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<< Indian Himalayas << Pilgrimage Travel Destinations >> << Pilgrimage Dharamshala>>

Pilgrimage Travel Dharamshala

Location  185km from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Highest Altitude  1,700m (5,100ft)
Yatra Season  Kangra Art Museum, St. John's Church, Mc Leodganj
Best time to travel  Mid-May to Mid-October

Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive. Dharamshala came into being in 1849, when it was selected as a site to accommodate a native regiment that was being raised in the town. Dharamshala originally formed a subsidiary cantonment for the troops stationed at Kangra was fully occupied by its garrison and there was insufficient space for the civil station , a search for an alternate location was made.

The ideal location for the cantonment was found at the slopes of the Dhauladhar, upon which stood an old Hindu sanctuary or 'Dharamshala' the name adopted for the town. Dharamshala stands at the foot of Dhauladhar and has a magnificent view of snowy peaks, deodar and pine forests, tea gardens and beautiful hills. The snow line is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamshala than any other hill station in India. Dharamshala now really has become international, with a number of Tibetan settlements and the residence of Noble Laureate the 'Dalai Lama'. Dharamshala is devided into two distinct parts : lower Dharamshala the civil and business area with Courts and Kotwali bazar and upper Dharamshala composed of places like Mcleod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj.

Holy Places

Kangra Art Museum - This treasure trove of the Kangra valley's arts, crafts, and rich past, displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century. The museum also includes a gallery of Kangra's famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery, and anthropological items.

Mcleod Ganj :- The arrival of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, along with thousands of refugees to Dharamshala in 1959 made the life here more active. A number of tibetan settlements with religious education and other rehabilitation centers mushroomed all over the Mcleadganj. As Dharamshala became the headquarter of the Tibetan Government in exile, headed by Dalai Lama, it gained prominence all over the world and prominent personalities started arriving here. Mcleadganj emerged as a major Buddhist centre.

St. John's Church :- [8 km. from Dharamshala town] The church lies in the forest between Mcleod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj. It has a monument dedicated to Lord Elgin, one of the viceroys of India, who died at Chauntra ( Mandi district ) and was buried here in 1863 A.D. The Church has lovely spotted glass windows and there is a Christian cemetery around it. It is ideally situated in the majestic 'Deodar' forest.

Norbulinka Institute : - Just 4-kms from Dharamsala, Norbulinka was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. The shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams tiny water falls make this place look like heaven. Here one can watch the wooden carvings and the tangka paintings, golsithing and embroidery being done. The nunnery close to the institute is a place where women are taught the advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy.

Triund:  Triund is a popular picnic spot at an height of 2827 m. The area is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17-kms from Dharamsala. The snow line starts at Ilaqua, which is five kms from Triund. The breathtaking views of the mountains and the valleys makes Triund an ideal picnic spot and trekking spot.

War Memorial Set amidst the pine groves is a war memorial, built on the entry point of the to Dharamshala to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh. A web of narrow paths and landscaped lawns lead towards this monument.

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