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15 Best Places to Visit in Dharamshala

  • Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh and famous as the city of Dalai Lama, there are many Places to visit in Dharamshala. It is a famous tourist spot as well as a spiritual center for Buddhists and Hindus alike. McLeod Ganj is the most frequented place by tourist; Masrur is full of rock temples having carvings of God and Goddess from Hindu scriptures.  

    Another feature at Dharamshala is the Kangra that is one of the oldest and dynasties that have been mentioned in Ramayana. Apart from these Dharamshala offer variety of other sightseeing and adventure sports as well. 

    Here are some of the best places to visit in Dharamshala:

  • 01Triund Hill

    Triund Hill
    Image Credit :  rignamw-Flickr
    Triund hills are also known as the crown jewel of Dharamshala. It is situated in the midst of Dhauladhar mountains and gives a stunning view. Triund is one of the most popular trekking spots in India which attracts a lot of tourists.

    Location: You can simply opt for a taxi from Mcleod Ganj till Galu or you can start the trek right from Mcleod Ganj itself. You can also hire a horse/pony to take you to the top if you are not willing to hike for a long distance.

    Highlights: The beautiful forest of oak, deodar and rhododendron lines up the way for the trek which looks stunning and gives you a nice journey through the hills.

    Image Credits : ManaMalipeddi-Flickr


    Best time to visit: As the place is close for trekking during the months of January and February, the best time to visit is from March to May and September to December.
  • 02McLeod Ganj

    McLeod Ganj
    Image Credit :  bobwitlox-Flickr
    McLeod Ganj is a suburb in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is also popularly known as "Little Lhasa" or "Dhasa". The city has got this name due to the large populations of Tibetans. Also, the famous Tibetan government-in-exile has its headquarters in this city.

    Location: The nearest airport to the city is Gaggal Airport which is around 15 KM from Dharamshala. You will find the nearest railway station at Kangra which is 20 KM south from Dharamshala. Both the options are good if you are a tourist.

    Image Credits : ECOgarden-Flickr

    Highlights: The major highlights of the area include the Tibetan sites and the famous Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF). Triund hill and Dal Lake are in close proximity which you can visit.

    Best time to visit: You can visit the place during any time of the year and find it equally beautiful. However, most people prefer to visit the place in winters.
  • 03Dalai Lama Temple Complex

    Dalai Lama Temple Complex
    Image Credit :  twiga269 ॐ FEMEN #JeSuisCharlie-Flickr
    The Dalai Lama temple complex is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places you must have visited. The whole vicinity is decorated with colorful prayer flags and this makes it perfect for long serene walks. You will find a lot of good statues and the atmosphere is something which lures people to come back again and again.

    Location: It is just a short walk from the McLeod Ganj bus stand and is quite accessible from the major parts of the district.
    Highlights: The sight of monks meditating peacefully and chanting verses is something that everyone must experience. You can be a part of it, if you want to.

    Best time to visit: If you love chilling winters, the best time would be to have a visit at this place during the months of December to February. But be aware of the dipping temperatures which can reach as low as –1 degree Celsius.
  • 04Bhagsu Waterfall

    Bhagsu Waterfall
    Image Credit : lukexmartin-Flickr
    For those who love waterfalls, Bhagsu waterfall has to be one of the most beautiful locations in Dharamshala. Most of the tourists that visit the place make sure they spend some time here. It is peaceful, serene and gives you a nice feel of nature throughout. The place is also recommended by Lonely Planet.

    Location: It is at a 20 KM distance from the famous Bhagsunath temple which attracts many visitors. The town of Bhagsu is mere 2 KM from Dharamshala, which is a major town in Himachal Pradesh.

    Highlights: The water in itself is the highlight of the place which attracts a lot of tourists to the place. The water comes from the Dauladhar ranges which are quite cool and crystal clear.

    Image Credits : Aleksandr Zykov-Flickr

    Best time to visit: The best time to visit the place is probably in the months of October-November when the days are sunny and the nights are pleasant.
  • 05Gyuto Monastery

    Gyuto Monastery
    Image Credit :  ciamabue-Flickr
    Gyuto Monastery is one of the most famous and popular monasteries in Tibet. This monastery is well known for its tantric meditation and people there study a lot about this subject. It is also known for its various tantric ritual arts and Buddhist philosophy. Gyuto monastery was founded in the year 1474 by the prime disciple of the 1st Dalai Lama.

    Location: It is situated in the town of Dharamshala which is easy to reach through road, rail as well as airways. Transportation is not a major issue while visiting the place.

    Highlights: You can find majestic statues of Buddha with a backdrop of snow clad mountains covering it. If you want to have a nice afternoon, it is the most peaceful and serene place to be at.

    Image Credits : ciamabue-Flickr

    Best time to visit: Since this is a monastery, there is no particular season that makes any difference. However, if you are planning a full trip of the place, April-May has to be the best months.
  • 06Bhagsunath Temple

    Bhagsunath Temple
    Image Credit : Jace-Flickr
    Bhagsunath Temple is located in the village of Bhagsu which is now a tourist place given its attractions. Most of the people here are into tourism and make a living out of it. Due to this, the village has a lot of restaurants and guesthouses which earns a lot of money for the village.

    Location: It is located at a 1 KM distance from the famous McLeod Ganj. You will find many means of transportation to the temple. If you have reached McLeod Ganj, you can also have a walk and reach the temple.

    Highlights: There is a waterfall nearby which a lot of people visit to freshen up and revitalize. The village has Gaddi tribal people who are nice to interact with.

    Image Credits : Aleksandr Zykov-Flickr

    Best time to visit: The northern part of India is best in winters. However, if you like a warm weather, you must visit the place during summers.
  • 07Kangra Valley

    Kangra Valley
    Image Credit :  ChanduBandi-Flickr
    Kangra Valley is home to the famous Masrur temple and is situated in the western Himalayas in Punjab. It is also a strong contender for the UNESCO World Heritage Site which is a huge appreciation to the place and its beauty. The people in this area speak Kangri, which is a regional dialect of the place.

    Location: It dominantly lies in the state of Himachal Pradesh and the famous town of Dharamshala is the headquarters of the Kangra district. Pathankot is the nearest railway network. Gaggal airport, which is also known as the Kangra airport is located here.

    Highlights: The famous towns of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Sidhbari, Tira Sujanpur and much more are the major highlights of the district.

    Best time to visit: Most of the people prefer March to April as the best time to visit. This is due to the pleasant climate during this time which is otherwise freezing during the winters.
  • 08Dal Lake

    Dal Lake
    Image Credit :  Ranna Photography-Flickr
    In our country, there are two famous Dal lakes. The lake situated in Himachal Pradesh in the Kangra district has got its name from the Kashmir's Dal Lake. It is a small and mid-altitude lake in the village of Tota Rani.

    Location: The Lake is quite close to the city of Dharamshala and the distance to it is approximately 11 KM.

    Highlights: You will find a wide variety of fishes in the lake. Something that amazes a lot of people is the fact that the lake has greenish water. On the bank of the lake, there is a temple of Lord Shiva. The complete place is surrounded by Deodar trees which make the place look beautiful.

    Image Credits : watchsmart-Flickr

    Best time to visit: The lakes almost freeze during winters so to enjoy a boat ride in the lake you can plan a visit during the months of April and May which ensures a pleasant climate.
  • 09Kangra Fort

    Kangra Fort
    Image Credit :  Aleksandr Zykov-Flickr
    It is a famous fort located in the outskirts of the famous place Kangra near Dharamshala. This fort was built by the Royal Rajput family of the state of Kangra in the 15th Century. However, the fort was heavily damaged by an earthquake in the year 1905. Still, it has a good structure which attracts a lot of tourists.

    Location: The distance of the fort from Dharamshala is around 20 km but it has proper connectivity to roadways which makes it easier to get there.

    Highlights: The beautiful entrance is something what people love. The way the whole fort is built is completely marvelous. Inside the fort, you will find defaced statues of many lords that these people worship. This fort is considered as one of the most beautiful forts in India and people love it for the built structure.

    Image Credits : Aleksandr Zykov-Flickr

    Best time to visit: You can plan a visit anytime of the year.
  • 10Kangra Art Museum

    Kangra Art Museum
    Image Credit :  dalbera-Flickr
    This is one of the museums which have paintings from the Kangra School, Chamba rural embroideries along with various traditional photos and costumes from the earthquake which shattered the place in 1905.

    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.

    Image Credits : Cea-Flickr

    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.
  • 11Tsuglag Khang

    Tsuglag Khang
    Image Credit :  ptwo-Flickr
    This is one of the temples which are the main focus of visiting pilgrims, monks and a lot of tourists. Tsulag khang is loved by people owing to its beautiful aura and the natural surroundings.

    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.

    Image Credits : Shooting Paradise-Flickr

    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.
  • 12Library of Tibetan Works and Archives

    Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
    Image Credit :  Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive-Flickr
    It is a Tibetan library situated in Dharamshala in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The library exists from 1970 and was founded by the 14th Dalai Lama named Tenzin Gyatso. The Library of Tibetan works and archives is one of the most important libraries of Tibetan work in the world.

    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.
  • 13Naam Art Gallery

    Naam Art Gallery
    Naam art gallery is the best place for everyone who loves art and appreciates it. The gallery has a huge collection of paintings by Elizabeth Buschmann who belongs to Germany, who is also the founder of the gallery. It also has paintings from A.W. Hallett, who is an English painter.

    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.

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    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.
  • 14Dharamkot

    Image Credit : taylorandayumi-Flickr
    Dharamkot is a place for all the hill station lovers. It is a small hill station located in the Kangra district just above McLeod Ganj. The elevation of the hill station is around 2827m. One of the most interesting things about the place is that many foreigners have started living in the area because they liked it so much. This is truly fascinating because they live in village houses and guesthouses for many days.

    Location: The hill station is around 4 km from Triund, a famous place in the same district. You can easily find public transport facilities to take you up to there.

    Highlights: The wide view of Kangra valley and Dhauladhar ranges is something which all the tourists enjoy. There is a snowline café which provides a breathtaking view and also has provisions for sleeping bags and tents.

    Image Credits : taylorandayumi-Flickr

    Best time to visit: The best time would be during the months of April and May as it would be summer and the temperature would be decent.
  • 15Masrur

    Image Credit : wikimedia
    Masrur is an old village situated in the remote areas of Himachal Pradesh. Most of the tourists visit this village to see the architecture of the temples situated here. A lot of tourists visit the place while touring around famous places in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

    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.