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 History of Dalhousie

Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh in India is a town established by the British for their own interests only during the colonial times. This hill area has an Alpine climate (altitude is 6000ft to 7500ft)

This place was situated in the ancient kingdom of Chamba and was a secluded place with virgin forests when the British first came here.

The British army built a sanatorium for convalescent British troops. A British officer, Lt. Colonel Napier who later became known as "lord Napier" was the person who took the main initiative in the work to acquire this large tract of land.

"In 1851 the State authorities were approached by Government with a view to the establishment of a Sanatorium for Europeans within the territory, and every facility was given for this purpose. A site was selected on the western extremity of the Dhaula Dhar by the late Lord Napier of Magdala. then Colonel Napier. After the necessary observations as to climate had been made, Government sanction was given, in A.D. 1853, to the transfer of certain plateaux from the Chamba State, viz., Katalagh, Potrain, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangor, in consideration of which a reduction of Es. 2,000 was made in the amount of the tribute annually payable by the State. On the recommendation of the late Sir Donald MacLeod the new Sanatorium was named Dalhousie.

To please the higher authorities Sir Donald Mcleod named the new settlement "Dalhousie" after "Lord Dalhousie" the chief representative of British rule in India at that time. Actually "Lord Dalhousie" never cared to come to Dalhousie. Since the town was founded by the British, the architecture of Dalhousie of British style, giving the town an English flavour. The Alpine climate combined with trees and wild flowers usually found in Europe, with state roofed stone and wood buildings made in the style of 19th century Europe must have appealed to the British people with a nostalgic memory of their homeland.

To secure their settlement the British people built a cantonment for Gorkha soldiers who worked under them at Bakloh.

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