Himachal Pradesh, India
Devbhumi : "Land of the Gods"
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Dharamshala Travel Guide
Originally a little hill resort built by the British, Dharamshala is now the main hill station in the Kangra Valley and is also the headquarter of district Kangra. Dharamshala lies between the Shivalik Hills and the foothills of the mighty Dhauladhars. Blessed with marvelous landscapes, Dharamshala is a travellers paradise—lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, manicured tea gardens, wooded hills, gushing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower-adorned meadows, beautiful temples and striking monasteries,
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 lots of Tibetan population and monasteries and looks like a Tibetan township.
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.
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.
How to reach
The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 13 km, this is the nearest airport. There are daily flights from Delhi to this place.
By Bus/ Taxi: Distance from Dharamshala
The nearest railhead is Pathankot, 90 km away. Pathankot is on Delhi Jammu Railway line and there are plenty of trains to choose from at different timings. It takes three hours from this place to reach Dharamshala
Places of interest in Dharamshala
It is a very beautiful place to visit. This memorial is built near the entry point to Dharamshala. It was built to commemorate the memory of those who fought in defense of the motherland.
The lake lies amidst hills and stately fir trees. Dal Lake is bout three kilometers from McLeod Gunj and eleven kilometers from Dharamshala, next to the Tibetan Children's Village. This small lake is brownish in color and not nearly as impressive as other lakes in Himachal Pradesh.
This is around 3 km. A level walk from Kotwali Bazar leads up to the rock temple of the local goddess.
11 km. Situated on a hill, this picnic spot affords a panoramic view of the Kangra district and Dhauladhar.
11 km. It has an old temple, a spring, slate quarries and a small yet beautiful waterfall. A popular picnic spot.
1,983 metres, Kareri is 22 km from Kotwali Bazar. 13 km from the Kareri Rest House is Kareri lake, surrounded by green meadows, oak and pine trees.
Lord Elgin's Memorial
8 km. The Church of St. John in the wilderness has a monument to Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India, who died at Dharamshala and was buried here in 1863.
At 2,000 meters above the sea level and about two kilometers from Mcleod Ganj, a modern picnic spot is developing fast at Naddi. It is connected with a metalled motor able road. It is the only place in Dharamshala from where an open view of mountains and wide valleys on Dhauladhars southern side can be seen. It is also a starting point for a trek to Kareri lake, Guna Temple and Triund.
Triund (2,827 meters above seal level)
Triund is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17 km from Dharamshala and a 9 km trek from McLeodganj passing through Dharamkot and Rakkar at a height of 2,827 mtrs. The breathtaking views of the mountains and the valleys make Triund an ideal spot. A ropeway is available from Dharamshala to Triund and accommodation is available at the forest rest house at Triund.
Tibet has lent importance to Mcleod Ganj. The Buddha temple is situated opposite the present abode of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. This place is well worth a visit and around it is situated Tibetan monasteries and nunnery. A number of residential buildings, restaurants, antique and curio shops are present.
Tsuglagkhang (Dalai Lama's Temple)
Tsuglagkhang is the most important Buddhist monument in McLeodganj. It enshrines three magnificient images, including an enormous gilt statue of Shakyamuni, statues of Valokitesvara and Padamasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche, the Indian scholar who introduced Buddhism and Tantric teachings to Tibet in the 8th century.
Church Of St. John
In The Wilderness Fifteen minutes' walk from McLeod Gunj, the Anglican church lies in the forest near Forsyth Gunj. This neo-Gothic stone church was built in 1852 and has some fine Belgian stained-glass windows.
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