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Dharamshala: General Information

3Interesting Facts about Dharamshala

  • Since 1960, Dharamshala has been the temporary headquarters of the Dalai Lama.
  • Dharamshala is also known as Little Lhasa.
  • The city celebrates Losar Festival to mark the start of the Tibetan New Year every year.
  • Dharamshala is known as the capital of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibet government in exile and is led by Tenzin Gyatso; the 14th and current Dalai Lama, who is headquartered in Mcleodganj.
  • Mcleodganj is named after David Mcleod, the lieutenant Governor of Punjab.
  • In 1959, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama came to India after the Chinese conquest of Tibet, and was offered refuge in Mcleodganj.
  • The British wanted to make Dharamshala their summer capital; however, after the Kangra valley earthquake in 1905, they made Shimla their summer capital.

The great Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama lives here and thousands of ardent travelers visit this hill station every day to enjoy its magnificent beauty!!! Yes, we are talking about the ever beautiful ‘Dharamshala,’ located in the scenic valleys of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. This calm and serene hill station is situated at an average altitude of 1,475 meters above sea level and is surrounded by thick deodar cedar trees, snow-laden mountains, exotic culture, and quaint old monasteries. The presence of the great Tibetan leader Dalai Lama along with other Buddhist nuns & monks and several Tibetan Monasteries has made Dharamshala one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

The picturesque surroundings of Dharamshala and the presence of great Buddhism culture make this hill stations one of the best in India. Also, Dharamshala tourism is at its peak during summer, when the temperature is at its peak. There are a lot of other attractions in Dharamshala like the charming St. John Church, headquarters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dal Lake, etc. that draw tourists from different parts of the country.

Dharamshala is divided into two parts, upper Dharamshala and lower Dharamshala and both these regions have scenic landscapes , bungalows, churches, monasteries, and cantonment that are surrounded by the mighty Dhauladhar mountains. While holidaying in Dharamshala don’t miss the glory of Tibetan culture, which can be seen and experienced through its monasteries situated here.

Your holidays in Dharamshala are incomplete if you don’t visit Mcleodganj, a beautiful village located in the same vicinity as Dharamshala. This scenic hill station is small yet stunning with views of the magnificent Dhauladhar range and it is certainly one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala. One can get the best deals on Dharamshala holiday packages and visit the most awe-inspiring destination with family and friends to relish the moments spent here throughout the life.

Dharamshala is a beautiful hill station, which is bathed in the glory of mother nature and Buddhist culture. For an ardent traveler, this place is nothing less than a paradise, so pack your bags and start traveling to Dharamshala for the best holidaying experience ever.

Shopping in DharamshalaA popular base for Tibetan Buddhist activities, Dharamshala is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Himachal Pradesh that give you enough reasons to explore the splendor of the destination. The city has a lot of shopping area that offers great Tibetan handicrafts, carpets, and mats at a very reasonable price. If you know how to bargain then shopping can be more fun here. Some of the popular markets that draw tourists in huge numbers are listed below:

Kotwali Bazar: This is the perfect place to buy Tibetan accessories like trinkets, traditional jewelry, mandala paintings, thangkas, Tibetan dresses, woolen shawls, prayer wheels, trousers, slippers, prayer flags, and gift items. One can also get other basic accessories from this market for trekking at higher altitudes in the Dharamshala region.

Mcleodganj: If you are looking forward to buy Tibetan handicrafts, carpets, and other local goods, then Mcleodganj is the right place for you. Here, one can visit Divine Buddha Handicrafts, which offers souvenirs and handicrafts. There is a special sale that goes on every Sunday for those who love Tibetan garments and other local goods.

The Green Shop: The green shop is run by the Tibetan Welfare Office and it offers recycled goods. So, if you are a nature lover, then visit this shop to get the best Eco-friendly products.

Best Place to Eat in DharamshalaThe local restaurants in Dharamshala are more than palatable and offer very unusual and tasty food that will linger in your memories for a very long time. One can relish the very delectable Tibetan food, which is offered at almost every restaurant in Dharamshala. There are many restaurants that serve guests Indian, Italian, South Indian and Israeli cuisines and you will also see many stalls selling hot “momos,” so you must try them. You can explore many restaurants and food joints in Dharamshala to give your taste buds a plunge of local flavors. Here are some of the most popular eating joints that you can try during your Dharamshala Tour:

  • McLlo
  • Nick’s Italian Kitchen
  • Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen
  • Lung Ta
  • Tibet Kitchen
  • Xcite
  • Namgyal Café
  • Pace Café
  • Chocolate Log
  • Lhasa Restaurant
  • Pema Thang Pizzeria
  • Four Seasons Restaurant
  • Taste of India
  • Carpe Diem

Accommodation in DharamshalaDharamshala is filled with several private hotels and tourist lodges that provide a relaxing stay to the guests. The hotels are divided into categories like 5 star, 4 star, 3 star, standard and budget hotels, so the tourists can choose the best accommodation according to their budget and convenience. Listed below is the list of hotels in Dharamshala that provide a comfortable stay to the guests.

  • Hotel Surya Resort
  • Hotel Royal Palace
  • Hotel Asia Health Resorts
  • Hotel Asian Plaza
  • WelcomHeritage Grace Hotel
  • Hotel White Heaven Estate
  • Hotel Snow Hermitage Resort
  • Aveda Hotel
  • Anupam Resort
  • Dal Lake Resort
  • Himgiri Resort
  • Hotel Kareri Lodge
  • Hotel Udeechee Huts
  • Hotel Nishaad Resorts

Climate in DharamshalaThe beautiful hill station of Dharamshala lies on the spur of the Dhauladhar range about 17 kms northeast of Kangra town. This majestic hilltop is surrounded by oak and conifer trees and offers beautiful views of the snow capped mountains. The cool and pleasant weather of Dharamshala is one reason why many travelers visit this place to beat the heat in summer and to experience snowfall during winters.

Summer: The maximum and minimum temperature observed in this season are 31°C and 16°C.

Winter: The maximum and minimum temperature in this season are 25°C and 6°C.

Best Time to Visit DharamshalaThe day temperature is very pleasant in Dharamshala and nights are cool, and so the tourist rush is always high in this gorgeous hill station. However, the months between March and June are the best time to visit Dharamshala as it doesn’t get too cold or hot during this season. For someone who loves rainy season, do visit this hill station during the months of July and August as Dharamshala presents some very scenic views of the freshly washed forests. But, make sure that your journey is safe and comfortable as cases of landslide are quite common during monsoon.

Winter too is the best time to visit Dharamshala, especially for someone who wants to experience snowfall. The temperature even drops to 0C in winter, and so the months between December and February are the best to catch a glimpse of chilly Dharamshala.