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Also spelt Dharamsala, it is a quaint hill station located in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The large Tibetan community riveting around Dalai Lama has gained the tiny hill town world-wide popularity. A ten minute bus ride divides this popular travel destination into Lower Dharamshala (Dharamshala itself) and Upper Dharamshala (McLeod Ganj). Upper Dharamsala or Mcleod Ganj is a hub of tourist activities.
It is the place where the Tibetan community is concentrated, centering around the Dalai Lama. Chartered auto-rickshaws and public buses are the local means of transport in the town.
Altitude: Lower Dharashala (1400 m), Upper Dharamshala (1750 m)
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Temperature: Summer (Max- 38 °C), Winter (Min- below freezing)
Clothing: Heavy woolens required in winter
Languages: Hindi, Punjabi, English and Pahari
Best Time to Visit: January to June & September to December
Being home to the Tibetan community, Dharamsala features many tourist attracts that give travellers a deep insight into the Tibetan community culture. Dalai Lama and his teachings (helo during March every year) are a major crowd-puller for tourists.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Dharamsala, it is the monastery of Dalai Lama. The temple stands right in front of the residence of Dalai Lama. The temple is a must-see, as it happens to be the largest Tibetan temple outside of Tibet.
If you want to know about the history of Tibet and Tibetans, the Tibet Museum is just the place to be. The museum is located just opposite the Tsuglagkhang Complex.
Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts
This institute is a must-visit for all who are looking for a befitting introduction to the rich Tibetan customs, traditions and culture. At this institute, you can enjoy watching live performances of traditional Tibetan dance and music.
This is an idyllic picnic spot, located at 14 km away from Dharashala. Surrounded by eye-catching Himalayan ranges, Dharamkot offers scenic views for travellers to soak up. Enjoy some quality time here with your close ones.
How to Reach
Closest airways link is the Gaggal Airport (Kangra), 10 km away. Pathankot is the closest broad gauge railhead. Mostly, people prefer traveling to Dharamshala by bus from all the key destinations of northern India. Overnight bus services from Delhi are regularly available to reach Dharashala.