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Dharamsala also spelt as Dharamshala is a scenically blessed hill station in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. Formerly known as Bhagsu, Dharamsala has gained its prominence in tourism for being the serene abode of HH Dalai Lama. Located at a distance of 475 km from Delhi, Dharamsala has become a popular place to visit in Himachal Pradesh for the travelers who wants to learn more about Buddhist culture. There are many places to visit in Dharamsala which shows the colorful yet subtle side of Buddhism. The name Dharamsala in native language stands for a sanctuary of spiritual dwelling. Dharamsala being the home of HH Dalai Lama and thousand of Tibetan Refugee is often referred as Lhasa of India or Dhasa. Divided into two parts upper Dharamsala and Lower Dharamsala, Dharamshala is situated at an altitude of 1475mt. Surrounded by thick deodar cedar trees, snow-laden mountains, exotic culture, and quaint old monasteries, Dharamsala is a scenic hill station of India which is bathed in the glory of mother nature and Buddhist culture. From decades old church and monasteries to vantage view points, there are many places to visit in Dharamsala.
Mcleodganj is a serene town in Dharamsala which is renowned for being the abode of H.H Dalai Lama. Situated on the northern side of the main town the distance between Dharamsala and Mcleodganj is 3km. Pilgrims from far and wide traveler towards Dharamsala to visit Tsuglagkhang or Tsuglag Khang, the main temple of HH Dalai Lama located in Mcleodganj. Home of thousand of Tibetan refugee, Mcleodganj is one of the must places to visit in Dharamsala if tourist wants to learn more about Buddhism.
Bhagsunag Waterfall also known as Bhagsu Falls is a famous tourist destination of Dharamsala. It is located at a distance of 11km from Dharamsala and 3km from Mcleodganj. The Bhagsunath Temple of Bhagsunag Waterfall is an important place for Hindu Pilgrim. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The vista of cascading water falling from a height of 20mt at Bhagsunag Waterfall has captivated the minds of many travelers. It is also a favored picnic spot of Dharamsala.
Enclosed with the verdant forest of deodar is an Anglican Church called St. John in the Wilderness. Situated on the way to Mcleodganj at a distance of 9km from Dharamsala St. John in the Wilderness Church was built in 1852. The neo-Gothic Architecture and Belgian stained-glass windows of St. John in the Wilderness Church have attracted many travelers. In the churchyard of St. John in the Wilderness Church visitors can see the final resting place of Lord Elgin, Governor-General -Viceroy of India in 1861 during the British Raj.
Originally founded in 16th century, Namgyal Monastery was relocated in Dharamsala following the Tibetan uprising in 1959. Namgyal Monastery is largest Tibetan Monastery built outside Tibet. Situated in the Mcleodganj Namgyal Monastery has become a must visit destination for the pilgrims traveling to Dharamsala. The serene ambiance and imposing figures of Buddha of this grandiose monastery has fascinated both tourist and devotes.
Perched at an altitude of 2827mt is a pictorial hill called Triund. The hill top of Triund is a famous trekking destination of Dharamsala. Triund is located at a distance of 17km from Dharamsala. From the hilltop of Triund, travelers can catch an astounding vista of Dhauladhar range on one side and Kangra valley on the other. Sprawled beautiful forest of Oak, Deodar, and Rhododendron trees even a novice trekker can trek towards the hill top of Triund.
Nestled on the hill top enclosing Mcleodganj is a pictorial spot called Dharamkot. Offering a grandiose vista of snowcapped Dhauladhar, Dharamkot with its rustic charm and serene ambiance has become a must visit destination in Dharamsala for the traveler if they want to find solace amidst nature. Sited amidst the dense alpine forest, Dharamkot is place to meditate and enjoy the simplicity of life while visiting in Dharamsala.
Kunal Pathri Temple is a quaint rock temple located near the Kotwali Bazaar of Dharamsala. The Kunal Pathri Temple of Dharamsala is a Hindu shrine dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is situated at a distance of 3km from Dharamshala's Kotwali Bazaar. Kunal Pathri Temple is an ancient temple of Kangra region. Adorned with the exquisite carving of Gods & Goddesses, the main sanctum of Kunal Pathri Temple is idolized with a solid rock. Surrounded with lush tea garden Kunal Pathri Temple is a vantage point in Dharamsala to witness the outstanding view of Dhauladhar range and low-lying lawns.
Jawalamukhi Temple of Dharamsala is the most famous and ancient shrine in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the 51 Shakti peethas. The sacred Jawalamukhi Temple was built on the very spot where tongue of Devi Sati is said to have fallen. Overlooking the majestic snow capped mountain of Dhauladhar region, Jawalamukhi Temple of Dharamsala is dedicated to the Goddess of Light, also known as the Flaming Goddess or ‘She of the Flaming Mouth’. It is one of the famous pilgrim centers of Dharamsala, which is flooded with the horde of devotes during auspicious festivals.
Situated amidst the dense forest of pine tree is the War Memorial of Dharamsala. It was built to commemorate the memory of brave solider who sacrificed their life for the country in the Post Independence Era. The War Memorial of Dharamsala is located at the entrance of this holy city.
How to reach Dharamsala: The nearest airport from Dharamsala is located in Gaggal at a distance of 13km and railway station in Pathankot at a distance of 85km. Victors can either take a flight towards Dharamsala or board on an overnight train towards Pathankot. Being well connected with state-bus network visitors can directly board a bus from any major city for Dharamsala.
Best time to visit Dharamsala: Blessed with temperate weather, Dharamsala is one of the few hill stations which can be visited throughout the year. Yet summer season considered the best time to visit Dharamsala.