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Tourist Places To Visit In Dharamsala
Dharamsala, formerly known as Bhagsu is the second winter capital of Himachal Pradesh. The city of Dharamsala has become an important highlight in Himachal tour packages because of its scenic beauty and local tourist attractions. Since it is quite a task to explore every alley of this multi-faceted destination during your weekend visits, here's an amazing list of the best tourist places visit in Dharamsala while you are there. So read on folks, because there are amazing viewpoints, sunset points, mountain passes and wonderful cafes.
Mcleod Ganj is the residency of ‘His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’. 3 km north of Dharamsala town, this little haven is home to a large Tibetan population, including quite a few monks and nuns. The main tourist attraction here is a trek to the Dhauladhar ranges. Tourist also visits this place to take courses in Buddhism, meditation or yoga. Besides you can always have a good time simple lazying about in a good cafe or restaurant serving Indo-Italo-Israeli-Tibetan food. Plenty of options here!
This is the place for adventure lovers and anyone who would love to wake up to a spectacular sunrise surrounded by snow-clad mountains. A trek to Triund Hill generally takes about 4-6 hours but is well worth the experience. You must follow all the guidelines before the trek, taking enough drinking water and a tent to sleep in during the overnight stay at the top. We advise avoiding this trek during the monsoons. The trek is rigorous and the route gets precarious with the unpredictable and unrelenting mountain rains.
This is again one of Dharamsala's coveted tourist spots. In the peak season it's quite crowded too. After a lengthy walk followed by a steep climb, you can stop and simply marvel at the view. It's good enough to forget about the crowd. If you wish, you can climb down to the temple, standing just beside the waterfall. And even have some maggi in the shop next to it. We suggest you keep climbing all the way to the top of the hill till you reach Shiva café. Settle down for some hearty snacking and a memorable sunset.
Dal Lake Of Dharamsala
The Dal Lake is beautiful, vast and surrounded by pine trees. Spend your time walking around the lake to savour the calm and tranquility of the surrounding hills. Visit on your way to Mcleod Ganj from Dharamsala. You can carry a small picnic basket, setup your spread by the bank, and enoy with friends and family.
Masroor Rock Cut Temple
A little farther from Dharamsala, located in Kangra valley, this temple is worth a visit. The environment is peaceful, the place is not much crowded and it definitely has a picturesque view with stunning glimpses of the Dhauladhar ranges in the distance. Each part of the temple has a different story of a bygone era to tell.
This place is heaven for those who want to learn Buddhism and practice meditation. The location is spectacular and the unique culture lends an interesting perspective. Come here to explore the ways of an ancient religion of peace and serenity. Be one with the divine in yourself at Namgayal Monastery, there's a lot to be learnt here.
When in Dharamsala, don’t forget the tea gardens. The estates spread for miles, with processing units attached to most. And if you are there in season, then you will get to see the women harvesting tea leaves in their shoulder baskets! The heady scent of fresh tea leaves is enough to give you a high. If you are a tea enthusiast then prepare to find yourself on cloud 9. Kangra Valley is the best place to find tea gardens, Palampur being the hub.
Kangra Valley is one of the most famous, most coveted destinations in Himachal Pradesh. It has gained recent recognition due to its popularity among the solo travellers, backpackers and their lot. It is home to unparalleled beauty, mountains that look like sentries, meadows that go on forever and temples that are as old as time. Visit the Masrur Temple. Kangra is very close to Dharamsala and hence preferred on the tourist circuit when in town.
Not too far from Dharamshala is the Kangra Fort. It is older than the common era, as old as 4th Century BCE. Built during the reign of Katoch Empire, Kangra Fort has withstood the test of time, invaders and nature. Do visit here to tour the interiors and get great views from the top. There is a museum with installations here to display the Katoch Empire history. Do take time to walk through.
The War Memorial
The War Memorial is located on the Kachehri Road in Daharamsala, and invokes strong patriotic fervour among visitors. You will get to see the massive battle tanks, armaments and other paraphernalia here. The names of soldiers and martyrs are also written at the entrance. Behind this memorial is a dense pine forest where people choose to take a leisurely walk.
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is for those lost souls who find themselves in books. This is your go to for learning more about Tibetan literature, culture, classics, art and history. There are original manuscripts that were salvaged from decay, destruction or enemy hands during the exile of ’59. This library houses more than 80000 of them, with an added collection on Buddhism. You can also see the artefacts and statues on display.
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
A cricket stadium in the laps of Himalayas? Who would have imagined?
And yet here is the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, a unique place, one of its kind, that attracts tourists as well as cricket fans. This stadium is built on a height of 1500 m above sea level and is used by clubs for national level cricket too. It is open for all from 9 am to 6 pm on non-match days. If a game is scheduled, it is best to check with the ticket windows first.
St John in the Wilderness Church
A church built in the midst of thickets, St John in the Wilderness Church is named also for its location. You will be amazed by the sheer beauty of an old stone colonial structure standing amidst tall deodars. With its gothic elements, dark tones and stained glass windows, St. John is a must visit. There is, of course, no entrance fee as it is a place of worship after all.
Located in a village named Bhagsu, this temple is widely visited by tourists. There are guesthouses, restaurants and markets that have cropped up around it. The village has also progressed to provide amenities and luxuries to visitors. If you want to explore the area some more, there is also a little waterfall nearby. The locals of the village are tribal and very sweet. So you can chat them up and enjoy some time hearing their tales.
A famous trekking route, the Indrahar Pass summit is highly coveted among trekker tribes. 4500 high, this pass is charming as well as adventurous, lush in summers and freezing in winters. Indrahar Pass is located in the Dhaulandhar Mountains. You can plan a trek between the months of April and September, because otherwise snowing may bar the routes. Indrahar Pass is about 8 km away from Dharamsala.
Lahesh Caves is an adventure’s delight in Dharamsala. It is picturesque, reached after a long arduous trek, and perched upon an altitude of 11,482 ft. These caves are located in the middle of coniferous trees and wild jungles, with the mountains of Himalayas rimming it. Trekking up to Lahesh caves is a very coveted activity around the region and you can indulge in it during the non rainy, non-winter months.
An old little hamlet, Masrur is perched in the remote wilderness of Himalayas. The temples, the quaintness, the architecture here is worth experiencing. Masrur is about 40 km from Dharamsala and you can drive up through the Lunj road. A tour of its Himalayan Pyramid or rock cut temples is a must, as is an indulgence in its local pahari cuisine.
Naam Art Gallery
Another space for art lovers in Dharamsala, Naam Art Gallery is the place where you will find paintings from German and English painters. One such famous collection is by a German woman, who also happens to be the founder of the gallery — Elizabeth Buschmann. Other artists like A. W. Hallett are also on display. You can drive out from Dharamsala, and Naam Art gallery will be about 32 km away. The gallery operates from 10 am to 7 pm, everyday and they also sell paintings.
Dharamsala’s Norbulingka Institute is a symbol of Tibetan culture in India. It is a place where you can see, appreciate and sometimes even buy Tibetan art, craft, cultural artefacts. food etc. A temple is located in the area and adds to the charm. Visit the Deden Tsuglagkhang temple, enjoy some Asian and European food at Hummingbird Café, and see more than 150 Tibetan dolls on display at Losel Doll Museum.
Kalachakra literally means the wheel of time. It is a temple in Dharamsala where the locals come to pray to the god of time and to see the tribute that the Tibetans have built to Lord Buddha. With its Avalokitesvara paintings and murals and breath-taking artwork, this temple is best visit on bright summery days. The prayer wheels churning here with gusts of air are another attraction, imparting peace and wellbeing to the onlookers.