Hiring a car for the entire journey is quite affordable and a simple way to travel through different hill stations and see the sights. From Dehli we flew into Chandigarh and drove from to Dalhousie and then to Dharamshala. Although the car journeys were long, it was a wonderful way to see real India and the small villages and interesting road traffic along the way within the comfort of a clean, air-conditioned private vehicle. Although traveling on local transportation and trains is more of an adventure, travel to India can be hard on the body and it was nice to have the comfort of easy transportation.
Dalhousie is a picturesque hill station in the Chamba district of northern India within the state of Himachal Pradesh. Established in 1854 as a summer vacation retreat for the troops and officials of the Indian Empire, it is now a popular destination for Indians and non-Indians. The quiet, serene atmosphere is perfect for anyone who wants to de-stress. Situated between snow-capped peaks, elevations vary between 6,000 and 9,000 feet.
The British influence is still very much alive in many of the hotels. Named after The Earl of Dalhousie, the British Governor-General established this town as his summer retreat.
Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain of the Himalayas, Dalhousie is surrounded by snow covered mountain peaks. Peak tourist season runs from May to September. As we visited in June, we were not disappointed by the perfect weather and majestic views. We arrived after the long although very interesting car journey from Chandigarh. We were fortunate to book lodging at the Grand View Hotel, an aptly named accommodation that we found hard to leave after two days in the hotel's peace and beauty. We could have stayed for five days, so thrilled we are stunning yet affordable hotel.
The grounds at Grand View Hotel are beautifully maintained with the Himalayas on full display by the large north facing windows. The room are beautiful and even include a large tub! Anyone who has traveled within India knows this comes as a luxury. There are many places to sit and soak in the majesty of the view. If the Himalayas are not enough, the grounds are covered with gorgeous hydrangeas. A monkey may even randomly cross your path and you make the short journey into town.
When hunger sets in, visitors can move upstairs to the dining room where breakfast and dinner was served. The options were plentiful and the food delicious. We always took a table by the window to ensure we could soak up every second of this 'Grand View'.
Dharamshala is a hill station in the Himalayas, best known for the Tibetan community and home of the Dalai Lama. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising, refugees followed the 14th Dalai Lama. In modern day, his residence has made this hill station popular among both foreign and Indian tourists.
Multiple foreigners, backpackers, and students of Buddhism travel to Dharamshala making peace and tranquility a bit more difficult to find (although attainable), especially in McLeod Ganj.
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium services the Himachal Pradesh state cricket team and is the highest altitude Cricket Stadium in the world. Located in Dharamshala India, this northen India hill station is also home to the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Picturesque matches held here include views of snow-capped mountains. Situated at 1,457 meters above sea level, this venue is truly unique.
Living in North America, it is easy to forget how popular cricket is in the rest of the world. Over 2.2 billion people watched the last Cricket World Cup. The India vs. Pakistan match drew over 1 billion viewers alone.
Given this was our honeymoon (or just another excuse to travel), we stayed at higher scale accomodation. Our favorite place in Dharamsala? A shared balcony outside our room.