About Dharamshala

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 places to visit in Himachal state and among the most famous hill stations near Delhi.

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.

...read more

Other Info
Internet Availability: Good
STD Code: 08192
Languages Spoken: Hindi, Tibetan, Pahari and English
Major Festivals: Details Not Available
Notes/Tips:
None

How to Reach Dharamshala

By Air

Nearest Airport: Dharamshala - Gaggal Airport (13 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Pathankot (84 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Dharamshala Interstate Bus Station (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

Heritage

#1 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 3 km from Dharamshala and 6 km from McLeod Ganj, Namgyalma Stupa is an old Buddhist structure situated at Uparli Barol.

Namgyalma Stupa is a dome-shaped construction that contains the remains of Buddha, which the Tibetans consider to be a sacred place of worship. It holds a huge shrine of Sakyamuni Buddha. The Namgyalma Stupa was constructed in the remembrance of the Tibetan soldiers who fought for the freedom of Tibet. This structure is similar in design to the structure built during the 3rd century BC by King Ashoka.

The Namgyalma Stupa is carved from sandstone and is made with a vision of being long-lasting. It is a belief among Tibetans that anything that falls on the Namgyalma Stupa gets purified. Some believe that rain water falling on the Stupa is blessed. It is also believed that a visit to the Namgyalma Stupa cleanses any bad karma that exists in the soul. The Stupa is surrounded by a number of prayer wheels. Tibetans who visit the Stupa for worship .....

...read more

Heritage | Pilgrimage

#4 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 8 km from Dharamshala and 13 km from McLeod Ganj, Gyuto Monastery is located at Sidbhari on the main road to Palampur.

The Gyuto Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries and specializes in the study of Tantric meditation, Tantric ritual arts and Buddhist philosophy. It was founded in Tibet in 1474 by the main disciple of the first Dalai Lama, Jetsun Kunga Dhondup. After the communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, the monastery was re-established in India.

It is the abode of Karmapa, the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism. Karmapa means the one who carries out buddha-activity or the embodiment of all the activities of the Buddha. Also called TCV School, the main chamber of the monastery has a majestic statue of the Buddha and with the backdrop of the snow-clad Dhauladhar Mountains. Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje houses nearly 200 monks who practice the major Tantric texts including Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka. They have passed these lineages .....

...read more

Pilgrimage

#8 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 17 km from Dharamshala, 10 km from Palampur, 24 km from McLeod Ganj and 24 km from Kangra, Chamunda Devi Temple is a renowned Hindu Temple located at Padar on the banks of Baner River in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

This ancient temple dates back to the 16th century. The temple is dedicated to Chamunda Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The word Chamunda has been derived from two words, Chanda and Munda. As per the mythological legends, goddess Kali killed two notorious demons Chanda and Munda in a fierce battle at this place in ancient time. Hence, the goddess is known and worshipped as Chamunda.

The temple houses sacred image of Chamunda Devi. In the corner of the temple, one can see small stone with footsteps of Goddess. Besides the main shrine, there is a marble staircase that takes down to the cave of Lord Shiva with a Shiva Linga. Chamunda Devi Mandir is believed to be the abode of Shiva and Shakti. Due to this reason, it is also known as .....

...read more

Heritage | Pilgrimage

#10 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 7.5 km from Dharamshala Bus Station and 12 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand, Norbulingka Institute is an educational and training institute situated at Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

Norbulingka Institute was founded in 1988 for preserving Tibetan culture, literature and art. It was established by Dalai Lama and is named after Norbulingka, the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas in Lhasa, Tibet.

It has been built in traditional Tibetan style located amidst gardens and ponds. The main sections of the institute are the Academy of Tibetan Culture, Literary and Cultural Research Centre as well as the Centre of the Arts. The institute also has the Seat of Happiness Temple set amidst the Japanese inspired Norbulingka gardens. It is especially known for more than 1000 murals of Buddha, frescoes of all the Dalai Lamas and drawings from the life of the 14th Dalai Lama.

The institute primarily works towards preserving Tibetan traditions and .....

...read more

Adventure

#12 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 8 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand and 13 km from Dharamshala, Triund is a beautiful hill situated in Dhauladhar Mountains in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is located at an altitude of about 2842 m. Triund is popular trekking site in McLeod Ganj and attracts a lot of tourist every year. It is also one of the best trails of short treks in Himachal state. Triund offers the perfect view of the Dhauladhar Mountains on one side and Kangra Valley on the other.

Triund is an 8 km trek from the McLeod Ganj Bus Stand. This is a small and an easy trek, which can be done either from McLeodganj or Dharamkot, which is 2 km ahead of McLeodganj. The trail is 6 km from Dharamkot and passes through Galu Devi temple. From this temple, it takes around 3 hours to reach Triund. The initial half of the trek is a gradual incline and the last 2 km from Snowline Cafe involves a steep climb all the way till Triund. The last 1 km has 22 tiring curves before finally reaching Triund. Along .....

Distance (From Dharamshala): 13 Kms
Trip Duration (From Dharamshala - Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day
.....

...read more

Waterfall

#13 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 3 km from McLeod Ganj & 7 km from Dharamshala, Bhagsunag Falls, also known as Bhagsu Falls, is an beautiful waterfall situated at Bhagsu village behind Bhagsunath Temple near McLeod Ganj in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

Cascading down from a height of 20 m, this is a mid-size waterfall. During monsoon, this waterfall turns beautiful alongside a mountain that features slate graffiti. This area is covered with snowfall during winters. Tourists love to swim across the cold water which gives the pleasant and refreshing experience. Trekking is also good and much enjoyable option here.

The Bhagsu village is a popular picnic spot and also home to the famous Bhagsunath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is a famous tourist attraction and also an important place for Hindu pilgrims. Reaching this waterfall needs some hard work as visitors need to climb the hill halfway to reach the waterfall. There is a nice cafeteria next to the falls and the area serves as .....

Distance (From Dharamshala): 7 Kms
Trip Duration (From Bhagsunag Temple (1 km) - Including Travel): 1 Hour
.....

...read more

Pilgrimage

#14 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 2 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand & 6 km from Dharamshala, Bhagsu Nag Temple also known as Bhagsunath Temple is one of the popular ancient temples located in McLeod Ganj. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the local deity Bhagsu Nag.

Bhagsu Nag Mandir is an ancient temple believed to have been built by King Bhagsu from Rajasthan. The present Bhagsu Nag temple was constructed by 1st Gurkha Rifles in early 19th century and worshipped majorly by 14 Gurkha platoon villages in Dharamshala. Adjacent to the temple building are a series of pools where Buddhist monks and visitors enjoy baths. An annual fair is conducted in the month of September at this temple which attracts tourist from the entire region.

This temple is situated on the way to Bhagsunag Waterfall.

Distance (From Dharamshala): 6 Kms
Trip Duration (From Dharamshala - Including Travel): 1 Hour
.....

...read more

Heritage | Pilgrimage

#15 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 2 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand and 4 km from Dharamshala, Tsuglagkhang Monastery is the most important Buddhist Monastery situated in McLeod Ganj suburb of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

Tsuglag Khang, also known as Dalai Lama's Temple complex, is the home for His Holiness Dalai Lama. It is among the world renowned religious centers and is thronged by Buddhist pilgrims throughout the year. Tsuglagkhang Monastery is beautifully built structure. This is more like a temple along with being a residential complex for His Holiness and his followers.

The complex houses the Photang (Dalai Lama's residence), Tibet Museum, Tsuglagkhang Temple, and Namgyal Gompa. The monastery deals with training of monks for rituals associated with holy shrine, whereas the temple is a chief place of worship. A beautifully decorated statue of Lord Buddha along with beautiful statues of Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshvara are housed .....

Distance (From Dharamshala): 4 Kms
Trip Duration (From Dharamshala - Including Travel): 1-2 Hours
.....

...read more

Heritage | Pilgrimage

#16 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 200 m from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand and 9 km from Dharamshala, Tsechokling Gompa, also known as Tse Chok Ling Gompa is a religious monument constructed on a steep hillside in McLeod Ganj.

Tsechokling Gompa is amongst the popular monasteries in the region and is highly regarded for its cultural significance. This peaceful Gompa was built in 1987 to replicate the original Dip Tse Chok Ling Gompa in Tibet, destroyed in the Revolution. Home to a small order of Gelukpa monks, the prayer hall enshrines a statue of Sakyamuni in a magnificent jeweled headdress.

The monks who lived in the Gompa made two huge drums covered in goatskin and painted beautifully. The Gompa is famous for the fine Mandalas.

Distance (From Dharamshala): 9 Kms
Trip Duration (From McLeod Ganj Bus Stand (200m) - Including Travel): 1 Hour
.....

...read more

Heritage

#17 of 19 Places to Visit in Dharamshala

At a distance of 1 km from McLeod Ganj and 8 km from Dharamshala, St. John Church, also known as St. John In The Wilderness, is an Anglican church situated at Forsyth Ganj on the way to McLeod Ganj amidst beautiful deodar trees.

The church was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and was constructed in 1852. The Church is a historic monument and one of the oldest churches in the region. It is built in Neo-Gothic architectural style and features Belgian stained-glass windows that were donated by Lady Elgin, wife of Lord Elgin.

The church was built with grey stone and is one of the few buildings still in existence in the town from the British era. The British style of architecture is extremely evident in the edifice of the church, with elegant wood of the altar and the brass handles of the oil lamps. These lamps have now been replaced with electric lamps. In 1905 an earthquake destroyed the bell tower of this church. A new bell was built in 1915, which was brought from England. .....

Distance (From Dharamshala): 8 Kms
Trip Duration (From Dharamshala - Including Travel): 1 Hour
.....

...read more


Share: