Dharamshala Tour Package
Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar mountains, Dharamsala is perched on high slopes in the upper Kangra Valley. The town is divided into two distinct sections, upper and lower Dharamsala, which differ about a thousand meters in altitude. Today, Dharamsala has become the synonymous with the Tibetan government in exile and is the home of Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan community dominates the town, yet it retains a touch of the former British colonial lifestyle. Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool crisp air makes the surroundings very attractive.
Dharamsala is a busy bazaar town and has established itself as a travelers base camp for those who come to explore the nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar provides the color and characteristic of a small town mixed with a simple life style. The colorful temples and Gompas reflect the culture of Tibet and are an attraction for the visitor. The Kangra museum gives an overview of the regions rich past and there are many institutes preserving Tibetan art, cultures and traditions.
Dharmsala Attractions :
St. John's Church : 7 km north from Dharamsala, between Forsyth Ganj and Mcleod Ganj, lies the charming St. John's Church ; built in 1852 in grey stone with fine Belgian stained glass windows donated by Lady Elgin. The church is popularly known as church of St. John in Wilderness.
Chamunda Devi Temple : The famous temple is an enchanting spot with glorious views of the mountains, the Baner Khud, Pathiar and Lahla forests. It is located 15 km from Dharamshala in the tiny village of Dadh, on Palampur road and is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi.
Maharana Pratap Sagar : is so named in honor of the great patriot Maharana Pratap (1572 -97 AD) and was formerly called the 'Pong Dam Reservoir'. The Maharana struggled valiantly to retain the independence of his kingdom of Mewar. In words of Chroniclers James Tod and William Crooke, "He spurned every overture that had submission for its basis".
The Pong Dam was completed in 1976 over the River Beas. Its reservoir has an area of 45,000 hectares at maximum possible flooding - the level varies with every season and averages around 30,000 hectares. Over 2,000 villages lay along the wetland. In 1983, the Sagar was declared a wildlife sanctuary and over 220 species of bird have been sighted over the waters and fringing mud banks - these include black-headed gulls, plovers, terns, ducks, water-fowl and egrets. The first sighting in the region of the red-necked grebe, was made at the Sagar.
The wetland's location has made it a suitable habitat and stopover for migratory birds that enter India from Central Asia. The land portion has barking deer, sambar, wild borars, nilgai, leopards and claw-less others. Twenty-seven species and sub-species of fish have been recorded in its waters. Some important commercial varieties are - Labeo dero (Gid), Labeo rohita, Labeo Calbasu, Tor putitora (Mahsir) and Mystus seenghala (Singhara).
Norbulinka Institute : Norbulinka is 4 km from Dharamsala . This place has a heavy Japanese influence. The Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan Culture was founded by the Department of Religion and Culture to preserve and promote Tibetan art and culture in exile
Nurpur Fort : Originally known as Dhameri, 66 km from Dharamsala and 24 km from Pathankot, Nurpur Fort was renamed by the Emperor Jehangir. The fort is in ruins but still has some finely carved relief.
Tsug-Lag-Khang (Central Cathedral) : Situated opposite the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsug-Lag-Khang is known to the local Indians as the Main Temple and is a fascinating and peaceful spot.
Andretta : 13 km from Palampur lies this dwelling place of artist S. Sobha Singh. It houses a gallery of some of his major works and a pottery center.
Dall Lake : The lake is surrounded by high and green Deodar trees and fills a mountain bowl. Situated 11 km from town, this lake is easily approachable by road and makes an enchanting and serene picnic spot.
Dharmkot : Just 11 km from Dharamsala, located on the crest of a hill lies this attractive picnic spot, which presents a panoramic view of the Kangra valley and Dauladhar ranges. Dharamkot is the starting point for short walks to the high plateau at Triund (2,975m) or further over the high passes to the Chamba valley.
Karanje : is a holy place well known for its medieval Shiva temple. Situated on a hill 1,500 ft high, it commands a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Kunal Pathri :: are the rock temples from which the place derives its name. Kunal pathri is 3 km from Kotwali Bazaar.
Lord Elgin's Memorial : After the honors of 1857, India's First War of independence, Queen Victoria assumed the title of Empress of India. Her Prime Minister, Lord Canning made the proclamation and the Governor General's title was raised to that of Viceroy of India.
Moodabidri : 23 km from Venur, Moodabidri described as Jaina Kashi and is known for 18 bastis, the most famous being 'Savira Kambada Basti' (Basti with thousand pillars). Built in 1430 AD, this basti has beautiful monolith columns and priceless collection of jewel studded metal images of Jain Tirthankaras.
Namgyal Monastery : In 1575 Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, officially founded a monastery, which later came to be known as Namgyal Dratsang (Victorious Monastery). Since its inception, the monastery has assisted the Dalai Lamas in their public religious activities for the welfare of Tibet.
Venur : is 30 km from Dharmasthala and has the famous Gomateshwara statue built in 1605 AD by an Ajila Prince.
Chinmaya Tapovan : Just 10 km from the town is the tranquil ashram complex set up by the great exponent of the Gita - Swami Chinmayananda. Situated on the banks of Bindu Saras, the ashram has a 9 m high image of Hanuman, a Ram temple, a meditation hall, a school and a health and recreation center.
Kareri : Set amidst sylvan surroundings is a rest house, located in the cool depths of pine grove. Surrounded by green open meadows and forests of tall oak and pine at a height of 3250m, is situated the picturesque Kareri Lake, which is 13 km from the rest house and 22 km from Dharamsala.
Tatwani and Machhrial : Tatwani has hot springs and is 25 km from Dharamsala, and en route, at Machhrial, is a waterfall twice as big as the one near the Bhagsunath temple.
The Shrine of Bhagsunath : 11 km from Dharamsala is the ancient temple of Bhagsunath. There are many fresh water springs close to the temple, which are considered sacred by the Hindus.
Trilokpur : On the way from Pathankot, 41 km from Dharamsala , are the unique cave temples with a stalactite and stalagmites dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Triund : is a popular picnic spot at an height of 2827 m. The area is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17 km from Dharamsala. The snow line starts at Ilaqua, which is five km from Triund. The breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys makes Triund an ideal picnic spot and trekking spot.
Getting to Dharmshala
By Air : Dharamsala is connected to Delhi and the nearest Airport is at Gaggla, just 13 km away from town.
By Rail : Pathankot is 85 km and is the nearest railhead for Dharamsala. Trains from all over the country stop at Pathankot and from here it is a three hour journey to Dharamsala.
By Road : From Manali, bus services are available. One can also drive from Delhi via Chandigarh, Kiratpur, Bilaspur and it's an 8 hour journey. From Delhi and Shimla, luxury buses ply to Dharamsala.
Dharamsala is located in the Himalayas and hence the climate is very pleasant during summer, but winters are freezing cold. Temperature drop below freezing point during winters. During summers, the weather is mild and light woolens and cottons are recommended. The best time to visit the place is summer when the biting cold is over and there is plenty of sunshine. Avoid coming here during monsoon months as there is the danger of landslides.