DHARAMSHALA TRAVEL GUIDE
Historical & Heritage | Hill Station
Ideal Trip Duration: 2 Full Days
Base Station: Dharamshala
Nearest City to Dharamshala: Shimla (237 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Dharamshala: April to June & September to November
Peak Season: April to May & September to October
State: Himachal Pradesh | District: Kangra
Dharamshala Weather: Summer: Maximum - 30°C and Minimum - 16°C
Winter: Maximum - 16°C and Minimum - 5 °C
At a distance of 9 km from McLeod Ganj, 16 km from Kangra, 84 km from Pathankot, 115 km from Dalhousie, 194 km from Kullu, 234 km from Manali, 237 km from Shimla, and 486 km from Delhi, Dharamshala is a hill station in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. At an average altitude of 1,475 m above sea level, it is one of the best hill stations in Himachal state and among most famous Himachal places to visit apart from being a popular weekend getaways from Delhi for a 2 day trip.
This is the gateway to the Kangra valley and also the headquarters of Kangra district. The city was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the year 1905 and was reconstructed to become a health resort and a popular tourist destination. In the year 1960, Dharamshala became a temporary headquarters to His Holiness Dalai Lama. Today, it is known as Little Lhasa or Dhasa, because of its large population of Tibetans and Buddhist Monasteries.
Dharamshala consists of two distinct parts - Lower Dharamsala and Upper Dharamshala. Lower Dharamsala is a bustling civil and commercial center whereas Upper Dharamshala, known more commonly as McLeod Ganj, is the seat of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama's residence and the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration are located here.
The hill station of Dharamshala is covered by thick woods of oak and coniferous trees and it is enfolded on its three sides by the Dhauladhar ranges. It has a lot to offer ranging from ancient temples, churches and monasteries to museums and beautiful trekking trails. The ancient Chamunda Temple, Dalailama Temple, Namgyalma Stupa, Bhagsunath Temple, Norbulingka Institute, Gyuto Monastery and Indru Nag are some of the prime tourist attractions. Dharamshala is a starting point to a number of trekking trails. Bhagsu Falls, Dharamkot, Triund, Ilaqa, Toral Pass, Bhimghasutri Pass, Dunali and Kareri Lake are the important trekking trails here.
Gaggal Airport is the nearest airport, which is about 13 km from Dharamshala. It is well connected by flights with Delhi. The nearest major railway station is at Pathankot, 84 km away. It has trains from Ahmedabad, Vaishno Devi Katra, Jammu Tawi, Delhi, Mumbai, Amritsar, Tata Nagar, Rourkela, Haridwar, Jalandhar and Chandigarh. There is also a smaller railway station, Kangra Mandir, just 33 km from Dharamshala but none of the important trains halt here. It has trains from Pathankot, Baijnath and Joginder Nagar. Dharamshala is well connected by bus with Delhi, Pathankot, Kangra, Dalhousie, Chamba, Manali, Kullu and Shimla.
Dharamshala has many accommodation options in the form of private hotels and tourist lodges. The best time to visit Dharamshala is from September to October and again from April to June.