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Home | Destinations | Dharamshala

DHARAMSHALA (INDIA)

STATE :- Himanchal Pradesh

 

DISTANCE

 

CONNECTION
  • AIR : The nearest airport at Gaggal is 14 km away after which it is accessible.
  • RAIL : Pathankot is the nearest broad gauge railway terminal to Dharamshala. From Pathankot there is a narrow gauge railway line up to Kangra (94 km) and from here Dharamshala is 17 km by road.
  • ROAD : Direct and regular bus service from Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu, Shimla, Chamba and Manali.

 

ABOUT DHARAMSHALA

Set against the magnificent backdrop of the towering Dhauladhar ranges, which rise up to more than 4000 meters, Dharamshala, which literally means The Holy Refuge, lies perched up on the high slopes in the upper reaches of the Kangra valley. Founded in 1855, it is one of the 80 hill resorts developed in the seventeenth century by the British to beat the heat and dust of the sweltering plains.

It is said that there are some 600 temples tucked away in this tranquil valley which is also home to Tibetan culture at Dharamshala.

 

Dharamshala is divided into roughly two parts :-

  • Lower Dharamshala (1,250 m) - This is the busy commercial area with government buildings, the shopping centre and the bus stand.
  • Upper Dharamshala (1,982 m) - This part has suburbs like Forsythganj and Macleodganj where the celebrated Dalai Lama has settled in exile. It has a lot of Tibetan population and monasteries and looks like a Tibetan township.

 

PLACES OF INTERESTS IN DHARAMSHALA
  • War Memorial :-At the very start of town, landscaped lawns fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra Art Museum.
  • Kotwali Bazar :- This treasure love of the Kangra valley's arts, crafts and rich past displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century. It includes gallery of Kangra's famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. 'Shamianas' and dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jails, lintels and pandals are also on display. Coins, jewellery and manuscripts are included. A section houses the work of contemporary artists, sculptors and photographers. The library is just below this.
  • Dal Lake :-11 km from Dharamshala and surrounded by deodar trees, the lake fills a mountain bowl, On the motor - road, this is an enchanting and serene picnic spot.
  • St. John's Church :-8 km from Dharamshala, between Forsythganj and McLeodganj is the charming dressed- stone church of St. John in the wildness. Under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the British viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamshala in 1863. There is a wall tended old graveyard on these grassy slopes.
  • McLeodganj :-Often called the' Little Lhasa' at 1770 m, this is the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan government-in-exile has been here for over three decades. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara. The large Tibetan community and the presence of traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet have enhanced the area. A host of Tibetan handicrafts, curios and garments are available on sale and every Sunday, a flea-market appears.
  • Kunal Pathri :- A 3 km level walk from the Kotwali Bazaar leads up to this rock temple.
  • Dharmkot :-On the crest of a hill this attractive picnic spot presents a panoramic view of the Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. This is 11 km from Dharamshala.
  • Triund :- Based at the root of the Dhauladhar ranges,Triund is at a height of 2827m and is 17 km from Dharamshala. The snowline starts at llaqua 5 km from here. This is a popular picnic spot and trek route, with spectacular views of the mountains and valleys. There is a lovely forest rest house here.
  • Kareri :- 22 km from Kotwali Baazar, amidst sylvan surroundings, there is a rest house here. Surrounded by open meadows and thick woods,the Kareri lake is 13 km ahead.
  • Andretta :- 13 km from Palampur, the famous artist S. Sobha Singh lived here for several years. A gallery houses some of his major works. Also, there is a pottery centre at Andretta.

 

RELIGIOUS PLACES
  • Chinmaya Tapovan :- 10 km from Dharamshala on the banks of the rivulet Bindu Saras, is an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita. The complex includes a 9m high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Ragunath Temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation center.
  • Masrur :- 13 km south of Kangra is this large, monolithic temple, similar to the temples of Ellora. With rich ornamentation, this is the only shrine carved out of live rock in north India. Images of Lord Rama, Laxman and Sita are installed here.
  • Tilokpur :- 41 km from Dharamshala,on the highway to Pathankot, there is a cave temple with a stalactite and stalagmite dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Sujanpur Tira :- 80 km from Dharamshala, this historic town is famous for its wall paintings, temples and fort. Here, the festival of holiday a major event.
  • Bhagsunath :- Close to fresh water springs, this ancient temple is 11 km from Dharamshala. It is a popular picnic spot and the famous slate quarries are close by.

 

WHEN TO GO DHARAMSHALA

Best time to visit this place is In the month of January to June; September to December; July-August is rainy season though this place seems nice and is a must visit spot in rainy season.

 

WEATHER

Summers

The summer season in Dharamshala lasts from March to July. the days are warm with temperatures between 22 °C to 38 °C. The summer months are a pleasurable time to be at Dharamshala. The pleasant summers of Dharamshala in fact are a reason, why many of the people from plains flock to the hill station. The nights become slightly cold.

Monsoons are from July to September; with heavy rainfall.

 

Winters

The winter season which lasts from October to February witnesses freezing temperature and sometimes extremely cold climate? Dharamshala witnesses snowfall from the month of December to February. The area is also fog free during these months where as the low lying areas are engulfed by fog. Seeing this from the hills of Dharamshala is a totally different experience and it looks if someone is watching an endless ocean below. This is the time however to be completely covered with woolens owing to the chilly winds and freezing temperature.

 

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
  • Annual Shoton (Yoghurt banquet) Opera Festival: This festival is held every year in Dharamshala in summer season. The annual-10-day-festival feature performances of dances, chants and songs. It is one of the oldest festivals of Tibetans and attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.

 

FOODS AND RESTAURANTS IN DHARAMSHALA

A wide range of mouth-watering Tibetan delicacies like momos, thenthus, Yak butter tea and thukpa are served in the restaurants of Dharamshala.

  • Khana Niravana - Tibetan, Indian and veggie meals.
  • Chocolate Log Restaurant (Jogibara Road) - western dishes like pizza, cakes and Chinese macaroni.
  • McLio Restaurant (Jogibara Road) - Indian and Western with bar is known for its extensive food and bar.
  • Malabar Restaurant (Jogibara Road) - Indian, Chinese and Continental delicacies.
  • Carpe Diem (Jogibara Road) - Western style food and Muesli
  • Lung-Ta restaurant (Jogibara Road) - Japanese food
  • South Indian restaurant (Bhagsu road) - south Indian dishes
  • Himalaya restaurant - Tibetan food
  • JJI's caf - Musli
  • Lhamo's Croissant - Tibetan herbal teas
  • Momo cafe - momos

Some of the other restaurants in Dharamshala which promises good food are Om Hotel, Moon Peak Coffee,Nick's Italian Kitchen, Snow Lion Restaurant, Rewa caf, Taste of India and Le Vrai cafe.

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