Travel

Top 10 Places to Visit in Dharamshala Himachal Pradesh

If you are a travel lover or in love with the mountains then Dharamshala is definitely a  place for you. There are many famous tourist destinations in Dharamshala. It is surrounded by Dhauladhar range and lush green forests. Here are top 10 destinations in Dharamshala.

Dharamshala

Dharamshala is one of the most scenic and serene hill stations in India, nestled in Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala boasts a distinctive blend of Tibetan and Kangra culture and serves as the abode of the Dalai Lama.

Being a beautiful gem in the lap of nature, Dharamshala is dotted with many lakes, waterfalls and other attractions. You can also find some monasteries, temples, vintage forts and museums here. The hill station attracts tourists and devotees year-round and is well-connected to nearby towns and cities by air, road and rail. Kangra Airport (13 km away) and Pathankot Junction (86 km away) are the nearest options for air and rail travelers. The hill station also enjoys good road connectivity with Shimla, Pathankot, Jalandhar, Amritsar and other nearby places. So, you can take the state bus or book a cab to reach Dharamshala comfortably. Here is  a list of famous places in Dharamshala to visit:

1.Mecleod Ganj ,Dharamshala:

McLeod Ganj, a well-liked and attractive Dharamshala suburb, is often referred to as Little Lhasa or Dhasa. It is barely 5 kilometers from Dharamshala and is part of the Himachal Pradesh district of Kangra. The Dalai Lama Temple, also known as the Tsuglagkhang Temple, is one of McLeod Ganj’s most well-known attractions because it is where His Holiness dwells.

In addition to being a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site, McLeod Ganj is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, trekkers, and people looking for serenity. Among the numerous outstanding attractions in this area are Namgyal monastry.

Nechung Monastery, Naddi Viewpoint, and Bhagsunag waterfall. McLeod Ganj is unquestionably one of the most beautiful spots in Dharamshala, boasting a wonderful fusion of the rich Tibetan culture and the wealth of nature .The weather is very pleasant in all the seasons. It witnesses snowfall every year in the month of Nov-Dec or most probably in January. You get variety of food be it Tibetan food or local food.

Best time to visit:

March to June is the ideal time to travel.

Duration:

2-3 days duration.

2. St John in the Wilderness Church, Dharamshala

One of the most tranquil and well-known destinations in Dharamshala is St. John in the Wilderness Church, which is tucked away among lush, green deodar trees. This 1852-built Anglican church is named after John the Baptist. It is around 8 kilometers from Dharamshala and situated on the route to McLeod Ganj.The church is a favorite destination for those who enjoy architecture because of its spectacular neo-gothic design. The attractiveness of this sacred location is enhanced by the Belgian stained-glass windows. Even though it is one of the older buildings in the area, the unusual architecture and serene atmosphere make it one of the most significant churches in Himachal Pradesh.

Best time to visit:

Timings:

Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday: 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Ideal duration: 30-45 mins.

Entry fee: Free entry

3.Kareri Lake Dharamshala:

Kareri Lake is one of the most  scenic and ideal locations to visit in Dharamshala for trekking because it is surrounded by dense deodar trees and steep mountains.It is a 12 km trek . People who want to spend some quiet time in the middle of nature, far from the chaos, or in the lapse of nature, and to escape the heat, then Kareri is the place to go.

Along with relaxing by this tranquil lake, you may bring your loved ones here for a picnic, take boat rides, and visit the nearby Shiva Temple for blessings. Adventure seekers hiking up to Sunset Point frequently pause at Kareri Lake. You can do camping here with your friends and loved ones and enjoy its natural beauty .The temperature is quite low here so you must take jackets ,sleeping bags etc with you.

Best Timing to Visit:

You can plan for a trek in May to September

Entry Fee:

Free

Duration:

5-6 hours Trek

4.Bhagsu Waterfall, Dharamshala

Bhagsu Waterfall, is one of the top sites to visit in Dharamshala, plunges from a height of 20 m. The waterfall is a fantastic location for individuals wishing to spend time in nature because it has exceptional panoramic beauty and splendor. With the famous Bhagsunag Temple in the vicinity, the waterfall is frequently visited  by nature lovers and devotees alike.

The monsoon season is the ideal time to visit Dharamshala’s Bhagsu Waterfall because you may witness water rushing down to form a pool below. If you can’t handle really cold water, resist the urge to swim in the pool despite your temptation. Additionally, you can organize a picnic with your loved ones here or go on a hike to take in breathtaking views of the Waterfall.

Best time to Visit:

7 am to 9 pm.

Ideal duration

1-2 hours

5.

5.Dalai Lama Temple

Dalai Lama Temple, which boasts a vibrant Tibetan culture, is one of the most picturesque and serene locations in all of Dharamshala. It is frequently visited by monks, pilgrims, and tourists seeking a tranquil setting. It is also known as the Tsuglagkhang Temple.

A gigantic statue of Gautam Buddha, as well as statues of Padmasambhava, Avalokiteshvara, and numerous other Buddhist monks, can be found in the temple. The majority of the lamas’ time is spent reciting mantras while spinning prayer wheels and beads. One of the temple’s main draws is a massive gold-plated prayer wheel that spins as “Om Mani Padme Hum” prayers are being said. You can visit the temple, turn the prayer wheel, meditate in the temple and visit the entire temple.

   Timings:

 April to October: 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM

November to March: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Ideal duration: 1-2 hours

Entry fee: Free Entry 

6.HPCA Cricket Stadium:

Nestled in the lap of the majestic Himalayan mountain range lies the quaint Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, also known as the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium.One of the highest sports venues in the world, it is situated in the Kangra valley at a height of 1,457 masl, amidst the Dhauladhar mountain range. The Indian Cricket Team, the Himachal Pradesh state cricket side, and the Kings XI Punjab team from the Indian Premier League (IPL) frequently practise at the Cricket Stadium, which is run under the supervision of HPCA.

The stadium is open to visitors even when there are no planned games, and it has a vista similar to that of the Adelaide Oval or Newlands. Tibetan architectural design was used to construct the main stand .Perhaps the best part of attending a match at the majestic Dharamshala Cricket Stadium would be that there is no fence in front of the seating area, providing an unobstructed view of the match. The administration is vast, and the area is quite well-maintained, which makes for a pleasant, hassle-free visit.  This picturesque stadium is snuggled amidst the greens of the Himalayan range, and its lure is beyond one’s imagination.

7.Naddi:

Perfect location to view massive Dhauladhar Range at such a close distance, no walking or trekking involved, no more stress on knees! , The view is subjected to weather. It’s mostly cloudy at this point. Enjoy food bites in cafes around with the serene beauty of the Himalayas at stone throwing distance. This location is little further from Mecleodganj and should be explored in the evening for sunset views. On one side you can get views of the Dhauladhar ranges which you can enjoy till sunset. It is a small village and  a calm and serene place where you will enjoy the surroundings and make you feel relaxed ,and if you want to escape from crowdy places then Naddi is a must visit place for you.

8.Dal Lake:

The Dal Lake in Kangra is among the most beautiful spots to visit in Dharamshala. A pristine body of water with coniferous deodar trees lining its edges. Additionally, it offers a breathtaking view of the mountains in the area from the lake’s shores, where visitors are welcome to have picnics and take pictures.

Highlights: The Dal Lake is a popular place for boating, and there are several guides and boats available for you to use.

The Dal Lake is one of the more well-known perspectives in Dharamshala due to its picturesque splendour. There is a tiny shrine on its banks devoted to Lord Shiva where one can seek blessings

Location: McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh , Dal Lake

Best time to visit: March-May to October, as the weather is best during this time of the year. 

Timings: Monday to Sunday (7:00 am – 8:00 pm)  

Entry Fee: Free entry

9.Dharamkot:

Dharamkot is a place for all the hill station lovers. It is a small hill station located in the Kangra district just above McLeod Ganj. The elevation of the hill station is around 2827m. One of the most interesting things about the place is that many foreigners have started living in the area because they liked it so much.

This is truly fascinating because they live in village houses and guesthouses for many days.

Highlights: The wide view of Kangra valley and Dhauladhar ranges is something which all the tourists enjoy. There is a snowline café which provides a breathtaking view and also has provisions for sleeping bags and tents.

Location: The hill station is around 4 km from Triund Trekking area, a famous place in the same district. You can easily find public transport facilities to take you up there. There are many cafes in Dharamkot where you can enjoy the view of mighty Dhauladhars and spend time with your loved ones.

10.Kangra Fort:

One of the most well-known Dharamshala tourist attractions that you can see while there is Kangra Fort. One of the oldest forts in all of India, it was built by the Katoch Empire back in the 4th century BC. It is not just a magnificent historical building, but it also offers a stunning vintage point from which to observe the neighboring village of Kangra and its waterways.There is also a museum inside the Kangra Fort where you can learn about the history of Kangra .

Location: Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.

Highlights: 

 – The Museum which has several interesting facts and installations from the Katoch Empire 

 – The surrounding natural beauty 

Best time to visit: March to August, during the summer when you can avoid heavy snowfall and roadblocks. 

Timings: Monday to Sunday (9:00 am – 5:30 pm) 

Entry Fee: 150 INR for Indians, 300 INR for foreigners

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