Dalhousie is a small Indian town that stretches across five hills close to the Dhauladhar mountain range, making for picture-perfect views. Surrounded by pine valleys, it's an ideal spot for walking, hiking and climbing. Dalhousie was founded in the 1850s and by the early 20th century had become a major holiday destination; much of the grandeur of the era remains in the architecture you'll see around town. Its serene scenery makes it popular with honeymooners.
Get a view of the pines at a hostel in Dalhousie with a wraparound terrace. Look out for hostels in Dalhousie with free Wi-Fi and private rooms with flatscreen TVs or check into accommodation that hosts regular movie marathons. You can try some of the flavourful local dishes at a Dalhousie hostel with its own restaurant. To get chatting with other travellers, join in with organised activities like board game competitions and walking tours around the town.
Dalhousie has an easy-going character. Around the town centre, there are yoga and meditation retreats and tea houses for simply sitting with a cup of chai. Nearby Panchpula is a popular spot for a picnic, and it's here that you'll find the Satdhara Springs and tumbling waterfalls. For a taste of local life, you could visit Khajjiar. Often referred to as the Switzerland of India, this picturesque village has a small lake, lush green hills, a temple and an animal sanctuary.
You can admire fine Victorian architecture in Dalhousie, starting with St John's Church, which still remains from the town's days as a holiday destination. Pick up your souvenirs in the Gandhi Chowk area, where you'll find shops and stalls selling everything from rugs to jewellery. The Rang Mahal Palace represents the region's blend of Mughal and British influences, with its colourful wall paintings. For a trek that takes you into nature, try the 'Singing Hill' of Dainkund Peak and take in views of the Chenab, Ravi and Beas rivers. The name comes from the musical sound of the wind in the trees.
From New Delhi, the journey by train and bus takes about 12 hours. You can also fly into Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar, the nearest major airport. From there, the bus trip to Dalhousie takes around 5 hours. Around the town, you could hire a motorbike, hail a taxi or walk to local sights.