Himachal Pradesh iterally “snow-laden province” is a state in northern part of India. Situated in the Western Himalayas, it is bordered by states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the southwest, Uttarakhand on the southeast, and Tibet on the east. As its southernmost point, it also touches the state of Uttar Pradesh. The state’s name was coined from the Sanskrit—Him means ‘snow’ and achal means ‘land’ or ‘abode’. Himachal is in the western Himalayas. Covering an area of 55,673 square kilometres (21,495 sq mi), it is a mountainous state. Most of the state lies on the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. At 6,816 m Reo Purgyil is the highest mountain peak in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh Tour organized by Himalayan Destination can make your vacation memorable one, as we are specialist in this sector.
The state is spread across valleys. About 90% of the state’s population lives in rural areas. Many perennial rivers flow in the state with numerous hydropower plants producing surplus electricity that is sold to other states. Tourism and agriculture are also important constituents of the state’s economy.
The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej, and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.
Himachal Pradesh has around 463 birds, 77 mammalian, 44 reptile and 80 fish species. The Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Pin Valley National Park are the national Parks located in the state. The state also has 30 wildlife sanctuaries and 3 conservation reserves.
Dharamshal Dalhousie Amritsar Tour organized by Himalayan Destination can make your vacation memorable one, as we are specialist in this sector. Himalayan Destination is one of the best Dharamshala Dalhousie Amritsar tour and travel operator, who organize Dharamshala Dalhousie Amritsar Tour.
How To Reach
The nearest broad gauge head is at Pathankot – around 2.5 hour journey from here to reach Dharamshala or Dalhousie. Amritsar has also a railway station, both are well connected with major cities of India.
From Pathankot to reach Dharamshala or Dalhousie it will take around 2.5 hours journey and from Chandigarh to reach Dharamshala by road it will takes around 5.5 hours and to reach Dalhousie around 7.5 hours.
If hiring a private car, ensure that the driver has experience driving in hilly regions and is not deprived of sleep.
The nearest Airport is Amritsar which is well connected with major cities of India.
Palampur, with pine and deodar forests and tea gardens encircling the town and numerous streams pouring in, Palampur is known for the enchanting combination of water and greenery. Nestled between the majestic Dhauladhar Ranges, Palampur is known the world over for its tea plantations and its fine quality of tea. Palampur was first noticed by the Englishmen and was soon turned into a bustling town as the centre of trade and commerce. Their presence in this town is beautifully reflected in the Victorian style mansions and castles. The remnants of its glorious past can be seen in the beautiful amalgamation of the beautiful English style buildings and the picturesque landscapes. Palampur being one of the unexplored destinations offer a quaint and serene environment to tourists. Among the tourist attractions here, Tashi Jong Monastery and the tea gardens should be on the must-visit list for anyone.
Mcleodganj, is a hill station near Dharamshala, popular among trekkers. Mcleodganj is located in Kangra district at a distance of 34 km from Kangra City. The city is distinctively separated as upper and lower divisions with different altitudes. The upper division is popularly known as Mcleodganj. Its culture is a beautiful blend of Tibetan with some British influence. Also known as Little Lhasa and famous around the world for being home to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Mcleodganj is a beautiful town situated near upper Dharamsala. Nestled amidst majestic hills and lush greenery, this town is culturally blessed by a prominent Tibetan influence owing to the major settlement of Tibetans here. Mcleodganj has one of the most mesmerizing landscapes in the entire state of Himachal Pradesh and attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year. The towns of Dharamsala, Mcleodganj, Bhagsu Nag and Kangra are situated very close to each other and tourists must cover all these destinations while travelling here. Few of the most eminent and religiously significant monasteries in India are located here, including the Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglagkhang, where the spiritual leader Dalai Lama resides. Tourists must also visit the scenic Dal Lake and Triund, which are apt for quiet picnics.
Dharamsala, is famed as the holy residence of the Dalai Lama and houses the Tibetan monk in exile. Dharamsala is located in Kangra district at a distance of 18 km from Kangra City. The city is distinctively separated as upper and lower divisions with different altitudes. The lower division is the Dharamsala town itself whereas the upper division is popularly known as Mcleodganj.
This is situated on the upper hilly stretch of land of Kangra Valley which is placed just against the picturesque scene of Dhauladhar ranges and thick deodar forests in the background, Dharamshala has become an important highlight in most Himachal tour packages. Being a Tibetan hub, Dharamsala is considered to be one of the best places to learn and explore Buddhism and Tibetan Culture. As the place of residence of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, this picturesque destination is not only popular among tourists but among spiritual seekers and religious travelers. Dharamshala boasts of jaw-dropping backdrop, stunning lake, vibrant monasteries, colorful temples, sparkling waterfalls, and vintage forts & museums.
To make your trip to Dharamshala more fascinating and organized, here is the list of places to visit in Dharamshala.
What To See Around Dharamshala
Tsuglagkhang Complex, Located on the Temple Road, the Tsuglagkhang Complex is a religious center and one of the important points of interest in Dharamshala. It was built when His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited India for the first time in 1959. The complex is one of the most important places in Dharamshala and comprises of Dalai Lama’s abode and monastery. Now a days, this complex also houses of public and private sessions of Dalai Lama along with numerous Tibetan dance and music performances.
Namgyal Monastery, in Mcleodganj is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Dharamshala and a major Buddhist learning center. With almost 200 monks, the famous monastery is the largest Tibetan temple outside the geographical boundary of Tibet. This monastery looks vibrant and pulls crowd round the year. The prayer wheels, the decor, the Tibetan style architecture, and overall color scheme is visually appealing and mesmerizing.
Dal Lake, is a small mid-altitude lake (1,775 m above sea level) situated at a distance of 11 kilometers away from Dharamshala near the village of Tota Rani on Macleodganj, Naddi road in district Kangra, Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Dal Lake is 2KM walk westwards from MacLeodganj bazaar. The name ‘Dal Lake’ is taken from Kashmir’s Dal Lake.
The lake is surrounded by deodar trees and is considered to be a sacred spot, as well as pilgrimage center, as there is small Shiva mandir (shrine) on its bank, which is considered to be very sacred and as old as 200 years. According to one legend a sage named Durvasa prayed to Lord Shiva here.. The area around Dal Lake is a natural paradise. The area of the lake is around 10,000 square meters. The stunning lake is surrounded by lush green deodar vegetation and snow capped mountains. There are different kinds of fish that live in this lake. The lake has greenish water, becomes most popular places in Dharamshala. It is also a site of a base camp for trekkers leading to expeditions on nearby hills.
Dal lake is mostly visited by tourist during the month of September as a fair is organized on the bank of the lake which is attended by the people of the Gaddi tribe in a large number. The fair is celebrated to mark the presence of Lord Shiva. Dal lake is a perfect site to laze around with picnic baskets as one can enjoy boating and many other activities.
Bhagsunag temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most ancient temples and one of the most visited tourist places in Dharamshala. Every year thousands of pilgrims flock to this temple, nestled in lofty hills and winding trails. The surrounding beauty of this temple has made it one of the most mesmerizing tourist attractions in Dharamshala.
Bhagsunag Waterfalls, is popularly known as the Bhagsu Falls, this scenic cascade is located few km up slope from the Bhagsunag Temple. It is one of the most important Dharamshala sightseeing destinations. The waterfall is 20 m in height and surrounded by pristine natural beauty. The sparkling cascade of milky white water looks most charming during monsoon. Also, Bhagsunag falls in McLeodganj is a popular trekking stretch and one of the splendid places in dharamshala.
Gyuto Monastery, is one of the best places to see in Dharamshala. Gyuto Monastery is the residence of Karmapa – the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism. It is quite a popular place for sightseeing in Dharamshala courtesy its research on Buddhist Philosophy, Tantric rituals, and Tantric meditation. This famous monastery was built in the memory of soldiers who devoted their lives to Tibet Freedom War. The monastery complex is serene and beautiful and it’s decor, style, and architecture look amazing. The monastery with the mesmerizing Dhauladhar in its background is one of the finest tourist places in Dharamshala.
Kangra Fort, witness awe-inspiring history and marvelous heritage at Kangra Fort, which is one of the most popular tourist places in Dharamshala. It is an ancient structure dating back to 4th century BC. As one of the oldest forts in India and the largest fort in the entire Himalayan range, this royal specimen of architecture was once an abode of the Royal family of Kangra – Katoch Dynasty. The ruins speak for the kind of historical incidents the fort has witnessed. Unveil the truth of Kangra fort history by visiting the place and listening to the stories said by the locals. This is one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala which offers a close look to the ancient fort. It is one of the must visit place in Dharamshala.
Kangra Art Museum, located near Dharamshala bus stand, Kangra Art Museum is a magnificent hub that displays the objects of Tibetan and Buddhist culture, dating back to many centuries. Due to its heritage value, it is one of the most popular places in Dharamshala. The museum started its operation in 1990 and is now considered as one of the not to miss sightseeing in Dharamshala.
The museum is known for preserving ancient traits and ethos of Kangra valley in the form of paintings, statues, fabrics, weapons, utensils, and temple figurines. The museum has one dedicated section for modern painters and sculptors as well.
The War Memorial, is one of the best Dharamshala tourist places that is located amidst the lush green forests of this hill town. The memorial was established to pay tribute to the martyrs of Kangra who lost their lives during the Indo-China War that took place in 1947, 1962, 1965, 1971 and UN Peace Operations. The place is surrounded by pine trees and you can also visit the nearby cafe offering delicious snacks and beverages.
Masroor temple, is known for age old rock cut temples that date back to the 8th century AD, is a historical site. This is an upcoming and one of the most liked tourist spots in Dharamshala. There are 15 monolithic temples depicting Indo-Aryan style architecture, depicting various tales of great Indian epics.
Masroor is one of the famous Dharamshala tourist places is mostly frequented by history lovers, art enthusiasts, painters, solo travelers, and nature admirers. The temple carvings are excellent and superbly detailed. They make the place a glorious site of Indian art and of course one of the major Dharamshala points of interest.
Naddi, is a serene and absolutely charming village, located up the hill, far away from the chatter of the main town. One of the most picturesque places to visit near Dharamshala. Naddi hill point is located in a remote village that offers a mesmerizing view of the lofty mountains, deep plush Kangra valley, and luxuriant deodar forests. On a clear day, you can also view snowy peaks of the Dhauladhar ranges which is why it’s one of the most charming places to see in Dharamshala.
St. John Church, is an ancient church which was built in 1852 and is located near Dharamshala on the way to McLeodGanj. The church flaunts the Neo Gothic Style of architecture and is famous for its Belgian Stained Glass Windows. Also, there is a church by the same name in Nainital too, which was built in 1844 and is among the most delightful places to visit in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, situated at an altitude of 1,457 m, in the mountains in the quaint town of Dharamshala is the Dharamshala Cricket ground which is the top attraction in the city. It ranks as one of the top places to visit in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. As it is located at a height, it is also one of the highest cricket grounds in the world. The surroundings of the Dharamshala stadium add to the beauty of the place.
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, is one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala. Founded by Tenzin Gyatso, this is a Tibetan library in the beautiful town of Dharamshala. This library is an interesting place for the history buffs, as it has books and sources that were saved and relocated during the escape of 1959. One can head here to enhance their knowledge and learning.
Triund, is famous for trekkers. You can take a trek to Triund while staying in Dharamshala. This is one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala which gives you a perfect chance to catch the glimpse of majestic Himalayas. Located at an altitude of 2828 m, Triund is truly a delight for trekkers and nature lovers while people can also experience camping in Dharamshala. Please note that camping is currently not allowed in Triund and you need to trek back to your stay the same day.
Jwala Devi temple, in Kangra lures travelers from across the country which is also called one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala. Don’t miss out on visiting the temple while holidaying in Dharamshala. The temple is located at a distance of 56 km from Dharamshala and experiences regular connectivity. This temple in Kangra is dedicated to Jwala Devi and the flames here are lighting miraculously from previous centuries.
Tibetan Art Museum, is located in the suburban district of McLeodganj and is one of the most popular Tibetan Museums in India. While exploring places on Dharamshala sightseeing this one place will surely give you a true glimpse of Tibetan culture and their development with the passage of time. The museum is maintained by the Central Tibetan Administration Department of Information and International Relations and is located in proximity to Dalai Lama Temple.
Aghanjar Mahadev Temple, is located at a distance of merely 5 km from Dharamshala at the foothills of Dhauladhar. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be constructed in the early 19th century. Apart from the magnificent architecture of the temple, the prime attraction of this temple is the waterfall that accentuates the beauty of this serene place. If you are visiting during the best time to visit Dharamshala then the tranquil ambiance will make you fall in love with this place.
Kalachakra Temple, is located within the temple complex of the Thekchen Choling temple is one of the famous tourist places in Dharamshala. The temple was built in the year 1992 and houses the astounding murals of ‘Wheel of Time’. The temple is used as a center of public teaching by his holiness Dalai Lama and the beautiful architecture of the temple exhibits the rich ethnicity of the Tibetan culture.
Indrahar Pass, which is one of the top trekking trails in the entire Himachal Pradesh and is another one on the list of places to visit in Dharamshala. This pass is located at an altitude of 4,500 ft above the sea level in the Dhauladhar Ranges. People from all around the world come and opt for trekking both at Indrahar Pass and Triund Hill. If you are fond of natural beauty then you must include Indrahar Pass in your itinerary.
Hanuman Ka Tibba, is must visited place in Dharamshala, which is the highest hill nestled in the Dhauladhar ranges. You might not be aware of the fact that this place is located at a height of 19,000 ft and all adventure fanatics head to Hanuman ka Tibba for activities like mountaineering, trekking and more. If you also fall in the same category then this is the place to visit on your trip.
Nechung Monastery, is the best place if you are looking for an ultimate spiritual experience. It is believed to be the home of an oracle who was and is the ultimate guide of all the monks living there. The Nechung Monastery also houses a library which gives an insight into the religion and history of Tibetan people.
Norbulingka Institute, gives an insight into the culture and Tibetan life in India. While exploring the monastery, you will also get a chance to witness the murals and art that represent Tibetan religion, food, and lifestyle. If you want to witness a surreal experience then you must visit the Tibetan temple on the premises and seek blessings.
Lahesh Caves, is mostly explored by adventure buffs and one of the lesser known visiting places in Dharamshala. Located at a height of 11,482 feet above the sea level, Lahesh caves offer a commendable trekking experience. If you like to experience something out of this world then you must visit these caves. They are surrounded by hilly terrains and coniferous forests which adds to the beauty of this little tourist attraction in Dharamshala.
Chinmaya Tapovan, is usually attracts peace seekers as it offers a tranquil setting to the tourists. Here, you will find a huge statue of Lord Hanuman and a meditation complex along with a recreation center and a school. On your Dharamshala sightseeing tour, you must head to Chinmaya Tapovan which has recently made it to the list of tourist places in Dharamshala.
Chintpurni Devi Temple, is among the most wonderful and peaceful places to see in Dharamshala for those looking for some spiritual guidance and blessings of Goddess Chintpurni. It is said that Goddess Chintpurni was the youngest of the 9 Devis owing to which it is very easy to please her with a little pampering. Locals say that she will easily grant all your wishes provided what you wish for is honest and positive. It is because of this myth that this small temple is frequented by devotees and worshipers from around the country and makes this spot one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
Best Time To Visit Dharamshala
The best time to visit Dharamshala between February to June i.e. spring and summer, when the weather is pleasant with a maximum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.
Dharamshala in summer – From April to June
The temperature begins to rise, and snow begins to fade away in April. The temperature in Summers ranges between 20 and 35 degrees Celsius. The weather remains pleasant throughout and hence, it is an excellent time to enjoy sightseeing and various treks in the Himalayas. This season is for honeymooners, backpackers, families and solo travelers. Late summers in Dharamshala experiences a humid subtropical climate where the temperature may rise as high as 33-degree Celsius. Flowers are in full bloom, conifers and pines are at their greenest, and all the fun adventure activities like paragliding, water rafting, trekking and mountaineering are at large.
Dharamshala in monsoon – From June to September
Dharamshala receives heavy rainfall from July to August when the temperature ranges from 18 to 22 degrees Celsius. If you are planning to visit around this time, then be prepared for unwanted delays due to adverse weather conditions or even worse roadblocks due to landslides. Popular trekking routes are hence shut down. However, there are a few good things about monsoon, the prices of hotels are comparatively lower, and the rivers are at their mightiest flow which is a beautiful sight that must never be missed.
Dharamshala in pre winter – From October to Mid December
This is one of perfect time for safe & nature lover traveler. After rainy season hills are full of green color. Weather is pleasant but chill. Temperatures ranges from 10°C to 20°C. Most of the times sky is clear.
Dharamshala in winter – From Mid December to March
Winters are the best time to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Dharamshala. The whole stretch from Late December to March is quite cold in Dharamshala. The temperature in Winters remains between 4 and 7 degrees Celsius. Snowfall begins by the end of December and continues until March. Winters mostly see crowds of honeymooners and hardcore adventurists. Dharamshala receives fresh snowfall almost every day in winter. Some of the mountain waterfalls freeze in the sub-zero temperature. Places like McLeodganj look like a postcard-like dream. Snow trekking to Triund is a favorite adventure during this time.
Dalhousie, the tiny tinsel town, tucked away in the lap of Himalaya is a piece of paradise for all the travelers. Nestled amidst green pine and oak trees in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie is a pristine, yet gorgeous hill town on the Dhauladhar Range of Himalayas. It boasts of old world charm, mesmerizing natural landscape, pine clad valleys, flower bedecked meadows, fast flowing rivers, magnificent misty mountains and some of the most spectacular views in the world. The air smells of the Scottish and Victorian architecture and the ambiance reminds you of the pristine British flavors.
Dalhousie, one of the favorite among most tourists travelling to Himanchal Pradesh is famously known for its mesmerizing natural beauty and its old world charm. This hill station was one of the most favorite summer destinations of the ruling Britishers and this is truly reflected in the majestic Victorian style mansions in this region. Situated far from the buzzing cities in the country, this quaint town transports you to a pollution free environment in the lap of nature. Dalhousie is known for its scenic beauty has a number mountains and river streams that tourists must visit. Among them the most famous are Panch Pulla, Satdhara Falls and the Daikund peak. There are many fantastic places to visit in Dalhousie and awesome things to experience in the amazing hill station.
What To See Around Dalhousie
Khajjiar, called Mini Switzerland of India, is a small town near Dalhousie which provides tourists a unique combination of forests, lakes and pastures. The mesmerizing beauty of this place has greatly influenced and inspired many kingdoms throughout the years, including the Rajputs and Mughals. Located at an altitude of 6,500 ft, the natural beauty and picturesque landscape of this place are bound to leave an everlasting impression on a tourist. Khajjiar is known for its Nine Hole Golf Course which is nestled in the midst of lush greenery and a breathtaking landscape. Khajjiar is a small plateau which also has a small lake which is one of the most favored tourist spots in this town. Khajjiar is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests and it is also known for its beautiful temples. This region also attracts adventure seekers and has a lot of options in adventure sports like paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, trekking etc. Khajjiar is a must visit place for everyone coming to Dalhousie and its nearby regions. However, the way to Khajjiar can be closed sometimes during winters because of heavy snowfall. For best experience, you can plan a trip to Khajjiar in December and it is one of the best tourist places in Dalhousie for honeymoon couple.
Chamba, is that one getaway you’ve always dreamed off. Minimal human alteration in the topography and environment and the balanced temperatures of the area make it the perfect destination all year round. The river Ravi cuts across town and adds to the scenery. Chambal is present at the confluence of Ravi river with Chal river. This Himalayan Destination is amply endowed with a variety of flora and fauna, making it a very picturesque background for your holiday memoirs. There’s about enough lakes, wildlife sanctuaries and temples to make you feel like this virgin land has more than enough to offer to every tourist. You only go back richer from Chamba become must visit place in Dalhousie.
Manimahesh Lake, situated close to Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of Himalayas, Manimahesh Lake is located in the Chamba district and is one of the most important places to visit in Chamba. The lake is located at a height of 4, 080 m from the mean sea level and has high religious significance after Lake Mansarovar in Tibet. The lake is a major pilgrimage trek, which is carried out during the months of August and September on the eighth day of new moon period, as per the Hindu Calendar and is known as Manimahesh Yatra. This Manimahesh Yatra is famous for Hindu religion and it is must visit place in Dalhousie if you have enough time to explore.