Offbeat Accommodation in Dalhousie
We booked an Innova from Amritsar and left for Dalhousie around 1pm. It was supposed to be a 5 hour journey but ended up taking us 7 hours because the driver decided to give us a detailed tour of the mountains. So by the time we reached the cottage, it was already dark.
Woke up in the morning to the first good view of Birdwood Cottage:
Dalhousie is a crowded, commercialized hill station in Himachal. And most of the hotels are located in the main market area which am sad to say is noisy, chaotic and not very clean. Birdwood wins over the hotels because it’s good 10-15 minutes drive from the market and located in the HP govt declared heritage area. It is surrounded with dense Deodar trees which are home to the prettiest and most exotic birds.
The pathway leading to the cottage is a long stretch covered with flowers on both sides. The house is run by an old, retired Airforce couple along with two house helps who maintain the house as well as look after the guests’ needs. One of them is a cook who churns out yum dishes as long as you provide him with the raw material. The house has warm wooden interiors, a small fireplace and a staircase leading to the two bedrooms upstairs.
You may catch the 86 year old retired Air force fighter pilot (Vir Chakra) sipping on his morning tea outside his bungalow which is right next to this cottage. A very charming, friendly man with so many stories to share. And they have a lab that tries very hard to look ferocious but does a pretty miserable job at that. 🙂
Things to keep in mind when booking Birdwood Cottage:
- Do try and reach before sun set. The cottage is high up in the hills and it gets pretty dark in the night. Not advisable to drive in very late.
- Buy some supplies, vegetables and groceries beforehand as you will need it when you reach the cottage. You just need to get the groceries, the cook takes care of the rest.
- It’s best to rent a private vehicle from Pathankot. Make sure your driver is well-versed with driving in the hills with hairpin turns.
- It’s quiet up here in the night. The house has a TV and it is a good idea to carry some board games or cards to have fun house parties in the night time.