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20 Best Things to do in Dharamsala

 
  • Located amidst the serenity of the upper Himalayas, Dharamsala or Bhagsu is a beautiful city that has a lot of attractions and natural scenery to offer. The residence of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration are both located here making it very relevant in Indo-Tibetan relations.

    Its prevalence in scenery and culture makes it a must go to place for travelers to visit and there are a lot of things to do in Dharamsala keeping travelers engaged and enchanted. You can visit Dal Lake, Kangra Fort, Jwalamukhi Devi Temple, Tea Gardens and Bhagsu waterfalls. 

    For those looking for some adrenaline pumping activity, activities such as Paragliding, Camping and Trekking in Triund and Kareri Lake are sure to sustain these adventure urges. Do try and watch a Cricket match at HCPA stadium here.

    Situated at an altitude of 1457m against the Himalayan backdrop, this is a location that should be in one’s list of things to do in Dharamsala. Enjoy this list of places and activities that make Dharamsala a unique tour experience and be ready to be tempted to visit this beautiful hill station.

    Here are some of the best things to do in Dharamsala:

  • 01Paragliding

    Paragliding

    Paragliding is an adventure sport that involves gliding on a glider with no rigid support system. It follows much of the concept from a hot air balloon as the glider depends a lot on centripetal and centrifugal forces to help one glide in the air. In Dharamsala, a lot of tour and travel agencies provide this service. It is a great activity to indulge in if you crave the adrenaline rush that comes with any adventure sports. The natural hilly terrain of this area makes it a much sought after spot for such activities.

    Best time to participate: Summer because the wind will be more controlled.

    Approximate Cost: Ranges between 2000 to 8000 Rupees per person.

    Paragliding at Dharamshala

    Paragliding at Dharamshala

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  • 02Triund Trek

    Triund Trek
    Image Credit : Brian Chiu-Flickr

    Triund is located north of Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj is often termed as the crown jewel of Dharamsala. Triund hill offers a stunning view of Dhauladhar Mountains on one side and Kangra Valley on the other side. The trek requires one to reach McLeod Ganj and hire a taxi from there to Galu. 

    You can also go to Bhagsu Nag and start the trek from there. The trek takes you through stunning forests that are lined with various trees that are unique to high temperature areas. You will also cross steep mountains and curves as you brave your way to Triund summit. 

    Along the way are a lot of establishments that serve beverages and light snacks making your trek much easier. This is a trek not for the faint of heart and should not be taken lightly either. The trek is worth it though as the view from the top makes up for the hardships of the way.

    Best time to participate: Summer because the trail will be less tough to trek through.

    Trekking at Triund

    Trekking at Triund

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  • 03Camping

    Camping

    The beautiful contours and the hilly terrain make for an incredible camping experience in and around Dharamsala. The clear skies and the fresh air enrich the camping experience and make it more enjoyable. A lot of shops provide camping equipment in Dharamsala or you can opt to carry your own. 

    The trail between Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj makes for a great camping spot and one often encounters scores of campers here. You can also camp a little after McLeod Ganj which is less populated and more peaceful. However, it does restrict the amenities one can avail nearby.

    Best time to participate: Summer and spring because the terrain will be easier to camp in.

    Camp Stay at Chrysalid Dharamshala

    Camp Stay at Chrysalid Dharamshala

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  • 04Dharamshala Sightseeing Tour

    Dharamshala Sightseeing Tour
    • h6 Hours
    • lDharamshala
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    • Rahul Mansur
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      Rahul Mansur
    About the Activity:
    • Enjoy a complete fun trip to Dharamshala, a scintillating beauty located in the valleys of Himalayas with freezing breeze and climate.
    • Firstly head toward to visit the beautiful tea gardens, the aroma will have a healing energy and enjoy the salubrious atmosphere.
    • Have a look at the cricket stadium, Kangra art museum, war memorial and Norbulingka Buddhist temple.
    • Stroll the famous streets of Dhranamshala forgetting all the worries in your life and end the crazy trip at Indrunag temple.
    • A group of 4 people are needed for this tour, so have a great time with your friends and family.


  • 05Kareri Lake Trek

    Kareri Lake Trek
    Image Credit : Ashish Gupta-Flickr

    Kareri Lake is located approximately 40 kilometers North of Dharamsala and in the Dhauladhar Range. The route is filled with beautiful green vegetation and flora unique to the Himalayas. To get here, you need to start trekking from Ghera village. 

    Ghera is easily accessible from Dharamshala as you get regular buses to Ghera. From Ghera, the trek to Kareri Lake takes about 8 to 9 hours. The route is narrow and tough at times. It’s not as popular as Triund or Bhagsu Nag treks thus making it more of an untrodden path. There are a lot of camping places in Kareri to spend the night here and you can return to Dharamsala next morning.

    Best time to participate: Summer because the trail will be less tough to trek through.

    Kareri Lake Trekking

    Kareri Lake Trekking

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  • 06Day Trip to Kangra Valley in Dharamshala

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    Day Trip to Kangra Valley in Dharamshala
    • d1 Day
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    • Manjeet Singh
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      Manjeet Singh

    About the Activity:

    • A beautiful gorge in Himachal Pradesh, Kangra valley has been attracting visitors for many years with its stunning sights.
    • Embark on a day full of sightseeing at this getaway and explore its charm as you depart early post breakfast.
    • On the way, you will be seeing many iconic sights such as Masroor Rock cut temples, which date back to the 8th century and belong to the Indo-Aryan School of architecture.
    • Post this you will be driving down for 40 minutes to visit the Norbulingka, an institute dedicated to preserving traditional Tibetan art and craft.
  • 07Traditional Day at Dharamshala

    Traditional Day at Dharamshala
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    • Mohit Singh
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      Mohit Singh

    About the Activity:

    • Visit Dharamshala, a scenic beauty located in Kangra district of northern Himachal Pradesh and be a part of the exciting village life for one day.
    • Stroll through the markets, the crowded corners of the village and see how the economy of the village is being rolled.
    • Move your feet while watching the traditional dance of Dharamshala, know their culture closely.
    • Feel free to wear a traditional dress, take photographs with the local people and carry umpteen memories from there.
    • Moreover, take your seat for a scrumptious lunch with traditional cuisines and then find time to explore the different parts of the forest covered village on your own.
    • A group of minimum six people should be there for the tour gets operated.
  • 08Short Day Trip to Galu Temple

    Short Day Trip to Galu Temple
    • h4 Hours
    • lDharamshala
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    • Mohit Singh
      Supplier
      Mohit Singh
    About the Activity:
    • Start your day after getting picked up from your hotel and reach the tour locality.
    • Enjoy walking to Galu Devi temple which is  located above Dharamkot and is the highest point in Mcleodganj.
    • Witness the stunning beauty of the lush green cedars and red rhododendron as you continue your walk.
    • Enjoy a lip-smacking lunch while viewing the amazing nature.
    • Pass the small tea shops before reaching the galu temple.
    • End your tour of 4 hours with lots of memories.
  • 09Camping and Trekking at Lahesh Caves

    Camping and Trekking at Lahesh Caves
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    About the Activity:

    • Lahesh Caves are a beautiful sight that are located in the state of Himachal Pradesh on the way to Indrahar Pass and are surrounded by many towering and magnanimous peaks of the Himalayas.
    • At this camping experience you will be staying at these caves which are sometimes used by the shepherds; while engaging in various other adventurous activities.
    • Trek on to the Triund mountains and the snow line going through the forests of oak, deodar, pine, oak and fir and then onwards to the stunning sight of the snow line.
    • You can also see the beautiful Bhagsu Nag Temple as well as a beautiful waterfall on your way down from the caves.
  • 10Explore Kangra Fort

    Explore Kangra Fort
    Image Credit : Aleksandr Zykov-Flickr

    Kangra Fort, located on the outskirts of Kangra town, is a fort built by the Rajput family of Kangra as part of the Katoch Dynasty. The builders of this fort trace their history back to the Mahabharata making this fort the oldest recorded fort in India. 

    It’s also the largest fort in the Himalayas. The fort is well known for its importance in medieval Indian history as it was a much sought after fort by the Mughals and succeeded in resisting a lot of Mughal sieges. The outer wall of the fort has a circumference of 4 kms and the inner chambers have a lot of artifacts from various periods, most notably the Mughal and British occupied India eras. There are temples and royal chambers inside that make for a very fun and eventful tour. 

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

     

  • 11Visit Dal Lake

    Visit Dal Lake
    Image Credit : deepgoswami-Flickr

    Dal Lake in Dharamsala is located on Dal Lake-McLeod Ganj Road, North of Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj in Kangra district. Known for its altitude, it is surrounded by canopies of deodar trees that add to the charm of this small lake. There is a sacred Shiva temple here that is quite popular among the local people for its mythological importance. 

    This quaint lake makes for an excellent trip from Dharamsala as it’s located at close proximity to it and finding transportation to the lake from Dharamsala is quite easy. It’s most definitely a place to keep in your bucket list for things to do in Dharamsala.

    Best time to visit: Summer and spring is the best time due to the clear weather and less chances for road blockage due to snow.

  • 12Meditate at Gyuto Monastery

    Meditate at Gyuto Monastery

    Gyuto Monastery is located approximately 9 kilometers south east of Dharamsala on the Palampur-Dharamsala road. It’s a very important monastery in Buddhist heritage as it is a premium tantric college. It follows the principles of the Gelug Order, a relatively new Buddhist order that focuses on discipline and ethics to achieve spiritual fulfillment. 

    This is a beautiful place to visit in order to relax and meditate. The sheer beauty along with the peace and quiet of this monastery is sure to calm anyone. It’s a place one must visit to experience it and is a sure qualifier for things to do in Dharamsala.

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

  • 13Visit Jwalamukhi Devi Temple

    Visit Jwalamukhi Devi Temple
    Image Credit : wikipedia

    Jwalamukhi Devi Temple is located in Jwalamukhi town, approximately 55 kilometers from Dharamsala in Kangra district. It’s dedicated to Jwala, a Hindu Goddess associated with fire and burning gas. The temple was built by Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch and is another monument in Dharamsala that traces its origins to the Mahabharata era.

    The most unique part about this temple is that there is no deity inside the temple. Instead, the flames that emanate from within the rocks through fissures in the ground are worshipped as they are considered to be the Goddess manifesting herself. The temple is identified as one of the 52 Shakti Peethas from Hindu mythology and is a revered religious site that attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

  • 14Bhagsu Waterfall

    Bhagsu Waterfall

    Located 1 kilometer from McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu Waterfall in Bhagsunag village is a traveler’s delight due to its surrounding beauty and the history associated with it. It is located close to the Bhagsu Nag Temple, a temple dedicated to Shiva. 

    The waterfall is a 30 feet drop that is located between the crevices of two mountains and is a majestic sight to behold. The waterfall is a 20 minute hike from the temple and is completely worth it once you see the clear water and relax in the peace and quiet among lush scenery. It’s a must visit place and should be on your list of things to do in Dharamsala. 

    Best time to visit: Monsoon because the flow will be greater, making the stream much more beautiful.

  • 15Visit Tea Gardens

    Visit Tea Gardens

    Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. Almost 80% of the world’s population consumes tea and India is the second largest producer of tea in the world with a whooping 900,094 tonnes of tea produced per year.

    In Dharamsala, one can visit the tea plantations on the Dharamsala-McLeod Ganj road. While not as big as the plantations in Assam or the North East states, the plantations are large enough to keep one engaged for a couple of hours. The plantation mostly caters to local export i.e. consumption within the Indian Peninsula.  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 Dharamsala. 

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

  • 16Visit Mani Lhakhang Stupa

    Visit Mani Lhakhang Stupa
    Image Credit :  Laika ac -Flickr

    Mani Lhakhang Stupa is located in Uprali Barol, approximately 5 kilometres from Dharamsala city. This Stupa is also known as the prayer wheels monastery. It was constructed in 2001 under instructions from Dalai Lama as part of 5 small stupas that could survive a natural calamity. 

    This beautiful Stupa houses a gold plated statue of the Buddha in his signature lotus position. The Stupa has a lot of prayer wheels that you can spin for good luck. It is easy to get to from Dharamsala as you can get a lot of transportation to this place. In the evenings, one can indulge your senses in the hymns sung by the monks that are sure to make you want to come back here time and again. 

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

  • 17Watch a Cricket Match at HPCA Stadium

    Watch a Cricket Match at HPCA Stadium
    Image Credit : Abhijit Athavale-Flickr

    Cricket is equivalent to a cult in India with a fanbase that knows no age, religion, caste, creed or gender divide. What better way to indulge in such a sport than to watch it in a stadium that is located at an altitude of 1457 m amidst scenic mountains and high altitude. 

    The HPCA stadium is located in Dharamsala and is more popularly used for Ranji Trophy matches. The high altitude of the stadium makes it a little difficult to use for international cricket since rains or snow can disrupt roads making transportation tough. Catch a game when here and enjoy the sport as you take in the breathtaking and majestic mountains in the background. 

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

  • 18Aghanjar Mahadev Temple

    Located about 9 kilometers from Dharamsala, Aghanjar Mahadev Temple is located in the foothills of Dhauladhar Mountains in Kangra district. This beautiful town is in Khaniyara temple and is known for its scenic and religious splendor and awe.

    The temple has a deep history associated with the Mahabharata. It is believed that Lord Shiva granted Arjun the boon of victory before the Mahabharata war. The temple commemorates and celebrates this boon and is of much religious importance. There is a beautiful stream in the vicinity that one can visit as well. Large stones adorn this area and add to its beauty. This place is a must for those looking for things to do in Dharamsala.

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

  • 19Dharamsala War Memorial

    Dharamsala War Memorial

    Located at the entry to Dharamsala town, the Dharamsala War Memorial is a memorial constructed to honor the brave men and women who died in service to our country post Independence. The memorial is located amidst beautiful scenery and is a monument that represents bravery and sacrifice. 

    The monument has the names of all the soldiers and martyrs, who died in the 1947-48, 1962, 1965, and 1971 war and peacekeeping missions. This is a structure that holds much importance. The sacrifices of soldiers are often forgotten in popular media and structures such as these remind and inspire one to remember and keep fighting the good fight. When here, do keep this in your list of things to do in Dharamsala.

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.

  • 20Sherbling Monastery

    Sherbling Monastery is located in Keori, Himachal Pradesh approximately 60 kilometers from Dharamsala. It was established in 1975 in a space in a protected pine forest by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa’s disciples. The monastery has been constructed in typical Tibetan architectural senses and uses the ancient sciences of geomancy. 

    There is room for 500 monks inside the monastery and it has a lot of shrine rooms and halls for meditation and worshipping purposes. It’s an important structure in Tibetan Buddhist practices and has a large number of followers and pilgrims visiting this structure every day. The monastery is the holy abode of Tai Siti Rimpoche, a much respected figure in the Buddhist sect. The monastery will fill one with a lot of peace and introspection amidst the tranquility and serenity inside.

    Best time to visit: All throughout the year.