Dharamshala

Dharamshala " A spiritual Dwelling "

This is a hill station lying on the spur of the Dhauladhar range about 17 kms north- east of Kangra town. This hill station is
wooded with oak and conifer trees and snow capped mountains enfold three sides of the town while the valley stretches in front. The snowline is perhaps more
easily accessible at Dharamshala than at any other hill resort and it is possible to make a day’s trek to a snow-point after an early morning’s start.
Dharamshala is also the head quarter of the Kangra district.
Dharamsala is known for its scenic beauty, calmness and serenity. It has high pine trees, tea gardens and timber yielding trees. In winter, the temperature can drop to freezing point
when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
Dharamsala is now the seat of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. After the Chinese conquest of his country, Dharamsala is evocative of the imperial days in places like Mcleod Ganj and
Forsythe Ganj. Dharamsala is the headquarters of the Kangra district. It became the capital in 1852 and is 125 years old.
The city is divided into two distinct sections. Kotwali Bazaar and the surrounding markets are referred to as “Lower Dharamshala” or just “Dharamshala.” Further up the mountain is
McLeodGanj separated in between by the village of Ganchen Kyishong, the home of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Tourist attractions in Dharamshala

Mc-Leod Ganj

With an average elevation of 2,082 meters above sea level, McLeod Ganj is named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod who was the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab under whom the area was developed. The place is known for its various attractions including the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama. The place is one of the most frequented spots in Dharamshala and is famous for its Tibetan culture, handicrafts and temples. The Hanuman Tibba is the highest peak at the height of 5,639 meters above sea level and can be viewed from McLeod Ganj.

Masrur

Masrur is famous for its various rock-cut temples that date back to the 8th century AD. The carvings in the temples are finely detailed and are similar to that of the Ellora caves in Maharashtra and contain various images of the Hindu deities like Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshamana from the oldest Hindu epic, Ramayana.

Kangra Museum

Kangra Museum houses various articles and artifacts that are significant to the Tibetan Buddhists and the Kangra Valley culture. The various manuscripts, handicrafts, pottery place here date back to the 5th century and the facility also contains a library.

Kangra Fort

Kangra Fort was the seat and residence of the one of the oldest existing dynasties in the World. The Katoch rulers of Kangra belong to the lineage of the rulers of Trigata mentioned in the Hindu Epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha and also in Alexander the Great’s war records. The fort complex contains several well detailed halls and watchtowers along with a couple of temples that date back to the 9th century AD.

Dal Lake

The Dal Lake in Dharamshala is named after its eponymous counterpart in Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is spread across 1 square kilometer and resembles the lake at Kashmir. It is one of the popular picnic spot and is surrounded by the thick deodar and juniper forests. The Kali temple located near the banks is home to a marvelous annual fair.

Fairs & Festivals

There are various festivals and events in Dharamshala that are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fanfare.

The festival season begins with the two-day Haldi Festival that involves dancing, family gathering and sitting around the bonfire, made of cedar twigs. Lohri or Maghi, an agricultural festival is held in mid-January. Traditional folk dances and songs mark the celebrations ofLohri festival.

The Losar Festival or the Tibetan New Year is one of the main festivals Dharamshala, celebrated in the months of February and March. Tourists can visit this place during this time, when people in McLeodganj are in a festive mood.

Another major Tibetan festival that is celebrated with lots of devotion isSaka Dawa Festival, which is celebrated to honour Lord Buddha.

Apprise yourself with the rich culture and tradition of Tibet at a 10-day opera that is organised by Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) in the month of April. Various folk dances and performances are also organised during this period.

Another important festival is the Prashar Fair held on the banks of Prashar Lake to welcome the season of summer. Every year, this festival is celebrated in June. It is usually a two-day long festival that commences on the 15th of June. The cultural extravaganza of the fair highlights the cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh.

Dal Fair is yet another important festival in Dharamshala celebrated on the banks of Dal Lake in August or September. During this festival, devotees take dips in the holy water of Dal Lake. In September, an animal fair and Shaivite festival is also organised near Dal lake.

The International Himalayan Festival is celebrated for three days in December, in the honour of divine Dalai Lama. The festival is celebrated to honour the day the Dalai Lama was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1985. Various cultural programmes are performed by local and neighbourhood artists and Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.

Dharamshala Facts

District : Kangra ( Himachal Pradesh, India )

Coordinates: 32°13′19″N 76°19′02″E / 32.222, 76.3172

Time Zone : IST ( UTC +5:30)

Dharamsala-McleodGanj Postal Code | PinCode | Zip Code : 176219

Kangra Postal Code | PinCode | Zip Code : 176001

Telephone code (prefix): 01892 ( If Calling from Outside India 00-91-1892-Number and If Calling to Mobile in India 00-91-Number)

Annual rainfall:  between 290 cm to 380 cm Second highest rainfall in the country

Languages Spoken : Hindi,English,Tibetan and Pahari ( local Himachali Language )

Temperature: Max. 35 C in Summers, Min – 1 C in Winters.

How to reach Dharamshala

By Air

The nearest Airport is Kangra Airport just 12 Kms from Dharamsala Town , 20 kms from Mcleodganj and 7 Kms from Kangra Town. Airport Authority of India Kangra Airport : 91-1892-232374 Time Taken by Air Flight is 1 hour and 40 minutes

By Train

( Nearest Broad Gauge Station – Pathankot/Chakki – Narrow Gauge Station Kangra Town) The nearest railway station is at Kangra, 17 Kms from Dharamsala connected to Pathankot through narrow gauge line.From Kangra you can get a bus easily every 15 minutes to Dharamsala which takes maximum of 25-35 minutes.And the nearest broad gauge railway station is Pathankot which about 95 Km from Dharamsala. The narrow gauge line from Pathankot passes through Kangra, Maranda(Palampur), Baijnath and reaches Joginder Nagar. The railway reservation facility is also available at Dharamshala.



By Road

Bus to Dharamsala, McleodGanj and Kangra)
Overnight Journey takes 12-14 Hours
Route from Delhi :- NH1 to Ambala -NH22 to Zirakpur- NH21 to Kiratpur via Chandigarh – State highways to Dharamsala and McLeodganj via Una and Kangra
Distance from Delhi to Dharamsala is 526 Kms

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