if the Tibetan community
dominates the town, still it has retained the colonial
lifestyle and British fervour.
looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar
forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy
atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive.
Dharamsala is a
busy bazaar town and has established itself as the travellers base
camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar
provides the entire colour and characteristic of a small town, which
is mixed with the simple life style.
temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet, adds
attraction for the visitor. The Kangra museum gives an overview of
the rich past of the region and on the other hand there are
institutes that have been established to preserve the Tibetan art,
cultures and traditions.
Kangra Art Museum: This
treasure trove of the Kangra valley's arts, crafts, and rich past,
displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century. The museum
also includes a gallery of Kangra's famous miniature paintings and a
representative collection of sculptures, pottery, and
amidst the pine groves is a war memorial, built on the entry point
of the to Dharamsala to commemorate the post independence war heroes
of Himachal Pradesh. A web of narrow paths and landscaped lawns lead
towards this monument.
by high and green Deodar trees is the lake, which fills a mountain
bowl. Situated 11-kms away from the town, this lake is easily
approachable by road and makes an enchanting and serene picnic
of the most poignant memories of the British Raj is the church of
St. John, situated in the wilderness. This charmingly dressed stone
church is located just 8-km from Dharamsala on the way to McLeod
Ganj. Under the shade of Doedar branches, a memorial has been made
over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at
Dharamsala in 1863.
are hot springs situated at Tatwani, 25-km from Dharamsala but on
the way, at Machhrial, is a waterfall twice as big as the one near
the Bhagsunath temple.
Shrine of Bhagsunath: Just
11-km from the town center of Dharamsala is the ancient temple of
Bhagsunath. There are many fresh water springs close to the temple,
which are considered sacred by the Hindus.
Kunal Pathri: These
are the rock temples from which the place derives its name. Kunal
pathri is a 3 kms flat walk from Kotwali Bazaar.
11-km away from Dharamsala, located on the crest of a hill lie this
attractive picnic spot, which presents a panoramic view of the
Kangra valley and Dauladhar ranges.
Norbulinka Institute: Just
four kms from Dharamsala, Norbulinka was established to preserve and
teach the ancient Tibetan arts. The shady paths, wooden bridges,
small streams tiny water falls make this place look like heaven.
Here one can watch the wooden carvings and the tangka paintings,
golsithing and embroidery being done. The nunnery close to the
institute is a place where women are taught the advanced levels of
10-km from the town is the tranquil ashram complex set up by the
great exponent of the Gita--Swami Chinmayananda. Situated on the
banks of Bindu Saras, the ashram includes a 9m high image of
Hanuman, a Ram temple, a meditation hall, a school and a health
& recreation center.
just 13-kms away from Palampur, lies this dwelling place of artist
S.Sobha Singh. It houses a gallery of some of his major works and a
home of the semi-nomadic Gaddi tribe, McLeodganj is today the
residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. This mid 19th century
place was developed as a British Garrison. The place was developed
as an important administrative point for the whole Kangra valley.
Today the place has developed as headquarters of the exiled Tibetan
Government. The impressive monastery has larger than life size
images of Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avaloketeshwara.
richly carved monolithic rock temples sculpted in the splendid style
of the Kailash temple at Ellora and dating back to the 8th century
are to be found at Masrur, just 15 km south of
of Ram Sita and Lakhsman can be found in the sanctum of the main
amidst a sylvan surrounding is a rest house, located in the cool
depths of the pine grove. Surrounded by green open meadows and
forests of tall oak & pine at a height of 3250m is situated the
picturesque Kareri Lake, which is just 13-km from the rest house and
22- kms from Dharamsala.
is a popular picnic spot at an height of 2827 m. The area is on the
foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17-kms from Dharamsala. The
snow line starts at Ilaqua, which is five kms from Triund. The
breathtaking views of the mountains and the valleys makes Triund an
ideal picnic spot and trekking spot.
the way from Pathankot, 41-km from Dharamsala are the unique cave
temples with a stalactite and stalagmites dedicated to Lord
place is famous for the wall paintings and the temples. Sujanpur
Tira also has fort, which is worth visiting. It is 8- km from
Dharamsala and in particular the festival of Holi is a major event
here and attracts many visitors to this area.
to the "Goddess of Light", the temple is one of the most popular
Hindu temples in northern India. In this temple there is a copper
pipe through which natural gas comes out, the priest of the temple
lights this and the blue flame emanating is worshipped as the
manifestation of Goddess. The temple is topped by a golden spire, a
gift from the Emperor Akbar. The famous temple of Jwalamukhi is
30-km. from Kangra and 56-km from Dharamshala.
Chamunda Devi: Not
so far from the town is the famous temple with the majestic
Dhaulandhars as a backdrop. It is an enchanting spot with glorious
views of the mountains, the Baner Khud, Pathiar and Lahala
after Nurjehan the consort of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir, it has an
ancient fort and an exquisitely carved Krishna temple. Nurpur is
also famous for its fine Pashmina shawls and textiles.
one of the most popular starting points for treks and
climbing over the ridges of the Dhauladhar range. There are
tailor-made treks in the Kangra valley around Dharamsala and
adjoining places. The trekking season starts from May and goes on to
October. The most frequented route from Dharamsala to the Chamba
valley, over the Indradhar Pass (4350m), is arduous trek but the
most novice trekkers can manage to complete it within five
There are many easy walks of small treks around
and Dharamsala such as Toral Pass (4575m) that start from Tang
Narwana (1150m), which is 10-km from Dharamsala. A 2-km stroll takes
one to Bhagsu, then a little further a 3-km walk will bring the
trekkers to Dharamkot. If one wishes to go on a longer walk then he
can walk 8-km to Triund. The snow line of Ilaqa Got is just a 5-km
The most difficult route is towards the north, a five
to six day trek across Bhimghasutri Pass (4580), covering
near-vertical rocky ascents, sharp cliffs and dangerous gorges. An
easier four or five day trek from Dharamsala crosses Bleni Pass
(3710m) in the milder ranges of the northwest, weaving through the
alpine pastures, woods and passing through few streams, before
terminating at Dunali, on the Chamba road.
The area is rich
in small rivers and streams, which give ample opportunity for angle
fishing. The 20-km stretch of the river Beas between Nadaun and the
Pong Dam offers ample of opportunities in angling for Mahaseer.
HOW TO GET THERE
can be approached by air from
Delhi and the nearest Airport is at
Gaggla, just 13-km away from the town.
is 85-km and is the nearest railhead for Dharamsala. Trains from all
over the country make a stop over at Pathankot and from here it is a
three-hour journey to Dharamsala.
Manali too bus services are
available to this place. One can drive from
Bilaspur and it's an 8-hours
journey. From Delhi and
Shimla, luxury buses ply to
WHERE TO STAY
accommodation options include HPTDC's hotels, private hotels, guest
houses, PWD and Forest rest houses, which are located in and around
the place and are available at resonable prices.
As Dharamsala is
located in the Himalayas, the climate is very pleasant during the
summers but in winters the cold is very bad. Temperature can drop
below the freezing point during the winters and heavy woollen
clothes are required. During the summers the weather is mild and
light woolens and cottons are recommended. The best time to visit
the place is during the summers when the cold has shed its biting
teeth and there is plenty of Sunshine. But avoid coming here during
the monsoon months, as there is a danger of landslides.