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Home » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamshala  


The exquisite town of Dharamshala is situated at a height of 1250 metres to 1982 metres, divided into two parts, the lower and the upper Dharamshala. This splendid place adorns the foothills of the mighty white mountains, Dhauladhar. The high snow clad Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas form a magnificent backdrop to the-hill resort of Dharamsala.

Dharamshala Holiday Packages Himachal Pradesh Tourism IndiaWith dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamsala has everything for a perfect holiday. This place is the headquarters of the Kangra district. It also was the temporary headquarters of the Dalai Lama, which is now called the Little Lhasa in India. This place is approximately 127 years old and it became the capital in 1852.

The charming church of St. John in the wilderness is situated here and this is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, a British Viceroy of India in the 19th Century. There is also a large Tibetan community who have made this their home. Numerous ancient temples like Jwalamukhi, Brijeshwari and Chamunda lie on the plains below Dharamsala.

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Prime Attractions of Dharamshala

» Mcleod Ganj
Mcleod Ganj, a charming Tibetan settlement has bustling bazaars that sell carpets, Tibetan handicrafts, and delicious Tibetan foods. At just a kilometre walk from this place, one comes across the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). This institute preserves a number of musical, dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet. It organises a ten-day festival from the second Saturday of April. Mcleod Ganj even plays abode to the Dalai Lama. The place is now major cultural centre of Tibetan culture. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshwara.

» Machhrial And Tatwani
This is an exotic waterfall, which is twice as big as the one near the Bhagsunath temple and and there's a hot spring a little beyond it. Machhrial and Tatwani is approximately 25 km from Dharamshala.

» Dal Lake
The Dal lake is at a distance of just 11 Km from Dharamshala. It is more famous as a beautiful picnic spot. This place is surrounded by gigantic Fir trees and Deodar trees. This place witnesses an annual fair, which is held in September every year. The festival attracts large crowds from all over the country and is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

» Kareri Lake (seclusion in the wilderness)
22 km from Kotwali Bazaar, amidst sylvan surroundings, there is a rest house here. Surrounded by open meadows and thick woods, the Kareri Lake is 13 km ahead. The lake is located at a height of 3250 meters and is surrounded by green meadows, with Oak and Pine trees.

» Dharamkot
This place is situated at the height of 2100 meters above sea-level and is approximately 11km away from the lower town. The place offers a panoramic view of majestic Dhoula Dhar and Kangra Valley.

» War Memorial
At the very start of town, landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised in memory of the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh.
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» Kangra Art Museum, Kotwali Bazaar
This treasure trove of the Kangra valley's arts is a representative of famous miniature paintings and collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. 'Shamianad' and dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors,' jalis', Linels and 'Pandals' are also on display along with coins.

» Bhagsunath
Close to fresh water springs, this ancient temple is 11 km from Dharamsala. It is a popular picnic spot and the famous slate quarries are close by.

» St. John's Church
8 km from Dharamsala, between Forsythganj and McLeod Ganj is the charming dressed-stone church of St. John in the Wilderness. Under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been built over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863. There is a well-tended old graveyard on these grassy slopes.

» Kunal Pathri
It is a rock temple, which is arrived at through the Kotwali Bazaar. The temple is a walk of three kilometres from the Bazaar approximately.

» Chinmaya Tapovan
An ashram complex has been established by late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita, at a distance of approximately 10 km from Dharamsala on the banks of the rivulet Bindu Saras. The complex includes a 9 m high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.

» Sujanpur Tira
80 km from Dharamsala, this historic town is famous for its wall paintings, temples and fort. Here the festival of Holi is a major event.

» Andretta
This place is around 13 km from Palampur, where the famous artist S.Sobha Singh lived for several years. A gallery houses some of his major works. Also, there is a pottery centre at Andretta of crafts and displays artificats that date back to the 5th century.

Places to Stay in Dharamshala

Dharamshala's 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.

Climate of Dharamshala

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.

Best time to Visit Dharamshala

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.

How to get there
Dharamshala Tour Operators Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide India
» Air
Nearest Airport is Gaggal about 12 km from Dharamsala.

» Rail
The convenient rail head is Pathankot at a distance of 90km whereas Kangra Railway station on Narrow gauge railway line is only 17km from Dharamsala.

» Road
Regular Bus and Taxi service available from Delhi and Chandigarh. Delhi is 520km and Chandigarh is 252km from Dharamsala.

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