Places to Visit in Dharamshala

 

If you are looking for a relaxing trip within the country, Dharamshala is a great option. Dharamshala is the district headquarters of the Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh. This city is amongst the most popular tourist destinations with an abundance of scenic beauty consisting of coniferous Deodar trees and sprawling tea gardens. There are also ample heritage places to visit in Dharamshala. Surrounded on either side by the Himalayan ranges and the Kangra Valley, Dharamshala is also a very famous spot for trekking. The city prides itself on the purity of the Tibetan culture and attracts tourists from across the world.

The various suburbs of this city offer you a variety of places to visit. A trip to Dharamshala includes a tour of the famous Mcleod Ganj, Bhagsu Nath, Dharamkot, Triund, Sidbhari, amongst other places. There are a lot of Buddhist monasteries and art museums that reflect the culture and tradition of the Buddhist and Tibetan people. The presence of the Dalai Lama makes this place more revered and holy for His devout followers. Apart from this, there are also many Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Mata Sati, celebrating their life, love struggle and death. There is also the Kangra Art Museum and similar institutes that highlight the Tibetan culture.

Surrounded by nature, Dharamshala is the ideal spot for nature lovers and trekkers. There are many lakes and falls in Dharamshala which will provide you a much-needed getaway. If you are here for trekking, you will always find a tour guide for your assistance. The Hanuman Tibba is the most common starting point for different treks, Triund being the most famous destination. You can also try paragliding at Bir, as it is the second-best paragliding platform in the country.

Best tourist places to visit in Dharamshala -

Namgyalma Stupa

One historic place to visit in Dharamshsla is the Namgyalma stupa. Located about 6 km from McLeod Ganj, in the Uparli Barol, this famous Buddhist structure is of great religious significance to Tibetan culture. It contains the remains of Buddha, and therefore is a sacred place for Tibetans. Its sandstone built architecture is quite similar to King Ashoka’s 3rd century dome-shaped structure. A purifier of bad karma, the stupa is surrounded by a number of wheels which are rotated by believers, during prayers.

Namgyal monastery

If you are taking a tour around Dharamshala, your guide will surely take you to the Namgyal monastery. This place is famous for being the personal monastery and residence of the 14th Dalai Lama. Which grants this monastery the name of Dalai Lama’s Temple Complex. Located in Mcleod Ganj, this monastery is also a hub of education where various rituals and Tantric practices like Yamantaka, Kalachakra, Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Vajrakilaya are performed and taught to young Tibetans, inducting them to Tibetan Culture. Thus, it is also known as the Namgyal Tantric College.

Kareri lake

Yet another Dhararamshala tourist spot on your tour list should be the famous Kareri Lake - a natural abode. This place can set you off in a dreamland of imagination. Originating from the clear waters of the melted snow from the Dhauladhar Ranges, the lake is located at a distance of 9 km from Dharamshala. A stream called Nyund serves as an outflow to the lake. At an altitude of 2934 meters above the sea level, this shallow freshwater lake has a very high visibility of the lake bed. At the hilltop overlooking the lake, is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti.

Mata Chintpurni temple

Dharamshala is a hub for religious spots. There are many religious places to visit in Dharamshala. One such wonder is the Mata Chintpurni Temple. It is situated in the Una District of Himachal Pradesh. One of the 51 Shakti Peethas (Chinnmastika Shakti Peeth) in India, it is surrounded by the smaller Shivalik range in the east and the Himalayan range in the north. The temple is dedicated to the deity of Chinnamastika Devi. Chinna-mastika means ‘the one with the severed head’. According to Hindu mythology, it was at this place that Maa Sati’s head fell, after her burning body was severed by Lord Vishnu.

Dal lake

When on a trip to Dharamshala, you will never be devoid of natural instances and scenic beauty. One amongst these Dharamshala places to visit is the Dal Lake. Located near a small village called Tota Rani in the Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh, the lake is at an altitude of 1775 meters above sea level. With a greenish hue and clear waters, the lake’s beauty is amplified by the deodar trees surrounding it on multiple sides. The lake also attracts devotees to the small Shiva mandir on its bank. The name of the lake is derived from Kashmir’s Dal Lake for its similarity in scenic beauty. 

Bhagsunag falls

Yet another of Dharamshala  tourist places that can take you to another level of ecstasy is the Bhagunag Falls.  You will definitely enjoy visiting this location on your trip. Located at a distance of 11 km from Dharamshala, the fall is enroute to Triund. The freshwater spring is surrounded by cliffs and trees adding to the scenes and has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, making it an important location for Hindu pilgrims. The fall is about 20 meters in height and is best to visit during monsoons. If you like, you can also go on a trek here.

Triund

While in Dharamshala you can also go on a tour to Triund. Located at the foot of the Dhaulandar mountain ranges, it has a remarkable view. The location of Triund makes it a perfect spot for trekking amidst the Dhaulandar Ranges and the Kangra Valley. During your tour of Triund, ask your guide for arranging a trekking adventure. The mountains on the trek route are surrounded by a forest of oak, deodar and rhododendron trees. The trek is usually 6 km long with the last 1 km of the route being the most adventurous, consisting of 22 turns. 

Library of Tibetan works and archives

Apart from nature and heritage, Dharamshala also has a renowned library where you can learn more about Tibetan Culture. This library known as the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) was founded in 1970 by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. The construction of this library is aimed at the preservation of Tibetan art, literature and other works. This includes about 80000 Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts dating back to 1959, which elaborate Tibetan history, culture, politics, etc. it also possesses over 600 thangkas, statues, photographs and other artifacts of Buddhist heritage.  

Bhagsu Nag temple

Bhagsu Nag Temple is amongst the most important places to visit in Dharamshala. With an interesting story behind it, this temple is worshiped by the Gorkha and the Hindu communities. It is believed that this was the place where the Nag Dev got into a fight with King Bhagsu for stealing water from the Nag Dal Lake, and defeated him. The temple is surrounded by beautiful pools, considered to have miraculous powers. Located in the Bhagsu village near McleodGanj in Dharamshala, it is very close to the Bhagsu Waterfall. It is also the home of the first Gorkha rifle.

Gallu Devi temple

Gallu Devi Temple is yet another place to visit in Dharamshala. It is a Hindu temple located on the trek route to Triund. The temple is located at a distance of 4 km from Dharamkot and can be reached by bus or auto rickshaws called tuktuk. This temple is a starting point for the Triund trek. You can also visit the Bhagsu Nag Temple which is a short distance away from here. If you want, you can also head ahead for Mcleod Ganj on foot. There is also a famous café located in the area that will satiate your hunger. There is also a fall namely the Gallu fall near to the region.

Naddi view point 

Naddi is basically a village located 2000 meters above sea level. If you have opted for trekking in Dharamshala, you are likely to end up on a trip to Naddi as it is the most common starting point for numerous treks. The Naddi View Point is within the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley, 3 km from the Mcleod Ganj area. You can also visit Dharamkot village from here on foot, which is yet another 3 km from Mcleod Ganj. For longer treks you can opt for Triund, about 8 km away or Ilaga Got, 5 km from Triund. 

Kalachakra Temple

Dharamshala tourist places include many temples. You are likely to encounter many of these on your tour. A famous temple is the Kalachakra Temple located near the Tsuglagkhang complex. This temple serves as a centre of public teaching for the Dalai Lamas. The architecture of the temple highlights the rich Tibetan Culture and its spiritual ethnicity. The temple consists of 722 fresco decorations of deities of the Kalachakra, Shakayamuni Buddha and Mandala. The walls and pillars are decorated in beautiful Thangka paintings. Visited by devotees, the temple also attracts art lovers in huge numbers.

Aghanjar memorial

One of the most alluring and unique places to visit when in Dharamshala, a trip to this famous memorial-cum-temple is an important stopover.  Located about 5 km from Dharamshala, the Aghanjar Mahadeva Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The architecture of the divine shrine is blessed with nature’s hand on all fronts. Covered with lush green vegetation, emerald mountains and a tiny waterfall, the temple is supposed to have been built 500 years ago. The stone- paved pathway that reaches the temple gives it the look of a rock-cut temple. 

Naam art gallery

Apart from nature lovers and devout believers, a trip to Dharamshala also has a lot in store for art lovers. Amongst the other places to visit in Dharamshala, Naam art gallery is an important destination. Housing the works of Elizabeth Buschmann and AW Hallet, it is located in Sidhbari village, Mcleod Ganj. The gallery was opened by Elizabeth Buschmann, a German painter, who uses water colors and acrylic in her painting designs. AW Hallet, on the other hand, is an English origin painter, who is famous for his works with oil paint. One can also purchase these artworks.

War memorial

A Dharamshala tour is incomplete without seeing the War Memorial. A tour to this place is exuberant as it requires you to cross the forest of pine trees on foot. Surrounded by nature, the subtle architecture of this War Memorial commemorates the sacrifice of the valiant soldiers who lost their lives, defending their motherland. The names of these war heroes are inscribed on a stone wall within the memorial, remembering their role in the operations of 1947, 1962, 1965 and 1971. Near the memorial is the GPG College and Institute of Studies and a café for tourists to relax.

Hanuman ka Tibba

An interesting place, indeed! This mountain is a natural marvel making it a must- visit tourist place. The mountain is pyramid-shaped with an altitude of 5860 meters. The peak of this tibba sits on the Pir Pnjal range in the Solang Valley to the north of Manali. This mountain is popular amongst trekkers and adventure lovers. The Western Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Manali recognizes this mountain for trekking projects of its advanced grade students. The sweeping slopes and elevating peaks are a delight to the eyes of the visitors and tourists. 

Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery

This monastery is located on the streets of Mcleod Ganj. A tour to this place will tell you about its history as being established in Tibet in the 18th century by Yongzin Yeshi Gyaltsen, tutor of the 8th Dalai Lama. However, this monastery was destroyed when the Chinese Red Army liberated Tibet. Later, in 1992 the reconstruction of the monastery began. Today, the monastery consists of 25 monks, 5 of whom have served the original Dip Tse Chok Ling. The two-storeyed temple houses the main temple on the ground floor and the Arya Tara Temple on the 1st floor.

Kangra art museum

The Kangra district near Dharamshala is a place renowned for the varied art and culture of Himachal Pradesh. The best artifacts are displayed in the Kangra Art museum. The museum is basically an art gallery located in the Kotwali Bazar. The museum displays the art and craft of Kangra in the form of miniature paintings, pottery, sculptures, royal dresses, shamianas, coins, carvings, jewelry, works of contemporary artists and a well-stocked library of photographs. Some of these date back to the 5th century. A short trip to the museum will help you analyze the culture of Himachal deeply.

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