Famous For: Dharamshala is famous for its amazing views. It is also nicknamed as ‘Little Lhasa’ due to the huge number of Tibetan settlements located here. It’s one of the major tourist spots of Himachal in India. Many interesting places here to visit. Such as –
Tsuglagkhang Complex, Namgyal Monastery, Kareri Dal Lake, St. John In The Wilderness Church, Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, Library Of Tibetan Works And Archives, War Memorial, Bhagsunag Temple, Bhagsunag Waterfalls, Gyuto Monastery, Kangra Fort, Kangra Art Museum, Masroor Rock Cut Temple, Naddi Village, Triund, Jwala Devi Temple, Tibetan Art Museum, Aghanjar Mahadev Temple, Kalachakra Temple, Lahesh Caves, Chinmaya Tapovan, Naam Art Gallery, Chintpurni Devi Temple, Dharmsala Tea Company, Dharamkot, Indrahar Pass, Hanuman Ka Tibba, Nechung Monastery, Norbulingka Institute etc.
Major Attractions: Namgyal Monastery, Kareri Dal Lake, Bhagsunag Waterfalls, Masroor Rock-Cut Temple, Lahesh Caves, Gyuto Monastery, Kangra Fort, Kangra Art Museum, Naddi Village.
Ideal Visit Time: The ideal time to visit Dharamshala is between February to June (spring and summer). In this time, the weather is pleasant with a maximum temperature of 25°C. Occasional snowfall occurs here in winter. However, it makes the valley look more beautiful.
Dharamshala is one of the cities of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by deodar forests at the edge of the Himalayas. The Thekchen Chowling Temple Complex is a spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetan Works and Archives Library also has thousands of valuable books. However, Dharamshala boasts of jaw-dropping backdrop, stunning lake, vibrant monasteries, colorful temples, sparkling waterfalls and vintage forts & museums. That’s why, it is one of the best famous tourists spots in Himachal Pradesh.
Let’s talk about some attractive places of Dharamshala below:
Namgyal Monastery in McLeodganj, located in Dharamsala, is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is known as the main learning center. Famous with about 200 monks, this monastery is the largest Tibetan temple outside the geographical boundaries of Tibet. The monastery always looks vibrant and attracts a large number of devotees year after year. The prayer wheel, the decor, the Tibetan-style architecture and the overall color scheme are eye-catching and enchanting. It easily attracts the religious people or general visitors.
Kareri Dal Lake
Kareri Dal Lake is named after its marvellous counterpart of Kashmir. It’s spread over 1sq km. Its bound beauty and serene layout make it one of the most popular places in Dharamsala. Surprisingly, the lake is surrounded by lush green deodar trees and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains full of natural beauty. The lake is located at an altitude of 1775 meters and its serenity and charming environment attract a lot of travelers. It is also a popular base camp for trekkers. This is a base camp of your choice for exploring the nearby mountains, which dedicates itself to the former habitat of trekking. You can also enjoy here Boating, picnic and the Kali-Shiva temple located on the banks. You may be lucky to experience with your friends & family the gala annual fair held there while you’re sightseeing in Dharamshala.
It is also known as Bhagsu Falls. This natural cascade is located on a sloping hill a few kilometers above the Bhagsunag temple. It is one of the places of interest in Dharamsala. The waterfall is 20 meters high and is surrounded by natural beauty. The cascade of milk-white water sparkles the most beautiful and scenic during the rainy season. The waterfall is surrounded by enchanting natural beauty. You can refresh your mind and soul by soaking your body in the cool water here. You can enjoy a small picnic near Torrent and try some munchies from the cafe right next to it.
Masroor Rock-Cut Temple
This is a historical place. This Masroor Temple is one of the oldest and most famous of the ancient rock-cut temples, dating back to the 8th century AD. It is an upcoming and Dharamshala’s most preferred tourist spot. There are 15 monolithic temples depicted by Indo-Aryan style architecture. Here are the different stories of great Indian epics. It is a special destination for history lovers, art enthusiasts, painters, solo travelers and nature lovers. The carvings in the temple are really great and instructive in detail. This is a glorious place of Indian history and of course the interesting Dharamshala enlivens with a different identity.
It is one of the lesser known places of interest located in Dharamsala. It is mostly searched by Adventure Buff. Located at an altitude of 11,482 feet above sea level, the Lahesh Caves offer a great trekking experience. If you want to gain some experience outside of this particular world, you must visit these caves. The caves are surrounded by lush green mountains and coniferous forests which add a extra attraction to the tourist of Dharamshala. So, come here to explore the viewpoints with your adventurism trekking & left your footprint.
This beautiful monastery is one of the best places in Dharamsala. Gyuto Monastery is the residence of Karmapa – the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery famous for its research on Buddhist philosophy, Tantric practices and Tantric meditation. This famous monastery was built in memory of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the liberation war in Tibet. The monastery complex is beautiful and its decoration, style and architecture are amazing. Against its background, the monastery is one of the best tourist places of Dharamsala. Don’t miss the image of Sakyamuni Buddha & also Karmapa’s speech on every Wednesday and Saturday.
It is one of the oldest forts in India. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dharamsala. Kangra Fort is a witness to the wonderful history and unique heritage of India. It is one of the oldest structures dating to the 4th century BC. It is also known as the largest fort in the Himalayas. This royal specimen of architecture was once the residence of the Kangra Royal Family – The Katoch Dynasty. The fort still stands proudly as a direct witness to a large number of historical events. Visiting the place and hearing the story of the abandonment of the locals to unveil the truth of the history of Kangra Fort really carries a lot of amazing joy & knowledge. It is one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala which offers the closest look to the ancient fort. Remember, if you interest to visit this fort, then don’t miss the jaw-dropping view of Manjhi and Banganga River and Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum.
Kangra Art Museum
Located near the Dharamsala bus stand, the Kangra Art Museum is a great hub that displays aspects of Tibetan and Buddhist culture from many centuries ago. It is one of the most popular places in Dharamsala in terms of traditional quality. The museum started functioning in 1990 and is now considered as one of the most visited places in the country. The museum is well known for preserving the ancient features and principles of the Kangra Valley, painted in the form of paintings, statues, cloth, weapons, utensils and temple statues. The museum also has a dedicated section for modern painters and sculptors. Here, one don’t want to miss the rare collection of coins, anthropological items, pottery and tribal ornaments.
Naddi is a pristine and charming village located in the hills far from the hustle and bustle of the main town. This is the most beautiful place to visit near Dharamshala. The Naddi Hills are located in a remote village that offers mesmerizing views of the high mountains, the Kangra Valley and the luxurious deodar forest. On a clear day you can also see the snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhar range, which makes it one of the most interesting places to visit in Dharamsala. The panoramic view of the surrounding – that is what makes it a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate for families and friends. You can stay here overnight to experience the most photogenic sunrise.
How To Reach
By Road: Dharamshala is well-connected to Delhi and other parts of North India via the state operated buses as well as private tour operators. The journey is almost 520 km from Delhi. Most of the buses stop at the main bus terminal in Lower Dharamshala but there are also some public Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses that go all the way to the main square of McLeod Ganj.
By Train: Dharamshala has no any railway station of its own. The nearest major railway station is at Pathankot, which is 85 km away from Dharamshala. There are numerous trains that go to Jammu and Kashmir that stop in Pathankot. You can take a taxi or bus from Pathankot to reach Dharamshala. There is also a smaller railway station, Kangra Mandir, just 22 kilometres from Dharamshala but none of the important trains halt here.
By Air: Dharamshala has no any airport of its own. The nearest airport is at Gaggal. It is about 13 km away from Dharamshala. Gaggal airport connects Dharamshala to Delhi via Air India and Spice Jet flights. Tourists from other parts of India would find it easier to take a flight till Chandigarh and book a taxi for their onward journey to Dharamshala, which is about 275 kilometres away.