Dharamshala, nestled in the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is home to serenity like very few other places in India are. Visit this town if you want to get an insight into Tibetan culture..
Green meadows, towering deodar trees, and colorful monasteries form the landscape of this hill town. Visit this destination to regain your peace of mind and capture some picturesque views.
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Best Time to Visit Dharamshala
March to Mid-July is the best time to visit Dharamshala, to beat the summer heat. Monsoons in Mid-July to Mid-September might cause roadblocks and landslides. October onwards, dropping temperatures make the weather chilly and by the time it is December, the town is freezing with snow-clad peaks that are a grand view. The weather remains cold till the month of February, post which the temperatures return to normalcy.
Places to Visit Dharamshala
(i) The Tsuglagkhang Complex, the official abode of the 14th Dalai Lama, houses Buddhist shrines, stupas, a museum and a cafe.
(ii) Namgyal Monastery is the cultural centre of the Tibetan population in Dharamsala. This place is ideal for some meditation and observing Tibetan lifestyle.
(iii) Travel a short distance of 46 kilometres from Dharamshala to reach Masrur. This site is famous for its rock-cut temples that date back to the 8th century AD.
(iv) Make a trip to the quaint town of McLeod Ganj for its splendid views of “Hanuman Ka Tibba” – the highest peak of the Dhauladhar Ranges, and other attractions like Bhagsu Falls.
(v) Watch red-robed monks in meditation and taking lessons in Buddhism philosophy at the Gyuto Monastery. The air of spirituality around this place creates a perfect environment for some self-introspection.
(vi) Kangra Fort has several narrow halls, watchtowers and temples that date back to the 9th century AD. This place along with the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum will make for an interesting stop on your itinerary.
(vii) Go boating at the Dal Lake in Dharamshala. Bordered by hills and deodar trees, it marks a starting point for many treks and excursions. The religiously inclined can visit the small Shiva Temple situated on the banks of this lake.
Related Search: The Best Places to Visit in Dharamshala for a Refreshing Experience
Where to Eat in Dharamshala
(i) Tibet Kitchen offers a wide variety of dishes typical to the country – steamed vegetable dumplings, called momos; soupy noodles called thukpa; and golden fried baby corn.
(ii) Go to Crepe Pancake Hut for a slow start to the day with a chocolate pancake, scrambled eggs or ginger cake.
(iii) Namgyal Café is perfect to lounge on the sunny terrace on cold days with delicious vegetarian pizzas for your growling belly.
(iv) Illiterati is ideal for a lazy brunch with European options ranging from tomato soup to pizza, lasagna and fresh salads. The teas and coffees are also excellent here.
Where to Shop in Dharamshala
(i) Purchase Tibetan hats, Chubas (sheepskin coats), woollen shawls, prayer wheels and prayer flags from the street shops at Kotwali Bazaar.
(ii) Buy Mandala paintings and traditional Tibetan dresses from the Jogiwara Road.
(iii) Pick up Tibetan trinkets, other conventional pieces of jewellery and Handmade Tibetan Crafts along the Temple Road.
(iii) Central Square has many stores selling wooden carvings, Thangka tapestry paintings and handicrafts.
Tucked away in the Himalayas, Dharamshala makes for a great weekend destination. With many monasteries to explore, a stunning lake, spectacular hills and the Kangra valley, a trip to this hill station always proves to be a fulfilling one.
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