After Independence Dalhousie was forgotten for some time. But gradually it picked up reminder and became quite a spot for people looking for a green and peaceful getaway in these high mountains. Dalhousie belonged to the erstwhile state of Chamba, but did not have a position of great importance by itself.
It shot into fame only in the modern times when the British set their eyes upon it. It all happened this way. In 1853 the tired and overworked Lord James Ramsay, the Marquess of Dalhousie, was looking for some days of idleness when he came upon this beautiful unexplored spot on ridge overlooking the plains. He immediately bought the land from the Raja of Chamba. And with careful attention, Dalhousie began to be prepared for the British who were ever ready to flee to the cool hills in summer.
Lord Dalhousie was one of the most divisive governor-generals of the country. He dreamt of a westernized and united India under British rule, and so he methodically set out to ‘rationalize the map of India’ by take control of previously independent states. One of the prize nap in Dalhousie’s cap was the wresting of Punjab from its Sikh rulers in 1548. His policy of expansion, however, did not go down well and was partly responsible for the Uprising of 1857. But the guy did some very good deeds at the end of the day: he built the railway and postal systems in India.
By 1867 Dalhousie reached the level of a ‘sanatorium-town’. The high point in its career came in the 1920s and 30s, when more and more British officers and their families started pouring in. However, Dalhousie never really became a glamour-spot like Shimla where all the who’s who of the British government spent their summers, nonetheless the privileged from the Punjab capital of Lahore assembled here to their neat bungalows and well-laid out gardens.