Dharamshala is bustling yet serene, the rush of cars and buses aren’t annoying at Dharamshala, markets don’t feel crowded. Dharmashala is town in the Himachal District, it has all modern facilities to welcome a traveller and its own culture to charm the traveller.
Apart from being a wonderful world of Himachali beauty, Dharamshala is an adrenaline junkie’s dream and offers activities like camping, ziplining and paragliding
Dharamshala has an important bus station and an airport which makes it very accessible and gives all the more reason to pay a visit to this place.
The best places to visit in Dharamshala are enlisted in this blogpost and are as follows –
McLeod Ganj is the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and home to a large Tibetan population, including many maroon-robed monks and nuns. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based at Gangchen Kyishong.
Mcleod Ganj is a short bus ride away from Dharamshala and filled with activities and places.
Mcleodganj offers courses in Buddhism, meditation or yoga, trekking in the Dhauladhar mountains, shopping for Tibetan crafts, or just hanging out enjoying the alternative vibe and the plethora of good cafes.
Mcleodganj is a serene animated town which can be enjoyed to the fullest without blowing your bank balance.
Dalai Lama Temple
Tsuglakhang Temple is McLeodGanj, the Dalai Lama visits this temple twice or thrice every year to preach and bless. Thus, the temple gets its name as Dalai Lama Temple.
The temple has large statues of Buddha, Avaloktwshwara, Pamasambhava and others.
The temple is great for sightseeing and meditation. Upon entering the temple, one can find a few shops inside the complex that sell ritual items and books.
There is a memorial monument in the Temple, the main temple is beyond the monument.
In the main temple one can always find monks in red and yellow robes walking around in strict coordination.
Inside the temple there is a statue of Buddha sitting on a carved pedestal.
Pilgrims walk around the statue in clockwise direction as they rotate the prayer wheels. There is a large hall inside the temple for people to meditate.
Namgyal Monastery is a major learning center in McLeodganj is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Dharamshala. Namgyal Monastery’s architecture and aura are full of spirituality and are an homage to Buddhist scriptures, ideals and teachings. Prayer rooms at Namgyal Monastery are accessible and one can also attend the mediation sessions of the monks.
Kareri Dal Lake
Kareri Dal Lake can be thought of as a sister to Kashmir’s iconic Dal Lake. The calm waters of the Kareri Dal lake are calm and still and can feast their eyes on the spellbinding beauty of the lake’s surroundings of tall Chir trees and snow-capped Dhauladhar peaks. The bank of the lake has an old revered Kali Shiva temple which adds another dimension to the lake’s aura. Camping at Dharamshala can be done in many places, this being one of them.
The Tibet Museum is the official museum of the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Information and International Relations and is located near the main temple of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tsuglag Khang.
The Tibetan Museum in Mcleodganj is a fine specimen of Tibetan architecture and was primarily built to preserve the history and culture of Tibet. The museum has also been a major tourist attraction from visitors all across the globe. There have been lectures and exhibitions that were conducted in the premises. The stories of the lives of people have been showcased beautifully in the form of paintings and snaps.
The Tibetan Museum in Mcleodganj is a fine example of Tibetan artwork, building style and showcases Tibetean lifestyle. The museum was basically established to protect the history and culture of Tibet. The accounts of the lives of Tibetean individuals have been exhibited flawlessly as compositions and snaps.
Gallu Devi Temple
Gallu Devi is one of the many Goddesses in this part of Himachal and has a small temple dedicated to her in the Gallo village with a few shops around on top of a hill that overlooks the valley on two sides with some amazing views.
Gallu Devi Temple is the base camp for trekking up to Triund. The trek to Triund is only 3 hours from here.
The Bhagsunag temple has been highly revered by the Hindus and the Gorkha Community. The sacred shrine is famed for its two pools that are believed to have healing properties. The best time to visit Bhagsunath Temple is during the annual fair that takes place here in the month of September.
Bhagsunag Falls also called Bhagsu Falls, is a beautiful waterfall near Bhagsunath Temple close to McLeod Ganj in Kangra area of Himachal Pradesh.
Falling down from a height of 20 m, this is a fairly sized cascade. During the area’s Himalayan rains, this waterfall turns lovelier; close by is a mountain that highlights records spray painted graffiti. This region is covered with snowfall during winters. Sightseers love to swim across the fall’s water which gives a charming and invigorating experience. Trekking is a favorable activity to do in this area.
The Bhagsu town is a well known picnic spot and furthermore home to the popular Bhagsunath Temple committed to Lord Shiva.
This beautiful monastery is one of the best places to see in Dharamshala. Gyuto Monastery is the residence of Karmapa – the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism. It was Built In The Memory Of Soldiers of Tibetean Freedom War. The Gyuto Monastery does research on Buddhist Philosophy, Tantric rituals, and Tantric meditation. The monastery, true to its Buddhist Philosophy has a simple and serene architecture against the backdrop of mighty Dhualadhar mountains.
The Katoch dynasty, which built the Kangra Fort, which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata epic.
Kangra Fort was built by the royal Rajput family and still stands today as the largest fort complex in the Himalayas and the oldest dated fort in India. The fort was built around 3500 years ago and is located 20 km from Dharamsala.
The fort was built by a family believed to have royal lineage and had immense power over their subjects and lands. Naturally, their home and stronghold of Kangra Fort became a subject to numerous assaults by practically all strong influential rulers who at any point strolled India. All attempted to take the Kangra Stronghold under their influence as it was stated: ‘He who holds the Kangra fort, holds the slopes.’
The fort didn’t lose itself to anyone except Jahangir, after his father Akbar was defeated 52 times.
The Kangra fort is said to have 21 treasure wells – each well is 4 meters deep and about 2 and a half meters in circumference-the Sultan of Ghazni looted eight wells, the British in the 1890s found five more wells. Local beliefs are that the fort still hides within its wall eight more treasure wells.
Kangra Art Museum
Located near Dharamshala bus stand, Kangra Art Museum is a magnificent hub that displays art pieces, dating back to many centuries ago up till present day. The Kangra Art museum is known for preserving ancient traits and ethos of Kangra valley in the form of paintings, statues, fabrics, weapons, utensils, and temple figurines and also has a rare coin collection. It also displays artwork of Tibetean and Buddhist culture. The museum has one dedicated section for modern painters and sculptors as well.
Masroor Rock Cut Temple
Masroor Rock Cut Temple is a historical site known for its rock cut architecture. The temple dates back to the 8th century AD. At the temple there are 15 monolithic temples depicting Indo-Aryan style architecture, depicting various tales of great Indian epics.
St. John in the Wilderness Church
The church of St. John in the wilderness rightfully deserves its name, this neo gothic style church is nestled between thick Himalayan woods.
The church boasts to be one of the oldest Anglican churches in Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj and of two magnificent stained glass panels, and a bell brought all the way from England!
The church was built in 1852, to provide a place of worship for the British soldiers posted here, and the church is full of memorial stones of those who passed away here, one is dedicated to Lord Elgin, the Viceroy of India from 1862-1863. The church also boasts of two magnificent stained glass panels, and a bell, cast by Mears and Stainbank, and brought all the way from England!
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
Dharamshala is what you can easily call an all rounder. The town serves spiritual places, tranquil Himachali beauty, tall mountains, historic sites and a treat for the lovers of the loved game – cricket. The cricket stadium at Dharamshala is very significant as it is located at a height, it is also one of the highest cricket grounds in the world. It is at an altitude of 1,457 meters. One can always swing by and catch a match of local budding cricketers.
Library Of Tibetan Works And Archives
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala. Founded by Tenzin Gyatso, this library is an interesting place for the history buffs, as it has books and sources that were saved and relocated during the escape of 1959.
The Kangra war memorial was set up to honour and immortalize those who lost their lives during the Indo-China War that took place in 1947, 1962, 1965, 1971 and UN Peace Operations. The memorial is a symbol of patriotism and of a community disregarding its differences to come together and stand in solidarity against the grief of losing one of their own.
You can take a trek to Triund while staying in Dharamshala. This is one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala which gives you a perfect chance to catch the glimpse of majestic Himalayas. Located at an altitude of 2828 meters, Triund is truly a delight for trekkers and nature lovers while people can also experience camping in Dharamshala.
Lahesh caves are at an elevation of 3475m and an uphill trekking distance away from Triund. Travellers visit this place for the best camping experience in Triund.
Lahesh caves are a natural rock cave shelter. From lahesh cave to Chhatta Parao. This is the bottom of Indrahar pass passing through the soft snow and icy streams.
Jwala Devi Temple
The Jwala Mata Temple attracts not only Maa Jwala’s devotees but is also a place for the lovers of architecture, nature and science. The sacred flames which burn in the Jwala Devi Temple have been burning without any interruption since the temple was established years ago, devotees come to pay homage to this divine doing and touch the flames and return home with blessings unscathed.
Aghanjar Mahadev Temple
Aghanjar Mahadev Temple is a holy shiva temple at the foothills of Dhauladhar mountain ranges. The temple is believed to have been constructed in the early 19th century. Apart from the magnificent architecture of the temple, the prime attraction of this temple is the waterfall that accentuates the beauty of this serene place.
Naam Art Gallery
This is one of the best places for art lovers to admire some beautiful artworks that are done by Elizabeth Buschmann, the founder of the gallery. You will also find some paintings that are made up by A.W. Hallett, an English painter. There is no doubt in the fact that it is one of the best places for sightseeing in Dharamshala.
Chintpurni Mata Temple
Chintpurni Mata is the youngest of the 9 Devis and exceptionally kind. Her home, her shrine is nestled among beautiful mountains and forests. An easy road leads up to her and when you reach here, all you have to do is place your faith in her and she will grant you all you desire.
Hanuman Ka Tibba
Ending this blogpost on Hanuman ka Tibba is a poetic way to end it on a high note; Hanuman ka Tibba just like its namesake is mighty and the highest peak of the already mighty Dhauladhar mountains. Hanuman ka Tibba is at a staggering height of 19,000 feet and a hub for activities such as skiing, trekking and camping.
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