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Home >> Hill Stations in Himachal >> Dharamshala
 

Dharamshala

Facts & Figures of Dharamshala


Location - Himachal Pradesh.
Altitude - 1700.
Best Time - Mid-May To Mid-October.

 

Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar mountains, Dharamshala is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of

Dharamshala Valley View

Kangra Valley. The town is divided into two distinct and widely separated sections, Upper and Lower Dharamshala, which differ almost a thousand metres in height. Today, Dharamshala has become the synonymous to the Tibetan government in exile and the home of Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. Even if the Tibetan community dominates the town, still it has retained the colonial lifestyle and British fervour.

Dharamshala 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 is a busy bazaar town and has established itself as the travelers base camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar provides the entire color and characteristic of a small town, which is mixed with the simple life style.

The colourful temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet, adds attraction for the visitor. The Kangra museum gives an overview of the rich past of the region and on the other hand there are institutes that have been established to preserve the Tibetan art, cultures and traditions.

 

Prime Attractions of Dharamshala (Dharamshala) :

St. John'S Church In Wilderness

7-km upward from Dharamshala, between Forsyth Ganj and Mcleod Ganj lies the charming St. John's Church. It was built in 1852 and is dressed in grey stone with some fine Belgian stained glass windows donated by Lady Elgin. The church is popularly known as the church of St. John in Wilderness.

Chamunda Devi Temple Dharamshala

Chamunda Devi Temple
Not far from Dharamshala is the famous temple of Chamunda Devi. It is an enchanting spot with glorious views of the mountains, the Baner Khud, Pathiar and Lahla forests. 15-km from Dharamshala a tiny village of Dadh on Palampur road is the famous temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi.

Maharana Pratap Sagar
Named in honour of the great patriot 'Maharana Pratap' (1572 - 97 AD), the Maharana Pratap Sagar was once known as the 'Pong Dam Reservoir'. India knows the 'Maharana' as a man who struggled valiantly for his kingdom of 'Mewar'-as for the principle of independence. In the words of the Chroniclers James Tod and William Crooke, "He spurned every overture that had submission for its basis". Over the river Beas, the "Pong Dam" was completed in 1976. Its reservoir has an area of about 45,0000 hectares at maximum possible flooding - the level varies with every season and averages around 30,000 hectares. Over 2,000 villages with a population of over 85, people are lying along the wetland. THE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY In 1983, the Sagar was declared a wildlife sanctuary and over 2,20 species of bird belonging to 54 families have been sighted over the waters and the fringing mud-banks-these include black - headed gulls, plovers, terns, ducks, water-fowl and egrets. The first sighting in the region of the red-necked grebe, was made at the Sagar. The wetland's location at the head of the Indian plains has made it a suitable habitat and stopover for migratory birds that enter India from Central Asia. The land portion of the sanctuary has barking deer, sambar, wild borars, nilgai, leopards and claw-less others. Twenty-seven species and sub-species of fish belonging to six families have been recorded in the Sagar's waters. Some of the important commercial varieties are - Labeo dero (Gid), Labeo rohita, Labeo Calbasu, Tor putitora (Mahsir), and Mystus seenghala (Singhara). Since 1976, fishing has been a major economic activity in the areas and today, this provides employment to some 1,500 fishermen and the annual catch is valued at over a corore rupees.

Tsug-Lag-Khang (Central Cathedral)
Though a plain and utilitarian substitute for its far more splendid namesake in Lhasa, also known as the Jokhang, the Tsug-Lag-Khang is nevertheless fascinating and peaceful. Situated opposite the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsug-Lag-Khang is known to the local Indians as the Main Temple. 

Dall Lake
Surrounded by high and green Deodar trees is the lake, which fills a mountain bowl. Situated 11-kms away from the town, this lake is easily approachable by road and makes an enchanting and serene picnic spot.
 

Dal Lake Dharamshala
Kunal Pathri
These are the rock temples from which the place derives its name. Kunal pathri is a 3 kms flat walk from Kotwali Bazaar.

L
ord Elgin's Memorial
After the honors of 1857, India's First War of independence, Queen Victoria assumed the title of Empress of India. Her Prime Minister, Lord Canning made the proclamation and the Governor General's title was raised to that of Viceroy of India.

Namgyal Monastery
In 1575 Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, officially founded a monastery, which later came to be known as Namgyal Dratsang (Victorious Monastery). Since its inception, the monastery has assisted the Dalai Lamas in their public religious activities for the welfare of Tibet.

Pong Lake Sanctuary

Pong Lake Sanctuary
Pong Dam reservoir is 65-km from Panthankot and 115-km from Dharamshala on the Beas River. The Pong Dam Lake is significant for a wildlife sanctuary with wild life species like Nilgai, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Buar, Clawless Otter, and Leopard. The reservoir is developed on a large scale for promoting water sports for tourists.

How To Get There - Dharmshala
By Air

Dharamshala can be approached by air from Delhi and the nearest Airport is at Gaggla, just 13-km away from the town.

By Rail

Pathankot is 85-km and is the nearest railhead for Dharamshala. Trains from all over the country make a stop over at Pathankot and from here it is a three-hour journey to Dharamshala.

By Road

From Manali too bus services are available to this place. One can drive from Delhi via Chandigarh, Kiratpur, Bilaspur and it's an 8-hours journey. From Delhi and Shimla, luxury buses ply to Dharamshala.

Places To Stay - Dharmshala

Dharamshala's accommodation options include HPTDC's hotels, private hotels, guest houses, PWD and Forest rest houses, which are located in and around the place and are available at reasonable prices.

Climate - Dharmshala

As Dharamshala is located in the Himalayas, the climate is very pleasant during the summers but in winters the cold is very bad. Temperature can drop below the freezing point during the winters and heavy woolen clothes are required. During the summers the weather is mild and light woolens and cottons are recommended. The best time to visit the place is during the summers when the cold has shed its biting teeth and there is plenty of Sunshine. But avoid coming here during the monsoon months, as there is a danger of landslides.
 

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