Long walks , breathtaking views, fresh air and lots of food. Well. there .. I ve said it. The makings of a perfect holiday. And if that comes in as a birthday gift – well then , what a way to turn an yr ‘more travelled’ than that!

The best thing about Dalhousie is – that no one would tell you ‘ten things you must do here’. coz other than walk around and have a Coffee/Softie/Momo at the MG road there’s not much to the city – that finds a top slot in a tourist itinerary. Sometimes , the biggest surprise a city holds is when you land there with no agenda what so ever. And then go ahead and live off 3 days of your life with out one.

The only time we were forced to make “Think quick , cos this would be a life changing decision” during our entire stay ( and am not counting the times when we ordered for food ) was when we landed at the Pathankot station early morning and were looking out for a cab for the 2+ hours journey into the hills-” One could head to Dharamsala too” . Thankfully , we chose ‘long walks’ to ‘trip down spirituality’.
It takes around 2 hours of scenic sights , plush hills , lil kids waving at you – kind of road journey before you hit the army cantt area , traversing through which you land at the city. Our hotel – the oldest and right next to where the action is ( The bus stand) – was everything we had imagined and a little more. 
Old woodwork , vintage looking paintings , quaint little corners lit with lamps. The reception is right out of an old english movie and so were the Foggy views of Himalayas that you could see from the aptly named place.No wonder its rated as high as it was on tripadvisor and well , no wonder D chose this one over all others for our stay.
What’s amazing about this tiny little town is , how it just starts and ends in a couple of miles. One can walk around and explore the entire city . so by the end of the day we arrived , we had cracked all possible ways to reach the MG Road from Shankar Chowk and window shopped at the old and newly revived janpath-like Tibetan markets. The obvious next thing to do was explore the ‘around’.

All it took was a hilly drive and one was in The switzerland.. alrite alrite of east… supposedly, called Khaijjiar.  A picnic spot of sorts – with a lot of greenary and a lake in the middle . I wasnt too impressed , but then every one who heads to dalhousie , does check this place out if one considers the number of people who were flocking the place.
We headed to Chamba from there , another hilly journey peppered with breathtaking sights right out of some travel and living show and in some cases – the popular bollywood movies of our times . We were told ‘Taal’ The movie was shot here .. and as evidence we got to see the place where supposedly Ash , stayed as the village dame.Yay!

Chamba , other than a huge ground thats used for an annual city fair and some temples and a museum with some old royal left – behinds , is essentially a small town with people that you could perhaps count off on fingers. A couple of minutes on feet and you ve taken a look at most of the things the city has to offer , including a chaupati style ‘chaat-lemonade’ kind of stall market and a series of bakeries , sweetshops and dhabas , a nagging feeling of ‘what’s it like to live in a small town’ that’s so difficult to get rid off.
Three days of long walks , fresh air , loads of food and a loaded camera. Sigh!
One look at those pictures.. and am back being miserable again. Looks like i need another holiday!

The Walker’s Paradise
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