DHARMSHALA - The Little Lhasa in India
In spur of the Dhauladhar range about 17 kms north- east of Kangra home of His Holiness Dalai Lama is situated. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains from three sides and valley in front, wooded with oak and conifer trees makes it divine. The snowline is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamshala than at any other hill station and it is possible to make a day's trek to a snow-point after an early morning's start.
Days Required Exploring Dharmshala: 4 (minimum)
Shopping centres: Kotwali Bazar- a general shopping area, Jogibara Road, and McLeod Ganj for Tibetan handicrafts
Food: It will be sin to visit Dharmshala and not have Tibetan Food and beverages.
Some of our favourite fillers:
Momos - dumplings filled with meat or vegetables, steamed or fried
Thukpa - a hearty noodle soup with veggies or meat
Thenthuk - thukpa with handmade noodles
Pocha - salty tea churned with butter, a Tibetan staple
Place you should not miss while vacationing in Dharmshala: Holocaust Museum: Photos are worth thousands words, the Holocaust Museum situated on Nmagyal Monastery route displays photos of Tibet before 1949, the Chinese invasion and changes that came with it. A must visit if you are a History & Culture person.
Mcleod Ganj To Triund Trek (27 Kms, 8 hours): If you are an adventure and nature lover you have to spare a day and do it. A trek quite popular among flashpackers and backpackers. It is an easy trek and you can trek with you family also, to keep your energy up through the trek you will find a lot of tea stalls and dhabba in route. And don’t forget to try Maggie. The view of the valley will make you feel like a God. Try it – Highly Recommended
Mcleod Ganj to Naddi Trek (10 Kms, 2 hours): A small hamlet situated at ridge of hill near Mcleod Ganj. It’s a road trek passing Dal Lake. A must visit for photographers and nature lovers.
St. John in the Wilderness: an Anglican church dedicated to John the Baptist built in 1852, on the way to McLeodGanj, at Forsyth Gunj. Set amidst deodar forest, and built in neo-Gothic architecture, the church is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows
Dalai Lama Temple Complex: Visit to the residence, monastery, and temple of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama temple complex, on Temple Road, is just a short walk from the Mcleod Ganj bus stand in upper Dharamsala. The temple complex is open daily, from sunrise to sunset, and visitors are welcome to explore the peaceful ambiance of the surroundings. In the early morning, you are welcome to participate as the monks chant and meditate. You can join local residents for a meditative walk around the temple/monastery complex. – Highly Recommended
Dharmshala Cricket Stadium: After His Holiness Dalai Lama, Dharmshala is nowadays identified by its magnificent Cricket Stadium. One among the highest cricket stadiums around world. Beautifully architected with awesomely painted in red.
Also a must see Other Activities:
Bird Watching: For Wildlife enthusiasts, Nature lovers, and Bird watchers this place is the best destination. Just a visit to Pong river sanctuary in Kangra valley will be mesmerizing as it is a major habitat of migratory birds in India. Another important event which should not be missed is the ‘Bird Watching’ festival conducted in the month of January every year at Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake, one of the biggest ‘Man-made’ lakes of India. Various birds like terns, black bucks, Siberian birds can be seen near the lake. One can catch a glimpse of nearly 200 species of birds during the December – January months.
Horse Riding: You can enjoy the panoramic beauty of Kangra valley and scenic deodar forests riding on a well-trained horse. A full-day or a half-day tour here will be accompanied with a horse along with a guide. What else can give ultimate satisfaction than riding like a noble on a horse back through this charming little town! Try horse riding and the experience are definitely worth it.
Cycling: Fresh mountain air, alluring tracks, and lingering fragrances of lovely flowers, scenic rural area: all these add joy to classic mountain biking activity in Dharamshala. So for those who have a passion for environment and love cycling, Dharamshala is the perfect place. Renting a cycle is very easy in this valley as there are many agencies that encourage the sport. So you can explore the whole town on a cycle and have a rejuvenating experience.
Temperature: Max. 38 C in June; Min. 0 C in Jan.
Best season: January to June; September to December. July-August is rainy season.
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