Dharamshala also was known as “Little Tibet of India” is known for its authentic Tibetan culture. It also gains much of its popularity for being the residence of Dalai Lama. Dharamshala, for many years, has been a center of meditation and peace, with thousands of people from around the world coming here to seek balance in their place. The small hilltown is surrounded by the hills of Dhauladhar ranges. Dharamshala is known for its snow-wrapped ranges, popular Buddhist monasteries and some scenic sites. McleodGanj is located few kilometers away from Dharamshala and is known for a number of treks, Tibetan market, monasteries and the delicious banoffee pie. Savor them all while you are here seeking peace.
Dharamshala cricket ground
Situated at an altitude of 1,457 mt, Dharamshala cricket stadium also known as the HPCA stadium is one of the highest cricket grounds in India and in the world as well. It holds a capacity of 25,000 spectators and set against the backdrop of the Himalayas, it is certainly one of the most beautiful stadiums of India. Surrounded by the mighty snow-capped Dhauladhar ranges, Dharamshala cricket stadium offers the panoramic view of the mountain ranges. You can visit the stadium to enjoy various cricket matches but you can also visit this place just to enjoy the surreal views of the mountains and the captivating sunset from the stadium.
Home to nearly 200 monks, Namgyal monastery is the home to His Holiness- Dalai Lama, who runs the government of Tibet in exile from Dharamshala. It is also a center or meditation, Buddhist studies and a well-stocked library with different books and Tibetan values and culture. Many people including famous Hollywood and Bollywood stars (Such as Richard Gere) have visited Dalai Lama in this monastery to seek peace and learn meditation. The monastery is located a hill surrounded by the forests and tranquility of Dharamshala. Moreover, the Namagyal monastery has earnestly preserved ancient customs, aesthetic skills and traditions.
Those who want to witness tantric meditation, ritual arts and Buddhist monasteries can go and visit the Gyuto monastery in Dharamshala. One can also visit the Dal lake which is a popular tourist site in proximal distance from the Namagyal Monastery.
BhagsuNag waterfall and temple are two major tourist destinations of McleodGanj. The gushing waterfall of about 20 metres in height is an absolute visual delight. Bhagsunag is a small trek through the rocky mountains taking you to the beautiful waterfall. At the end of the trek, you can enjoy some snacks at the small shop perched at the top of the trek. It is located 11 km from Dharamshala and 2 km from McleodGanj. You can also visit the Bhagsunag temple where the Gurkha's are supposed to have prayed Lord Shiva. It also has hot water spring where you can let go of your fatigue in the warm natural waters of the mountains.
If you are an adventurer, Triund Trek is a must visit for you. The short trek of 9 km which begins its trail from Dharamkot can easily be accomplished in 5-6 hours. The trek offers the amazing panorama with the majestic Dhauladhar ranges on one side and the beautiful Kangra valley on the other. You can return from this trek on the same day if you begin your journey early in the morning from Mcleod ganj. But, it is suggested that you stay in camps on the top to get the best experience and enjoy the star-filled the sky at night.
Palampur tea gardens
Palampur is located 38 km from Dharamshala and is a small hamlet known for its infinite tea gardens spread across the mountains of Palampur. For its vast expanse of tea estates, it is also known as ‘Tea capital of North India’. You can enjoy a walk in the aromatic tea gardens, sip a cup of tea prepared from the freshly picked tea leaves. Leave early in the morning to enjoy a detour of the tea estates of Palampur and you can come back in the evening to Dharamshala after enjoying a sunset from Palampur with the Dhauladhar in the backdrop. Moreover, if you want to see the entire process of plucking, picking, processing and commercialisation of tea, don't forget to head a little downhill from Palampur to the Palampur Co-operative Tea factory Limited.
The ruins of Kangra Fort narrates the ancient tale that can be dated back to as old as the time period of Mahabharat. The fort was built by the Rajput rulers who were ruling over Kangra during that time. It is the largest fort in the Himalayan region and is considered to be the oldest in India whose origin and foundation can’t be traced exactly. The mentions of the fort can be found in the epic of Mahabharat. Now only the ruins of the fort remain which are well-preserved. From the top of the fort, you can enjoy the view of the Kangra valley and a river flowing down the valley. It is located 20 km away from Dharamshala.
If architecture is something that interests you, then Masroor rock-cut temples must certainly be on your itinerary. The majestic rock-cut temples rest only an hour away from the Kangra fort.
Naddi is a small hamlet located 4 km away from McleodGanj. During the winter season, this is where you can find few spots of snow, if lucky. Naddi is known for its virgin beauty of hills, valleys with tempting views of sunset and sunrise. Naddi is also the starting point for a number of trees in the upper Dhauladhar ranges. The denizens of this village are known to worship Lord Keyling and that's a reason a dozen of shrines can be seen here.
At the beginning of the Mcleodganj town, you will find streets full of colors and vividness filled with the Tibetan shops and souvenirs. The Tibetan market of Mcleodganj is known for the woolen apparels, the junk metal jewelry, the metal artifacts and handicrafts that adorns the market of McleodGanj. The market is well known for Tibetian handicrafts, thangkas, Tibetian carpets and other sovenirs. You can buy souvenirs to take back from this market.
A little more quaint than McleodGanj, Dharamkot is just 4 km away from McleodGanj. You can take an auto or cab to reach here. Dharamkot is known for a number of cafes located amid the serenity of hills serving the scrumptious dishes and even better desserts. There are a lot of quirky open spaces where you can dine in while you gaze at the beautiful mountains standing right in front of you. You can enjoy sitting at some place quiet and peaceful to enjoy the sunset from Dharamkot. Dharamkot is the perfect place for adventurous activities such as hiking and trekking. Triund, Illaqua, Indrahar pass and the others are some of the popular destinations in Dharamkot which are considered to be good hiking and trekking spots.
Tsuglagkhang complex is the home to Dalai Lama in McleodGanj. It is an important pilgrimage place in McleodGanj where devotees from around the world come here to get vis-a-vis with the Buddhism and also to visit the Holiness. Tsuglagkhang Complex is a monastery, apart from this you can find a library dedicated to Buddhism and a small cafe where you can enjoy a simple meal while you learn a little about the culture of this place. The complex has a bookshop which keeps exclusive books by Dalai Lama and books on general texts on buddhism. A cafe inside of the Tsuglagkhang complex serves cakes and vegetarian food. Furthermore, there's even a souvenir shop which sells flags and bracelets. The profits earned are to provide support to Tibet.