Dharamsala is a hill station that was established by the British in the mid-19th century. It stands on a spur of the Dhauladhar range amidst magnificent deodar and pine forests, tea gardens and beautiful hills.

Today Dharamsala is the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. It is therefore the best base to explore Tibetan Buddhism, history and culture.

What to see

  1. Bhagsunath: An old temple, a fresh water spring and a waterfall are worth the visit.

  2. Chinmaya Tapovan (10 Km) : Ashram complex set up by Swami Chinmayananda.

  3. Dal Lake (11 Km): A pretty scenic lake surrounded by forests of pine trees.

  4. Dharamkot (11 Km): This picnic spot offers a panoramic view of the Kangra valley.

  5. Kangra Art museum: Situated in Kotwali Bazaar, this is a treasure trove of the Kangra Valley’s arts and crafts. It includes a gallery of Kangra’s famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items.

  6. Kunal Pathri (3 Km): A small rock-cut temple dedicated to a local goddess.

  7. Melcod Ganj (13 Km): Famous Tibetan institutions have lent importance to Melcod Ganj. A Buddha temple is situated opposite the present abode of His Holiness, the Dalai lama and around it are situated a Tibetan monastery and nunnery. The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) is just a kilometre’s walk from Melcod Ganj and preserves a number of musical, dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet.

  8. St. John’s Church (8 km): The church lies in the forest between Meleod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj and has a monument dedicated to lord Elgin, one of the Viceroys of lndia.

  9. Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute : This Institute has in its premises a hospital where very ill and destitute people are treated free of charge. An out patient clinic, a Medical and Astrological College, a Research Department, an Astronomical and Astrology Department a pharmacy where more than 200 different medicines are made in the traditional way with herbs, gems, metals and minerals as well as a museum displaying various raw drugs, surgical instruments, medical and astrological charts.

  10. War Memorial (2 Km): Commemorates the memory of those who fought valiantly for the defence of the motherland.

Getting There

Air: Dharamshala is connected by Indian Airlines with Delhi. Amritsar 188 Km, is the other convenient airport, linked with Delhi.

Rail: The nearest railhead is Pathankot/ Chakki Bank 90 Km, is connected with major cities in India.

Road: Dharamshala is connected by roads with Chamba 192 Km, Chandigarh 239 Km, Dalbousic 143 Km, Delhi 514 Km, Hoshiarpur 128 Km, Jammu 197 Km, Jwalamukhi 55 Km, Kangra 18 Km, Kullu 214 Km, Manali 253 Km, Mandi 142 Km, Nangal 145 Km, Palampur 35 Km and Shimla 322 Km

General information

Area: 28.81 Sq.Km.
Temperature: Summer - Max: 31 Deg.C Min: 22.0 Deg.C Winter - Max: 15 Deg.C. Min: 0 Deq.C. Rainfall: 290 cm to 380 cm. Altitude: Between1250 mts. and 1982 mts. Best Season: April to June and September to November. STD Code: 01892.

Excursions

  1. Chamunda Devi: This temple attracts pilgrims from all over the state.

  2. Triund (17 Km): Triund lies at the foot of the snow clad Dhauladhars at a height of 2,827 meters. The snowline starts at llaqa, (5 Km) and offers a breathtaking view of the snow.

  3. Kangra (18 Km): At the confluence of the Bener and Majhi streams, Kangra town is famous for it’s temples. The most notable is the shrine dedicated to the goddess Brajreshwari. Kangra is also famous for it’s miniature paintings which flourished under the rulers of the hill state of Kangra who were great patrons of art.

  4. Kareri: (22 Km): An idyllic and scenic place surrounded by green meadows and Oak trees.

  5. Tatawani and Manchhrial (25 Km): A beautiful water fall can be seen at Manchhrial which is on the route to Tatawani, known for it’s hot springs.

  6. Palampur (35 Km): Palampur, at an height of 1249 metres, is a beautiful spot in the main Kangra valley, surrounded on all sides by tea gardens and pine trees. Situated on the Manali - Pathankot road. Palampur is well connected with other cities and towns in Himachal Pradesh, both by, narrow gauge rail and bus services.

  7. Places of interest worth visiting in and around Palampur include: 1) Neugal Khad: Roaring in the season and gurgling all tear round , Neugal Khad accords a fine view of the Dhauladhar Range.

2) Bundla Stream: There are some lovely walks around Palampur, one being to this stream with a wide chasm of more than 100 metres.

3) Andretta: 13 km. from Palmpur is the home of the famous artist, late Sardar Sobha Singh and the playwright late Nora Richards.

4) Baijnath: 16 km. from Palampur is the Shiva temple at Baijnath, one of the most remarkable monuments of the Kangra valley.

5) Bir and Billing: 35 km. away is Bir, famous for it’s Buddhist monasteries. Hang gliders use it as their landing site. 14 Km from Bir Billing, which hosts India’s only international hand gliding festival.

6) Jogindernagar: 40 Km from Palampur, it is the site of a giant power house.

  1. Masroor (40 Km): Richly carved monolithic rock-cut temples in the Indo-Aryan style.

9 Trilokpur (41 Km): A Shaivite cave temple noted for stalactite and stalagmite formations.

  1. Jwalamukhi (56 Km): One of the most popular Hindu Temples in northern India. There is no Idol and an eternal flame which issues from the rock sanctum is considered a manifestation of the Goddess. Other temples near the Jwala shrine are the Ashtabhuja temple (1 km), Nagini Mata temple (4.5 km.), Shree Raghunathji temple (5 km.) and the Chaumukha temple 22km). Approximately 40 km from Jwalamukhi is Hamirpur, headquarters of the Hamirpur district, famous for its temples. Deothsidh, a famous religious place. People come here from far “and wide to seek the blessings of Baba Balak Nath, whose image is adorned in a cave.

  2. Taragarh (60 Km): 0riginally a summer resort of the Nawab of Bhawalpur, set amidst tea gardens and lush hills, the palace here, has now been converted into a heritage hotel.

  3. Nadaun (66 Km): There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva here.

  4. Nurpur (66 Km): It is famous for an old fort and temple of Brij Raj Behari. The image of lord Krishna here was, according to legend, worshipped by Meera Bai.

  5. Chintpurni (76 Km): Situated on the Hoshiarpur -Dharamshala road, a stone idol (Pindi) represents the goddess.

  6. Sujanpur Tira (80 Km): This historic town is known for its palace now in ruins and the temples of Gauri Shankar, Murli Manohar and Narbadeshwar.