Is Dharamshala Worth Visiting? The Top Attractions To Visit!
Set against the backdrop of the enormous Dhauladhar Range and dense coniferous forests, Dharamshala is one of the most picturesque and serene hill stations in India. Nestled in Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, this city is at an advancement of 1457 m above sea level. Dharamshala boasts a characteristic blend of Tibetan and Kangra cultures and helps as the abode of the Dalai Lama. Being an attractive gem in the lap of nature, Dharamshala is scattered with different lakes, waterfalls, and several other attractions.
You can also find some temples, monasteries, vintage forts, and museums here. The hill station fascinates tourists and devotees year-round and is well-linked to neighboring towns and cities by air, road and rail. Kangra Airport (13 km away) and Pathankot Junction (86 km away) are the nearest choices for air and rail travelers. The hill station also relishes good road connectivity with Shimla, Pathankot, Jalandhar, Amritsar, and several other neighboring places. To assist you to plan an unforgettable trip, here is a list of places to visit in Dharamshala. Each place secretions a distinctive charm and is worth sightseeing.
Table of Contents
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
Nestled in the lap of the royal Himalayan Mountain range lies the picturesque Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, also better known as the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium. Situated at a height of 1,457 masl amidst the Dhauladhar mountain variety in Kangra valley, it is one of the greatest sports grounds around the world. Functioned under the patronages of HPCA, the Cricket Stadium often attends as the practice ground for the Indian Cricket Team, Himachal Pradesh state-level cricket team, as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab.
With a view equivalent to the Adelaide Oval or Newlands, the stadium is open for travelers even when no matches are scheduled. The major stand is constructed in Tibetan architectural style. It has different modern-day amenities for hosting national and international level cricket matches, with the volume to seat a crowd of nearly 23,000.
Perhaps the great part of attending a match at the majestic Dharamshala Cricket Stadium would be that there is no fence in front of the seating location, delivering an unobstructed view of the match.
Prevalently known for the study of Tantric Meditation and Philosophy, the Gyuto Monastery is one of the attractive and prevalent monasteries situated in Dharamshala. It was founded in India in 1959 and was established for preserving and encouraging the tradition of Black Magic, prevalently well-known as Tantric Teachings, of the prodigious teacher Ksongkhapa. The glorious monastery has assisted in depicting how, unlike prevalent belief, black magic can be used for the well-being of individuals.
The Gyuto Monastery is attractively constructed on a hilltop with an impressive view of the Dhauladhar Ranges and the Beas River from there. An attractive gold-plated statue of Lord Buddha is located on the premises of the temple which glistens when the rays of the sun fall in the early morning. Adequately of tourists and Buddhists come to the resplendent Gyuto Monastery to observe the quiet monastery which is one of the enjoyments of Dharamshala.
Triund hills are also better known as the crown jewel of Dharamshala. It is located amid the Dhauladhar mountains and carried a spectacular view. Triund is one of the most prevalent trekking spots in India which fascinates a lot of tourists. The attractive forest of oak, deodar, and rhododendron lines up the way for the trek which looks spectacular and carried you on a nice journey through the hills.
St John in the Wilderness Church
Yet another destination in the list of places to visit in Dharamshala is St John in the Wilderness church, which is inserted amidst the lush green trails of deodar. The church shows the age-old architectural style of Gothics and owns an extraordinary feature which is the Belgian stained glassed windows.
This location is just apt if you are looking for a silent place, where one can research in a session of renaissances.
Kangra is a district in Himachal Pradesh with Dharamshala as the managerial headquarters. With might Beas River flowing through the Valley, Kangra is also better known for the backdrop of the Dhauladar range, ancient temples, and boundless tea plantations. Repetitive mention of the Valley in the holy Hindu texts, Kangra as ‘Devbhumi’ or Land of the Gods.
Kangra is a district that encompasses Dharamshala and McleodGanj within its boundaries. The attractive tea plantations are situated in Palampur and areas nearly which lies 36 km away from Kangra city. Jwala Devi temple, the most well-known of them all is better known for its eternal flame, which is burning uninterruptedly for years without any better-known source of fuel. The temple has put the concepts of science in query. Masroor cut rock temple, which is a rock temple from the monolithic age and has been cited in the holy book of Mahabharat.
Complete with Tibetan culture, the Dalai Lama Temple, also better known as Tsuglakhang Temple, is a politico-religious center in Dharamsala. Ideal for peaceable meditation and religious contemplation, the temple is full of lamas at all points of the day chanting on prayer wheels or beads. The royal temple is in close vicinity to the habitat of Dalai Lama and is regularly visited by him to preach and conduct prayer meetings. Prevalent for its attractive setting, the temple complex has become an admired pilgrimage site for Buddhists. In addition to this, nonviolent environs and ataraxy fascinates tourists from all over the globe.
The major attraction of the Dalai Lama Temple is the massive idol of Buddha sitting on a raised pedestal. The chief prayer wheel is also situated here, at the center of the temple which is coated in gold and has chants of ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’. Pilgrims walk across the pedestal to pay homage and rotate the prayer wheel. It is supposed that by rotating the wheel, the merit is reproduced and the devotees are sanctified enormously.
Dharamkot is a minor hippie village nearby the McLeod area, perfect for a few days off from the real world or months away if you’re lucky enough to take time off work for that long.
Dharamkot is the faultless base for several treks such as Triund, Illaqua, Indrahar Pass, etc. My first visit to this village was back in 2008 and I kept going back for more. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation that doesn’t include hiking or walking across, then Dharamkot is NOT the place for you.
This village doesn’t have any roads, except for a single road that leads to it and attractive many ends where there’s a very well-known café named “Trek and Dine”. After this café, the road tightens down to a pathway, perfect for aimless walks through the village to several other viewpoints, rocks, waterfalls, and some treks.
Situated in Dharamshala, the spiritual dwelling of an enormous number of Tibetan monks have come and carved out the wonderful Namgyal Monastery in Himachal. This place was initially a monastery from the palace of Lhasa, which found its new incarnation in Dharamshala. The monastery is better known to function all imperative Tibetan ceremonies and host Tibetan monks from across the world.
It accommodates nearly 200 monks who are included in preserving the rare skills, rituals, tantric practices, Buddhist scriptures, and culture which they brought from Tibet. The new version of this monastery is also better known as Namgyal Tantric College. Better known as “the Dalai Lama Temple”, the monastery now functions as a personal monastery for the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. This attractive monastery constructed on a calm scenic hilltop in McLeod Ganj has grown in repute as a tourist hotspot of Dharamshala.
Perched at an immense height of 14,245 ft above sea level, the remarkable Indrahar Pass lies at the border among the breathtaking Kangra and Chamba districts. Though a short one, this trek is considered to be a bit stimulating as the trekking trail consists of different sharp ascents and steep climbs. This is one of the most captivating treks that Himachal has to propose.
The wonderful view of the mighty Dhauladhar, the lush green valleys, and the interesting flora and fauna will truly leave you enthralled. The path passes by the easy-going crystal blue waters of Lake Mankiani and Kareri. Climb through the steep passing mostly through the lush green insights of the Dhauladhar Range, this stimulating yet tempting trek takes nearly 4 days to complete.
Located on the outskirts of the town of Kangra, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the Kangra Fort is observed to have thousands of years of grandeur, invasion, war, wealth, and evolution.
This enormous fort traces its origins to the antique Trigarta Kingdom, which is cited in the Mahabharata epic. It is the greatest fort in the Himalayas and possibly the oldest dated fort in India. Occupying the lower valley of the Beas and its streams, it was one of the chief hill stations of Punjab and Himachal earlier.
The Masroor Temples have been carved out of an individual monolithic rock in Nagara style, with a Shikara. The complex has three entrances at current; however, manifestly, a fourth entrance has been left imperfect. The architecture is enthused by Hindu texts – it has a blessed pool of water, and the entire construction is symmetrical and laid out in a square.
The major temple with a square sanctum occupies the center location whereas the other tiny temples surround it in a mandala pattern. The complex carvings in the interiors depict teachings from the Vedic period. Located on the uppermost of a rocky hill and enclosed by picturesque Dhauladhar mountains, the enthralling Masroor Rock Cut Temple is crowded by devotees and tourists alike. It is also supposed that taking a dip in the holy waters of the tank can purify your soul from sins.
Hanuman Ka Tibba
Hanuman Ka Tibba is the greatest hill situated in the famous Dhauladhar ranges. Towering above all the other varieties at a whopping height of 19,000 feet, this mountain is a must-visit for all adventure lovers and epinephrin junkies. It is perfect for trekking, mountain climbing, and hiking, and the view from the highest is worth all the effort it takes to reach the conference.
The mountain, being the greatest peak, is the best place for those looking to climb mountains in Himachal Pradesh. There is a spectacular view of the sunset from the summit, where one can see the fast-changing phases of the sun as it inclines into the correspondingly attractive horizon.
Dalai Lama Temple Complex
This is a very nonviolent temple to visit for sightseeing and meditation. Once you enter the temple, you can find a few lamas on the way. A few shops inside the multifaceted sell ritual items and books. This temple is the recurrent preaching advert of Dalai Lama. When he fled from Tibet, the then Prime Minister of India permitted him to enter the country and form his dwelling in this region. In the past, Mcleodganj was an imperative retreat area for the British, and today, it has become an imperative pilgrim spot in India.
The temple is well-known for its beauty. There are several large statues of Buddha, Avaloktwshwara, Padmasambhava, and several others. You can also find different ancient books connected to religion. Individuals visit this temple for meditation and rituals. Once you enter the main location of the temple, you can find individuals praying and chanting with prayer wheels or prayer wheels. Some individuals take a tranquil morning walk or evening walk across the temple.
Best time to visit Dharamshala
Both the summer and winter seasons are the best time to visit Dharamshala. While in summer, tourists can relish paragliding and trekking, the winter season enabled pleasant weather. March through June is the most prevalent time to visit Dharamshala. One of the most attractive hill stations, Dharamshala is a place that gets its tourists during the year. This hill city is very prevalent among backpackers making it an accurate destination for people from all over the globe. Since Dharamshala proposes something for everyone in every season, one can predict all sorts of tourists here; from backpackers to families, this town fascinates them all. However, the best season to visit Dharamshala is summer as the weather is fairly pleasant and individuals from other parts of the country can be found in profusion who visit the place to escape the scorching heat. Another great time to visit Dharamshala is from October to February as the temperature is very low making it a perfect time for adventurers and honeymooners to visit. Dharamshala snowfall time is during December and February.
How to reach Dharamshala?
By Air: The adjoining domestic airport to Dharamshala is the Gaggal Airport also better known as the Kangra Airport, which is situated at a distance of 15 km from Dharamshala. Daily flights link the airport to several cities in India involving the capital. You can book a cab or a taxi to go to Dharamshala from the Gaggal airport which is a mere half an hour’s journey to reach Dharamshala. For tourists impending from other countries, you can take a flight to Indira Gandhi International Airport around Delhi. From there, you can either choose a bus, or cab (490 km with a 10-11 hours journey) or take another flight from IGI Airport to the Gaggal Airport and reach Dharamshala likewise as above.
By Train: To reach Dharamshala by railway you have to get down at the adjoining railway station to Dharamshala which is Pathankot railway station across Punjab, nearly 86 km from the city of Dharamshala. You can take a cab from the station to reach Dharamshala or a bus from the Pathankot Bus Stand towards McLeodganj which should take nearly 3 to 4 hours to grasp the city of Dharamshala. Chandigarh Railway station is also very common among tourists pending via train. You can take a train to Chandigarh at a distance of 253 km from Dharamshala, which links the foremost Indian metro cities. You have to take a bus towards Dharamshala or hire a cab to reach the city which should take nearly 5 to 6 hours.
By Road: Being one of the most visited locations in India by foreign tourists, this city is accessible via an excellent road facility. NH 154 and NH 503 lead to the attractive city of Dharamshala. A road journey should merely just be as pleasurable and pleasant as Dharamshala itself. You can select to self-drive or hire a cab. Delhi sets the base for individuals coming from long distances. Several agencies deliver vehicles on rent and cab services to Dharamshala you can get across Delhi. Also, buses ply daily to Dharamshala from Kashmiri Gate ISBT around Delhi mostly being semi-sleeper Volvos for nearly 1000 to 1500 INR per seat. This journey takes nearly 10 to 11 hours. The buses frequently run overnight.
The above-cited places are truly enthralling. Dharamshala has a lot to propose when it comes to its different tourist destinations. It is one of the most reasonable vacations you can take during your weekends. Dharamshala endures gaining acceptance due to its buzzing art scene and different art-centric events being held here. Some of these events were also the purpose Dharamshala was put under the limelight.
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