One of the main things I enjoyed the most when I was in Himachal Pradesh was driving across the beautiful hills, enjoying the majestic Himalayan ranges. Honestly speaking, I cannot imagine a better way to explore these picturesque valleys than a good trek up the hills. Hence, while my husband and I were visiting Dalhousie with friends, we decided to do a one-day trek to the Dainkund Peak, which is one of the highest points in Dalhousie.
The Dainkund Peak also called as “Singing Hills” is at a height of 2755 meters and is a fairly easy trek of about 1.5 kilometers distance to the top. The trail begins near the Indian Air Force Base, which is a good half hour drive from Dalhousie town. Although we intended to start our trek early during the day to avoid the harsh sun rays, we barely managed to start the journey mid-morning. Luckily, it was a gorgeous day in the hills with the sun shining brightly behind beautiful white clouds and cool breeze washing our faces as we started our trek.
The trail is actually a path to Pohlani Mata Temple that is located on the top of the peak. The first few minutes of the walk was more like an outdoor cardio for me, as there were stone steps leading to the top of the trail. It will be a pain if one is not used to climbing stairs and also the high altitude makes it a little bit difficult to breathe while climbing. We took several short water and photo breaks to enjoy the beautiful vistas along the way.
Once you reach the top of the stairs, the trail is a normal mud path making it a bit easier for regular temple visitors. What I love about the trail is that there are several benches and gazebos on the way to the peak, which is really needed for people to rest between the walk or maybe to enjoy the view. Once we started walking down the mud path, my excitement rose to whole new level as we were greeted with lush greenery all around. As it was a clear day, we could also catch a glimpse of the snow clad mountains at a distance.
The tall deodar trees alongside the pretty white flowers were a sight to behold as we made our way to the peak. We also came across the Pahadis (local people) climbing the hills through an unseen track with their cattle herd. It is really amazing to watch these people climb up and down the mountains every day, working so hard and living such a rustic life.
After walking for few minutes, we could spot the temple from far away and I was happy to realize that we finally are closer to the peak. I was totally bowled over by the stunning view in front of me. The lush green landscape of the majestic hills of the Chamba valley rolling miles away, with the mountain wind singing a melodious song to you. It is no wonder Dainkund is also called as the ‘Singing Hills of India’. We quickly moved on towards the temple, which was bustling with devotees resting their feet after the long walk.
The Mataji temple was very quaint with goddess idol placed inside a small structure and a Pandit was performing the rituals. There several trishuls (tridents) placed on the side and the whole scenario with the stunning mountains on the backdrop looked surreal. After offering our prayers to the goddess we decided to explore the further and walked behind the temple premises. There is also a statue of a goddess on the hilltop next to the temple, however, visitors are prohibited from climbing the hill. We walked further for few minutes following the trail, but after realizing that it was just taking us around the hills, we decided to quit and made our way to back to the temple. After all the walking we did, I was starving and lucky for us there were a couple of eateries around the temple. We relished on some piping hot Maggi and hot tea enjoying the stunning view and resting our tired legs. After savoring on the gorgeous hills to our heart’s content, we climbed down the peak late noon and drove back to Dalhousie town.
The trek to Dainkund is not a rigorous one but a fairly easy and fun trek and I highly recommend it to everyone who is visiting Dalhousie as this will be one of the best ways to have an up-close look at the gorgeous hills of the Chamba Valley.