Dharamshala is a location with snow crowned meadows and a picturesque feast for the eyes. Dharamshala, the headquarters of the Kangra district is situated in Himachal Pradesh, a north Indian state. It stands at the foot of Dhauladhar peak at an elevation varying between 1,250 m and 1,650 m above the sea level. Dharamshala has been segmented into two. The Upper Dharamshala constituting places like Forsyth and Mcleod and the lower Dharamshala comprising the commercial and civil locations.
Mcleod Ganj in the upper Dharamshala is a centre of Buddhism, which has gained prominence across the globe after it had been declared as the headquarters of the Government of Tibet in exile under the leadership of Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual head.
Between Mcleod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj, lies the Saint John’s Church, an excellent architectural piece set amidst a majestic Deodar forest at a distance of 8 kms from Dharamshala town. An architectural treasure, with artistic designs in its glass windows, it had been dedicated to Lord Elgin, one of the viceroys of India, who had died and had been buried here.
In Macleod Ganj, the Bhagsunag falls just stuns the viewer by its charming look. It is situated at 11 kms from Dharamshala. There is a temple located here.
A war memorial is also located in the town of Dharamshala. Nearby exists, the GPG College of Dharamshala, which is said to have been in existence since the British era.
17 kms from the town at an altitude of 2,827 meters above the sea level is a breathtaking location, the Triund. The sight of the snowline (a tiny glacier of the Bhagsunag falls) commencing its journey 5 kms from Triund and the splendid view of the valley beneath are its highlights. There is a scenic trekking route near the Bhagsunag fall.
At a distance of 14 kms from the town, an attractive picnic spot on the ridge to a hill is Dharamkot. It tenders a captivating sight of the Dhauladhar range and the Kangra valley.
The Kunal Pathari is 3 kms from Dharamshala. Kotwali Bazaar is a famous shopping centre here and leads to the Kunal Pathari temple, a carved rock temple of the local goddess. The view of the Dhauladhar Range from this temple is magnificent and incomparable. This place is famous for its beautiful tea garden and untainted wind.
Amidst the meadows and the deodar trees, lies the Dal Lake 11 kms from lower Dharamshala. It is the point of commencement for trekking and excursions. On the bank of the lake, stands a small temple to Lord Shiva.
Kareri is an exhilarating spot 22kms from the town at an elevation of 2,166m above sea level and is fully surrounded by magnificent greenery. One can have an exotic view of Dhauladhar range to the north and cosmic Kangra Valley to the south from Naddi. Naddi is a high point ahead of the Dal Lake and is a natural paradise.
If you prefer a 3 days vacation, then, on the first day, you should trek from Mcleod Ganj to Triund and stay overnight in the rest house there. From there travel to Ilaka, a panoramic journey, the next day, covering nine to ten kilometers and return to Triund. On the third day, take a walk back through the grassy ridge to Mcleod Ganj.
To visit Dharamshala, the Gaggal airport 15 kms from Dharamshala, is the airhead. To go by rail, the nearest broad gauge railhead is Pathankot 95 km away. A narrow gauge railway line between Pathankot and Jogindernagar passes through Kangra 17 kms from Dharamshala.