Superbly cuddled amidst verdant greenery, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountain peaks, Dharamshala (also Dharamsala) is referred to as one of the most popular hill stations of India. Truly a gem of Himachal Pradesh, this hill resort is located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges and thus, offers enchanting views of the steep valleys, deodar forests and pine-covered hills. This hill station is divided into two parts, the Upper Dharamshala (or McLeod Ganj) & Lower Dharamshala, which is prominently a commercial centre. Dharamshala is also the seat of exiled leader, ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama’, and therefore, it serves as a home to a large number of Tibetan settlements. Therefore, you can find a number of monasteries echoing with the blissful sound of bells almost all around. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday destination to enjoy the serenity and relax in the laps of Mother Nature, then Dharamshala is the best option for you. Read on to know how to explore this destination while visiting popular tourist attractions of Dharamshala.
Tourist Attractions in Dharamshala:
The first in the list is the Namgyal Monastery. This monastery is the residence of ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ where, he has been living since his exile. Besides the visitors, this monastery is a popular pilgrimage for Buddhist devotees not only from India but all across the world. This famous monastery is located in the Center of Tibetan Studies.
Also referred as Upper Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj serves as the major seat of ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama’. Post His exile from Tibet, He migrated to McLeod Ganj along with His followers. Through the time, various Buddhist monasteries as well as Tibetan schools built here at McLeod Ganj. And today, this place is often referred to as the ‘Little Lhasa of India’. Little away from more-commercial ‘lower Dharamshala’, McLeod Ganj is a tranquil and peaceful place to relax to plan an ideal spiritual weekend retreat for tourists.
Visitors, who are interested in exploring the appealing culture of Tibet, must pay a visit to Norbulingka Institute. In fact, Norbulingka Institute is one of the leading institutes to study the Tibetan culture and arts in the world. This institute was founded in the year 1754 and houses 3 academies, namely, ‘The Academy of Tibetan Culture’, ‘The Literary and Cultural Centre’ and ‘The Centre for Arts’.
Church of St. John In The Wilderness
Located in the forest close to Forsyth Ganj, around 15 minutes walk from McLeod Ganj will take one to this beautiful Anglican Church that is an amazing British establishment. The foundation stone of “The Church of St. John In The Wilderness” was laid in the year 1852 by Lord Elgin, the then British Viceroy of the region. This church is constructed according to Neo-Gothic architectural style. This church is known for its relaxing environs and famous Belgian stained glass windows.
Apart from these, Dip Thekchen Choeling Monastery, the Triund, Dal Lake (a famous picnic spot), Tsuglagkhang and Chamunda Devi are some of the other popular places, which you can also try exploring while visiting Dharamshala.