Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

Dharamshala, the current capital of Tibetan refugees, has attracted many tourists with its divine spirituality, scenic beauty of Kangra valley and ever smiling people.

Tourist Attractions in Dharamshala-

  • Religious points- Namgyal Monastery, Bhagsunath Temple, Jwalamukhi devi Temple, St. John in the Wilderness (St. John Church).
  • Dharamshala War memorial
  • HPCA stadium
  • Bhagsunag waterfall.
  • Triund Hill (Short trek)

Shopping in Dharamshala-

  • Kotwali Bazaar- Kotwali Bazaar is one of the most popular markets in Dharamshala. It is filled with shops that sell Tibetan style shawls, sweaters, artifacts and Tibetan momos/thupkas. 
  • Namgyal book store- Sells books on Tibetan culture, lifestyle, and beliefs.
  • Jogibara Road Bazaar-This market has Tibetan handcrafted bead necklaces, pieces of jewellery with beautiful gems, colourful beads, masks, bowls, Thangkas, and other items as well.

How to Reach Dharamshala-

  • Closest Airport- Gaggal (Kangra) airport (15kms -30mins approximately)
  • Nearest Railway station- Kangra mandir is nearest railway station (22kms-40mins approximately) but not many trains halt here. Pathankot (85kms – 2hrs 20mins approximately) has trains to many cities in India.
  • Dharamshala is well connected by road with major cities in North India.

Best time to visit Dharamshala-

  • March to June (Summer)

Wanderer’s Eye Tips-

  • Triund hill trek is recommended for beautiful lush green valley view and snow peaked mountain view..
  • Coconut macaroons of McLeod main square are a must try.
  • Anyone interested in Tibetan or Buddhist culture should by books from Namgyal book store.
  • Most of the Tibetan goods here are authentic of their style and can be bought unlike many other Tibetan markets which sell local goods.

Climate of Dharamshala-

  • Summers extend from March to Mid-June and temperature ranges from 12℃ to 27℃.
  • Monsoon extends from Mid-June to September having moderate showers. (avg raingall-114 inches)
  • Winters (November-February) can be moderately cold with temperature ranging from 5.8℃ to 15℃.

History of Dharamshala-

  • Dharamshala being on the path towards Tibet had monasteries since the 19th century.
  • Tibetan settlement began in 1959 after they had to flee from Tibet.
  • The famous Bhagsunag temple was demolished due to an earthquake in 1905. Later it was rebuilt.

Culture of Dharamshala-

  • People- As per 2011 census, the population of Dharamshala is 53543. The locals Hindu’s are known as Gaddi’s who form the majority of population. Followed by Buddhists and Sikhs.
  • Languages- The most commonly language in Dharamshala is Hindi. Some locals still speak Tibetan and Kangri/Pahari.
  • Food- Tibetan influence on the food can be easily seen through Momos and Thukpas on the streets.
  • Festivals- Losar or the Tibetan new year is celebrated in the month of February. International Himalayan Festival a three-festival to celebrate Nobel Peace Prize given to the Dalai Lama. Lohri, Haldi festivals are also celebrated in Dharamshala.

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Abhishek Purohit

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