Dharamshala is, undeniably, a one-of-a-kind travel destination and should be visited by one and all, at least once in their lifetime. Located 18 km away from the city of Kangra, it is also known as the Little Lhasa of India due to its mystical charm.
The word Dharamshala has been derived from the Hindi words Dharam and Shala which translates into mostly two meanings which are spiritual dwelling or a sanctuary. However, in the common dialect, a Dharamshala describes a shelter or a rest house for the pilgrims.
Best Time to Visit Dharamshala
The natural vibe and grace of this place will instantly make you fall in love with it. The spring season, as well as the early summer season, would be the right time to visit the hill station, owing to the pleasant temperature and climatic conditions.
History of Dharamshala
Dharamshala was formerly ruled by the Katoch dynasty for a considerable period of time. Then, in 1848, it was annexed by the Britishers; who then in 1860, brought the Gurkhas along with them. The Gurkhas or Nepali soldiers were also referred to as the bravest of the brave community.
Since the beginning, Dharamshala has been a popular hill station among Britishers and their solution to escape the scorching summer sun.
However, this was so until the earthquake of 1905 which left about 20,000 people dead. It is said that it was the Gurkha community that contributed to rebuilding the city post this earthquake.
Major Attractions in and Around Dharamshala
1. Library of Tibetan Works & Archives
On your trip to Dharamshala, you simply cannot afford to miss the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives. It offers tourists about 80,000 manuscripts along with 600 Buddhist artifacts. For the intellectually inclined, this place is literally a paradise.
2. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
This cricket stadium is situated in the very lap of the majestic Himalayas. And the fact that it is situated at a height of 1,457 m above sea level makes this stadium a major contributing factor for exploring this place at least once.
3. War Memorial
Located near the Pine forest, this war memorial is one of the best tourist spots to visit in Dharamshala. Here, you will be finding the beautiful GPG College from the British era offering a nostalgic vibe.
4. Tea Garden Dharamshala
An exciting thing to know about this place is the fact that this garden is one of the smallest tea regions in all of India. Here, you get to explore and discover some of the most scenic gardens which you can't find anywhere else in the world.
5. Jwala Devi Temple
Jwala Devi temple has been dedicated to Jwala Ji. She is the Goddess depicted with a set of flames all around. The temple is also considered to be one of the 52 Shakti Peethas, as it is believed that this was the place where the tongue of Maa Sati had fallen. If you are on the path of spiritual sadhana, then you shouldn't give this place a miss. Jwala Devi Temple is one of the best temples in Himachal Pradesh.
6. Bhagsunath Temple
The Bhagsunath Temple is really a great option to explore, specifically for those who have an inclination towards spirituality. What's really noticeable about this temple is the fact that it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful pools attracting a lot of devotees as well as tourists throughout the year.
How to Reach Dharamshala
Dharamshala is a unique travel getaway to be visited, especially, if you are looking for some quiet time in the lap of nature. It is located at a distance of about 471, 1,883, 1,994, 2,647 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can travel to Dharamshala by the following means of public transportation.
Gaggal Airport aka Kangra Airport (DHM) is the nearest aerodrome situated at a distance of 14 km. This airport is spread over an area of 1269 acres at an altitude of about 2492 feet. It is advised to take connecting flights from Delhi and Chandigarh to this airport. And once you deboard at the airport, you will need to cover the remaining distance by some means of local transportation.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Dharamshala
The best option to reach here by train would be to deboard at the Pathankot Railway Station (PTK) situated 80-85 km away. It is situated at an elevation of about 331 meters. This station has overall good connectivity with other Indian cities. After you deboard at the station, you will need to cover the remaining distance via public transport.
Depending upon your location, you can also consider traveling by road to Dharamshala. From major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, there are a number of interstate and luxury buses available at frequent intervals of time. Apart from buses, you can also consider traveling via cab or your own vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dharamshala
Q. Where is Dharamshala located?
A. Dharamshala is a city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Q. What are the popular tourist attractions in Dharamshala?
A. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Dharamshala include Dalai Lama Temple Complex, McLeod Ganj, Bhagsunath Temple, Triund Hill, and Norbulingka Institute.