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Dharamshala is at a height of 1475 metres above sea level and located in the upper reaches of the Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Dharamshala is at a height of 1475 metres above
    sea level and located in the upper reaches of the
    Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala is
    famous as the home of the Dalai Lama. In fact, he
    actually stays in Mcleodganj which is 3km further
    up from here. Famous among spirituality seekers
    and adventure seekers alike, Dharamshala is a
    good place to get a glimpse of Tibetan culture,
    amidst a place with breathtaking scenery which
    boasts of colourful monasteries, temples, natural
    delights of the snowy mountain peaks and gushing
    waterfalls. There is even a fort and museum here
    to add to the mix. Both Indian and foreign
    tourists abound here. If you wanted to know about
    the best tourist attractions in Dharamshala, dive
    right in.

  • 16 Best Places To Visit in Dharamshala
  • Tsuglagkhang Complex
  • Namgyal Monastery
  • Masrur
  • Kangra Fort
  • Kangra Art Museum
  • Gyuto Monastery
  • Dal Lake of Dharamshala
  • Kareri Lake
  • Bhagsunag Temple
  • Bhagsunag Waterfalls
  • Tibet Museum
  • Men-Tsee-Khang and the Men-Tsee Khang Museum
  • St John in the Wilderness
  • Dharamshala Cricket Ground
  • Library of Tibetan Works Archives
  • Norbulingka Institute

1. Tsuglagkhang Complex
  • If for some reason you have only a couple of
    hours and you need to understand the Tibetan
    culture in Dharamshala, the Tsuglagkhang complex
    In McLeodganj would be the best place to do so.
    The Tsuglagkhang complex is a religious centre
    that was built in 1959 when His Holiness the
    Dalai Lama reached India in 1959 and needed a
    place to stay. Today, the complex is the
    residence of the Dalai Lama as well as a
    monastery. Dont be put off if you see that the
    outer architecture of the centre is not very
    impressive, it is what is inside that intrigues
    most people. Once inside youll see the different
    areas such as the central courtyard where monks
    are engaged in lively debate every day at 1.30 pm
    except on Sundays, the pilgrims prostrating area
    and the Kalachakra Wheel of Life temple with
    its impressive mandalas and statues. Finally,
    once you are past the monastery kitchens you will
    come to the main temple room where you can see
    the throne where the Dalai Lama sits when
    delivering teachings. There is no entry fee to
    enter here and it is open on all days from 5am to

2. Namgyal Monastery
  • Another important learning centre and one of the
    most famous tourist attractions in Dharamshala is
    the Namgyal monastery with more than 200 monks.
    It was established by the 3rd Dalai Lama in Tibet
    in 1575 but had to be relocated to Dharamshala
    after the Chinese invasion in 1959. The monastery
    attracts visitors round the year with its
    beautiful air of serenity around it. Worth
    watching here is the prayer rooms and the
    meditation sessions of the monks. The monastery
    is open for visitors every day, from 6am to 7 pm.
    Entry is free here.

3. Masrur
  • Masrur is not exactly in Dharamshala but it is
    difficult to exclude Masrur from any mention of
    places to visit in Dharamshala because of its
    uniqueness. Ancient rock cut temples dating back
    to the 8th century are found here and are second
    to none in terms of finesse and details. Some of
    the deities carved on the rocks are Lord Ram,
    Sita, Lakshmana and others from the Ramayana. It
    is wonderful to note that even in the 8th century
    man had tamed nature at such high altitudes and
    constructed such awe-inspiring constructions
    here. Masrur is at a distance of 47 km from
    Dharamshala and is a 1.5 hour ride away.

4. Kangra Fort
  • A fort in the Himalayas sounds like an oddity and
    even more so when you come to know that is one of
    the oldest forts in India. Kangra fort is an
    ancient structure whose origins are shrouded in
    legend and the fort is supposed to date back to
    the times of the Mahabharata. The fort is
    believed to have been built by the rulers of the
    Katoch dynasty (A royal Rajput family of Kangra).
  • In the present day, the fort covers an area of
    around 4 km and consists of three ancient temples
    Ambika Devi temple, Shitalamata temple and the
    Lakshmi Narayan temple. The fort also contains
    sever well-preserved halls and watchtowers, which
    date back to the 9th century A.D.  Do not forget
    to visit the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch museum
    here which will give you more details about the
    fort. The fort is a 40 minute drive from
    Dharamshala and is one of the most popular
    tourist attractions in the region. The fort is
    open for visitors from 9am to 6pm. The entry fees
    are INR 150 for Indians and INR 300 for

5. Kangra Art Museum
  • The Kangra Art museum is near the Dharamshala bus
    stand and is a repository of everything
    significant in Buddhism and the culture of the
    Kangra valley. There are statues, weapons, rare
    collection of coins and pottery here that date
    back to the 5th century and there is a library
    here as well which houses precious books,
    manuscripts and poems. The museum is open on all
    days except Monday, from 10am to 1.30 pm and 2 pm
    to 5 pm. The entry fee is INR 10 for Indians and
    INR 50 for foreigners.

6. Gyuto Monastery
  • Another monastery that offers an up close and
    personal look at Tibetan culture and history
    after the Dalai Lama and his followers were
    forced to flee to India, the Gyuto monastery was
    built in memory of those who sacrificed their
    lives in Tibets war for freedom.
  • With the majestic Dhauladhar mountain range as
    its backdrop, the monastery exudes an aura of
    serenity and beauty. The monastery is famous for
    research on Buddhist philosophy, Tantric rituals
    and Tantric meditation and thus this is also a
    great place for any scholar who is pursuing
    Buddhist studies. There is no entry fee here

7. Dal Lake of Dharamshala
  • Not to be confused with its eponymous counterpart
    in Jammu and Kashmir, this lake resembles the
    lake in Kashmir and is a popular place for a
    picnic. It is surrounded by thick deodar and
    juniper forests and is home to a much loved
    annual fair. You can trek, go for boat rides and
    pay your respect at the Shiva temple on the shore
    of the lake. Photography and nature buffs will
    have a field time out here. There is no entry fee
    and visitors can visit anytime between sunrise
    and sunset.

8. Kareri Lake
  • Perched at a height of 1775 metres, Kareri Lake
    is not easily accessible by roads and thus not
    the usual tourist haunt. It is a place for thrill
    seekers and hikers as it serves as a base camp
    for further trekking towards the Dhauladhar
    range. The stunning surroundings of thick deodar
    carpeted forests and snowy peaks in the distance
    make it an ideal spot for a getaway for all and
    also a nice picnic spot.

9. Bhagsunag Temple
  • As big is the Buddhist influence in Himachal
    Pradesh, the state has more than its fair share
    of Hindu temples and Hindu people too. One such
    much frequented temple is the Bhagsunag temple,
    in the town of Bhagsu, which is a temple
    dedicated to Lord Shiva. Every year, thousands of
    pilgrims flock to the temple and take a dip in
    its freshwater pool which is considered to be
    auspicious. The temple is open to devotees from
    6am to 7 pm and there is no entry fee. It is
    located 1km away from Mcleodganj and youll need
    to walk to reach the temple.

10. Bhagsunag Waterfalls
  • The namesake of the temple, this waterfall is
    located a few kilometres above the Bhagsunag
    temple. It is 20 metres in height and the
    continuous surge of milky white water flowing
    down the rocks with tremendous force is a sight
    to behold. This is also a stopover for hikers who
    trekking further up ahead. As with any other
    natural spot, there are no entry fees for
    visiting this location.

11. Tibet Museum
  • Among the places to see in Dharamshala, this
    must-see museum tells the story of Tibets
    history as an independent nation that was taken
    over by the Chinese since 1949. The striking
    photographs here tell this story and there is
    also accompanying English language explanation.
    There is no entry fee to visit the museum and you
    can visit on all days of the week between 9am to

12. Men-Tsee-Khang and the Men-Tsee Khang Museum
  • Men-Tsee-Khang is an organisation in Mcleodganj
    that deserves your attention as a tourist.
    Devoted to the preservation of Tibetan medicine
    and astrology, this organization has a college,
    clinic, research centre and astrological
    institute along with a museum.
  • The museum has samples of medicines, their plant
    and mineral sources and instruments used for
    treatments. There are illustrative Thangkas too
    about these things and unique instruments such as
    a brass hammer which was used for treating
    insanity, body-ache and tumours. Everything is
    explained well in English.
  • If youre really curious and willing to learn
    about Tibetan medicine, there are short courses
    here on the basics of Tibetan medicine.
    Similarly, for the more mystically inclined among
    you, you can schedule consultations with
    astrologers who can give you a detailed horoscope
    about your life. You can receive these horoscopes
    either by mail or email.
  • Men-Tsee-Khang is open from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to
    5 pm and closed on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of
    every month. The entry fee is 20 INR.

13. St John in the Wilderness
  • If you head west of McLeodganj for around 1.5 km
    in the middle of a forest of tall cedars, you
    will come across this Gothic church which is one
    of the few existing reminders of the time when
    the town used to be a British town.
  • This gloomy looking church dates from 1852 and
    was partly destroyed in 1905 during the great
    earthquake. It contains the tombs of the Earl of
    Elgin, the second viceroy of India, along with
    the graves of many victims of 1905.  The church
    is still active and prayer service is held every
    Saturday and Sunday.

14. Dharamshala Cricket Ground
  • One of the highest cricket grounds in the world
    and host to international matches as well, youll
    always have a constant dilemma while watching a
    match here. The dilemma is whether you should
    look at the match or the mountains? One of the
    biggest draws of watching a match here is that
    there is no fence around the sitting area which
    means that there are no obstacles while watching
    the match. The stadium is open to tourists even
    when there are no matches so just go there and
    soak in the beauty of these picturesque

15. Library of Tibetan Works Archives
  • ocated at a distance of 2 km downhill from the
    Tsuglagkhang complex, the Library of Tibetan
    Works and Archives started as a collection of
    sacred manuscripts saved from the Cultural
    Revolution. Today, more than 120,000 manuscripts
    and books in Tibetan, and more than 150000 books
    on Tibet, Buddhism and the Himalayan region in
    English and other languages are conserved here.
    This is one of the very interesting places to see
    in Dharamshala if youre a history buff.
  • On the upper floors of this building is a museum
    which is small but interesting. A couple of
    complex three-dimensional mandalas in wood and
    sand along with old Tibetan artefacts and books
    are available here.
  • You can become a temporary member of the library
    by paying 100 INR for reading and if you want to
    borrow books you need to pay 300 INR with a
    deposit of 1000 INR. Along with this, a photocopy
    of your passport is needed if you are not an
    Indian, to access the foreign-language collection.

16. Norbulingka Institute
  • Norbulingka Institute is named after Norbulingka,
    which used to be the summer residence of the
    Dalai Lamas in Lhasa in Tibet before they were
    forced to flee to India. The Norbulingka
    Institute is one of the must-see tourist
    attractions in Dharamshala and was established in
    the year 1988. It was established by the Dalai
    Lama for conserving Tibetan culture, literature
    and art.
  • The institute is built in traditional Tibetan
    style and is famous for the 1000 murals of
    Buddha, frescoes of all the Dalai Lamas and
    drawings from the life of the 14th Dalai Lama.
  • Along with the preservation of Tibetan culture,
    the institute works towards providing employment,
    training and education to Tibetans in the region.
    Short-term workshops are also held here for those
    interested in learning about the Tibetan arts
    which include Tibetan statue making, Thangka
    painting, screen-painting, woodcarving, metal
    craft, papermaking and wood painting.  Guided
    tours are also available for free on all days
    except on Sunday.

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