- Category: Destinations in India
Dharamsala with a backdrop of Dhauladhar Mountains, surrounded by Deodar forests, valley covered with oak and conifer trees and an atmosphere exceptionally soothing and spiritual invites its visitors for a memorable trip away from the chaos of day to day lives. Located on the slopes of Kangra Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala is a holidaying spot for one and all. The town has been divided into parts- Upper and Lower Dharamsala with a height difference of close to thousand meters. The town of Dharamsala is surrounded by snow clad mountain from three sides with the valley which is stretching in front.
Apart from its natural charm, the place is also known for being the home of Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. And thus is popularly refereed as “the Little Lhasa in India”. Reflecting a culture and traditions of Tibet with colorful temples and Gompas, the town presents a mini Tibet outside Tibet.
There are various kinds of interesting sightseeing places in Dharamsala. Some of these are St. John's Church, the wildlife sanctuary Maharana Pratap Sagar which used to called as the 'Pong Dam Reservoir', Norbulinka Institute, Nurpur Fort which was orginally known as Dhameri, Tsug-Lag-Khang (Central Cathedral), Andretta, Dall Lake, Dharmkot, Karanje, Kunal Pathri, Lord Elgin's Memorial, Moodabidri, Namgyal Monastery, Pong Lake Sanctuary, Venur, etc. Chamunda Devi Temple which is located at a distance of 15-km from Dharamshala in a small village named Dadh on Palampur road is a popular tourist spot attracting hordes of visitors every year.
The place offer amazing shopping opportunities as well. Kotwali Bazar which is general shopping area along with McLeod Ganj, especially for Tibetan handicrafts offer some good buys to take back home. For those looking for some adventure, there are various excursions from Dharamsala along with different kinds of adventure sports.
Although one can visit Dharamsala throughout the year, the best time to plan Dharamsala tour is during the months of May to October. For reaching the town, travelers can choose any modes of transportation based on their preferences and budget. The nearest airport is at Gaggla which is 13 km away. The nearest railhead is at Pathankot which is 85 km away from Dharamsala. There are luxury buses from Delhi and Shimla to Dharamsala. There are also bus serives operating from Chandigarh (250 km), Jammu (210 km), Shimla (238 km), Chamba (185 km) and Manali (240 km) to Dharamsala.