Dharamkot is a village adjoining McLeod Ganj that oozes sparkling sceneries. Just three kilometres to the north of McLeod Ganj, forests of towering pines and rhododendrons welcome you to experience bliss first-hand. Not far from Dal Lake, the festival-fair organized every year adds to the vividness of Dharamkot. More spellbinding views of the Dhauladhar range await you, and a spiritual retreat at one of the several dedicated centres is just a step away.
Although located only a stone’s throw away, the village of Dharamkot is in complete contrast to the Tibetan realms of McLeod Ganj. Trek to the villages at Naddi and Triund, which are right around the bend, and delve into the offerings of bountiful nature. A few cafes en route to Dharamkot sees the crowd dwindling, and peace is on the offing at throwaway prices.
One of the most popular things to do among hikers is to rent a room in relatively noiseless Dharamkot and travel back and forth to McLeod Ganj—with the goal being solitude. Getting one’s own stock of alcohol from a kilometre away and chilling in the cafes is another one of travellers’ favourites.
Location: It is located around 32 km from the town of Dharamshala and takes just about an hour with public or private transportation.
Highlights: The major highlights of the gallery are of course the beautiful paintings hung on its wall. More than that, if you like a painting, you can buy it for yourself, this is a great way to show appreciation to someone's art.
Best time to visit: The art gallery is open on all days from morning 10 to 7 in the evening. So you can have a visit at these times and enjoy the art work displayed here.
Location: Tsuglag khang is located in the town of McLeod Ganj which has good accessibility and transport facilities. You will find the place on the Temple Road.
Highlights: The major highlight of the place is the main temple, the Tsuglagkhang itself. Another famous thing about it is the Namgyal Gompa and finally the Tibet Museum, which is famous for many ancient things worth seeing.
Best time to visit: You will have to take proper considerations while visiting the place due to different timings in different months. If you are going during April to October months, the place is open from 5 am – 8pm. For the months of November to March, the place is open for 6am-6pm.
Location: It is located at the end of the upper mall road. Busses and cabs are available at the place so transportation is very easy.
Highlights: The major highlight is the view of the sunset point. People come here to enjoy, relax and click a lot of beautiful pictures of the setting sun. It is one of the best places to enjoy the evening.
Best time to visit: For seeing the sunset, you need to visit the place at dusk around 6 in the evening. It is a natural event and thus you need to time yourself well to see it.
Location: It is located in the town of Dharamshala. You can easily reach the place through any means of transport.
Highlights: You can have a look at the fine miniature painting made by some of the most dedicated artists who love to paint. The museum is also home to the best embroideries.
Best time to visit: The museum stays open from 10 in the morning to 1:30 in the noon and then reopens again from 2 to 5 in the evening. It will be a waste of time if you visit on any other time because the museum will be closed by then.
Price: The ticket price for Indians is Rs. 50 whereas that for foreigners is Rs. 100.
Location: Masrur is 40 kilometers from Kangra, a district in Himachal Pradesh. It is very close to Dharamshala and is quite accessible from roadways through Lunj. Roadways are the best way to reach the place which is what most people prefer.
Highlights: Masrur is quite famous for its rock cut temple which is also known as Himalayan Pyramid. They are a set of complex temples known for their classic Indian architectural style. These temples are around 6-8 centuries old which makes them more special.
Best time to visit: Usually people love to visit the place during winter season given the nice climate in North India.
Location: It is located in the Mall road of the Kasauli region. The Kasauli bus stand is nearby and travelling is not a hassle from here. Even a railway station is at close proximity from the place.
Highlights: It is one of the oldest church in Himachal Pradesh, said to be built in the year 1853. But the church always looks as if it is newly built. The church also has a beautiful clock tower which people click a lot of pictures of.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit the place is from morning 7 to evening 7. It is only open during these hours so you must take that into consideration before going to the place.
Location: The Viceregal Lodge is located some 2km west of Shimla on the summit of Observatory Hill which offers beautiful panoramic views over the region. To reach the Lodge you’ll have to follow the Chaura Maidan Road out of Shimla and the lodge spans over 500m along this road.
Highlights: The Viceregal Lodge is Shimla is also famous as the Rashtrapati Nilayam or the President’s House. Reference here is on the era between independence to the mid 1960’s when the logo was used by the Indian Presidents as their summer retreat.
Price: Entrance fee to the Lodge is 20RS
Highlights: You will find a lot of Buddhist manuscripts and archives for the subjects relating to Tibetan history, politics, culture and art. There are around 80,000 manuscripts and documents in the library. The library exists as a resource to provide knowledge about the rich culture and heritage.
Location: The library is located in the city of Dharamshala and you can easily reach there through road vehicles as it is quite close from the city.
Price: For a membership of the library, the fee is around Rs. 300 INR per month and the registration cost is Rs. 50. For tourists, there is no additional price but for those who want memberships will have to pay the monthly price.