India >> Himachal Pradesh >> Dharamshala Travel Guide

Dharamshala Hotels and Travel Guide

Dharamsala is one of the principle towns of Kangra valley. It is set in the backdrop of snow clad peaks of Dahuladhar mountains. Today Dharamsala has become the synonymous to the Tibetan government in exile. Dharamsala over 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.

Among the peaceful environment grows an ever alive population of Dharmsala. No doubt HH the Dalai Lama of Tibet choose this place to be the headquarters of his exiled government. Dharamsala provides an excellent atmosphere to spend the holidays. Dharamsala can be divided in two parts the lower Dharamsala and the upper Dharamsala. Mc

Leod Ganj and Forsythganj form the suburb of this small town. Dharamsala is dominated by the Tibetan community but it still retains the colonial lifestyle and British fervour who had rediscovered the place.

SHOPPING:

Dharamsala is a small town with not much of an industrial base. So it offers mainly the handicraft items which are manufactured in by the local artisans. The Kotwali Bazaar is one of the main shopping areas in the town. The main attraction of the town is Tibetan carpets. These carpets are delicately woven and are decorated with vivid colours. The Motifs on these carpets are either natural scenes and monuments or the depiction of some folk story from Tibet. Over all these carpets carry a totally different style and attraction from their counterparts in Kashmir or the Persian carpets. Further the local handicrafts are also available in the market. Tibetan Textile can be purchased from the office of Tibetan handicrafts. One can always bargain items like the traditional hat, the Chubas ( traditional wear for the Tibetan women), bags, trousers etc.

CLIMATE:
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 cloths are required. During the summers the weather is mild and pleasant. 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. visit this place between Maech and October. Aviod coming here during the monsoon mont

EXCURSIONS:

Mc Leod Ganj : Originally home of the seminomadic Gaddi tribe, Mc leod ganj is today the residence of HH the Dalai Lama. The mid 19 th century this 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. Mc Leod is just before the Upper Dharamsala.The impressive monastery has larger than life size images of Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avaloketeshwara.

Kareri : Set amidst a sylvan surrounding is a rest house. This is Kareri, small but very picturesque place. The rest house is surrounded by green open meadows and thick woods. From here one can proceed to Kareri lake which is 13 km from the rest house. Kareri is 22 kms from Dharamsala.

Triund : Triund 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 spectacular views of the mountains and the valleys makes Triund an ideal picnic spot. The trekking routes has attracted many visitors to this place.

Tilokpur : On the way from Pathankot, 41 kms from Dharamsala are the cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The caves are unique in themselves as they have Stalactite and Stalagmites.

Sujanpur Tira : This place is famous for the wall paintings and the temples. Sujanpur Tira also has fort which is worth visiting. It is 80 kms from Dharamsala and in particular the celebration of Holi is very important and attracts many visitors to this area.

Kangra Art Museum - Dharamshala
Kangra Art Museum - Dharamshala


St John Church - Dharamsala
St John Church - Dharamsala


Dalai-Lama's-Ro - Dharamshala
Dalai-Lama's-Ro - Dharamshala


Kunal Pathri - Dharamshala
Kunal Pathri - Dharamshala

Kangra : Once upon a time this place was an important seat of administration. But today there is not much to be seen. But Kangra the Capital of Cahnd dynasty tells a story of glory which has faded into history.

Jwalamukhi : It is one of the most sacred sites in the Kangra valley. Here a temple dedicated to Goddess of light is located. 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. It is 34 kms from Kangra.

Nurpur : Just 24 kms on the Pathankot-Dharamsala road is a place which is named Nurpur after Nur Jehan, the wife of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. There also a fort which houses the ruins of a Krishna temple. The rich carvings from the Mughal era can be seen in the remaining structures of Nurpur. The Krishna temple also shows signs of some rich decorations and carvings.

Attractions and Places to Visit in Dharamshala

Kangra Art Museum - A gallery of miniature paintings from Kangra, a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items and many more such things are there in the Kangra Art museum.

War Memorial - Just as one is entering the town, set amidst the pine groves is a war memorial. A web of narrow paths and stretches leads to the memorial. This memorial was raised to commemorate the war heroes of the post independence era.

Dall Lake - Surrounded by high and green Deodar trees is the lake which fills a mountain bowl. This shimmering blue

Lake is called the Dall lake. This lake is 11kms from Dharmsala and is approachable by roads. Dall lake forms a perfect scenic picnic spots in the area.

St. John's Church
- One of the most poignant memories of the British Raj is the church of St. John in wilderness. This charmingly dressed stone church is located just 8 kms from Dharamsala on the way to McLeod Ganj. The church is surrounded by Deodar trees which adds to the beauty of the church. Under the shades of the Deodar is laid to rest the body of British Viceroy, Lord Elgin. The grassy slopes also holds a well maintained and preserved graveyard

Bhagsunath - Just 11 kms from the town center of Dharamsala is the ancient temple of Bhagsunath. There are many fresh water springs close to the temple. The place has developed as a popular picnic spot. The famous slate quarries of Dharamsala are also nearby.

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.

Dharmkot - Dharmkot is just 11 kms from Dharamsala. From here one can get very panoramic view of the Kangra valley. The Dhauladhar ranges are also visible from this place. The whole area is famous as picnic spot. The attractive scenes of the valley and the natural splendour of the area has made people visit the place time and again.

Masrur - Just 45 kms from Dharamsala are the 15 richly carved rock temples. This place is called Masrur.

Norbulinka Institute - Just four kms from Dharamsala is Norbulinka. This place has heavy Japanese influence. The shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams tiny water falls make this place look like heaven. Norbulinka was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. Here one can watch the wooden carvings and the tangka paintings, golsithing and embroidery being done. The nunnery close to the institute where women are taught the advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy. Norbulinka can also be approached from McLeod Ganj.

Chinmaya Tapovan - Just 10 kms from the town is the ashram complex established by Swami Chinmayananda. A noted exponent of Gits, Swami Chinmya choose this lovely place 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.

Andretta - This place is 13 kms from Palampur. Andretta was the house of artist S.Sobha Singh and it has a gallery some of his major works. There is also a pottery center at Andretta

How to Reach Dharamshala

BY AIR : There are three flights a week from Delhi to Kangra Airport on Monday, Wednesday and Friday by Indian Airlines. It is a forty five minute drive to Glenmoor Cottages. There are also five flights a day to Jammu at a distance of 190 kilometers. It is a four hours drive to Glenmoor.

BY RAIL : Pathankot railway junction is well connected by trains from all over India. It is one hundred kilometers and the driving time is two and a half hours to Glenmoor Cottages. One may also take a train to Amritsar at a distance of 190 kilometers and it four hours drive to Glenmoor. The railway station at Una is at a distance of 130 kilometers and a three and a half hours drive to Glenmoor.

BY ROAD : A network of highways connects Dharamshala to Chandigarh, Delhi, Shimla and Jammu. There are private as well as Government buses from all cities to Dharamshala. A new air conditioned bus service between Dharamshala and New Delhi has been started by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation.


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