Friday, 15 January 2016

Exciting Dalhousie hill station, India established by the British (1854)

Dalhousie hill station, Himachal Pradesh,

Dalhousie, spectacular hill station, Himachal Pradesh, India. Dhauladar Mountains.
 In India there are many exciting and beautiful hill stations at higher elevations that serve as  summer resorts for millions  of Indians who want to escape from the summer heat, dust and urban madness. If you trace their origin and history, invariably most of the present hill resorts  were developed during the colonia period and the credit goes to the British for their foresight, vision and adventurous spirits. Previously those areas were dense wooded areas infested with wild animals, insects and poisonous snakes.  Famous hill stations such as Ooty in Tamil Nadu and Shimla (now state capital of Himachal Pradesh) were summer capitals of the British rulers. Coimbatore District Collector John Sullivan undertook early development of  tall Nilgiri hills during the year 1818 to 1823, now classified as Western Ghat mountains, whereas Lord Curzon, Governor General of India (6 January, 1899 – 18 November, 1905), who was memorized by Shimla and its surroundings, developed it as a major resort as well. Lord Curzon was the first to establish a Golf course at Naldhera near Shimla in the foot hills of the Himalayas. Besides, the  British  moved in large numbers from England in those hill stations and developed tea and coffee estates. Further, lots of English schools were started by missionaries for the British and rich Indians in the 19th century.

Dalhousie is  one of the most popular hill stations in the Northern state of Himachal Pradesh, Situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet above the MSL and surrounded by scenic snow-clad peaks,  Dalhousie abounds in natural beauty and  pleasant climate. It is spread over an area of 14 sq. km and covers over five hills - hills - Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas; the place still retains the British legacy and has  a large number of Scottish and Victorian-style mansions.
Tour Dalhousie
It was in  1854  Dalhousie town was established by the East India company that ran the proxy government for the British Crown in India as a summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats who needed long respite from the hot, sweltering summer on the plains. It is in Chamba District and this hill station is considered as the gate way to Chamba region, a store house of ancient Hindu culture,  temples, art, and handicrafts preserved  since the mid-6th century  under the longest-running single ruling dynasty. This place is well known for the Gaddi and Gujjar  hill tribes and is credited with 84 ancient temples,  dating from the 7th to 10th century AD.
Dalhousie hill station, HM, India. St. John's church (1863).
Dalhousie Town was named after Lord Dalhousie, who was the British Governor-General in India (1848 and 1856), while establishing this place as a summer retreat. It was he who made additional foundation for the British empire by introducing a novel doctrine called ''the doctrine of lapse''- meaning if the ruler of a kingdom does not have direct legitimate legal lineal heir to his throne, legally (many times illegally) his kingdom will be automatically taken over by the British rulers.
Dalhousie hill station, Himachal Pradesh,
Previously a
part of Punjab was annexed in 1849 to the British Raj  after the  Second Anglo-Sikh  War (1848-1849). This hill station was developed upon the recommendation of Lt. Col. Napier, Chief Engineer of Punjab in 1850 who was  fascinated  by the serene beauty of the scenic undulating hills and dense tall trees and the congenial climate,  most suitable for summer retreat for the Europeans. The land about 13 square mile was first acquired by the British  from the local ruler Raja of Chamba state and, in consideration, the ruler's tribute to the company was reduced by Rs.2000.00/ year from Rs. 12,000.00/ year. The name of Dalhousie was suggested in 1854 for the hill station in  honor of Lord Dalhousie by Sir Donald McLeod. Expecting a large contingent of British soldiers and officials and their families, to cater to their spiritual needs, a church was built in 1863 - St. John's church. As the population  grew larger over a period of time, other churches were built in 1894 and 1903 - the St. Francis Church and the St. Andrews Church in the cantonment area respectively.

Dalhousie is an excellent destination for tourists who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban cities.  There are just over 600 hotels in this area for the tourists. This place has several worth seeing tourist spots, one being natural spring water at Karelanu and, it is believed, the pristine pure spring water cured Netaji, a great patriot from TB that had bothered him for a long time. April to August are the best time to visit; during season hotel rents are high more than Rs. 6000.00 per night.

To beat the extreme summer heat, sweltering climate and uneasiness, Dalhousie is the right place for  fun, relaxation and be far away from the dreary, humdrum of daily routine life.
Portrait of Lord Dalhousie by John Watson-Gordon,

First  Marquess of Dalhousie (22 April 1812 – 19 December 1860), known as The Earl of Dalhousie between 1838 and 1849, was a Scottish statesman, and a colonial administrator in  British India . He served as Governor-General of India  from 1848 to 1856.

 Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1873)and Rudyard Kipling (1884)  were  among the well-known visitors to this place

In 1959  when Tibet was taken over by China, Dalhousie was chosen initially to host several thousand Tibetan refugees at the insistence of Pt. Nehru, then Prime Minister of India. Now the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama have settled at Dharmasala which is not far off from here.,_India