Dharamshala is in the Himachal Pradesh region of India. Like many other Indian cities, Dharamshala has a great many cultural and scenic attractions to offer visitors. The nearest airport to Dharamshala is Kangra Gaggal Airport, but the city is also well connected by rail, which is the best way to travel there if you are not in a hurry! For an affordable Dharamshala hotel booking, go online, but if you decide to travel to Dharamshala as a last minute change in your itinerary, you should have no problem finding a hotel room or bed in a hostel when you arrive.
The city of Dharamshala has a long and complex history. Before the British Raj came along and annexed the region, it was governed by the ruling Katoch Dynasty for 2,000 years. Then, in 1848, the English and Gurkhas arrived and settled the area. Today, India is no longer a British colony, but evidence of British rule still remains, and the Anglican Church of St John in The Wilderness is a curious anomaly in Dharamshala.
These days, Dharamshala is best known for being the home of the Dalai Lama and his followers. The Dalai Lama fled there when he was exiled in 1959, but Dharamshala had long since had a strong connection with Buddhism and Hinduism. Many tourists come to the city to learn more about Tibetology and there has been a corresponding rise in the numbers of hotels and restaurants. If this arouses your curiosity, here are some more great reasons why you should add Dharamshala to your travel itinerary when you visit India.
McLeod Ganji is more than 2,000 meters above sea level. It is here you will find the Tsuglagkhang Complex and Namgyal Monastery, as well as the Bhagsu Waterfalls, Tibetan Children’s Village, and Tsug la Khang Shrine. It is a wonderful place for photos, as there are some fabulous viewpoints.
The Namgyal Monastery is open every day and is free for visitors. It’s an important part of Tibetan culture and is a major learning center in the area. At any given time, around 200 Tibetan monks are in the monastery. Most visitors come here to pay their respects at the shrine, get a glimpse of Tibetan culture, and enjoy the peace and quiet.
The Tsuglagkhang Complex is another popular attraction in Dharamshala. The complex is the official home of the Dalai Lama. People come here to pay their respects to the Dalai Lama, but it’s also a major draw for exiled Tibetans. The complex is open daily and free to enter. You can visit the Kalachakra Temple, learn more about Tibetan culture in the museum, and enjoy a refreshing drink at the café.
Kangra Fort was the ancestral home of one of the oldest dynasties in the world: the Katoch Dynasty. The fort complex was badly damaged in the 1905 earthquake, but what’s left is well maintained and some of the temples date back to the 9th Century.
Other major attractions worth visiting include Dal Lake, Kangra Museum, and Naddi Village.