Nestled in the picturesque Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, the beautiful town of Dharamshala lies against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains of Dhauladhar range. Home to the 14th Dalai Lama, Dharamshala is a confluence of Indian and Tibetan cultures. From artistic museums and Buddhist monasteries to natural wonders, there are plenty of places worth visiting in this Himalayan hill station. Here are the places to visit in Dharamshala.
McLeod Ganj is named after the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, Sir Donald Friell McLeod, who led the development of the area. Popularly known as “Little Lhasa” due to a sizable Tibetan population, McLeod Ganj houses the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama. The highest peak of the Dhauladhar range, Hanuman Tibba at 5639 meters, lies just behind McLeod Ganj.
Set amidst lush green thick juniper and Deodar forests, Dal Lake is a beautiful picnic spot. Situated at just 2 km from the McLeod Ganj market, you can walk all the way up to the lake. If you want to save some energy, Dal Lake is easily accessible by taxi and cars as well. With a Shiva temple on its banks, Dal Lake holds religious significance.
Kangra Art Museum
Inaugurated in 1990, the Kangra museum has a display of preserved artifacts of the cultural past of Kangra valley. This fascinating museum has arts, crafts, miniature paintings, fabrics and embroidery, temple carvings, weapons, and items belonging to the local royal family. It has a fantastic collection of coin memorabilia, rare pottery, tribal jewelry, and sculptures. Some of the artifacts showcased in the museum date back to 5th century.
A trip to Dharamshala is incomplete without a visit to Namgyal Monastery. It is the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet and the residence of the Dalai Lama. The monastery was originally established by the second Dalai Lama in the 16th century when Dharamshala was a part of Tibet. The monastery was renovated after the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 forced the 14th Dalai Lama to escape to India.
Also known as Bhagsu Falls, this spot is known for its spectacular flow during the monsoons. Bhagsu Falls is just 2 km from McLeod Ganj and is a great picnic spot. The Bhagsunath temple which is located in close vicinity to the falls, attract not only the tourists but also Hindu pilgrims.
Triund trek is an easy 7 km trek which starts near McLeod Ganj and ends at Triund while passing through the Galu Devi temple. The trail goes through the rhododendron forests and offers magnificent views of the Kangra Valley. If you want, you can pitch your tent and spend the night under the stars.
Located at 20 km from Dharamshala on the outskirts of Kangra town, the Kangra Fort is a perfect example of exemplary architecture. Constructed in 4th Century B.C., this fort is one of the oldest and largest forts in the Himalayas. Near the fort is the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum, which is managed by the Royal Family of Kangra.
We are sure that you will cover best places to visit in Dharamshala on your next trip to Dharamshala.
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