About Dharamshala & nearby places
Dharamshala is situated in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It lies on a spur of the Dhauladhar range in the Pir Panjal region of the Outer Himalayas; and commands majestic views of the mighty Dhauladhar ranges above, and the Kangra Valley below. Dhauladhar means “white ridge” and this breathtaking, snow-capped range rises out of the Kangra Valley to a height of 5,200 meters (17,000 feet).The Kangra Valley is a wide, fertile plain, crisscrossed by low hills. Dharamshala is a big attraction for tourists from all over the world.
It is home to His Holiness – the Dalai Lama, and many Tibetans who have taken refuge in Mcleodganj, which is a part of this small city in Himachal Pradesh, India. A loose translation of the word Dharamshala is ‘dwelling of spirituality’ and the place holds true to its name. The area has a number of Buddhist monasteries and temples dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses.
McLeodganj is a small but bustling international center which blends flavors of Lhasa with elements of a modern Euro-American town in the setting of an Indian shepherds’ village.
Dharamkot is a quite village hamlet just above Mcleodganj and known for it’s natural bounty, peace and variety of tourists that stay here.
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.
Sightseeing places nearby
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 and Padamasambhava. 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 Buddhism.
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.
HPCA Crickret Stadium
The new HPCA Cricket stadium, is one of the beautiful stadium with a picturesque backdrop of the mighty Dhauladhar snow peaks. The pleasant weather adds to the popularity and glory of the game and helps to attract more spectators to the ground who come. This stadium has a maximum spectator capacity of 20,000 and provides modern facilities, split practice sessions, new rehabilitation center, lounge, bar, restaurant, banquet hall which can house 500 odd people.
Gyuto Monastery, Sidhbari
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 life.
St. John’s Church
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 destination.
Bhagsu 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 hot months.
Naddi & 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 mountains.