Dharamsala is a very special place. It sits nestled in the Himalayans and is home to the Dalai Lama. There are many things to do here and it has long attracted the tourist who is looking for a deep experience. It is home to both Tibetan people and Indian people. There is a great deal of historical significance here, some incredible treks through the mountains and many wonderful things for soul-seekers to do. Here are 10 places you’ve absolutely got to see in Dharamsala.
1. Tsuglagkhang Complex
This is the home of the Dalai Lama’s personal temple. It is a beautiful complex that is based on top of a mountain peak. This is a wonderful place to visit and contemplate. It was created to commemorate the first visit the Dalai Lama made to India. There are private and public sessions with the Dalai Lama when he is here. There are also local musical performances you can watch. It has stupas within the complex, a library, a museum, and a café. A great place to spend the day.
2. Namgyal Monastery
This monastery is up in McLeod Ganj, which is the upper part of Dharamsala where most Tibetans live. This is the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery which is open to the public. It’s within the Tsuglagkhang Complex and is on the top of the mountain on Temple Road. It is also called the Namgyal Tantric College. It’s a very peaceful, magical place to visit.
3. Kangra Valley
The Kangra Valley entails you going on a guided day trek. You’ll walk through a valley with the Dhauladhar Mountain ranges over you. It’s magical and there are many sites involved in the trek. There is the Kangra Fort where you’ll see ancient structures that were built in the 4th century. It is the biggest fort they’ve found in the Himalayas. The Masroor Rock temples, which were carved out of stone by hand, are also a part of this trek.
4. Kangra Art Museum
The Kangra Art Museum is close to the Dharamsala bus stand. It has many things that in it regarding the old Buddhist and Tibetan culture. There are artifacts that are hundreds of years old like clothing, paintings, old weapons, utensils and statues from temples. This museum walks you through Tibetan history, giving you a greater understanding of their way of life and what they’ve been through.
6. Masroor Rock Cut Temple
This amazing site is home to the Masroor rock temples. There are 15 in total and each is dedicated to an Indian character. Every character is backed by a wonderful story. These rock-cut temples date back to the 8th century. The fact that they were hand carved so long ago is what makes their detail so impressive. This site can be seen on the trek through Kangra Valley.
7. The Dharamshala Tea Company
The Dharamshala Tea Company has been in the same family for generations. The leaves are grown here with great love and care. The tea is world famous for being the highest growing leaves in the world. The plantation itself is a wonderful place to spend time at. It’s very peaceful. Try the tea too.
8. Gyuto Monastery
The Gyuto Monastery is a wonderful place to visit and meditate. It is significant for its modern version of Buddhism and meditation. This is where Karmapa lives who is the head of Kagyu Tibet Buddhism. You can learn all about the Buddhist philosophy here. You can take in rituals of tantric meditation. The monastery was built for the soldiers who tried to save Tibet in the Tibet Freedom War.
9. Kareri Dal Lake
This lake is a kilometer across. It is significant in that it has a counterpart lake in Kashmir. The setting is serene and there is a Shiva temple here. You could spend the day enjoying life go by here. You can rent a boat and bring a picnic. In the distance are the mountain ranges. The lake itself is at an elevation of 1775 meters high. Many trekkers doing expeditions will stop here for a rest.
10. Bhagsunag Temple
The temple is a dedication to Lord Shiva and is one of the oldest temples around the area. It is significant enough that thousands of pilgrims will visit the temple every year. The temple itself is set in nature upon the hills which makes it a beautiful place to visit. There is a man-made pool here that you’ll want to take a dip in as it’s holy water. A few kilometers up, you can visit the waterfall known also as Bhagsunag. The falls are 20 meters high and you can go swimming at the watering hole where the falls end.
Dharamsala will take a piece of your heart when you go. You will experience such great peace with the surroundings and the people. Many people will do yoga teacher training in Dharamsala India because of the peaceful nature of the place. You won’t be disappointed you came, and you’ll find it hard to leave. These places mentioned are the kind of experiences you’ll want to take in more than once.