With the snow covered Dhauladhar ranges forming the background, Dharamshala is a magnificent hill station. This exotic hill station is hemmed with oak, pine and deodhar forests with a nearby snowline. Dharamsala is also the headquarter of the Kangra district. The numerous streams and the cool crispy air enhance the beauty. It is divided into two equal parts. The lower part comprises of civil offices and business establishments and also courts. Kotwali bazar and Upper Dharamshala consists of the places with names bearing witness to its history like McLeod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj. The place is also a temporary head-quarter of “His Holiness”, the Dalai Lama and is risen to the international holy fame “The Little Lhasa in India”.
Places to see in Dharamshala: At this sacred town there are various sight seeing locations that is worth a visit. These include:
Just a little far from the town of Dharamshala, this smoky waterfall is worth a visit. An old temple is also located is the surrounding.
The Dal lake is another spectacular spot just 10kms from Dharamshala, dotted with Deodar and Fir trees.
Named as little Lhasa, McLeod Ganj is famous for being the residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama rather than anything else. This is a little township having the groups of monasteries together with the Buddha Statues. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Dharamsala.
Just two hours from Dharamshala is the famous Jwalamukhi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of Light. In the temple there is as such no idol to worship. A constantly burning blue flame, emanating from inside the rocks, is what is worshipped. This place is one of the 51 Sati piths.
While driving from McLeod Ganj to Forsythe Ganj, St. John’sChurch comes in between. This church also houses the tomb of Lord Elgin one of the Viceroys of British India.
15 km from Dharamshala is the famous temple of goddess Chamunda Devi (Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham). At the back of the temple is a cave-like scoop where a stone “Lingam” under a boulder represents Nandikeshwar (Shiva). The temple complex is an enchanting spot with glorious view of Dhauladhar, the Baner Khad and Dadh. A vast running water pool houses the statues of Lord Shiva and Saraswati. A trek of about 16 km up in the Dhauladhar ranges is the ancient temple of Aadi Himani Chamunda.
Situated on the crest of hill 11km from Dharamshala & 2 km from Mcleodganj, the village Dharamkot is a picnic spot affords a panoramic view of the Kangra valley, Pong Dam lake and Dhauladhar ranges. Dharamkot village is a good base for trekkers undertaking short & long treks.
This Shakti-temple is located on Dharamshala-Hoshiarpur road on a ridge. Thousands of devotees visit this temple. In addition to many religious festivals, the main fair is held during the 10 days of “Shukalpaksh” in August. There is a Yatri Niwas which is managed by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.
A level 3km walk from Kotwali Bazar leads upto the rock temple of the local goddess Durga. In the temple there is stone which remains always wet. According to local belief, the moment it starts drying, it rains. The road to Kunal Pathri passes through forests and tea gardens, occasionally allowing glimpses of wildlife ranging from rabbit to agile leopards.
Kareri Lake is situated northwest of McLeodganj and is at the foot of the Minkiani Pass. This pass is one of the 14 passes in the Dhauladhar Range in the Western Himalayas. Apart from the lake’s natural beauty, the trek itself goes through beautiful forests, rural villages, and finishes at a remote temple on the banks of Kareri Lake. Kareri Lake is one of the popular locations among adventure enthusiasts.
Triund Hill is located at a height of about 2842 meters above sea level and with a distance of about 9 km from McLeodganj and 17km from Dharamsala. Located in the foothills of Dhauladhar Himalayan ranges, the hill is now a very popular trekking trail and is a major attraction for hikers. The scenic beauty and the panoramic view of the Valley and Dhauldhar range is breathtaking.
Nearby places to visit from Dharamshala: Dharamshala is also a good base to visit some nearby destinations like:
Just 17 km from Dharamshala, the Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys of lower Himalayas. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature of places to be visited. Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air whereas ancient Hindu Temples like Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji dot the country side.
It is situated at a distance of 41 kms from Dharamshala and can be approached by road the natural cave temple of Trilokpur contains a stalactite and stalagamite is dedicated to Shiva. High on the ridge of the cave are ruins of a palace and baradari (audience hall) of Lehna Singh Majitha, Governor of Kangra hills during the Sikh rule.
Things to do at Dharamshala: Dharamshala offers some interesting activities for the tourists with trekking, rock climbing and also angling. The 20 km stretch of the river Beas between Nadaun and Pong Dam offers ample opportunities in angling for Mahaseer. For shopping the local handicrafts make a visit to the Kotwali Bazar. The Tibetan handicrafts and carpets are available at Mcleodganj.
Best time to visit Dharamshala: The ideal time to visit here is from January to June and September to December.
How to go ?
Gaggal airport (also known as Dharamsala airport) in Kangra valley is the nearest airport. The airport is 15 km away from Dharamsala. This airport connects domestic flights to Delhi. International travellers have to connect through Delhi Airport, which is about 520 km away from Dharamsala. DelhiAirport is connected to all major cities in India and abroad.
Nearest railway station is Kangra Mandir at a distance of 22 km from Dharamsala. All trains won’t stop here. The major rail junction is Pathankot, which is about 85 km away from Dharamsala. Pathakot is well connected to all major cities in India.
Regular bus services are available in Dharamsala connecting the nearby cities. Direct private luxury buses are available from Delhi (520 km). The private cars are also available on hire from here.
Where to stay ?
The location comprises of a good number of decent accommodation facilities suited to budget. Some options are:
The Dhauladhar (HPTDC): +91-01892- 224926, 224927
The Kashmir House (HPTDC): +91–01892 – 222977
The Club House (HPTDC): +91–01892- 220834
The Bhagsu (HPTDC): +91–01892-221091
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.