10 Nights 11 Days / Discover Himachal

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Day 01:  Home - Delhi

On your arrival at the Delhi, our tour manager will greet you. On the way to your taxi, he will guide you through the events and give you a briefing of the tour. You will be transferred to the hotel. After relaxing and freshening up, get ready for visit Delhi city tour like India gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Purana Qila, Qutub Minar and Lotus Temple, Parliament Bahavan and President House etc. In the evening after sightseeing of Delhi go to in the evening about 04:30 noon evening  Akhardham Temple we are sure you will very enjoy over there and come back to hotel for overnight stay.  

Day 02:  Delhi - Shimla             /              (360 KM 7 h 30 m drive)

After breakfast at the hotel gets driven to Shimla. Shimla or Simla in British Indian orthography, Simla, is the capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, located in northern India. Shimla acts as a hub for India's tourism sector. In 1864, Shimla was officially designated the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, Lahore was given to Pakistan and Shimla became the capital of Punjab and was later the capital of Himachal Pradesh. After reorganization, the Mahasu district and its major portion was merged with Shimla. Its name is derived from the goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Kali. Shimla historically contained the 19 hill states of Baghal, Baghat, Balsan, Bashahr, Bhajji, Bija, Darkoti, Dhami, Jubal, Keonthal, Kumharsain, Kunihar, Kuthar, Mahlog, Mangal, Nalagarh (Hindur), Sangri and Tharoch. Shimla is home to a number of colleges and research institutions as well as multiple temples and palaces. The city's buildings are styled in the Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architectures dating from the colonial era. Owing to its steep terrain, Shimla hosts the mountain biking race MTB Himalaya, which started in 2005 and is regarded as the biggest event of its kind in South Asia. Reached Shimla and proceed to your hotel get rest & overnight stay at the hotel. 

Day 03: Shimla City Tour

Morning after breakfast at hotel proceed for a full day local tour of Shimla .Shimla is a very popular holiday-retreat during the summer months It is also a famous holiday spot for honeymoon drive to Kufri visit Kufri -Winter Sports Capital, Himalayan Zoo afternoon local tour of Shimla includes Jakhu Temple, Chadwick Falls, Jakhoo Hill, Dorje Drag Monastery, Christ Church, Lower Bazaar evening shopping at The Mall street and overnight stay at Shimla.

Day 04: Shimla - Manikaran - Manali                /                (320 KM 9 h 30 m drive)

After morning breakfast drive to Manali. Enrooted you can also visit Pandoh dam, And Pass by beautiful Kullu valley, Beas River, Dashehra maidan And then Visit Manikaran, Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley on River Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. It is at an altitude of 1760 m and is located about 35 km from Kullu. This small town attracts tourists visiting Manali and Kullu to its hot springs and pilgrim centres. An experimental geothermal energy plant has also been set up here. Manikaran is a pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Sikhs. The Hindus believe that Manu recreated human life in Manikaran after the flood, making it a sacred area. It has many temples and a Gurudwara. There are temples of the Hindu deities RamaKrishna, and Vishnu. The area is well known for its hot springs and its beautiful landscape. According to legend, when the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati were walking in the valley, Parvati dropped one of her earrings. The jewel was seized by Shesha, the serpent deity, who then disappeared into the earth with it. Shesha only surrendered the jewel when Shiva performed the cosmic dance, the Tandava and shot the jewel up through the water. Apparently, jewels continued to be thrown up in the waters at Manikaran until the 1905 Kangra earthquake. Then continuous drive to Manali, Arrive and check in at hotel. Evening free to explore Manali. Overnight stay in Manali.

Day 05: Manali City Tour

After breakfast at the hotel proceed to full day city tour of Manali. Manali is a Valley nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla, 309 km (192 miles) northeast of Chandigarh and 544 km (338 miles) northeast of Delhi, the federal capital. The small town, with a population of 8,096, is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. It is a popular tourist destination and serves as the gateway to Lahaul & Spiti district as well as Leh. Today you visiting Hadimba Temple, Club House, Van Vihar, Manu Temple, Vashisht Temple and Tibetan Monastery. Evening free for your own activities or you can also go on mall road of Manali. Overnight stay at Manali.

Day 06: Manali - Rohtang Pass - Manali             /          (50 KM one way 2 h 30 m drive)

After having breakfast, you need to take a slip to Rohtang pass. Sports lovers will be delighted here as Snow Skiing can be found there. That is all for the day. You can also visit on the way to Rohtang Pass , Gulaba Fall, Marhi, and Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass In 2016, the Himachal Pradesh Government started issuing permits online to limit the vehicles to prevent pollution in this area. Permits are issued only to the first 800 petrol vehicles and 400 diesel vehicles. Permits can only be applied for next 2 days from the current date. Also, no permits are issued on Tuesday as the day is marked for maintenance of Rohtang. A tax of Rs. 500 and sometimes, congestion charges of Rs. 50 is to be paid and accordingly the permits are issued based on daily quota defined by National Green Tribunal Act. The tourism permit is valid only for one day only (to & from). Mandatory information required for Rohtang Pass Permit - Valid ID Proof, Valid Pollution under Check (PUC) Certificate and Vehicle Registration Date (Age of vehicle not to be more than 10 years). You can apply for the permit on the Official website as well as. Evening free for mall road shopping or your own activities and then come back to hotel for overnight stay.  

Day 07: Manali - Palampur - Dharamshala             /           (240 KM 6 h 20 m drive)

Dharamsala is the next place where you will be driven after the breakfast.  Situated in the shed of Kangra Valley, Dharamsala is covered on the sides by forest, consisting of trees of Deodar and Cedar. During the journey to Dharmasala, stop at Palampur Tea Gardens. Palampur is an important town located in Kangra Valley. It was one of the leading hill stations and was once a part of the Jalandhar kingdom. Countless streams and brooks crisscross the landscape and in their intricate mesh, hold tea gardens and rice paddies. The town of Palampur came into being when Dr. Jameson, Superintendent of Botanical Gardens, introduced the tea bush from Almora in 1849. The bush thrived and so did the town which became a focus of the mostly European tea estate owners, with the exception of the famous (former) Wah Tea Estate which was owned by Nawab Muhammad Hayat Khan, CSI and his descendants, until 1947. Since then, the Kangra tea of Palampur has been known internationally. The first prime minister of independent India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru visited Palampur in 1941 when it was still British India. There is a Nehru Chowk in Palampur to commemorate this event. Palampur, also known as the 'Tea Capital of North India', is a popular hill station because it is not only known for its scenic beauty but also for the beautiful temples and buildings built in the Colonial period. Here, a nature lover can enjoy a quiet stroll while feasting his eyes on the natural beauty and an outdoor lover with a taste for adventure can enjoy hand gliding and trekking during the holidays. Palampur is also hometown of Capt. Vikram Batra who was awarded Paramvir Chakra (posthumous). Then continuous drive to Dharamshala arriving there, you shall check into the hotel and have a night stay.

Day 08: Dharamshala City Tour

You will be discovering Dharamsala this day. Dharamshala is a city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar cedar trees. The suburbs include McLeod Ganj, Bhagsunath, DharamkotNaddi, Forsyth Ganj, Kotwali Bazaar (the main market), Kaccheri Adda (government offices such as the court, police, post, etc.), Dari, Ramnagar, Sidhpur, and Sidhbari (where the Karmapa is based). The village of McLeodGanj, lying in the upper reaches, is known worldwide for the presence of the Dalai Lama. On 29 April 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) established the Tibetan exile administration in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie. In May 1960, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was moved to Dharamshala. Dharamshala is the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the 14th Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population have made Dharamshala a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists, including students studying Tibet. One of the main attractions of Dharamshala is Triund hill. Jewel of Dharamshala, Triund is a one-day trek at the upper reaches of McLeod Ganj, about 9 km from McLeod Ganj. You will be not be bound thereof, shopping etc. can be done and night is to be spent at the hotel.

Day 09:  Dharamshala - Dalhousie                /               (120 KM 3 h 20 m drive)

Dalhousie is the next place on the visit in the list. It stands on the top of 5 hills of Himachal Pradesh. The elevation is numbered to be around 2400 meters abbey the level of sea. A resort is booked for your comfort and in afternoon, you shall commence your local visit. Earmark the destinations, including SubhashBowli, Jandhrighat Palace, Bara Pathar, Subhash Cownk, Satdhara, Panjphull and Churches. Have your dinner & overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10:  Dalhousie - Khajjiar - Dalhousie            /            (24 KM one way 55 m drive)

After morning breakfast get ready to visit today Khajjiar also known as ‘Mini Switzerland’ of India. Khajjiar is a hill station in Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh, India. 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 Kalatop 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. On 7 July 1992, Mr. Willy T. Blazer, Vice Counselor 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 Bern-6194 km. 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 a Mini Switzerland of India. Come back to hotel for overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 11: Dalhousie - Chamba - Pathankot for board your train back to Home

Morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and proceeds to Chamba. After enjoy the beauty of Chamba evening drop at Pathankot   airport/railway station to return back to home with sweet memories with Guruji Travel of India.     

***Tour Ends***

Inclusions

Hotel

City Name Hotel Name Hotel Type

About The Place

About Delhi

The Indian capital city of Delhi has a long history, and has been an important political centre of India as the capital of several empires. Much of Delhi's ancient history finds no record and this may be regarded as a lost period of its history. Extensive coverage of Delhi's history begins with the onset of the Delhi Sultanatein the 12th century. Since then, Delhi has been the centre of a succession of mighty empires and powerful kingdoms, making Delhi one of the longest serving Capitals and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It is considered to be a city built, destroyed and rebuilt several times, as outsiders who successfully invaded the Indian Subcontinent would ransack the existing capital city in Delhi, and those who came to conquer and stay would be so impressed by the city's strategic location as to make it their capital and rebuild it in their own way. The core of Delhi's tangible heritage is Hindu, Islamic (spanning over seven centuries of Islamic rule over the city) with expansive British-era architecture inLutyens' Delhi dating to the British rule in India. Significant prehistoric sites in Delhi include Anangpur (in the Badarpur region), as well as Harappan excavations near Narela and Nand Nagari. References to Delhi's history in ancient literature are based on myths and legends. According to the Hindu epic Mahabharata, a city called Indraprastha, “City of the God Indra”, was the capital of the Pandavas. There is a strong belief that Purana Qila was built over the site of ancient Indraprastha. Northern Black Polished Ware (c700-200 BC) have been excavated at the site, and pieces of Painted Grey Ware were found on the surface, suggesting an even older settlement, possibly going back to ca. 1000 B.C. In 1966, an inscription of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (273-236 BC) was discovered near Srinivaspur. Two sandstone pillars inscribed with the edicts of Ashoka were brought to by Firuz Shah Tughluq in the 14th century. The famous Iron pillar near the Qutub Minar was commissioned by the emperor Kumara Gupta I of the Gupta dynasty (320-540) and transplanted to Delhi during the 10th century.

About Shimla

Shimla, also known as Simla, is the largest city and one of the two capitals and of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala being the other capital. Shimla is also a district which is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, and Solan and Sirmaur. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational centre of the hilly regions of the state. As of 2011, the city had 171,817 permanent residents, and was one of the least populous capital cities in India. Small hamlets were recorded prior to 1815 when British forces took control of the area. The climatic conditions attracted the British to establish the city in the dense forests of Himalayas. As the summer capital, Shimla hosted many important political meetings including the Simla Accord of 1914 and the Simla Conference of 1945. After independence, the state of Himachal Pradesh came into being in 1948 as a result of integration of 28 princely states. Even after independence, the city remained an important political centre, hosting the Simla Agreement of 1972. After the reorganisation, the Mahasu district and its major portion were merged with Shimla. Its name is derived from the goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu goddess. As of 2011 Shimla comprises 19 hill states, namely Baghal, Baghat, Balsan, Bashahr, Bhajji, Bija, Darkoti, Dhami, Jubbal, Keonthal, Kumharsain, Kunihar, Kuthar, Mahlog, Mangal, Nalagarh (Hindur), Sangri and Tharoch. Shimla is home to a number of buildings that are styled in the Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architectures dating from the colonial era, as well as multiple temples and churches. The colonial architecture and churches, the temples and the natural beauty of the city attract a large number of tourists. The major attractions include the Viceroy Lodge, the Christ Church, the Jakhoo Temple, the Mall Road and the Ridge, which together form the city centre. The Kalka–Shimla Railway line built by the British, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a major tourist attraction. Owing to its steep terrain, Shimla hosts the mountain biking race MTB Himalaya, which started in 2005 and is regarded as the biggest event of its kind in South Asia. Shimla also has the largest natural ice skating rink in South Asia. Apart from being a tourism centre, the city is also an educational hub with a number of colleges and research institutions.

About Pondoh Dam

The two major rivers Beas and Satluj flow out of the himalayas and reach a point where they are separated by a crow fly distance of approximately 36 km and have an elevation difference of approximately 1099 ft. The waters of Beas are continuous flow from ice-melt and flow throughout the year. This was realized and a plan made to exploit the potential of this river system. The power potential was estimated as 1,000 MW. The plans originally called Beas Project Unit - I Beas Satluj Link Project went through several revisions for diverting the waters of Beas river. The first plan prepared by Punjab Irrigation Department in 1957. The 1957 plan contemplated a diversion dam at Pandoh, 11.26-kilometre (7.00 mi) tunnel, 19.31-kilometre (12.00 mi) open channel, 4.82-kilometre (3.00 mi) tunnel. The 1957 report was followed by a 1960 report and the final proposal in 1961. The final proposal included 76.25-metre (250.2 ft) diversion dam at Pandoh, a 7.62-metre (25.0 ft) dia, 13.11-kilometre (8.15 mi) Pandoh baggi tunnel, 11.8-kilometre (7.3 mi) Sunder Nagar hydel channel, 8.53-metre (28.0 ft) dia, 12.35-kilometre (7.67 mi) Sundernagar Satluj tunnel, 22.86-metre (75.0 ft) dia 125-metre (410 ft) high surge shaft, three Dehar penstocks split to six penstocks and Dehar power plant with 6 x 165 MW generators. The system would divert 9,000 cubic feet per second (250 m3/s) of the Beas to the Satluj. An added benefit of the project was the increased inflow to Gobind Sagar thereby increasing power generation capacity at Bhakra Dam and added irrigation waters for the states of Punjab and Haryana. The project was approved in 1963 and commissioned in 1977.

The Pandoh Dam is an embankment dam on the Beas River in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Under the Beas Project, the dam was completed in 1977 and its primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation. Part of a run-of-the-river power scheme, it diverts the waters of the Beas to the southwest through a 38 km (24 mi) long system of tunnels and channels. The water is used for power generation at the Dehar Power House before being discharged into the Sutlej River, connecting both rivers. The power house has an installed capacity of 990 MW. The system diverts 256 cumecs (9000 cusecs) of Beas waters to the Satluj River. The project was completed in 1977.

History

The two major rivers Beas and Satluj flow out of the himalayas and reach a point where they are separated by a crow fly distance of approximately 36 km and have an elevation difference of approximately 1099 ft. The waters of Beas are continuous flow from ice-melt and flow throughout the year. This was realized and a plan made to exploit the potential of this river system. The power potential was estimated as 1,000 MW. The plans originally called Beas Project Unit - I Beas Satluj Link Project went through several revisions for diverting the waters of Beas river. The first plan prepared by Punjab Irrigation Department in 1957. The 1957 plan contemplated a diversion dam at Pandoh, 11.26-kilometre (7.00 mi) tunnel, 19.31-kilometre (12.00 mi) open channel, 4.82-kilometre (3.00 mi) tunnel. The 1957 report was followed by a 1960 report and the final proposal in 1961. The final proposal included 76.25-metre (250.2 ft) diversion dam at Pandoh, a 7.62-metre (25.0 ft) dia, 13.11-kilometre (8.15 mi) Pandoh baggi tunnel, 11.8-kilometre (7.3 mi) Sunder Nagar hydel channel, 8.53-metre (28.0 ft) dia, 12.35-kilometre (7.67 mi) Sundernagar Satluj tunnel, 22.86-metre (75.0 ft) dia 125-metre (410 ft) high surge shaft, three Dehar penstocks split to six penstocks and Dehar power plant with 6 x 165 MW generators. The system would divert 9,000 cubic feet per second (250 m3/s) of the Beas to the Satluj. An added benefit of the project was the increased inflow to Gobind Sagar thereby increasing power generation capacity at Bhakra Dam and added irrigation waters for the states of Punjab and Haryana. The project was approved in 1963 and commissioned in 1977.

About Manikaran

Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley on river Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. It is at an altitude of 1760 m and is located about 35 km from Kullu. This small town attracts tourists visiting Manali and Kullu to its hot springs and pilgrim centres. An experimental geothermal energy plant has also been set up here. Manikaran is a pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Sikhs. The Hindus believe that Manu recreated human life in Manikaran after the flood, making it a sacred area. It has many temples and a gurudwara. There are temples of the Hindu deities Rama, Krishna, and Vishnu. The area is well known for its hot springs and its beautiful landscape. According to legend, when the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati were walking in the valley, Parvati dropped one of her earrings. The jewel was seized by Shesha, the serpent deity, who then disappeared into the earth with it. Shesha only surrendered the jewel when Shiva performed the cosmic dance, the Tandava and shot the jewel up through the water. Apparently, jewels continued to be thrown up in the waters at Manikaran until the 1905 Kangra earthquake.

Sikh Belief

According to the Sikhs, during third Udasi, the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak came to this place in 15 Asu 1574 Bikrami with his disciple Bhai Mardana. Mardana felt hungry and they had no food. Guru Nanak sent Mardana to collect food for the langar (the Community Kitchen). Many people donated atta (flour) to make Roti(bread). The one problem was that there was no fire to cook the food.Guru Nanak asked Mardana to lift a stone and he complied and a hot spring appeared. As directed by Guru Nanak, Mardana put the rolled chapatis in the spring to his despair the chapatis sank.Guru Nanak then told him to pray to God saying that if his chapatis float back then he would donate one chapati in His name. When he prayed all the chapatis started floating duly baked.Guru Nanak said that anyone who donates in the name of God, his drowned items float back.

Hindu Belief

The legend of Manikaran states that while roaming around, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, once chanced upon a place that was surrounded by mountains and was lush green. Enamoured by the beauty of the place, they decided to spend some time there. It is believed that they actually spent eleven hundred years here. During their stay here, Goddess Parvati lost her mani (precious stones) in the waters of a stream. Upset over the loss, she asked Shiva to retrieve it. Lord Shiva commanded his attendant to find the mani for Parvati. However, when they failed, he was extremely angry. He opened his third eye, a tremendously inauspicious event which led to disturbances in the universe. An appeal was made before the serpent god, Sheshnag, to pacify Lord Shiva. Sheshnag hissed thereby giving rise to a flow of boiling water. The water spread over the entire area resulting in the emergence of precious stones of the type Goddess Parvati had lost. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were happy at the outcome. The name Manikaran is derived from this legend. The water is still hot and is considered extremely auspicious. A pilgrimage to this place is thought of as complete. It is also believed that there is no need to pay a visit to Kashi after visiting this place. The water of the spring is also supposed to have curative powers. The water is so hot that rice can be cooked in it.

About Manali

Manali is a Valley nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla, 309 km (192 miles) northeast of Chandigarh and 544 km (338 miles) northeast of Delhi, the federal capital. The small town, with a population of 8,096, is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. It is a popular tourist destination and serves as the gateway to Lahaul & Spiti district as well as Leh.

History

Manali is named after the Sanatan Hindu lawgiver Manu. The name Manali is regarded as the derivative of 'Manu-Alaya' which literally means 'the abode of Manu'. Legend has it that sage Manu stepped off his ark in Manali to recreate human life after a great flood had deluged the world. Manali lies in the North of Kullu Valley. The valley is often referred to as the 'Valley of the Gods'. Old Manali village has an ancient temple dedicated to sage Manu. The British introduced apple trees in the area. The first apple orchard was set up by the British near Patlikuhl, prior to this no Apple trees grew in the area. To this day, apple—along with plum and pear—remain the best source of income for the majority of inhabitants. Both Rainbow and Brown Trout was also introduced into the rivers and streams of the area by the colonisers. Before other luminaries started visiting Manali, the Indian nation's first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru favoured this as a holiday destination in the mountains. With the increase in disposable incomes and somewhat owing to the rise of disturbances in Kashmir in the late 1980s, Manali witnessed a surge in tourist traffic. This once quiet village was transformed into a bustling town with numerous homestays as well as the occasional luxury boutique hotel and spa. During the warmer summer months, cafes and restaurants can be seen doing brisk business.

About Dharamshala

Dharamshala is the second winter capital of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and a municipal corporation in Kangra district. It also serves as the district headquarters. It was formerly known as Bhagsu. The Dalai Lama's residence and the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile) are in Dharamshala. Dharamshala is 18 kilometers from Kangra. Dharamshala has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission. On 19 January 2017, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh declared Dharamshala as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh state, making Himachal Pradesh the third state of India with two capitals after Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra.

About Dalhousie

Dalhousie is a hill station in Chamba district, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on 5 hills and has an elevation of 1,970 metres above sea level. The Dalhousie is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, established in 1854 by the British Empire's government in India as a summer retreat for its troops and officials. It is built on and around five hills, Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora. Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Dalhousie is situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level. The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September. Scottish and Victorian architecture are prevalent in the bungalows and churches in the town. Dalhousie is a gateway to the ancient Chamba Hill State, now Chamba District of the state of Himachal Pradesh of India. This hill region is a repository of ancient Hindu culture, art, temples, and handicrafts preserved under the longest-running single dynasty since the mid-6th century. Chamba is the hub of this culture. Bharmour, the ancient capital of this kingdom, is home to the Gaddi and Gujjar tribes. It has 84 ancient temples dating from the 7th–10th centuries AD.

About Chamba

Chamba is an ancient town in the Chamba district in the state of Himachal Pradesh, in northern India. According to the 2001 Indian census the town is situated on the banks of the Ravi River (a major tributary of the Trans-Himalayan Indus River), at its confluence with the Sal River. Chambial were the Rulers of Chamba State Chambials use suffix Varmans. Though historical records date the history of the Chamba region to the Kolian tribes in the 2nd century BC, the area was formally ruled by the Maru dynasty, starting with the Raju Maru from around 500 AD, ruling from the ancient capital of Bharmour, which is located 75 kilometres (47 mi) from the town of Chamba. In 920, Raja Sahil Varman (or Raja Sahil Verma) shifted the capital of the kingdom to Chamba, following the specific request of his daughter Champavati  (Chamba was named after her). From the time of Raju Maru, 67 Rajas of this dynasty have ruled over Chamba until it finally merged with the Indian Union in April 1948, although Chamba was under British suzerainty from 1846 to this time. The town has numerous temples and palaces, and hosts two popular jatras (fairs), the "Suhi Mata Mela" and the "Minjar Mela", which last for several days of music and dancing. Chamba is also well noted for its arts and crafts, particularly its Pahari paintings, which originated in the Hill Kingdoms of North India between the 17th and 19th century, and its handicrafts and textiles.

Early History

Chamba has an ancient history, which is inseparable from that of the surrounding district of Chamba. The earliest rulers were Kolian tribes. In the 2nd century BC the Khasas and Audumbaras were in power in the region. In the 4th century AD during the Gupta period, the Thakurs and Ranas ruled. From the 7th century, the Gurjara Pratiharas or the Rajput dynasty came into power. The recorded history of the Rajput rulers is traced to an eminent individual named Maru who is said to have moved to northwest India from Kalpagrama, around 500 AD. He founded his capital in the Budhal river valley at a place called Brahmaputra, which later became known as Bharmour or Bhramaur, which is situated 75 kilometres (47 mi) to the east of the present day Chamba town. For three hundred years, kings of Rajput Dynasty ruled from their capital in Bharmour. However, in 920, Raja Sahil Varman (or Raja Sahila Verma), King of Bharmour, shifted his capital from Bharmour to a more centrally located plateau in the lower Ravi valley, and named the city Champavati, after his daughter. There is some variation in the story to how exactly this transition came about in the historical records of Chamba. One version tells how Varman, who, after being childless for a significant period, was blessed with ten sons and a daughter, named "Champavati". It was Champavati who urged her father to build a new capital town in the valley. However, obstacles stood in the way to relocating his capital, given that the king had previously granted the land in the modern Chamba vicinity to the Kanwan Brahmins. A solution was found in the form of offering a gift of eight copper coins called chaklis on the occasion of every marriage that took place in the Brahmin family, if they would agree to surrender their land to pave the way for the new capital. With the land thus obtained, the new capital was built and named as Champa after Chamapavati, the King’s daughter, which, over the years, was simply shortened to "Chamba'. A variation of this origin of Chamba is that it originated as a hermitage which Champavati, a devout Hindu, used to frequent. The king, being suspicious of his daughter's fidelity, one day investigated and followed her to the hermitage, but surprisingly he found neither his daughter nor the hermit there. Suddenly he was said to have heard a voice which informed him that his suspicions were ill-founded, admonishing him and informing him that his daughter had been taken away from him permanently as a punishment for his lack of trust in her morals. The King, fully chastened, sought redemption for his sin by expanding the hermitage into a temple, named in his daughter’s honour and built a city around the temple. Today this temple, called the Champavati Temple, belongs to the Royal family and the King’s daughter is venerated as a goddess. Every year, since 935, the Minjar festival or fair has been held. It lasts for 21 days, coinciding with the first day of Baisakhi. Since Raja Sahil Varman, the dynasty ruled without successful invasion for around a millennium, until the British gained power. The isolation of the town and its rugged hilly terrain is believed to have been a contributing factor to this unusual state of security. Later, Mughal emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb did attempt to annex Chamba but were unsuccessful in subjugating this territory into their kingdoms. Raja Prithvi Singh (1641-1664 AD), who was on amiable terms with Emperor Shahjahan was instrumental in introducing the court lifestyles of the Mughals.

Modern History

In 1806 A.D., the combined forces of Gurkhas and local hills chiefs attacked the forces of Raja Sansar Chand in the battle and forced a crushing defeat on him along with family took shelter in the Kangra fort. The Gurkhas sieged the Kangra fort and ruthlessly looted the area between the fort of Kangra and Mahal Mohrian and virtually destroyed the villages. The siege of the fort continued for three years. In 1809 A.D., Raja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of Lahore, on the request of Sansar Chand, waged war against the Gurkhas and defeated them in But Sansar Chand had to pay a heavy price whereby he had to lose Kangra fort and 66 villages to the Sikhs. Ranjit Singh controlled the region and had even placed a garrison at Chamba, forced the hill states to pay tribute to them. Ranjit Singh deposed the hill princes, including the more powerful Kangra ruler, Sansar Chand Katoch, but spared Chamba, given that the Wazir Nathu of Chamba had been important as an ambassador in negotiations with Katoch in 1809 and had saved his life in 1817 by succumbing his horse to King Singh to escape during a winter campaign in Kashmir. In 1845, the Sikh army invaded the British territory. The result was disastrous, with the British defeating the army, leaving Chamba in a poor position. Wazir Bagha of Chamba was important in negotiations in its aftermath, and the Rajas of Chamba, on the advice of Bagha, agreed to the British suzerainty as part of Jammu and Kashmir in favour of an annuity of Rs 12,000. The Treaty of Lahore was signed in 1846, in which the Rajas agreed to cede the territory of Chamba district. From then on, relations with the British were cordial, and all of the Rajas of Chamba under the British rule, Sri Singh, Gopal Singh, Sham Singh, Bhuri Singh, Ram Singh, and Laxman Singh, were on good terms with the British army officers. Many progressive reforms and developments were made in Chamba under the British. In 1863, the first Post office was established in Chamba and a daily mail service and a primary school. In December, 1866, a hospital was opened by Doctor Elmslie of the Kashmir Medical Mission. In the late 1860s two new roads to Dalhousie via Kolri and Khajiar were built. Gopal Singh, who ruled from 1870 to 1873, after abdicating, was responsible for building the grand Jandarighat Palace as his summer residence. After India becoming an independent nation in August 1947, the princely state of Chamba finally merged with India on 15 April 1948 along with the other princedoms of Mandi-Suket State, Sirmour State and all of those in the Shimla hills.