Dharamshala Travel Guide: Discover This Little Tibet At Ease!

January 19, 2019

by Priyanka

Amidst the quaint and picturesque boundaries of the mighty Dhauladhar ranges rests Dharamshala, which is also known as the little Tibet of India. This place is usually the halt station for the buses from where the travelers have to head up to the Upper Dharamshala also known as Mcleodganj which is the home of Dalai Lama. And when a traveler says that they are traveling to Dharamshala, they actually mean to head towards and stay at Mcleodganj. In recent times, this Himachal paradise has become quite a popular destination and witness a huge crowd during the peak season. This town is a shelter for the Tibetan refugees and the exile-government is settled just downhill at the Gangchen Kyishong.

Once an offbeat destination for the travelers, this place has turned out as a perfect vacation spot for the shopaholics and the die-hard foodies. So, if you’re planning to visit this Himachal paradise anytime soon, then keep this handy guide with you to find the right places to eat, shop and stay.

Best Time To Visit Dharamshala

Dharamshala and Mcleodganj are a perfect retreat for the travelers who are planning to head to the mountains during the summer season. The time between February to June is the best time to visit Dharamshala. But this place should be avoided in the monsoon season which starts from June and lasts till September. However, the Dharamshala weather is a paradise as the winter hits the town in mid-November and stays till January and travelers can easily witness the snowfall. During this time the temperature drops to -1 to 7-degree Celsius.

How To Reach Dharamshala

1. By Air

For the travelers planning to travel by air, the nearest airport to Dharamshala is the Gaggal airport in Kangra which is located just at a distance of 15 km. There are regular flights flying out from Delhi and Chandigarh.

2. By Road

There are many Himachal roadways buses and private buses which are frequently available to reach Dharamshala. Delhi is located at a distance of 475 km from the city and it takes around 8-9 hours to reach. Apart from Delhi, other cities of Himachal are also well connected by the roadways and regular buses run on the route.

3. By Train

While the travelers who are planning to travel by train, Pathankot which is located at a distance of 90 km from the city. This comes at the Delhi to Jammu railway track and from here it takes approximately 3 hours to reach Dharamshala.

Places To Visit In And Around Dharamshala

1. War Memorial

For the people having a patriotic feeling in their heart, this beautiful open museum in one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala can be a great place to capture the beauty of the mountains and feel the martyr spirits at its best.

2. Dal Lake

Dal Lake


While driving up to the Naddi sunset point, lies the Dal Lake which is surrounded by gigantic fir trees. The lake is located 3 km from Mcleodganj and 11 km from Dharamshala. This lake is not that appealing as compared to other lakes situated around Himachal Pradesh.

3. Bhagsunath Waterfall

For the enthusiastic travelers, trekking up to this magnificent waterfall will be no less than an adventurous escape. Quite a popular picnic spot at the upper Dharamshala, this place is known for its undaunted beauty and the ancient Bhagsunath temple adjoining the waterfall.

4. Tsuglagkhang (Dalai Lama’s Temple)

Dalai Lama Temple


Commonly known as the Dalai Lama’s Temple, this magnificent complex is situated at the temple road of Mcleodganj. This is one of the top places at every traveler’s list and only if you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of the spiritual leader. The place has a large compound and meditation hall where a gigantic statue of Shakyamuni Buddha takes all the heed.

5. Church Of St. John In The Wilderness

The name of the church gives a clear idea about its location. Settled in a secluded region in Dharamshala, this Anglican church was built in the year of 1852 and still holds that gothic vibe along with the Belgian stained-glass windows.

6. Dharamshala Stadium

Dharamshala stadium


It might sound very unusual to visit a stadium but the HPCA stadium in Dharamshala will give you the best views to capture. Surrounded by the mighty ranges of the Dhauladhar mountains, this stadium is one of the most beautiful complexes in India.

Places To Dine In At Dharamshala

1. Tibet Kitchen

For the people craving for the authentic Tibetan food, this place is perfect to dine and enjoy its traditional flavours. The Thukpa and fried momos are a must try while you’re at Tibet Kitchen.

2. Jimmy’s Cafe

Another famous spot to dine in at Mcleodganj is the Jimmy Cafe. This little space is quite popular for its variety of Italian cuisine and cosy ambience.

3. Street Food

If you’re on a budget trip then the street food in Mcleodganj can be your saviour. There are many stalls lined up at the streets selling the famous Tibetan momos and the beef skewers.

Accommodations In Dharamshala

1. Go For Camping At Triund

If you’re looking for some adventure in the woods, then camping at Triund will be the perfect plan for you. After experiencing the famous and tough Triund trek, the travelers can make a prior booking to stay in the camps settled amidst the wilderness of the mountains.

2. Backpacker Hostels

For the budget backpackers, there are many hostels available around the region of upper Dharamshala. These hostels are equipped with all the basic amenities and the travelers can enjoy the stay with other travelers coming from different countries.

3. Mountain View Hotels

Apart from the hostels, if you’re ready to splurge something extra on the accommodation then there are many luxurious and budgeted hotels around the town which offers all the amenities along with a beautiful view of the mountains.

Tips To Remember Before Visiting Dharamshala

  • Before planning a trip to Dharamshala do make sure to learn some basic Hindi phrases for easy communication with the locals. Though these Tibetan locals also know to speak in English.
  • Avoid wandering around the region of Dharamshala and Naddi at late hours as there are no street lights on the roads.

So now when you have this ultimate local guide to roam around Dharamshala, don’t wait and pack your bags to stay and relax amidst nature’s most picturesque setup at this little town of Himachal.


By Priyanka

A writer by profession and a blogger by passion. I live to travel around and explore. A foodie by nature, I am a creative soul who loves to spend time reading a book and scribble in free time.

Read more at travelingwithpriyanka.com

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