Situated in the beautiful snow-clad mountain ranges of Dhauladhar of the Western Himalayas, Dharamshala is indeed a magnificent and a peaceful hill station for people who are mainly lovers of nature. While the lower Dharmshala is a commercial centre now, the upper Dharmshala has retained its uniqueness of British colonial lifestyle. It is main important town of Kangra. The widespread greenery of the plains can be seen from here. Lush green meadows, pleasant surroundings, garrulous streams, dense pin and deodar forests, lovely climate and the backdrop of snow clad peaks make Dharmshala a picturesque hill resort for the tourists.
Places to watch:
The main headquarters of Dalai Lama, the great holy monk, is situated here which also gives this place a religious essence. A lot of Tibetan families have made their Dharmshala their abode. Temples, churches, monasteries, museums, places of art and scenic beauty are all eye catching and pleasant places of visit by the tourists. Each season and each place has its own significance. Some of them are given below:
War memorial- situated at the beginning of the town, is a monument between landscaped pine groves. This is known as war memorial and it was built in memory of post independence struggle heroes of Himachal Pradesh. The beautiful oval shaped Dal Lake is another major tourist attraction spot which also the starting point of trekking. It is surrounded on all sides by the entwined fir trees. The best time to visit this lake is September because the annual fair held at the bank of the lake makes this place come alive. It serves as a favorite picnic spot to the localities.
St. John’s church is located about 8 km. from Dharmshala. Standing under the shade of deodar trees, this stone church is a place of enchantment and serenity especially for the people who come in search of peace and solace. Besides this church, there lies a graveyard too. Mcleodganj, also known as ‘little lhasa’ is the residence of the holy dalai lama. Here, we can see huge come-alive images of Buddha and other Buddhist saints. The monastery is quite impressive representing the Buddhist religious aspects traditional art and crafts and handloom work of Tibetan culture can be purchased here from the flea market held on every Sundays.
The temples of Bhagsunath and Kunal Pathri are also worth visiting. For a beautiful and scenic view of the Kangra valley, tourists have to go to Dharmkot, a panoramic picnic spot, 11 km. away from Dharmshala. Another spectacular picnic spot and trek route is the lovely place of Triund. From here one can get the magnificent view of the mountains and valleys. The snow line at Illaqua begins from here. Masrur, a replica of Ellora temples is also an interesting place of visit. About 15 km. from the main town of Dharmshala, is situated the temple of goddess Durga, called Chamunda Devi temple.
Apart from giving a spectacular view of the mountain ranges, this place holds it own significance to the Hindu devotees who consider this place a must to visit. It is said that praying in this temple gives salvation to one’s ancestors. Tsuglagkhang is the main temple of the Buddhists. This place gives tranquility and peace of mind to the visitor. Tourists interested in Buddhist culture and religion can also make sure to visit the Buddhist monastery, Dip Thekchen Choeling monastery and Norbulingka Tibetan Institute. So the hill resort of Dharmshala offers a lot of places of tourist attraction.