When we talk about Himachal Pradesh, we get a picturesque imagination of green deep valleys, majestic hill stations, perennial rivers, snow covered mountains and age old temples. It is sometimes referred to as “Adobe of God” because of the number of temples and shrines in state. It is full of refreshing sceneries for the visitors to make them desirous to live here forever.
One of the most exotic travel spots in Dharamshala which is a paradise in Kangra valley of Dauladhar Mountain range in Outer Himalayas. It is a city in Kangra valley surrounded by mystic hills with dense coniferous forest of mainly deodar trees. It is divided into many subhurbs; out of which McLeodganj is worldwide known because of presence of the Tibetan spiritual leader, The Dalai Lama. Dharamshala serves you with nice weathers, scenery, some waterfalls and religious experiences. It lets you enjoy stunning glimpses of the majestic Himalayas.
Let us go through various attractions of Dhramshala.
Experience holy adobe of the Dalai Lama
Being home to the Dalai Lama, Dharamshala has many renowned monasteries which serve Tibetan culture, history and pilgrimage. You can feel the peaceful ecstasy of the monasteries by visiting and paying your respects at Buddhist shrine.
Tsuglagkhang Complex is largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet and is official home to the current Dalai Lama. It is a pilgrimage site for exiled Tibetans and one of the heavily visited monasteries in world. You can experience Tibetan culture and history here. Next is Namgyal Monastry which serves as learning and cultural center for the Tibetans in Dharamshala. It is best place for meditation and is frequently visited by people all round the globe. Another important and oldest monastery is Gyuto Monastry which is founded by disciples of first Dalai Lama and it is used by over 500 monks to learn teachings and philosophy of its founder. It is prominent place for visitors who want to have a glimpse of Buddhist philosophy and meditation. You can see monks practicing Tantric meditation in this monastery.
Hindu Shrines and Relics
Instead of Tibetan influence; this area also has some important Hindu temples and historical relics.
Chintapurni is major pilgrimage center situated in Una District near Dharamshala and is one of the Shakti Peeths in India. It is a frequently visited Hindu shrines by visitors. Another temple is Aganjhar Mahadev Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is in Khaniyara village in Dharamshala surrounded by forest, mountains and a beautiful stream flowing next to it which makes it worth sighting. Kunal Pathri temple is another important temple in Dharamshala in midst lush surroundings. This temple has beautiful carvings of various gods and goddesses. It is believed that when Goddess Sati died; her skull had fallen here.
Apart from them, Masrur is famous for temples cut out of the rocks in around 8th century. Carvings are extensively detailed with images of lord Ram, Shiva, Vishnu, Sita. It is a heaven for lovers of architecture, history and religion.
McleodGanj- Heart of Dharamshala
Mcleodganj is heart of Dharamshala which is most frequented and is home to Dalai Lama. It was developed by Sir Donald Friell Mcleod who was lieutenant governor of Punjab in colonial period. This place attracts visitors because of its soothing climate, mesmerizing viewpoints and adventurous trekking. Hanuman Tibba is highest peak in this area which can be viewed from Mcleodganj. Triund Hill Station is one day trekking expedition for adventurous visitors. Dhramkot is a cute little village in Mcleodganj which present stunning and picturesque views of Kangra Valley and Dhauladhar ranges. Its scenic beauty makes it visited by people all around the world.
If you want to explore Mcleodganj; it will be best explored by foot. Trekking gives enthralling experience to the tourists. A prominent landmark in Mcleodganj is St. John’s in Wilderness Church built in 1852.
Dal Lake is a mid altitude lake surrounded with deodar trees which is a sacred place for locals due to presence of a temple of Lord Shiva. Dal Lake is unique for its green water and variety of fishes thriving in it. Kareri Lake is another lake which is a high altitude lake situated in northwest of Dhramshala in Dhauladhar Range. It is special for its clear water in which you can even view the lake bed and it is a preferred trekking location in Dhauladhar range. Bhangsunag waterfall which is situated in Bhangsu village is not so huge but has historical significance. It is said to be related with King Bhangsu and Lord Naag.
Dharamshala will be best choice if you want to leave monotony of your routine and have some adventurous holiday. It has no malls or dazzling shopping spots but it has other avenues to fill your heart with thrill. It has distinctive blend of British, Tibetan and Indian culture which makes it must visit destination.