Dharamshala is situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is famous for its village Mcleod Ganj, which is the seat of Dalai Lama. Thick conifers surround the city from all sides. It is the exiled Tibetan world in India. The hill town is divided into Upper and Lower Daramshala and they are separated by a thousand meters in height.
[caption id="attachment_917" align="alignright" width="392" caption="View outside the valley of Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh)"][/caption]
How to reach
Dharamshala is well connected by road to the major cities all around. Driving from Delhi is approximately an 8 hour journey. Roads are well maintained and the route goes via Chandigarh.
Pathankot, which is around 85 km from Dharamshala is the closest railway station that connects it to almost all major cities of India. It is another 3 hour journey from Pathankot to Dharamshala by road. Private taxis and buses are easily available.
The nearest airport from Dharamshala is Gaggal in Kangra, which as about 13 kms from the town.
Places to see
Apart from the colorful temples and gompas that lend the town a unique charm, St. John'S Church, built in 1852, is a favorite tourist haunt. It is about 7 km away from Dharamshala, situated between Forsyth Ganj and Mcleod Ganj. This church is built of grey stone and has beautiful Belgian, stained glass windows that were known to have been donated by Lady Elgin in the ancient times. Chamunda Devi Temple is situated in the folds of the Himalayas and offers an excellent view of the snow-capped peaks. Excursions can be arranged to Dal Lake, which is around 11 kms from the town. Chinmaya Tapovan, an ashram that offers an undisturbed peace and solitude is just 10 kms away, Dharamkot leading to the high plateau at Triund is an ideal trekking destination, and Kareri comprising a rest house and a lake in the heart of the conifers such as fine, fir, and deodar is about 22 kms from Daramshala. There are two hot water springs Tatwani and Machhrial about 25 kms away. Trilokpur, 41 kms from Dharamshala, is famous for its unique cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shrine of Bhagsunath along with the Bhagsunag Waterfalls is another famous ancient temple just 11 kms from the town. There’s also the Bhagsu Waterfall just 3 kms away.
Famous spots you must not miss
St. John'S Church, Chinmaya Tapovan, the holy place of Karanje famous for its Shiva Temple 37 kms from Dharmasthala, the rock temples of Kunal Pathri just 3 kms walking distance from the town’s Kotwali Bazaar, Lord Elgin's Memorial, Tsuglagkhang Complex, a Tibetan Temple, Tibet Museum, Tibetan Library, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Namgyal Monastery, Pong Lake Sanctuary, Pong Dam with the surrounding picturesque lake seated amidst the hilly mountain forests are some must-view places for tourists in and around Dharamshala.
Places to stay
The Nagri Resort and The Imperial Height Resort Khayara are worth checking out for a luxurious stay in Dharamshala.
Best time to visit
The summer months with pleasant weather are the best time to visit.
Dharamshala, as any other hill station of India, has mild summers and cold, chilly winters. June temperatures can go as high as 38 degrees Celsius with plenty of sunshine. Winter temperatures drop even below freezing point in the month of January. Monsoon months are best avoided for fear of landslides that are quite frequent in these parts.