Historical, Trekking, Scenic, Adventure, Museums
Hindi, Punjabi and English
Dharamshala is a beautifully spurring hill station located 17 km north-east of Kangra District in Himachal Pradesh state of India. Since 1960, this serene locality is the humble abode of his Holiness Dalai Lama and seat of Tibetan government in exile.
This hilly area has an elevation of 1475 meters above sea level and bordered by enthralling snow-capped mountains on its three sides and a sprawling valley on the other. It is popularly termed as "Queen of Hills". Travelers are enticed by the lush green tea gardens, conifers and deodar trees which are the major vegetation of this region. Once upon a time this area was the British headquarters in state of Himachal Pradesh.
Dharamshala is divided into two distinct parts. The lower region comprises of government and civil offices, court, Bazaar etc., while the upper region possesses historically important spots like McLeod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj. Dharamshala is the place where trekking is quite easy as compared to other hill stations. Adventure lovers can trek amidst the lush greenery as well as with the snow. There is base camp for travelers from where one can start exploring the nearest mountains. There are many picnic spots and trekking spots like Triund and Dharamkot which are 17 km and 11 km away respectively.
Dharmshala is perfect place for camping as it enjoys pleasant weather almost all round the year except peak winters. Situated in lush green Kangra Valley and snow laden mountain peaks, along with numerous waterfall, lakes and narrow streams, Dharamsala is one of the top tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh.
McLeod Ganj houses the Buddhist Temple along with the abode of his holiness Dalai Lama. Travelers can visit many Tibetans monasteries and get a glimpse of Tibetan culture. Temples, Gompas and museum provides proof rich Tibet history which is must visit places by travelers. Festival season starts from January and lasts until February. During this period many festivals are organized with community bonfire and dances.
The Kotwali Bazaar provides a colorful background for this calm and serene hillock. Shopping in the calm and picturesque landscape like Dharamshala is an experience in itself. Winter clothing and Tibetan artifacts are available at reasonable rates here.
Situated at height of 1,775 meters, Dal Lake is small but beautiful lake in midst of towering mountains and surrounded by dense forest. The village of Naddi is about 5 km from the city and another attraction to be visited for its stunning natural beauty. Bhagsu Waterfall near the Bhagsunath Temple is another must visit place near Dharamshala.
Comfortable accommodation facilities of different kinds are available for tourists. Travelers must taste few of the local cuisines like Sidu, Momos, Ankalos, and Aktori, which are made using local spices and wheat, barley, etc. The many cafes and restaurants in town are usually filled with tourists on weekends. Dharamshala is often a venue for important cricket matches as well.
Dharmshala is very well connected through roads with both Chandigarh and Delhi. Best way to travel from these and other major cities is via overnight Volvo bus. If you want to travel via flights, then Gaggal Airport also known as Kangra airport is about 12 km from Dharmshala. Dharamshala is now an important tourist destination and present in most Himachal tour packages.
Thanks to many easy treks and hikes possible from Dharmsala and Mcleodganj, region has emerged as a popular destination for adventure seekers lately. Triund is one of the most famous treks not only here but entire Himachal. Trekking, Monastery visit (take guide) and exploring local food are some of the most popular things to do in Dharmshala.