Dharamshala is a beautiful hill station tucked away in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh. With dense deodar forest, adventurous tracking trails, stunning lakes, spiritual monasteries, dazzling waterfalls, historic temples, forts, and museums, Dharamshala has become one of the popular tourist destinations in the Northern part of India. There is a lot you can do during your visit to this beautiful hill station, provided you have done a little homework on its popular tourist destinations. To make your job easy, here is a list of places that you must add to your must-visit list in Dharamshala. Take a look.
1. Bhagsunag temple
Located 1 km from McLeod Ganj, Bhagsunag is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and ‘Bhagsu Nag’ – the Snake God. Owing to its historic significance, the temple is one of the much-worshiped places among Hindu pilgrims. Every year thousands of pilgrims pay a visit to this temple, take bath in the freshwater springs flowing through the temple and enjoy the sight of the sparkling Bhagsunag waterfall – 20-min walk from the temple.
2. Kareri Lake
Kareri Lake is a shallow, freshwater lake located 9kms North West of Dharamshala. When visiting Dharamshala, you can’t afford to miss this serene spot among beautiful mountains. The lake is known to be one of the best trekking destinations in Dhauladhar range. The lake, however, freezes from early December to March.
3. Gyuto Monastery
As Dharamshala is famous for its vibrant monasteries, you must visit at least one of its famous Monasteries and what could be a better choice if not Gyuto Monastery. The monastery was founded by Jetsun Kunga Dhondup, the main disciple of the first Dalai Lama, in 1947 in eastern Tibet. However, after Chinese invasion, the monastery was re-established in Dharamshala. The monastery specializes in the study of tantric meditation, rituals, and Buddhist philosophy. You can visit this monastery between 8am-11pm with no entry fee.
4. Kangra Fort
Located 24 kms away from Dharamshala, Kangra fort is a must-visit place, especially if you have a liking for awe-inspiring architectural work. Kangra fort dates back to 4th century BC and is considered one of India’s oldest and largest fort in the Himalayas. This architectural delight was once home to the royal family of Kangra named Katoch Dynasty. The fort is open for visitors from 9am to 6pm with an entry of only 150 INR per person for Indians and 300 per person for foreigners.
5. Kangra Art Museum
Kangra art museum, located near the bus stand of Dharamshala, is a place to rub shoulder with the rich history, culture, and art of Kangra. The museum offers a glimpse of centuries-old Tibetan and Buddhist culture and also reflects ancient traits and ethos of Kangra valley in the form of fabrics, paintings, utensils, statues, and temple figurines. The museum is open from 10 am to 1:30pm and from 2pm to 5pm and is closed on Monday and other national holidays. The entry fee is INR 10 for Indians and INR 50 for foreigners.
Where to stay
Though there is no dearth of hotels in Himachal, it is still advisable to book a hotel that not only fulfills your basic necessities, but also has provisions for various activities, in case you are stuck indoors due to unfavorable weather conditions. That’s when Rakkh deserves your attention. Rakkh is a beautiful resort situated amidst scintillating Dhauladhar ranges. The resort offers a 180-degree view of surrounding mesmerizing valley while indulging in the goodness of in-house spas and enjoying various indoor activities. Should you wish to learn about the availability of the space, feel free to call L: 0124-4908-616; M: + 91 8800409567 or you can also make reservations here.