Perched at an altitude of 1,475 m, Dharamshala is a beautiful hill station in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Often called the gateway to Kangra Valley, it is one of the popular summer getaways in North India and among the fascinating hill stations in India. This pristine hill station is renowned for its natural scenery, glittering streams, wooded valleys, spectacular mountain landscape, adventure activities, and a generally relaxed vibe. Besides, Dharamsala is the seat of Buddhism in India and is home to many monasteries that attract spiritual seekers, ex-pats, and foreigners to learn about Buddhism and practice it under a master as part of Himachal Tour Packages.
Here is the list of some best things to do in Dharamshala.
1. Peek into the Buddhist Culture at Gyuto Monastery
Gyuto Monastery is one of the popular Buddhist monasteries located in Dharamshala. Founded in India in 1959, it is the abode of Karmapa, the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism, and among the must include places in Dharamshala tour packages. A visit to the monastery offers to learn about the study of Tantric meditation, Tantric ritual arts, and Buddhist philosophy. Also called TCV School, the main chamber of the monastery has a majestic statue of the Buddha and with the backdrop of the snow-clad Dhauladhar Mountains. Houses nearly 200 monks, they practice the major Tantric texts including Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, and Yamantaka. This is the best place to relax and meditate as the sheer beauty along with the quiet environs of this monastery is sure to calm anyone.
Also Read : Top Hill Stations in Himachal Pradesh
Trek to Triund Hill
Located at an altitude of about 2842 m, Triund is a beautiful hill situated in the Dhauladhar Mountains of Himachal. It is one of the popular places for trekking in Himachal that attracts a lot of tourists every year. This 8 km easy trek can be done either from McLeodganj or Dharamkot, which is 2 km ahead of McLeodganj. The initial half of the trek is a gradual incline and the last 2 km from Snowline Cafe involves a steep climb while the last 1 km has 22 tiring curves. There is a Devi Temple located on the highest point of Triund Hill. From here one can have a beautiful view of Moon Peak, Indra Pass, Dhauladhar Mountains, and Kangra Valley. Famous among trekkers and hikers, there is a snowline at Ilaka visited by adventurers which is a further trek from Triund Hill.
Book Here : McLeodganj Tour Packages
Visit Dalai Lama Temple Complex
Tsuglag Khang, also known as Dalai Lama’s Temple complex, is the most important Buddhist Monastery situated in McLeod Ganj suburb of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the world-renowned religious centers and among the top places to visit in Dharmashala. The complex houses the Photang (Dalai Lama’s residence), Tibet Museum, Tsuglagkhang Temple, and Namgyal Gompa that attract Buddhist pilgrims and tourists throughout the year. The temple houses a beautifully decorated statue of Lord Buddha along with beautiful statues of Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshvara. Also, this monastery has a big meditation hall that comprises some beautiful thangkas, and statues along with the Kalachakra temple that has beautiful murals.
Must Visit : Hill Stations in North India
Gorge On Delicious Tibetan Food
The rustic hill town of Dharamshala has been a Tibetan settlement since 1959, and the influence on local food is a delight for food lovers. There are many cafes, eateries, and restaurants that serve delectable Tibetan cuisine that ranges from freshly steamed momos to delicious soupy Thukpas. Surely, gorging on delicious Tibetan Food is one of the top things to do in Dharamshala. Honey ginger lemon tea is another specialty of this place which is considered a refreshing drink. Also, many cafes serve pancakes, omelets, sandwiches, cakes, cookies, truffles, and tarts. What can be better than finding a cozy cafe on a chilly evening to enjoy a hot cup of tea or soup with numerous options for side dishes?
Embrace the Beauty of Bhagsu Falls
Bhagsu Falls, also known as Bhagsunag falls, is a scenic waterfall located at Bhagsu village near McLeod Ganj near Dharamsala. Just behind Bhagsunath Temple, it is one of the best Dharamshala tourist places, and among the best waterfalls in Himachal Pradesh. Gushes down from a height of 20 m, the waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a splendid view along with the gushing sound of the waterfall that gives you a rejuvenating experience. One can either admire it from the bottom or make the steep climb up the hill for a great view at the top! Tourists can also swim in the cool natural water of the waterfall.
Must Visit : Hill Stations near Delhi
Shop at McLeod Ganj Market for Local Souvenirs
Besides natural beauty, and numerous monasteries, the pristine hill station of Dharamsala is well-known for its local markets. Shopping at McLeodganj Market is one of the people’s favorite things to do in Dharamshala, among the top places to visit near Delhi. While walking around the markets, you’ll come across accessories made of different stones, woollens that are knit right in front of you, colorful prayer flags, and handicrafts that speak volumes about the Tibetan and Indian cultures. Shopping here will provide you with the opportunity to learn how to bargain and purchase the local items of the place such as Tibetan mats and carpets. There is also a variety of handmade musical instruments. Grab some souvenirs and gifts from the local markets to carry the feelings and memories of Mcleodganj home with you.
Admire the Resplendent Tea Gardens
If you ever wondered whether lush green desktop wallpapers with mountains are real, make a visit to Kangra Valley and feel the serene views of nature. The Kangra Valley is bestowed with endless tea plantations and apple orchards. The tea gardens are lined beautifully and are known for the good quality tea across Dharamshala and McleodGanj. By visiting tea gardens here, one can spend a couple of hours with the greenery all around and also can know about the process of tea making along with the breathtaking views of the surroundings. Besides, the tea gardens are great for walks, and bird watching. The aromatic mist of tea along with the greenery all around is sufficient to mesmerize and should be on your list of things to do in McLeodganj.
Also Visit : Beautiful Valleys in Himachal Pradesh
Go for Paragliding at Bir Billing
Widely known as the ‘Paragliding Capital of India’, Bir Billing is a hub for all adventure activities including trekking, mountain biking, and hand gliding. Among, Paragliding is the most popular activity in Bir-Billing that attracts many Paragliders from all over the country. Situated at an elevation of 5,000 feet amidst the serene landscapes, snow-capped hills, and artistic temples, it is one of the top places to visit in Mandi. Besides, it is also an amazing place to create some memories amidst the serene nature and can spend some quality time with your friends and family.
Must Read : Top Places in India Popular with Foreign Tourists
Learn the History in Kangra Fort
Located 22 km from Dharamshala, Kangra Fort is one of the majestic forts located on the outskirts of Kangra town. Built in the 4th century AD by the royal Rajput family of Kangra State (the Katoch dynasty), the history of the fort traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. It is one of the oldest forts in India, and among the popular places of heritage in Himachal. Covering an area of around 463 acres, the fort is guarded by high walls and ramparts whereas the entrance to the fort is designed with stone carvings and is known as Ranjit Singh Gate. Kapoorsagar, a stepwell is one of the prime attractions of the fort. Visiting the temples and royal chambers inside the fort gives you information about its importance in medieval Indian history. If you are a history buff, then it is one of the must-visit places while holidaying in Dharamshala, among the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.
Explore the Rock Cut Temples at Masrur
Fondly called the Himalayan Pyramid, Masrur Rock Cut Temple is a popular archaeological site located in the Kangra Valley, one of the most stunning valleys in India. According to history, it is believed that the Pandavas spent a long time in this temple during their exile. Built between 8th and 9th centuries, there are a group of 15 monolithic rock-cut temples made in Indo-Aryan style. Though major parts are in ruins, tourists can marvel at the intricate details of the structure of the temples and take some pictures for memories. The main shrine houses the idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshamana. Also, the temple has an incomplete staircase which is believed to be built by Pandavas to reach heaven.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.