Dharamshalla is a city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodars.
The suburbs of the town includes—McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu Nath, Forsyth Ganj, Naddi, Kotwali Bazaar (the main market of the town), Kaccheri area (government offices such as the court, police, post etc.), Sidhpur and Sidhbari (where the Karmapa Lama is based) McLeod Ganj, a village within Dharamshala municipality, is the home of the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government. Dharamshalla houses the headquarters of the Tibetan Government-in-exile about two kilometres below the town of McLeod Ganj, led by the Prime Minister, Samdhong Rinpoche. Dharamshalla is the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population has made Dharamshala a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists, including students studying Tibet. After falling into obscurity in the early days of Indian independence, Dharamsala regained some social standing in 1959 with the arrival of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile Currently; it is a very popular hang-out for foreigners and students of Buddhism. Indeed, it is now perhaps a little too popular and many would say the town, and especially McLeod Ganj, is little more than a backpacker ghetto. Don’t come here expecting calm and tranquility.
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Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down tradition and restoring standards by providing training, education and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which Tibetan community and family values can flourish. It reconciles the traditional creatively and respectfully with the modern, and seeks to create an international awareness of Tibetan values and their expression in art and literature. A visit is must to experience.
The library was founded by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama on June 11, 1970 and is considered one of the most important libraries and institutions of Tibetan works in the world. The library contains sources which were relocated from Tibet during the 1959 escape, including important Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts and archives related the Tibets history, politics, culture and even art. It possesses more than 80,000 manuscripts, books and documents, over 600 thangkas and statues and other artefacts of Buddhist heritage, 6,000 photographs, and many other materials.
Naam Art Gallery
The permanent exhibition in ‘NAAM ART GALLERY’ shows paintings by Elsbeth Buschmann - watercolors and acrylics - and oil paintings by Alfred W. Hallett.
Temple Rd. This is the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet, and it has a large meditation hall containing some beautiful statues and thangkas, as well as a Kalachakra temple with beautiful murals. It is the monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is located just in front of his residence. On the basement level of the complex you will also find the Namgyal Cafe, which is run as a work-training center for Tibetan youth.
Small but interesting museum on the history of Tibet and its people. Tibetan Library, near the Tibetan Government in Exile, with a small but interesting museum.
Bhagsunag fall has many waterfalls, an ancient temple, numerous slate quarries and a fresh water spring. This place is at a distance of around 11 km from the Dharamshala, it is easily approachable by road from Mcleodganj.
Kunal Pathari is the temple for the local Goddess, at a distance of around 3 km from the Dharamshala. This temple is very famous in local public and people come to this temple every day. Everyone come here to visit the temple and to pray to the Goddess.
An easy walk down Bhagsu Rd through the village of the same name, then 1 km up to the waterfall itself. Despite a sign advising visitors not to venture further, the path to the waterfall is in reasonable shape, except for the final 50 m which are distinctly dodgy, especially in slippery weather.
If you are in for a brisk walk, climb the hill beyond Dharamkot to Triund. Provides a beautiful view of the first peaks of the Himalayas and a wide view over the plains. As the peak is 2,875 m, make sure to wear good shoes, carry water, some food if you and an extra vest or coat.
Meeting the Dalai Lama:
Meeting (or at least getting to see) the Dalai Lama is the dream of a lifetime for many people, an intensive spiritual experience for Buddhists and a memorable moment for people of other faiths. It's also very difficult to pull off, so don't plan on it. It requires a good deal of luck.
50 km from Dharamshalla. Famous for its tea gardens. The best Kangra tea is available at the Agricultural University at Palampur.
The holy Sikh city of Amritsar and its Golden Temple.
Manali is the next hub for journeys deeper into the mountains. The gateway for adventure treks in Himalayas and zanaskar
Famous hill station for Indians, where you can experience the toy train into Himalayas.
Dalhousie a small hill station close to Pathankot.
This place is located at a distance of around 14 km form Dharamshalla. This is an ideal place for Picnic near to Dharamshalla. It is situated in Himalayan mountain range, which gives an amazing view of the surrounding places.