Guide for Dalhousie WINTER TREKKING

Dalhousie trek YHAI
Welcome to YHAI
Here ,you will meet a special type of person,just like you.Those unique people, who don?t think twice before setting of an adventure.You dare to be different,than your friends back home.While they?re watching the same TV again,you?re having an epic adventure of a lifetime.My salute and best wishes for an epic adventure, to each one of you.Get ready adventurers, for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.Years from today,the photos you took on this trek,will still make you smile . Smile  Weather permitting you will get to experience snow.I will be your campleader in one the camps on this trek route.Since I?ve done this before ,I?ve written this guide ,to help you?ve the best experience .
Trekking for the first time ever
Wow,first time adventurers.Weather permitting you will get to experience snow and have your 1st snowball fight here Smile  A trek is an unique experience,different from any vacation.You?re immersing in nature like never before.I remember my first trek ,I was exhausted and had to mentally challenge myself to do it.It?s one of the happiest memories of my life.Even today the friendships made with fellow trekkers 15 years ago are strong.YHAI treks are designed for beginner to intermediate level.So,rest assured you can do this trek happily.However, there are some things for you to do :
1. A slight change in mindset is required to get the most out of your trek.How different is this from a normal vacation? Expect and be ready for basic comforts in accommodation.Most of the camps are in remote locations,which you can?t compare with city?s comforts.You will be provided built accommodation,of a basic adventure type.
2. I have seen trekkers as young as ?just passed 10th standard? to senior  trekkers as young at heart as 80 years ,successfully complete this trek.As a 1st timer ,you will be walking up and down Himalayas,stretching your physical limits.Don?t expect an easy walk in the park.So please, prepare yourself.Regularly take walks before the trek.This helps your body transition easily into an amazing trek.
3. It will be cold.Yeah I know Winter in Himalayas,of course it will be cold right Smile Be mentally prepared for it.
4.This took time for me personally to learn.Respect the environment .Unlike back home,there is usually nobody to pick up that plastic bag, I threw on the trekking trail.Don’t litter or pollute water sources – you might be thousands of miles from home, but the smallest careless actions can be disastrous for local ecosystems and people.We came to enjoy the pristine beautiful Himalayas.Let?s keep it that way, for the next trekker behind us. These are YHAI standards Leave No Trace  (www.lnt.org)
5.Do not wear boots fresh from the box .Ensure you break into them,by using it before the trek.
6.It?s Not A Race ? Last Place Wins .How many miles are you averaging per day? Who?s ?ahead? of you? Who?s ?behind? you? None of that crap really matters and that type of thinking can actually do more harm than good. Focus on a pace that?s best for your body, stick with hikers that have a similar style, and take time to enjoy the trip. Anybody that makes it through to the end is a winner.Learn To Love Hiking ? Even The Uphill Part Smile  21 Tips For the First-Time Hiker
First time in the Himalayas
So,you?ve trekked earlier and loved it.Now you?ve come to the mecca of adventurers world wide.The Great Himlayas.Get ready to make a snow ball and launch at your trek buddies Smile Weather permitting you will feel and touch snow.Himalayan treks are a totally different game altogether.Your body works the same amount to walk here compared to running in sea level.The cold temperatures are something new you will be experiencing.Be prepared physically for the long climbs and descents you will encounter here.
Experienced Himalayan trekkers
Congratulations, you?ve officially fallen in love with the Himalayas Smile .Ensure you?re fit for the trek. There will be many trekkers who will need your guidance in your group.Humbly offer your help to them.Himalayas will always throw challenges your way,no matter how experienced you?re.Stay alert.
We campleaders thank you,for making our job easier,by helping the group.

How to reach Basecamp Dalhousie ?
Click for DALHOUSIE hostel WEBSITE
The city does have an airport but tourists from different parts of the country can land at the airport Gaggal in Kangra to reach this hill station.
The airport is approximately 140 km away from the heart of Dalhousie.
Flights from Delhi to Jammu , Flights From Chandigarh to Jammu can be taken to reach Dalhousie.
Nearest Airport : Gaggal Airport, Dharmsala (37.8701)
Book your tickets here 
Pathankot railway station which is the nearest railway station to Dalhousie is directly connected via rail to all major stations of North, East and West India. Major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmadabad and Jodhpur are connected directly to Pathankot via railway networks. There are various types of trains that arrive and depart from the city such as superfast, express and mail trains.
Pathankot  to Dalhousie 80 Kms (2:30 hrs. by road)
Chakki Bank  (CHKB)  / Pathankot Junction (PTK)  are just old and new names for the same station. This station to Pathankot Main bus stop(Maharana Pratap Inter State Bus Terminal,on Gurdaspur Road) is a 10 min Auto ride ,a distance of 4 Km.
Pathankot Cantt ( PTKC ) PTKC is another nearby station , right in the middle of the town,just 500 m from the main bus stop .
Book your train tickets here

The city is connected with all major cities of the country as the national highway links Dalhousie with Pathankot and hence, one can easily reach by road. Dalhousie is connected with the cities like Chamba, Dharamshala and Shimla. You can find regular cab and bus services which provide solutions to reach Dalhousie.
Distance Charts to Dalhousie
Pathankot  to Dalhousie  80 Kms (3:30 hrs. by road)
There are no buses after evening for Dalhousie,leaving from Pathankot.Plan accordingly.
Delhi to Dalhousie585 km
Dalhousie to Shimla336 km
Dalhousie to Chandigarh300 km
Dalhousie to Manali360 km
Dalhousie to Amritsar191 km
Dalhousie to Jammu190 km
Dalhousie to Dharamshala
via Lahru
127 km
BOOK your BUS Tickets here
Hire a car

Most frequently asked question to a Campleader
Million Dollar Question : Will I see snow ?
Honestly there is a high chance ,but there is no way we could be 100% sure.Last year almost all groups ,got to experience snow.
Wishing you loads of fun in the snow Smile

BASECAMP RECEPTION?s Check in formalities
At the reception ,you will finish the registration process and be allotted your shared accommodation. YHAI can?t compromise on this process,as it is a legal requirement.Please read and ensure you have the necessary things for registration.
If you booked offline :
1.You will show your valid YHAI membership card
2.Submit two passport photos
3.Submit medical certificate(don?t need to,if already given while booking)
4.Take a Reporting slip from the reception and fill it up.Note the spelling and format you use for your name here ,will be copied exactly on your trek completion certificate.
5.Collect your IDENTITY card .This card will have a record of  reporting date,Equipment issued and signed at each camp of your trek.Please be careful with it.
If you booked online :
1. You will show your valid YHAI membership card.If you don?t have one ,you might be given a Temporary membership number while booking online,show that.
2.Submit your admit card,given to you during online booking process
3.Submit two passport photos
4.Submit medical certificate
5.Take a Reporting slip from the reception and fill it up.Note the spelling and format you use for your name here ,will be copied exactly on your trek completion certificate.
6.Collect your IDENTITY card .This card will have a record of  reporting date,Equipment issued and signed at each camp of your trek.Please be careful with it.
YHAI membership card or Receipt of payment for membership fees(ADMIT CARD) and original Medical Certificate is must to enter into the Base Camp. Without these documents participating members will not be allowed at Base Camp.Without admit card, original membership card & trekking medical certificate, the booking will not be considered as confirmed.

If you have extra luggage ,you can deposit it in our cloak room, before you start the trek and collect it back on Day 6.
Notice for Participants:
1. Smoking, use of alcohol and narcotics of any description is strictly prohibited during the course of the program.
2. Deviation from the set route of the program is not permitted. If participants may wish to join any other activity, they may do so at their own responsibility and risk only after finishing the program and checking out.
3. Stay other than YHAI Camp is not allowed for the entire duration of the camp.
4. This is an environment friendly trek. Do no litter any wrappers or spoil the trial in any way. In case you find any wrapper, plastic bag or anything left by trekkers on the way, please carry the same with you and deposit at the base camp. Burning of wood during camp fire is strictly prohibited. Import of any bio Non- degradable Material in Himachal Pradesh is an offence.
5.Ladies and Gents will have separate accommodation.Entry to the other gender?s dormitory is prohibited.Families too are expected to follow this discipline.
Advance reporting: Your accomodation has been arranged on your official day of reporting only. Since you have arrived earlier ,only if there is vacancy, Base campleader  will be able to arrange your stay at the hostel.Vacancy at YHAI hostel can?t be predicted.So avoid getting stranded by pre-booking your stay in any lodge/hotel in Dalhousie town. Note that during December/January Christmas vacation,it may get difficult to get a room,on the spot.So ensure you have pre-booked.
Book Alternate Accomodation HERE

click here


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ON DAY 6 When you return by bus from Mangla.It will take around 1hr for check out procedure and get your certificate.Around 12.30 pm you can leave for home.


  1. Give your family,friends your exact travel plan details.The Flight /train/Bus details ,Time of departure and arrival.
  2. There will be  little to no mobile coverage in some parts of the trek.Please communicate this to loved ones back home and give them BASECAMP Dalhousie number .Incase they need to pass an urgent message to you. Phone : 01899 – 242189, 240929
  3. Recharge your currency now,since you will be trekking some days in forest area,where there will be no mobile currency shops.Activate your roaming packs .
  4. Pay other bills to avoid late payment fees,since you?re in the trek.Like DISH TV ,Electricity,Internet connection.
  5. Have an important date coming up,when you?re in the trek.A loved one?s birthday ,Anniversary ? Pre book here to send them flowers /gift.They will cherish you for it.
  6. Be prepared for Travel emergencies.I wish you a happy journey,but it always to be prepared.  Example : If your credit card or mobile phone is stolen, always know where to find the inactivation phone number. Your bank, credit card issuer usually has a 24 hour emergency number for blocking cards.For more emergency tips read this and that.

Make someone smile 🙂


WILDLIFE,FLORA & FAUNA and BIRDS  you might see on this trek
The vegetation consists of blue pine and deodar forest, with oak.
How to increase your chances of spotting wildlife?
Many birds are found ,some of them are listed here.

click here

History of Dalhousie and surroundings
The Dhauladhar range of Himachal Pradesh had attracted the British during the period of British colonisation. Lord Napier Magdala wanted to set up a hospital for chronic diseases in Chamba in the outer slopes of the Dauladhar range. In 1853, the Raja of Chamba agreed to transfer the plateau to the British Raj to establish the sanatorium, which was eventually named after Lord Dalhousie, the first British Governor General of India. In 1866, Balun was also taken over by the British.Read more of the amazing story with ancient pictures of British Dalhousie .
ABOUT CHAMBA :You?ll have a chance to visit this historical place ,when you reach Mangla,the last camp on this trek. Read about CHAMBA here.
ABOUT KALATOP and KHAJJIAR : http://www.dalhousie1.com/kalatop.html


Dalhousie’s natural beauty, refreshing air, warm sunshine and quiet surrounding add charm to its open and colourful valleys, walks and treks amidst the dense forests. On a clear day Chenab, Beas and Ravi can be seen meandering down the valley.
This will not be a part of your trek itinerary.
So before /after trek, you can explore this town.
  • Dainkund Walk – The road to Daikund takes away to the right side from the KalaTop toll booth . It is a 4 hour drive up to the check post barrier of an Air Force base. You have to park the car here. There is a 1/2 km , steep walk upto a observation hut. It offers spectacular view of the Dhauladhar ranges. For the not-so-religious minded, the point offers even more spectacular view of Kailash Parbat of Dhaula Dhar ranges (not to be confused with Kailash Parbat of Kailash Mansarover fame, which is in Tibet) Being the highest mountain peak in the region, it offers a complete 360? view of the entire valley. So fasten your seat belts and be prepared for an amazing experience hidden in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. The road enroute the peak is embellished with flowers on both sides that are a treat to the eyes. One has to put on one’s walking-shoes to cover a good 30-40 minutes on foot to reach atop the peak.
    As you make your way through the valley, the wild daisy blossoms and fluttering butterflies will simply take your breath away. The tiring and difficult trek is wonderfully soothed by the mesmerising valley-views. If you are lucky, then you could catch a glimpse of the Kailash Mountain on a clear day. The top of the Dainkund Peak is home to the Pholani Devi Temple which houses nothing more than a trident. One can hear the pleasant breeze blowing through the trees creating a musical serenade.
    • It is fondly known as the Singing Hill.
  • A view of Gobind Sagar Lake from Dilniwas, Upper Bakrota, Dalhousie
  • Upper Bakrota – The highest area in Dalhousie, it has a number of estates, a residential school, and an Army barracks at the top. The area is circled by a road called Bakrota Walk, on the way to Khajjiar which ends at Alah Water Tank. It was the preferred destination of the landed gentry of Punjab during the Raj, now populated by similar residents from the new India. Some of the houses are worth seeing, but are mostly on private gated estates.
  • Church – St John?s church  This Protestant Church in Dalhousie is a throwback to the Victorian era and holds great historical significance as the first religious site to be built here, dating all the way back to 1863.This one is equally magnificent and ancient, built more than a century ago. A perfect example of Victorian architecture.
  • What to buy: Two main markets— one run by the local Himachalis and the other by Tibetan-immigrants! Both of them has their own share of exquisite artifacts. But one should not forget to bargain to some real great extent! Don’t forget to bring back home, a speciality of this place— dried-blossoms of some local trees, which are varnished, and sold in the local markets! They are not very expensive, and are generally hardy to survive the strains of long journey and packing/unpacking! CHAMBA ,(nearby MANGLA CAMP) has excellent quality leather goods.
  • Caf? Dalhousie is one of the quaintest and, perhaps, the oldest cafes in town. A tiny place on the lower floor of HHo el Dalhousie, it is perfect for a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, peanut butter toasts and a coffee. An evening stroll in the Gandhi Chowk market is incomplete without a masala chai and popcorn bucket from here. All the food at the cafe is made to order. While the service is slow, the food quality and amazing views from its inside leaves little room for complaints. A no-frills place, Cafe Dalhousie sees a lot of people walking in for its old-world charm.

Side  trips  before/after trek
A detailed look at what are the nearby places you can explore.


SNACKS to pack

GET a feel of the trek ,by going through these links
Previous Dalhousie trekker?s experience
YHAI Dalhousie trek 2014 (Basecamp)

Suggestions by last year Dalhousie trekker Ms.Anubhuti Rastogi

1. Get a hair dryer to dry their things in case of emergency.
2. One light blanket if possible.3. Add directions to base camp from bus stop as many locals around don’t know it exactly.



Thank you trekker, for your time on my website.Please let me know,your feedback about this blog in the comments below.Any further questions, you could comment here ,or connect with me at other social networks.

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