Dalhousie Folklore : The legend of Dainkund

Dainkund is an enchanting mountain destination and one of the foremost sightseeing places in and around Dalhousie. Apart from the misty clouds and meandering trails, the hamlets around Dainkund offer exciting stories. The folklores of Dainkund that the people here share are as interesting and intriguing as the vistas, that this must-visit place in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, offers to nature lovers.

Conquering the untameable is often seen as the will of the mighty. And, this holds true when we hear the innumerable folklore that sings the praise of the conquerors, making them immortal among the mortals.

Come with me as I take you on a virtual walk through the pristine and unexplored parts of Dainkund, often called the Singing Hills, share with you the local folklores, some heartwarming experiences as well as some spooky encounters.

Dainkund – A place that should be on your Dalhousie Itinerary

The mountains are often full of such mystic folklore and the mountain people always have their own set of beliefs and traditions, isn’t it? Dainkund and its people are no different. A secluded hut in a corner, an eerie rock formation on the way, a  lake out of nowhere, exotic flora and fauna scattered all around — unseen and unheard of in the claustrophobic cities, all this and more, contribute to the overall charm and mysticism of Dainkund as well as the hill-station of Dalhousie. Add to this the unending floating clouds, ineffable greenery, and woods, unused forest paths, and a temple revered by the villagers and you get a scenic place like DK aka Dainkund near Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Dainkund-must-see-places-in-dalhousie
The trail less taken

First things first.

Where is Dainkund?

Dainkund is around 10-12kms from the hill station of Dalhousie. It is at a much higher altitude than Dalhousie or its surrounding hills, and one can literally experience a 360-degree view of the Dhauladhars, Chamba valley, and the plains of Punjab from here.

Having stayed in the pristine hill-station of Dalhousie for close to 2 years, with weekly up-hill drives to Dainkund, I sort of know the place in and out. At least, that’s what I would like to believe!

The first time I heard about this beautiful place, someone had mispronounced it as ‘Daynkund’. Like any other travel enthusiast when I visit a place, I am more interested in the etymology of the place name and its history. I tried enquiring from the local people who live in the upscale Mall-roads of Dalhousie but never got a satisfying answer. However, upon interacting with a shop-keeper on DK, I got to know that the place is actually known as ‘DainKund’ in which dain (in Hindi) is for witch and kund is for a pond.

Dalhousie folklore: The pond of witches

Dalhousie folklore has- that there lived a witch(maybe more than one) in these mountains, who was troubling the villagers and resided in the pond. This was an inconvenience to the villagers as they had to walk and trudge long distances to quench the thirst of their cattle, fearing the witch. So, all the villagers prayed to their forest deity of ‘Pohlani/Pauloni Mata’. The goddess was pleased by their religious fervour and vanquished the witch, thus giving back the pond to its rightful owners- the villagers. Since then it has been known as ‘Dainkund’.

The pond area
Nearby to the Kund

The distance between the temple of Pouloni and Dainkund is roughly around 6-7kms (varies with the path you take in the hills).The two are separated by an Airforce station. The kund area is not easily accessible as it falls inside the military establishment. Only the military, shepherds and the villagers are allowed to traverse this path. Also, the folklore has imparted an eerie feel to this area, making it a secluded and forbidden place!

A trip to demystify the Dalhousie Folklore

Being part of the armed forces, a group us- one day, did try to visit the Kund area in the evening after our trek to Pouloni mandir. However, we could not stay for long as the local people advised us to get back to our base before sunset as occasionally bears and snow leopards have been spotted there. The pond was dry with minimum water. Maybe, it gets filled during the monsoons. But what caught our attention was the scenic beauty of the place, untampered and intact, brimming with a carpet of white flowers. From afar, it looked like a sheet of snow!

A surreal mountain
A surreal land

By the time we actually reached the edge of the mountain, it was almost dusk and the crimson hue of the sun was gracing the rocks and barks of the trees.

The setting sun

The waters of the River Ravi flowing across the plains of Punjab was glittering and its banks could be vaguely seen under the twilight.The entire landscape looked surreal in saffron.

river ravi
Ravi river flowing majestically

The sun returning back to its abode after a hard day’s work was indeed a sight to behold. The various colours it imparted the sky with , made Mother Nature look blissful!

conquering the witches of folklore

Spooky…

We were a little disappointed that we could not capture the infamous pond of the witches. The pond plays a major role in our Dalhousie Folklore. Something held us back from taking a photo. Were we scared or the pond looked pale in front of the setting sun? I am still unable to recollect why none of us has a photo of the pond!

I would like to believe that the reason was the setting saffron ball. 

Polkajunction

Thanks to the Dalhousie Folklore, this place is unexplored, serene, clean, and neat. I hope it remains the same or else it might become too commercialized. With these thoughts, we returned back to our base with excitement, as if we had indeed conquered and vanquished the witches of Dainkund!

If the so-called terrain of the witch can be so surreal and mesmerizing though spooky, how would the landscape look on the trail to goodness?!  Read about this and more in The enchanting trek across Dainkund

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10 Comments

  1. Jiten Chopra says:

    Informative and well explained..

  2. […] You can read information on Dainkund and folklore of Paouloni Mata in my post ‘Conquering the witches of DK’ […]

  3. […] buzzing bees, the occasional roars (err.. was it of the bears or the snow leopards or the witches of DK that inhabit these hills), the lush greenery made for a perfect jungle view.We had loads of […]

  4. Those are some stunning captures! I love that you visited the place, else you would have missed out on all the gorgeousness! Thanks for sharing it with us:)

  5. beautiful pictures – lovely folklore.

  6. This place looks like something out of a movie – it’s so pretty. I loved the witch’s story. It seems she was camera shy
    Debbie

  7. Wow! Stunning pictures. I have never been to this place, nor have I heard of it. Maybe someday, I will visit the place. It looks magical.

  8. The folklore is fascinating! I am enjoying this series on Incredible India, so many places to visit!

  9. Mother nature is indeed beautiful and makes you feel wow..Pictures are really nice

  10. Disha says:

    Mesmerizing pictures ! The folklore makes the place more enchanting and even I want to visit now ?

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