Amritsar to Dalhousie or Dharamshala?

#1 Apr 24th, 2010, 08:55
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  • FamilyAdventure is offline
#1
We have 5 days to travel to Amritsar and either Dalhousie or Dharamshala in mid-May. I'd appreciate input on the best way to enjoy this trip.

The thinking is that we'd fly on a Monday from Mumbai to Amritsar. Monday night go to Wagha. Tues. early morning visit the Golden Temple.
Tues. early afternoon travel to either Dalhousie or Dharamshala.
We are undecided about the best way to travel. Train to Pathankot and then car to Dalhousie or Dharamshala or car all the way? It seems like it will take about the same amount of time either way, but perhaps car for 6ish hours on rough roads is too much? We'll be traveling with 5 yr olds, so that factors in.
Any suggestions for taxi/car companies for the ride?

I've scanned postings on Dalhousie and Dharamshala and am undecided. We'll have Wed & Thurs (possibly Fri too) to explore before heading back. We can do short hikes, but not any long treks, so that factors in.

Any suggestions? IndiaMike is always a wealth of information!

Thanks.
#2 Apr 25th, 2010, 01:55
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  • madri is offline
#2
Hi,

In amritsar, do check out the golden temple at night as well after you return from the wagagh border ceremony as it is quite nice and open all night.

I took a train from Amritsar to Pathankot and it was around 2.5 hours and there is a ticket booking office at one of the entrances to the golden temple (ask any of the security guys and they will point you in the right direction).

Can't help you with the taxi bit since I took a bus from there, but I went to Dalhousie which is a nice cool place to chill and there is a small hike up the mountain that you can do from the Panchpulla sightseeing spot which is a decent hike and you aren't too far from civilization and can ofcourse walk back down anytime you want to.

From Dalhousie you could drive to Khajjiar in the morning just to stop maybe an hour or so for pics and check out the scenic view and then move towards Chamba which is a nice bustling market town. There is a nice temple with 3 structures that are worth seeing (forgot the name now) and then you can also go by car (or walk up stairs) to this other temple which is quite old and also get a view of the entire valley below which was quite spectacular.

Chamba doesn't get too many tourists and its nice but doesn't have too many options for hotels as best I could tell but I found a decent enough one to stay in although they charged me a bit (again forgot name but will get it for you).

From there I went to Dharamsala which is about 8 hours by bus and spent time in the upper Dharamsala region (McLeodganj) which is quite touristy but I went for the triund trek and also to see the Dalai Lama's speech for uprising day.

From bhagsu falls there is a short hike further up with a decent view and that is about the only one I know of...others will have more surely.

Cheers!
#3 Apr 25th, 2010, 03:21
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  • bruce3404 is offline
#3
I've only done the trip to Dharamsala. Both ways I took the train to/from Pathankot and then took the bus up and a taxi back. The taxi probably saved two hours and the roads weren't bad at all (by India standards). It seems that the taxi was around $25, but that was 6 years ago. Finding taxis in Pathankot or Dharamsala should be no problem; simply negotiate and find the best deal. Be sure to specify that you want a direct trip and that the driver isn't allowed to pick up other passengers or otherwise delay your trip (this became a bit touchy on my taxi trip, since I was forced to switch taxis TWICE and then the drivers picked up a few other passengers, helped a guy change a tire, stopped to drop off a package, say hello to a friend in a village, etc...they were lucky I had just finished a 10 day meditation and was in a laid back mood).
#4 Apr 25th, 2010, 04:17
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  • Raj999 is offline
#4
Can't comment on Dalhousie/Dharamsala (haven't been to these places) but about Wagah, please check the timings. You say you will be there at night but as far as I know, the marchpast (which is the main attraction) requires you to be there from 4.00 - 6.00 p.m or so. If you miss this time window, I think you will miss whatever is worth seeing at Wagah. Please do check.
#5 Apr 25th, 2010, 04:37
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  • rebeccam is offline
#5
Thank you Madri for information that the Golden Temple is open at night. Considering we will be there in June ( a couple weeks after "FamilyAdvenure") it may be a LOT more pleasant if we can avoid the daytime sun and heat!

Familyadventure, many of the Amritsar hotels (if you are staying at one) will arrange transport to Wagagh for you, although i suspect it is less $/INR for you to do it yourselves.

Again, not sure if you will be with famiy in Amritsar but if in hotel, there's a USA hotel chain Country Inn and Suites in Amritsar with a rooftop swimming pool, in case you all might want to cool off. There's also a fairly new "5 star" hotel, the Ista, which is not too expensive by American standards, and has a pool, and is right next to a new shopping/food court mall. This might be useful info in case the kids need to let out some energy!

My (adult) daughter and I are doing similar trip and will travel with driver and Innova to Dharamsala from Amritsar--car all the way. IF I had two five yr olds with me, i would opt for that, an Innova all the way, thinking it would be lots easier to be picked up directly and delivered door-to-door from Amritsar to your accomodation in Dhramsala (or McLeod Ganj).

IF you choose the driver, one idea is to have a pickup from the airport to your accomodation in Amritsar, then have same driver take you to Wagagh and then drive you the next day to Dharamsala. Though this may be a bit more expensive, the value in convenience may outweigh the actual monetary cost.
#6 Apr 25th, 2010, 05:23
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  • madri is offline
#6
Yeah it is open 24 hours and I think they even feed you anytime. I was even there once at like 11pm because I couldn't sleep and was bored so decided to go and relax for a while there and actually met this very nice man who answered some of my questions and was talking to me about an automated chapatti making machine they have in there.

Only thing is, I was there during the festival of holi (not by choice)...so could someone else perhaps confirm that it is indeed open 24 hours for visitors?
#7 Apr 25th, 2010, 05:29
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  • rebeccam is offline
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Thanks Madri.
this is all i could find..although i did read that opening hours are subject to change.
Ev Called the Palki Sahib, this nightly ceremony provides a chance for all male pilgrims and visitors to actively participate in the veneration of the Holy Book. Lines form in front of and behind the heavy palanquin and each man shoulders the burden for a few seconds before passing it along, forming a human conveyer belt that allows everyone to participate and everyone to rest. The ceremony usually takes place at 11pm in summer at 9:30pm in winter.
#8 Apr 25th, 2010, 22:37
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  • FamilyAdventure is offline
#8
Thanks to everyone for the valuable input on our tentative itinerary! One additional question about travel times.

Does anyone know approx. how long it would take if we hire a car from Pathankot to Dharamshala? Has anyone done this recently who can comment on the roads?

Thanks.
#9 Apr 27th, 2010, 20:47
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  • neerajd is offline
#9
I recently traveled by bus from Pathankot to Dharamshala, and it took 3.5 hrs at a very leisurely pace (with frequent stoppages). I believe a car should be able to do it in a maximum of 2.5 hours.

The roads are very good by Indian standards (its a national highway for a major part of the journey), no problems with potholes or anything of that sort.

Cheers
#10 Apr 27th, 2010, 21:54
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  • sb_amd_us is offline
#10
FamilyAdventure:
Train to Pathankot and then use Manu for Car Rental and other things. He's local to Bhagsu near Dharamshala and I've used his services.
http://www.manuadventures.in/
#11 May 5th, 2010, 23:57
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  • vasuki is offline
#11
I recently traveled from Dalhousie to Amritsar in my car and the roads are simply great. It took me 5 hours to reach Amritsar. Roads through out were excellent except for a 0.5 km stretch at Pathankot bypass where a flyover is being built.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyAdventure View Post It Seems like it will take about the same amount of time either way, but perhaps car for 6ish hours on rough roads is too much?
Three goodies for Indian roads-
Good horn, Good brake, Good luck!

Himachal Travel Blog
#12 Dec 13th, 2010, 22:35
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#12

transport from Amritsar to Dalhousie

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasuki View Post I recently traveled from Dalhousie to Amritsar in my car and the roads are simply great. It took me 5 hours to reach Amritsar. Roads through out were excellent except for a 0.5 km stretch at Pathankot bypass where a flyover is being built.

are there any transport from Amritsar to Dalhousie at night time (after dinner)?

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