are stops to relish on some mouth-watering pahadi Maggi, however, having a pack of snacks is always a good option. Try to take several breaks in between to enjoy the view that the Switzerland of India has to offer, they’ll steal your breath away.
Related: Rent a Bike in Dalhousie