against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar mountains, DharamsHala
is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley.
The town is divided into two distinct and widely separated sections,
Upper and Lower Dhauladhar, which differ almost a thousand metres
Today, Mcleodganj has become the synonymous to the Tibetan government
in exile and the home of Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. Even if the
Tibetan community dominates the town, still it has retained the
colonial lifestyle and British flavour. Dharamshala over looks the
plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests.
A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere
makes the surroundings very attractive. Dharamsala is a busy bazaar town and has established itself as
the travelers base camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains.
The Kotwali Bazaar provides the entire color and characteristic
of a small town, which is mixed with the simple life style. The
colorful temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet,
adds attraction for the visitor. The Kangra museum gives an overview
of the rich past of the region and on the other hand there are institutes
that have been established to preserve the Tibetan art, cultures
is one of the Famous hill Station in Himalayas, and This place also
famous for His Holiness second home. The Budha temple is situated
opposite the present abode of His Holiness The Dalai
Lama and is well worth a visit and around it are situated
Tibetan monastery and nunnery. The Tibetan institute of performing
arts (TIPA) is just 1 km from Mcleodganj and preserves a number
of musical, Dance and theatrical tradition of Tibet.
People from all over the world flock to Mcleodganj to receive blessings
and teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Western and Indian
tourists and scholars come here to see the rebirth of an ancient
and fascinating civilization. The high altitude and cool weather
contribute physically to the re-creation of the original Tibetan
environment. Dharamsala pulsates with the sights and sounds of old
Tibet. Though certainly more modern, life is basically Tibetan in
character. Shops strung out along the narrow streets of Mcleodganj
sell traditional Tibetan arts and handicrafts and the aroma of Tibetan
dishes lingers in the air.
The Tsuglagkhang Temple is the most renowned Buddhist monument
in McLeodganj. There are three magnificent images of Buddha,
including a gilded statue of Shakyamuni, statues of Valokitesvara
The Namgyal Monastery was founded by the Third Dalai Lama,
and serves the Dalai Lamas exclusively. A unique feature of
this monastery is its diversity of practice. Namgyal monks
perform prayers and rituals of all the major schools of Tibetan
Just 4-kms from Dharamsala, Norbulinka was established to preserve
and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. The shady paths, wooden
bridges, small streams tiny water falls make this place look
like heaven. Here one can watch the wooden carvings and the
tangka paintings, golsithing and embroidery being done. The
nunnery close to the institute is a place where women are taught
the advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy.
Sidhbari is where is located the Karmapa (Ogyen Trinley Dorje)'s
temporary residence, at Gyuto monastery. Sidhbari is about
six kilometers from Dharamsala. Karmapa means "the one
who carries out buddha-activity" or "the embodiment
of all the activities of the buddhas."
In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are
said to be able to consciously arrange to be reborn as a teacher
who can carry on the teachings of a predecessor in a prior
One of the most poignant memories of the British Raj is
the church of St. John, situated in the wilderness. This charmingly
dressed stone church is located just 8-kms from Dharamsala
on the way to McLeodganj.
Under the shade of Deodar branches, a memorial has been made
over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died
at Dharamsala in 1863.
Triund is a popular picnic spot at a height of 2827 m. The
area is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17kms
from Dharamsala. The snow line starts at Illaqua, which is
five kms from Triund. The breathtaking view of the mountains
and the valleys makes Triund an ideal picnic spot and trekking
Temple and Water fall
About two kilometers from McLeod is a holy pilgrim site for
Hindus. Bhagsu, as it is better known has an ancient Shiv
temple. The main attraction for the tourist and the crowd
puller here is not the temple but the public swimming pool.
It is a treat for tourist making it to Dharamsala during the
Rock cut Temple:
Fifteen richly carved monolithic rock temples sculpted in
the splendid style of the Kailash temple at Ellora and dating
back to the 8th century are to be found at Masrur, just 15
km south of kangra. Images of Ram Sita and Lakhsman can be
found in the sanctum of the main temple.
Nestled in the spectacular Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas
is the Chinmaya Tapovan Ashram. It is, one of the main retreats
of the Chinmaya Mission. It is important as a center of the
Sandeepany Vedanta course, meditation camps, vedic teachings
and the Chinmaya Rural Primary Health and Training Center.
This ashram is special as this is also Swami Chinmayananda's
last resting-place, who attained 'Mahasamadhi' in August 1993
. Today this Himalayan Ashram in Dharamsala is famous for
the Vedic Teachings of this great saint !
Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low
hills, is an idle landing ground for hang/para gliders. Bir
has Buddhist Monasteries that are worth visiting. Fine Tibetan
handicrafts are also produced here. Billing up in the hills,
14 km from Bir. Billing at Bir is known as the host for International
Pre World cup Paragliding tournament held every year in the
month of Sep - Oct.
(Shoba Singh Art Gallery)
Just 13 km from Palampur is the charming village of Andretta
where once lived, a few years ago Mrs. Norah Richards, pioneer
of rural theatre in India, lover of mountains and ardent disciple
of Mahatma Gandhi. Her tall slender figure enveloped in voluminous
black silk skirt and topped by a crown of snowy white hair,
striding along the walks, is still remembered endearingly
by the local dwellers that include Sardar Shobha Singh.
A renowned artist, he gained prominence for his paintings
of the immortal ill fated Punjabi lovers, Sohni Mahiwal, Omar
Khayyam and Heer Ranjha.
& Dal lake
Just 2 kms from Mcleodganj is the sacred Dal lake known for
its religious water. The lake is regarded is the lake of Lord
Shiva. One kms ahead is the famous location called Naddi,
where you can see the Mount Dhauladhar very near and the sunset
is worth seeing in the the evening. Naddi is a liked many
for it's natural look and cool winds that pass by from the
The Kangra Fort is located 20 kilometers from the town of
Dharamsala on the outskirts of the town of Kangra, India.
the fort is thought to date back to 1009 AD. The Kangra Fort
was built by the Royal family of Kangra (The Katoch Dynasty),
which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom,
mentioned in the Mahabharata.
It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the
oldest dated fort in India.