Perched at a height of 4500 feet above sea level at a distance of 260 kms from Chandigarh lies the beautiful rainy hill station of Dharamshala. With dense pine and deodar trees, numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and nearby snowline makes Dharamshala a perfect holiday hill destination. The magnificent high snow clad Dhauladhar ranges at the backdrop further enhances the beauty of this holy hill station. The head quarters of HIS HOLINESS Dalai Lama has earned Dharamshala a nick name Mini Lahsa. The tourist attractions in and around Dharamshala are Mcleod Ganj, Bhagsunath Temple, St John’s Church, Dal Lake, Jawalamukhi Temple, War Memorial and Norbulinka Institute.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Dharamshala has pleasant climate in the summer months, heavy rains during monsoon and Cold & chilly in winters. March to October is the best time to visit Dharamshala.
1. MCLEOD GANJ (9 kms)
Being the headquarters and the residence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Mcleod Ganj is the major Pilgrimage centre for all the Tibetan refugees living in India and abroad. The presence of large Tibetan community along with Tibetan restaurants, antique and curio shops has won the nick name to the teeming Mcleod Ganj as Litle LHASA or Mini Tibet. Major Attractions of Mcleod Ganj includes The impressive Tibetan monastery, The Tibetan Institute of performing Arts (TIPA) and Tibetan handicraft centre.
2. BHAGSUNAG FALLS
Located 2 km from McLeod Ganj is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagsu Nag The snake god and to Lord Shiva. A freshwater spring flows through the temple where pilgrims take a holy dip. At a distance of about 1 kms from the temple is the famous Bhagsu waterfall. These falls are not very huge but have historical significance and are considered among 20 top must visit waterfalls in India.
3. ST. JOHN’S CHURCH
Located at a distance of 8 kms form Dharamshala, The St. John’s Church lies on the road between McLeod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj. The St. John’s Church is a monument dedicated to Lord Elgin, one of the viceroys of India who was buried here in 1863 AD. The St. John’s Church is a Gothic building with cobble-stones floors and stained glass windows.
4. WAR MEMORIAL
The war memorial has been located at the Entrance point to the holy city of Dharamshala. Situated amidst the lush green pine trees, landscaped lawns the monument has been raised to commemorate and pay tributes to the Great War heroes of the post Independence era hailing from Himachal Pradesh. The names of those martyrs who lost their life guarding the motherland have been inscribed on the black marble panels of the war memorial. Get the feel of patriotism while standing at the War Memorial of such brave souls.
5. DAL LAKE (11 kms)
Situated amidst the hills, deodar trees and surrounded by the pine forests, the picturesque Dal lake is a popular picnic spot of Dharamshala. It has various facilities like boating and angling. Dal Lake is located next to the charming Tibetan village. A colourful annual fair is also held here in the month of September every year. The Dal Lake is also a starting point for excursion and trekking.
6. JWALAMUKHI TEMPLE (45 kms)
This famous Temple Dedicated to the Goddess of Light is one of the most popular Hindu temples in northern India. There is no idol of any kind and the flame is considered as a manifestation of the goddess. An eternally burning and shining blue flame emanates from the rock is worshipped by the devotees. The temple is regarded as a Shakti Peeth and is visited by lakhs of devotees every year. Two important fairs are held here during the Navratras in earlier April and mid October.
7. NORBULINKA INSTITUTE (12 kms)
Norbulinka institute has been specially established to preserve Tibetan culture and heritage. In the institute there are separate workshops for Tibetan Paintings, Woodwork, Crafts, Cloth items and Sculptures for Tibetan people to learn and work. The beautiful temple inside the institute with 14 feet gilded Budha created by Norbulinka artists is truly spectacular. Tibetan architecture and colour have been used in this beautiful institute. The moment you enter the institute you feel as you are in Tibet.
SHOPPING LIST: Kangra Valley Green Tea, Tibetan Handicrafts, Tibetan Carpets, Woolens Clothes, Wooden-Bamboos statues and Thangkas (Brightly colored cloth paintings depicting Budhist culture, fair and festivals).
SHOPING AREA: Kotwali Bazaar and Mcleodganj.
THINGS TO DO:
- Visit to Tsuglagkhang Complex (His Holiness Dalai Lama residence, Tibeta Museum,
Tsuglagkhang Temple and Namgyal Gompa).
- Take Holy dip in the Bhagsu Nag Temple Tank.
- Picnic at Bhagsunath Fall.
- Visit Norulinka institute and have the feeling of Little Tibet and its culture.
- Taste Tibetan Food and Mingle with Tibetan People
- Boating at Dal Lake
|1||G K CONIFER||G K confier Hotel||Indian / Chinese||Lunch / Dinner|
|2||DHAULADHAR||Hotel Dhauladhar, Kotwali Bazaar||Indian||Lunch / Dinner|
|3||INDIQUE||Mountview complex, Mcleod Ganj||Indian||Lunch / Dinner|
|4||PEACE CAFÉ||Main Mall, Mcleod Ganj||Indian/ Chinese / Tibetan||Lunch / Dinner|