Dharamshala and Mcleodganj - A true Local View
True Representation by a Himachal Based - Local Travel Company
Located just 170 kms from Chandigarh, or 45 minutes flight away from Delhi, 1.5 hours flight from Mumbai, twin towns of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj are surprise for all. What surprises the visitors is the etrenal beauty of snow capped and mighty Dhauladhar ranges, which are visible from miles away and at the foot steps lush green fertile and breathtaking Kangra valley. Mighty Dhauladhar Range rise to the north, and the wide Kangra valley sweeping southward towards Punjab plains, From Dharamshala high point, Dharamkot or Triund, you get a Panromic view of the wide Valley. In addition another surprise is the Tibetan culture, Buddhist monasteries, Yoga centres and yes excellent choice of diverse foods
If one takes a road trip to Dharamshala, he gets a chance to visit numerious places of interest enroute like Judges's Court, Pong Dam, Chintpurni temple, Jwalamukhi temple, Kangra Temple ( all shakti peeths), Bagulamukhi Temple, Chamunda temple..The road journey to Dharamshala looks like a dream journey with so many spiritual places of Goddess temples..
For travllers interested in Archeology and History, there are places like Kangra Fort and Single rock cut temple Masroor enroute..
For Bird Watchers, there is Pong Dam bird Sanctuary enroute to Dharamshala..
Finally Dharamshala is a city of intelligentsia and absolute peace, With Mighty Dhauladhars just at stones throw away, the whole town gives you a dream look, Normally Travellers stay in Dharamshala in its best hill view or valley view resorts, Club Mahindra, Hotel Asia, Others, while many travellers proceed to Mcleodganj located further 20 kms aways at height of 2000 meters to seek bliss in Bodhidharma in the company of HH Dalai Lama..
What makes Dharamshala Unique among other Hill stations in North India are diverse attractions which are seldom available in Hill Stations..These attractions range from Shaktipeeth Goddess temples in Vicinity, Adventure activities, Stunning Treks, Tea Gardens of near by Palampur, Gardens, Zoos ( Near by Gopalpur zoo), Bir Billing Paragliding sites, Tibetan settlements, HH Dalai Lama, Cantonement, Mighty Dhauladhars, Pong Dam, Bird Sanctuaries, Yoga and health centres across the valley, Best Resorts and Hotels, Availabillity of Flights, IPL tournaments, Stunning Cricket stadium, Best Food Joints, peaceful local population..
Once you visit Dharamshala, You visit again & Again..The place is enchanting and attractive for all. It holds equally good for holiday seekers, Honeymooners & off course trekkers and adventurers..Located in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar. The beauty of Dharamshala is distinct with the existence of Dhauladhar Ranges of mountain draped with snow as well as vast expanse of Pine and Deodar forests.
Other Attractions Ariund Dharamshala
McleodGanj, Bhagsunath, Dharamkot, Naddi, ForsythGanj, Kotwali Bazaar, Kaccheri Adda, Dari, Ramnagar, Sidhpur and Sidhbari.
One of the major attractions for Dharamshala the Tibetan settlements in Mcleodganj, where 14th Dalai lama resides. Mcleodganj is just 20 kms away from dharamshala and the whole landscape changes, Mcleodganj is a melting pot for culture, spiritualism, Nirvana, Yoga seekers, peace seekers. Many dignitaries across world and celebraties find Mcleodganj and Dharamshala as a peaceful abode away from materialistic life.
It is a wonderful spiritual place marked with a series of fascinating sights to please you. Dharamshala is a dream destination for all those who seek a blend of beauty, serenity and enchantment and this is significant for Dharamshala tourism.
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Dharamsala can be approached by air from Delhi. The nearest airport is at Gaggal, 13 km away. Pathankot, the nearest broad gauge railway station is 85 km away, Una is 132 km and the toy train station is 17 km at Kangra. Buses for Dharamsala are available at both places. From Pathankot the drive takes about three hours or you can drive from Delhi (489 km) via Chandigarh, Kiratpur,Una,Amb,Bharwain,Kangra and takes about 10 hours.
Dharmasala has a cool climate all through the year but the best season to visit Dharmasala is from mid-September to June.
Winter (December to February) is chilly and freezing. During January the mercury dips below -1 °C. Snowfalls in winters (especially January) are ideal for enjoying honeymoon but extra care needs to be taken.It is advisable to carry woollen clothes.
Summer (March to June) is warm with temperatures between 22 °C to 38 °C but excellent for Trekking to Dhauladhars , Trekking enthusiasts prefer this season.
Monsoons (July to mid September) with heavy rainfalls can be messy. The months of July and August witness heavy and are to be avoided by tourists. From the mid of September, rainfall stops.
Autumn (mid-September to November) is beautiful and is ideal for sightseeing and adventure activities.
While winters is ideal for spotting snow capped hilly areas, summer is best for all kinds of tourist activities including trekking in the hilly terrains. The months from September to November are ideal for sight seeing, temple visits, outings and trekking. July to August are not the best time as heavy rainfall can causes road blocks.
The headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile and the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.The Budha temple is situated opposite to the present abode of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and is worth a visit. The Tibetan Institute of performing Arts(TIPA) is 1km. walk from McLeod Ganj and preserves a number of musical dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet.It is also known as ‘Little Lhasa in India’. Dal Lake is situated at a height of 1775m above sea level and is just 2kms from Mc Leodganj.
About Mcleod Ganj - More Important Information
Any Visit to Dharamsala is not complete without visiting Mcleodganj, located just 14 kms away at further height of approx 600 meters through 10km of winding road, when you reach the Army Camp, think you have just reached Mcleodganj - The residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the site of the Tibetan exile community's main temple.
The Tibetan government-in-exile works from Gangchen Kyishong, and McLeod is home to a large Tibetan population, including many monks and nuns.
Why You must Visit Mcleodganj
Like Kullu Manali, Mcleodganj is one of the best weekend hang-outs in Himachal Pradesh, Many come to volunteer with the Tibetan community, many take courses in Buddhism, meditation courses, yoga courses, For Many Mcleodganj is the base for trekking in beautiful Dhauladhar mountains upto Triund, Snowline cafe, Kareri village, kareri lake,Chamba valley, Jhalsu Pass, Dhauladhar lakes etc..
Staying options in Mcleodganj
There are many low-budget, Mid Budget hotels, guesthouses for accomodation along with luxury accomodation..
Food Choices in Foody Mcleodganj
For Food Mcleodganj offers the best choices, In fact it is a foodie junction for travellers, Many travellers visit Mcleodganj only to have great food with spiritual feel..Imagine Hot Indian Butter chicken, Butter Parantha, Italian soups,Tibetan piping hot momos and cuisine in the cold and misty weather of Mcleodganj.
Named after Donald McLeod, Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, McLeod began life in the 1850s as a civilian settlement outside the British garrison of Dharamsala. It was devastated by the 1905 Kangra earthquake and sank into obscurity after Independence – until the Dalai Lama arrived to establish his base here in 1960. Since then, McLeod has become a vibrant centre of Tibetan culture and Buddhism.
Location :- Temple Rd.Mcleod Ganj , India
Timing :- 5am-8pm Apr-Oct, 6am-6pm Nov-Mar
The Main Centre of Attraction for tourists, monks and every traveller, the Tsuglagkhang complex is the main Tibetan temple complex including the Namgyal Gompa and the excellent Tibet Museum.
Central Tibetan Secretariat
Located nearly 2km downhill from the Tsuglakhang Complex, There is Central Tibetan Secretariat which has the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives of sacred buddhist manuscripts, books and documents on Buddhism in English and other languages,Also houses cultural museum with statues.
Library visitors can become members (Rs 100 per month for reading; Rs 300 per month, if you to borrow - Rs 1000 needs to be deposited for borrowing, passport photocopies are needed for ID)
Men-Tsee-Khang - Home to Accurate Astrology
Tibetan Astrology for your future and Worries..
Tibetan Ancient Medicines for you..
If you want to know your future and interested in astrology, The Process is very simple, just reveal your date of Birth and place of birth and get detailed life-horoscope for you, also receive it by email and hard copy seven or eight months later.Men-Tsee-Khang today preserves the traditional arts of Tibetan medicine and astrology. It is a college, clinic, museum, research centre and astrological institute. You can have upto 45 minutes consultation session with the compound astrologer.
About Gallu Devi Temple
Gallu Devi temple is an important junction today with four treks meeting at the temple, First track downhill to Naddi village (2.5km) and Dal Lake (3km); 2nd trek north down to a waterfall;third trek on east takes you to mountain meadow of Triund (2900m) you can trek for 6km to gain some 1000m altitude, and finally forth trek on west towards the kareri Village and kareri lake trek.
Some thing Yoga, Vipassana in Mcleodganj
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre :- Famous Centre for Iyengar Yoga, Five-day courses start every Thursday. Intensive and teacher-training courses are held at their ashram west of McLeod.
Himachal Vipassana Centre :- This centre runs strict 10-day silent vipassana (mindfulness meditation) courses starting on the first and 15th of the month.
Gyuto Tantric Gompa
Located at the little village of Sidhbari, 6km from Dharamsala towards Palampur, is the adopted home of Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 17th Karmapa (Leader of the important Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism).
Ogyen Trinley Dorje's temporary seat is the large Gyuto Tantric Gompa. When in residence, gives half-hour public audiences on Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm; foreign visitors are welcome but security is very tight.
Gyuto monks are famous for their deep-throated chanting and have performed at Glastonbury Festival.
40 kms from Mcleodganj, 13 kilometres from Palampur on the Mandi road, a side trek/small road of 1km leads to Tashijong village, Founded by lamas from Tibet's important Khampagar Monastery who fled to India in the 1950s. It's home to about 150 Drukpa Kagyud (Red Hat) monks and is the focus for a lay Tibetan population of around 400. Visitors can see several mural-filled prayer halls and a carpet-making, thangka -painting and wood-carving cooperative.
St John in the Wilderness
Just 1.5km before McLeodganj ( Dharamshala to Mcleodganj Road) on the road to Forsyth Ganj, this Gothic church (dating from 1852) is one of the few remaining Heritage churches in India. It’s open on Sunday mornings for a weekly 10:00 am service. Around the Church is a cemetery, which contains the graves of many British Raj officers and their families, the names can read very clearly even today, among the graves is the tomb of the Earl of Elgin, the second Viceroy of India.The whole place is very calm and peaceful. Pray or meditate here for a while
Best places to stay in Mcleod Ganj
Note :- We have only included hotels with a difference, Run either by Tibetan Community of Govt to give your vacation an extra edge as we strongky feel that true vibes of a destination, you can feel by staying in the ethenic hotels rather than normal luxury hotels, these you can also any way avail in any normal town or beach holidays..
Chonor House :- Located near Tsuglagkhang & managd by Norbulingka Institute.
Pema Thang Guest House :- Want to live in Tibetan style and enjoy Monk Hospitality with great tibetan food, pay extra to get all these in Pema..
Hotel Tibet :- Locatd in City centre with very economical prices and great restaurant.Profits go to Tibetan settlements in India so donate generously.
Loseling Guest House :- Run by a Tibetan monastery in Karnataka. Great price for Money
Hotel Bhagsu :- Run by HPTDC, Located On the road above the bazaar and Tsuglagkhang, A great place to stay with Heritage feel and well decorated rooms.
A 2 km walk or Auto-Rickshaw drive along with small road through pine trees, are the quaint neighbouring villages of Bhagsunag and Dharamkot, These villages offer budget stays and more ethenic tibetan cafes. Tourists stay here for long duration and indulge in yoga, meditation, Health nature spas. Trekkers make their base here to scale the mighty Dhauladhars just a stone's throw away
Bhagsunag is famous for the temple which is attraction for tourists and pilgrims, You can have bath in the natural pond next to the temple and take a 1km walk to Bhagsu waterfall which is most impressive during the monsoons. From the waterfall, there is a trail also to Triund, but it is a tough trail, most trekkers follow alternate trail through Guna Devi temple.
Located at about 55 km from Dharamshala. There are 15 rock-cut temples in Indo-Aryan style and are richly carved. It is a unique monolithic structure in the sub-Himalayan region and is a protected monument.The main shrine contains three stone images of Shri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. The temple complex is located on a hill and also has a large rectangular water pond. The view of snow clad Dhauladhar is amazing from the temple premises.
is a popular picnic spot at an height of 2827 m. The area is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17-kms from Dharamsala. The snow line starts at Ilaqa, which is five kms from Triund. The breathtaking views of the mountains and the valleys make Triund an ideal picnic spot and trekking spot.
The temple is 17 kms from Dharamshala, dedicated to Goddess Durga or Chamunda, the surroundings of the temple provide an excellent venue for meditation prayers and spiritual attainments. It is an enchanting and charming spot with fascinating view of the Dhauladhar Mountains, rivers and forests. The location of temple was used as a cremation ground by the people of 22 villages and supposed to be a place of solace, spiritual attainments. The temple has artistic carvings on its lintel, pillars and the ceiling. A large number of devotees travel to this place for worship and to attain spiritual peace for their ancestors. The 700 years old temple, Chamunda Devi comprises of big complex with a ‘Kund’ (pond) in it. There is a cave-like scoop located at the back of the temple, representing the stone lingam (embodiment of Shiva).
It is situated in Kangra town & is just 14 kms from Dharamshala- This temple is one of 51 Shaktipeeths in India. The Brajeshwari Devi Temple is located in main Kangra city and has achieved a reputation for wealth, in gold, pearls and diamonds and tempted many invaders over centuries. The State Govt. maintains the temple now and the deity (Maata Brajeshwari) sits under a silver dome with silver umbrellas.
is the deity of Flaming Mouth, recognized as one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of India. It is believed to have nine permanent flames named after the goddesses- Mahakali, Anpurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi. Sati's tongue had fallen at the very place where Jwalaji Temple is now situated. The tongue of Sati is represented by Jwala (Holy Flame) that is perpetually burning.It is about 56 kms from Dharamshala.
Dharamshala is an ideal destination for adventurous enthusiasts as the town offers plenty of activities that one can enjoy here. Some of the adventurous activities in Dharamshala include trekking, paragliding, fishing, rock climbing and angling.
If you are not an adventurous person by nature, you can explore this picturesque town by going for leisure walks in the lap of Himalayas. Trekker’s delight, Dharamshala is a popular base for trekking in the forested Dhauladhar range, equipment can be hired here. The best season for trekking is from April till June and again between September and October.
Seasoned trekkers may try the exhilarating and adventurous stretch from Dharamshala to the Chamba valley, over the Indrahar Pass. Trekkers may also take the route through snowbound Dhauladhar Range terminating at Lamu.
There are some easy treks as well for beginners including the McLeodganj and Dharamshala that stretches from Tang Narwana to Toral Pass. If you are a hard-core trekker then take the route through Bhagsu via Dharamkot to Triund and enjoy an exquisite view of the peaks of the Himalayas.
Rock climbing in Dharamshala
is another activity in Dharamshala that you can indulge in a remote part of the Himalayas. Dharamshala-Nayagraon is one of the popular tracks for rock climbing.
You can spend your time in the lap of nature and enjoy fishing and angling in the small streams and rivers around Dharamshala. The 20-km stretch in River Beas from Nadaun to the Pong Dam is popular for fishing.
Paragliding in Dharamshala
Paragliding is another outdoor activity that you may enjoy in Dharamshala, You can proceed to Bir Billing to enjoy your paragliding session located at just 40 kms away.