Dharamshala is a hill station lying on the spur of the Dhauladhar range about 18 kms north- east of Kangra town. This hill station is wooded with oak and conifer trees and snow capped mountains enfold three sides of the town while the valley stretches in front. The snowline is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamshala than at any other hill resort and it is possible to make a day's trek to a snow-point after an early morning's start.
The high snow clad Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas form a magnificent backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamshala. This is the principal township of Kangra and overlooks the wide spread of the plains. With dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamshala has everything for a perfect holiday
Places to See
Often called the' Little Lhasa' at 1770 m, this is the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan government-in-exile has been here for over three decades. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara. The large Tibetan community and the presence of traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet have enhanced the area. A host of Tibetan handicrafts, curios and garments are available on sale and every Sunday, a flea-market appears.
At the very start of town, landscaped lawns fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra Art Museum.
This treasure love of the Kangra valley's arts, crafts and rich past displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century. It includes gallery of Kangra's famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. 'Shamianas' and dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jails, lintels and pandals are also on display. Coins, jewellery and manuscripts are included. A section houses the work of contemporary artists, sculptors and photographers. The library is just below this.
11 km from Dharamshala and surrounded by deodar trees, the lake fills a mountain bowl, On the motor - road, this is an enchanting and serene picnic spot.
St. John's Church
8 km from Dharamshala, between Forsythganj and McLeodganj is the charming dressed- stone church of St. John in the wildness. Under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the British viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamshala in 1863. There is a wall tended old graveyard on these grassy slopes.
Close to fresh water springs, this ancient temple is 11 km from Dharamshala. It is a popular picnic spot and the famous slate quarries are close by.
A 3 km level walk from the Kotwali Bazaar leads up to this rock temple.
On the crest of a hill this attractive picnic spot presents a panoramic view of the Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. This is 11 km from Dharamshala.
Based at the root of the Dhauladhar ranges,Triund is at a height of 2827m and is 17 km from Dharamshala. The snowline starts at llaqua 5 km from here. This is a popular picnic spot and trek route, with spectacular views of the mountains and valleys. There is a lovely forest rest house here.
22 km from Kotwali Bazzar, amidst sylvan surroundings, there is a rest house here. Surrounded by open meadows and thick woods,the Kareri lake is 13 km ahead.
10 km from Dharamshala on the banks of the rivulet Bindu Saras, is an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita. The complex includes a 9m high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Ragunath Temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation center.
41 km from Dharamshala,on the highway to Pathankot, there is a cave temple with a stalactite and stalagmite dedicated to Lord Shiva.
80 km from Dharamshala, this historic town is famous for its wall paintings, temples and fort. Here, the festival of holiday a major event.
13 km from Palampur, the famous artist S. Sobha Singh lived here for several years. A gallery houses some of his major works. Also, there is a pottery centre at Andretta.
The temple of Jawalamukhi, Chamunda Devi and Briheshweri Devi are other pilgrim centres close to Dharamshala. The forts of Kangra and Mangarh are other attractions.
Adventure Activities and Sports
Between May and October, the Dhauladhar ranges offer an enormous variety of trekking and rock climbing. Himachal's mountaineering institute has a branch at Dharamshala.
The 20 km stretch of the river Beas between Nadaun and the Pong Dam offers ample opportunities in angling for mahseer.
For local handicrafts at Kotwali bazar, Tibetan handicrafts and carpets at McLeodganj.
Dharamsala can be approached by air from Delhi. The nearest airport is at Gaggal,just l3 km away. Pathankot, the nearest railway station is 85 km away.
Taxis for Dharamsala are available at both places from Pathankot the drive takes about three hours. Or you can drive from Delhi (526 km) via Chandigarh, Kiratpur and Bilaspur - this should take around 8 hours. From Delhi and Shimla, luxury buses ply to Dharamsala.