Dalhousie is a small hill station that still retains its old British charm. It’s marvelous forest trails overlook vistas of wooded hills, waterfalls, spring and rivulets. Drive to Dalhousie was our first leg of the Himachal drive and the plan was to cover a distance of around 325 kilometers in 7 hours.

 

Continuing from the previous post on the 10 day Himachal road trip

 

We had driven down from Delhi to Chandigarh the day before. My friend and his wife had picked up from Delhi airport at around noon and after having a lunch break at a Dhaba (hotel on the highway), we had checked-in to our hotel by evening. We lazed around in the evening and called it a day a bit early so as to start our journey early in the morning.

The plan was to start at around 7:00 AM so that we can reach Dalhousie by around 3 in the afternoon. But we managed to start only by around 9:00 AM, not an ideal time to start considering the city traffic.

The route that we had finalized was:

Chandigarh -> Rupnagar -> Hoshiarpur -> Pathankot -> Dalhousie

 

The Drive:

The roads were in great condition right from Chandigarh till the foothills. You cannot expect to have smooth roads once you start your climb on the ghat roads. I would let the photos speak for themselves this time around 🙂

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 1
Chandigarh is one the best planned cities in India. The roads are neatly laid and the city is laced with beautiful trees on both sides of the road.

 

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 2
The neatly laid road that you will find in Chandigarh city. As I mentioned, the city is very clean and it was a pleasure to drive through these roads.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 3
We were expecting city traffic with our late start, but to our surprise there was not much traffic. My friend who regularly visits Chandigarh mentioned that many people take public transport and seldom do we find bumper to bumper traffic. I silently compared my experience on Bangalore roads 🙂

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 4
As soon as we rolled out of the city, this was the first sight :). The entire landscape turned into “Golden Color” . Acres after Acres of wheat field – I finally got a glimpse of the fertile belt of Punjab.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 5
Unlike city, traffic on the highway was pretty heavy. There were many slow moving trucks which were delaying our progress. We did not complain though as the landscape was beautiful and we were enjoying the drive.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 6
Crossing the Sutlej river near Rupnagar. It started to drizzle and the drive just got better. I have read a lot about the rivers that are the lifeline of Punjab, but to see them in full glory was a different experience.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 7
Finally the roads started to open up and traffic became thinner. The Toll roads were in great condition and we were making good progress. It was a bit tough to stay focused on the road, with the beautiful landscape all around.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 8
55 Kilometers from Hoshiarpur and the roads just got better. By now we were cruising at good speed. A/C’s off and windows were rolled down to experience the cool breeze. Oh so soothing and serene they were 🙂

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 9
Another shot of the well maintained road as we were crossing Hoshiarpur.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 10
Couldn’t resist but take this snap. There is something mystical about the railway tracks – especially the way converge at the horizon

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 11
Continuing our drive after our lunch break and heading towards Pathankot. Pathankot is the last major city in Punjab before we cross over to Himachal Pradesh.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 12
The railway track runs in parallel for a long stretch and we were just lucky to catch one trying to race with us

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 13
A further 30 minutes drive from Pathankot and we were finally making our ascend. What laid ahead was the “Great Himalayas” . All of us might have seen these majestic mountain ranges on TV or print, but one needs to be in-person to see how huge they are.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 14
The roads wind through the deep gorges and cliffs. They were in fairly good shape considering that we were doing the trip during summer. There were patches where the road was not in great condition, but TATA Storme is built for these kinda roads. There were few cars who were struggling, but nothing could stop our 4×4

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 15
The views just got better and better and we continued our ascend. The mountains provided a vantage point to overlook the fertile plains of Himachal and Punjab.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 16
Another couple of hours drive and we were at Dalhousie. This was the view that we were greeted to from our rooms 🙂 . I was spellbound for sometime and just was soaking in the warm sun which was making its way behind the mountains.

 

Chandigarh to Dalhousie 17
A poetic end to our day, as we watched the sun set behind the majestic mountain ranges. It was one heck of an experience.

 

 

 

In-spite of the late start, leisurely drive and an extended break of around an hour for lunch, we were in Dalhousie by around 5:00 PM, just in time to witness the sunset. I have always preferred beach destinations over hill-stations and for once I was not regretting my decision to explore something out  of my comfort zone.

 

Note: Stay tuned for the next post on our “Drive from Dalhousie to Dharamsala”

 

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