Dharamshala is a wonderful, peaceful part of India that is nestled among the Himalayans. This is where the Dalai Lama calls home as well as many other Tibetans that had to flee from their home country. There is a sense of diversity here because below you have the Indian community; in the upper part of Dharamsala you have the Tibetans.
There are many things you can do here to pass the time. It is a quiet and peaceful place but offers many different adventures and activities. Many will come to do their yoga teacher training in Dharamshala because it’s such a deeply spiritual place. If you’re a soul seeker, you will enjoy the people you meet here. Tourists and locals are alike.
The nature that surrounds Dharamshala is mind-blowing like the houses that sit on the mountainside, the mountains themselves and the ancient cedar forest. There are many scenic areas you can visit by doing a day trek or even taking a short hike. There is a lot of history here too. If you’re into spirituality, you can go to the great meditation hall that’s just a little way out of town. You can also visit the Dalai Lama’s temple. There is much to experience in Dharamshala, here are our recommendations.
Go Trekking in the Kangra Valley
While it’s a challenging trek, it’s worth the trip. The views you’ll experience are like nothing else on earth. You’ll go through a valley on this day trek with the cliffs towering above you. It is actually in the state of Himachal Pradesh. On the way through, you’ll have the opportunity to see the Masroor Rock Temples which is a very special place. These hand-carved temples made from the rock that has been here for millions of years date back to the 8th century. Even the breeze that flows through as you’re hiking is something you’ll not soon forget.
Within the Kangra district, there is a hill station called Triund. You can go all the way to the summit when you opt to go to Triund. Here, you can see the mountains and the valleys. It’s awe-inspiring.
The Dharamshala Tea Company
Tea might not be your thing but the Kangra tea is pretty important. It is the highest growing tea in the world and has a distinct taste attached to it. The plantation itself is a wonderful place to spend time at. It has been here for generations and the same family runs it. Bring a book and relax in the beautiful gardens.
Tsuglagkhang Complex Dalai Lama Temple
If you’re coming to Dharamshala, you’ll want to check out the Dalai Lama Temple which sits inside a complex. Within the complex, there are beautiful stupas, a library, museum, and a café. You could spend all day here, taking in the spiritual vibes and learning about Tibetan history. The museum houses many things from the Tibetan culture. You also learn about their history and how things ended up the way they did for them.
Water Falls and Lakes
Bhagsu Falls is easy to get to. It is close to Dharamshala. There is a nice walking trail that will take you to this scenic waterfall. What’s nice too is that the falls go into a natural swimming cool so you can cool off after your walk. There is also Dal Lake which is another great swimming spot. It is north of McLeod Ganj which is the name of upper Dharamshala. The lake is at high altitude and it feels like you’ve hit some place of magic with the canopy of trees that surround the lake. There is a Shiva temple here that marks a significant mythological story that occurred here.
Meditation at the Gyuto Monastery
This monastery is where the premium tantric college is. This is an important part of Buddhist philosophy. The Gelug Order is practiced here which is your more modern version of Buddhism. The focus is on ethics and discipline to gain enlightenment. You are welcome to visit and meditate on your own in one of the amazing halls here. It’s very peaceful and you’ll be in the company of monks which is always a wonderful experience.
Taking in all of the activities here can also be a great thing to do. There are many yoga classes in Dharamshala. There are meditation and other spiritual classes which are wonderful because you’re already in such a spiritual place. If you’ve come to spend a little time with your deepest self, there are many beautiful practices that will help you get here. While the tourist activities are of course amazing, getting in with the art and yoga crowd is a great way to be a traveler. There’s enjoyable, healthy food and free yoga classes. You can take your yoga teacher training here or take in a yoga retreat. Once you’re in Dharamshala, you won’t want to leave. Give yourself plenty of time to explore the area.