11 Places you can’t afford to miss in Dharamshala

There are many incredible things you can do in Dharamsala. It is a wonderful place filled with spirituality, peace, and tranquility. Home of the Dalai Lama, it is tucked away in the Himalayas. The mountains here are spectacular and also accessible. The Dhauladhar ranges along with the thick deodar forests make this place a visit to remember. Here are 11 places you need to visit in Dharamshala, India.

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1. Kangra Valley

It might be a bit of a challenge but well worth the trek to walk through this stunning valley. The day trek begins in Dharamshala and takes you through the sights. You’ll walk through a gorge and the towering cliffs above. This trek is in the state of Himachal Pradesh. As you walk through, you’ll get to see the Masroor Rock temples which date back to the 8thcentury.

2. Tsuglagkhang Complex – Regalia of Dalai Lama’s first visit to India

This complex is located on the Temple Road which is on top of a mountain peak. To come here and meditate in the temple halls is something really magical. It is one of the top spots to visit and was built when his Holiness the Dalai Lama made his first visit to India. Within the complex is the abode and personal monastery of the Dalai Lama. The complex offers public and private sessions with the Dalai Lama himself. There arealso musical performances and Tibetan dancing staged here.

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3. Namgyal Monastery

The Namgyal Monastery is in Mcleod Ganj which is the upper part of Dharamshala. It is the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery. It is also known as the Namgyal TantricCollege. The main role of this monastery is to help the Dalai Lama with his rituals.

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4. The Dharamshala Tea Company

This tea plantation has been here for many generations and their Kangra tea is famous. The leaves here to make the tea are the highest growthin the world. Even if tea isn’t your thing, the history is interesting and the love the family has for their plantation is inspiring. It’s also a very peaceful place to come and just relax.

5. Kareri Dal Lake

The Kareri Dal Lake is spread across 1 square km. It is named after it’s counterpartin Kashmir. It is a very serene setting and one of the most popular spots to hang out in Dharamshala. The lake is surrounded by a canopy of deodar trees and you can see the snow-capped mountains in the distance. The elevation of the lake is at 1775 meters. It is a good base camp for trekkers who are taking expeditions into the mountains. The Kali Shiva Temple shouldn’t be missed. You can do boating here and bring your lunch for a nice picnic.

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6. Bhagsunag Temple

This temple is in dedication to Lord Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Dharamshala. Thousands of pilgrims come to the temple which is in the hills. The beauty of the temple in it’s natural surroundings makes it an incredible place to visit. There is a man-made pool that has holy water in it. Take a holy dip in here.

7. Bhagsunag Waterfalls

Also known as Bhagsu Falls, it is just a few kilometers up the mountain past the Bhagsunag Temple. The waterfall here is 20 meters high and the natural setting makes it a delight to witness. The water is milky white. It’s popular to trek through here when people are coming through to Dharamshala from the mountains. You can take a swim here but it’s pretty cold.

8. Gyuto Monastery

If you’ve ever been curious about tantric, check out the Gyuto Monastery. It is where Karmapa lives. He is the head of the Kagyu Tibet Buddhism. Here you can focus on Buddhist Philosophy, the rituals of tantric and tantric meditation. The monastery itself was built in honor of the soldiers who fought for the Tibet Freedom War. It is a serene place to visit and of course the stunning Dhauladhar is the background. It’s a perfect place to meditate.

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9. Kangra Fort

There is a sense of heritage at the Kangra Fort. There are ancient structures here that date back to the 4thcentury. It is one of the oldest forts in India and the biggest fort in the Himalayas. The views that surround the fort are stunning. The Manjhi and Banganga River is a site to see. Within the complex, there are many ancient temples.

10. Kangra Art Museum – A showcase of Kangra’s history, art, and culture

While you’re at the fort, check out the Kangra Art Museum which is located close to the Dharamhsala bus stand. It has Tibetan and Buddhist culture displays from hundreds of years ago. It is a popular place to visit. They have preserved the ancient traits of the Kangra valley. This has been done through the paintings, fabrics, weapons, utensils, and temple deities. This gives you an idea of what life was like long ago. There is so much we don’t know about Tibet before the 1950’s. This gives you great insight and they have invaluable coins, anthropological items, and tribal objects. If you’ve ever been interested in Tibetan culture, this is the place to visit.

11. Naddi Village

This village is serene and charming. It is up the hill from Dharamshala and is one of the most picture postcard places to stay. The village is remote and gives you the change to see the mountains over you. You also get to take in the Kangra valley and the forests below. When the day is clear, you can see the snow peaked Dhauladhar ranges. The panoramic view here is stunning. Take the time out to stay the night so you can take in the amazing sunrise.

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Dharamshala is a peaceful place to come visit. If you’re on a soul searching mission, you’ll have the space to look within here. You’ll also have all the tools and surroundings you need. You can do your yoga teacher training in Dharamshala as well as meditation retreat. You’ll get the opportunity to meet like minded people too. It is an incredible experience to come here.

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