Triund, Mcleodganj - Rainbow
Bhagsu Falls, Mcleodganj
Norbulingka Institute, Mcleodganj
Triund, Mcleodganj - Mist
Tsug-Lag-Khang(Central Cathedral or Tsuglagkhang)
St. John Church in the Wilderness
Welcome to Dharamshala Hill Station,
Dharamshala or Dharamsala is a city in northern India. It is the winter seat of government of the state of Himachal Pradesh and the headquarters of the Kangra district. Mcleod Ganj, a village within Dharamshala municipality, is the home of the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government.
This home of the present Dalai Lama is a scenic hill station located at an altitude of 4,550 ft above sea level, this small petite beauty is located at a very convenient distance from the Kangra valley and the beauteous McLeodganj. Divided into two parts as Upper Dharamshala and Lower Dharamshala, here you will see hills, bungalows, churches, monasteries and cantonment. Surrounded by the mighty Dhauladhar mountains, Dharamshala has an incomparable distinction of being the chosen home of the spiritual and temporal head of the Tibetan people.
In the middle of the town of Kangra is the temple dedicated to Bajreshwari Devi. It is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths. Known once for its legendary wealth this temple was subject to successive depredations by invaders from the north. Destroyed completely in 1905 by an earthquake, it was rebuilt in 1920 and continues to be a busy place of pilgrimage. In the surroundings of Kangra, one can visit the historical Kangra Fort at Old Kangra (3 km) and also trek up to the temple of Jyanti Devi located on the hill top, opposite to the Kangra fort.
Bhagsu is a serene village located very close by to the Mcleodganj city center. It has been the main attraction for all tourists who visit the cool hearty tourist location of Mcleodganj. It has breathtaking waterfall known as Bhagsu falls, mind calming ancient Bhagsunath Temple and a perfectly nature blended community pool.
Bhagsu, an ideal place for picnics and vacations, is renowned for the attractive diners and small cafeteria offering delicious mouth watering food items. It is a marvelous location to live with nature enjoying the Himalayan serene nature and rejuvenating soft but cool breeze.
Bhagsunath Temple is a medieval temple 3km east of Mcleodganj (the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, and the residence of the spiritual head, His Holiness the Dalai Lama) and 11km from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. The ambience of the temple is tranquil and reposed, with plentiful pools around, considered sacred by the Hindu devotees. The annual fair held in September is far-reaching in its reputation. The Dal Lake, Kotwai Bazaar and Bhagsu Waterfall are the attractions in the vicinity of the Bhagsunath Temple.
Dal Lake is a small mid-altitude lake (1,775 m above sea level) near the village of Tota Rani in Kangra district (Himachal Pradesh) in northern India. The lake is surrounded by deodar trees and is considered as a sacred spot as there is small Shiva mandir (shrine) on its bank. There are different kinds of fish that live in this lake. This lake has greenish water.
The annual fair held every year in September on the banks of the Lake is a great attraction to the tourists. Taking a holy dip in this lake is considered to remove all miseries. It is a common belief that the dip in this holy lake will bring blesses of Lord Shiva. Even though the lake is small, the surroundings make it charming and dynamic.
The Dalai Lama temple complex is on Temple road. It is just a short walk from the Mcleod Ganj bus stand in upper Dharamsala. The temple complex is open daily, from sunrise to sunset. The complex houses the Namgyal Monastery , the main temple Tsug-Lag-Khang smaller shrine, Dalai Lama's residence and administrative offices. The Dalai's Lama's Residence is opposite Tsug-Lag-Khang about a 10 mt walk from McLeod Ganj. His Holiness regularly receives visitors for public audiences. For an appointment for a private audience with the Dalai Lama, reserve advance to The Office of Tibet, 241 E 32nd Street, New York, NY- 10016. There is also a small caf? and a guesthouse in this complex.
It is situated on the bank of river Beas. It is possible to use Dehra as a base for different fishing areas like Pong Dam, Pattan and Nadaun. PWD and Forest rest houses are available at Dehra for night stay, besides, privatel hotels and guest houses. One can also visit the famous temple of Shaktipeeth Jwala ji, Chintpurni ji from here. Heritage village Pragpur and Dada Siba, which is famous for ancient temple of Radha Krishan and wall paintings are accessible from Dehra. The small fort of Mangarh is close to Dehra. The view of the valley and Pong Lkae is very attractive from the fort.
Surrounded by lush green deodar trees and beautiful landscapes, Dharamkot village in Mcleodganj is a famous tourist spot. The village is placed over a hilly region and it offers majestic panoramic views of the scenic Dhauladhar and Kangra District. The mighty imposing Dhauladhar hill ranges are burdening this hamlet.
This is an eco-friendly picnic spot renowned for its natural beauty and the picturesque settings. There are many resorts offering breathtaking and luxurious accommodation facilities in Dharamkot. You will be offered with fully furnished and spacious rooms. You can get the beautiful views of the nature from the privacy of the rooms.
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium (DCS) is a cricket stadium of international reputation, which serves as the home ground to the Himachal Pradesh state cricket team and also for the IPL team Kings XI Punjab to a limited extent. By virtue of its natural backdrop, it is one of the most attractive cricket stadiums in India. In addition to Ranji matches, some international matches are also planned to be held here.
The Dhauladhar (lit. White Mountain) range is a southern branch of the main Outer Himalayan chain of mountains. It rises spectacularly from the Indian plains to the north of Kangra and Mandi. The highest peak in the range is the Hanuman Ka Tiba, or 'White Mountain', about 5,639 m or 18,500 ft high. There are several peaks which are close to 5,180 m (17,000 ft). Himachal Pradesh has the great fortune of having all the major Himalayan ranges represented in it. The Greater Himalayas that begin from near Ladakh and runs all the way to Mount Everest and Kangchenjunga in Sikkim, passing through Himachal Pradesh.
Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa is an old-fashioned gompa enlaced with a golden roof. It can be neared by a precipitous hill, overlooking the valley. The main hall enshrines a statue of Sakyamuni. Besides this, Dip Tse-Chok Ling houses two large drums wrapped with goatskin. The gompa is renowned for its curious custom of erecting sand mandalas and the butter sculptures during Losar (the Tibetan New Year) and destroyed again in the next Losar.
Guna Devi temple is located in Guna, 8km from Mcleodganj in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The temple is placed at an elevation of 2310 metres in Kangra Valley. Guna Devi Temple is a pilgrimage centre of the Gaddi shepherds (an agricultural-cum-pastoral semi-nomadic tribe basically from Chamba district). It is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The Laka Lake flows nearby. The entire region is surrounded by sylvan virgin forests comprising oak, rhododendron and deodar trees. The nearby tourist destinations include Naddi, Karen, Dharamshala and Kareri Lake.
The famous temple of Shaktipeeth Jwalamukhi is 35 km from Kangra and 53 kms from Dharamshala. Dedicated to the "GODDESS OF LIGHT", the temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in northern India. There is no idol of any kind, the flame is considered as a manifestation of the goddess. An eternally burning and shining blue flame emanates from the rock sanctum and is fed by the priests with the offerings of devotees. The golden tower (dome) of the temple was a gift from the Emperor Akbar. Two important fairs are held here during the Navratras in earlier March/April and September/October. Hotel accommodation, Sarai's, rest houses and HPTDC hotels with modern facilities are available for visitors to the shrine.
Next to the Tsulagkhang is a temple devoted to the Kalachakra. This temple is decorated with frescos depicting 722 deities of the mandala, Shakamuni Buddha, and the central Kalachakra image. The frescos were completed by a team of painters over a period of three years under the direction of the Dalai Lama and three master painters. Along the walls and columns of the temple are many traditional Tibetan Thangka paintings.
Kangra Art Museum is a unique museum in India displaying the artifacts of Tibetan and Buddhist cultures. This is a treasure of Kangra valley's cultural past, crafts, arts and other ancient artifacts. Some of the displayed items in the museum are dating back to 5th century.
Kangra Museum encloses a gallery consisting of miniature paintings of Kangra's rich past, pottery, rare coin memorabilia, sculptures and anthropological materials. It has a varied collection of jewelry of tribes, embroider costumes and wood carvings. A section dedicated to contemporary artworks adds the attraction to the museum.
Kareri Lake is a high altitude, shallow, fresh water lake south of the Dhauladhar range approximately 9 km North West of Dharamshala in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Its surface is 2934 metres above the sea level. Kareri lake is best known for being a trekking destination in the Dhauladhars. Snow melting from the Dhauladhar range serves as the source of the lake and a stream, Nyund is the outflow. Since the source is fresh melting snow and the lake is shallow, water visibility is very high and in most places, the lake bed can be seen.
Kotla fort is another heritage monument on the State Highway between Shahpur and Nurpur. Kotla fort stands on an isolated peak, impressively looking around the deep valleys. The fort was built by the Guler Rajas. The road to the fort winds upwards and is not too difficult; the climb going through the dense forest of pine is pleasant. At the main entrance is the Bagulamukhi temple, one of the incarnations of Durga. The idol inside the temple is magnificent.
here is also a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh with roundish roof resembling Bengal roof architecture. Inside there is a unique Ganesh idol. The temple has wall paintings on the outer walls. The deep arches have superb workmanship, paintings and carvings. One particular wall with three arches and niches standing amid ruins displays a kind of grace and originality that is unique to the fort. The fort is at present with the archaeological department and efforts are afoot to restore its glory at least partially.
Kunal Pathri is a small town near Dharamsala. The major attraction here is the temple of Mata Kunal Pathri, dedicated to local Goddesses. This place is surrounded by dense tea gardens and is a perfect place to have a natural walk. The temple premises offer a good view of Dhauladhar Range and low lying lawns.
Kunal Pathri rock temples are located in Dharamsala near Kotwali Bazaar. The temples are. These are ancient temples in the Kangra region developed for offering prayers by tribes. Kunal Pathri is an ideal location to have a secluded stay amidst scenic beauty.
The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) is a Tibetan library in Dharamsala, India. The library was founded by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama on June 11, 1970 and is considered one of the most important libraries and institutions of Tibetan works in the world. The library contains sources which were relocated from Tibet during the 1959 escape, including important Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts and archives related the Tibets history, politics, culture and even art. It possesses more than 80,000 manuscripts, books and documents, over 600 thangkas and statues and other artefacts of Buddhist heritage, 6,000 photographs, and many other materials.
The primary objective of the library is to provide a comprehensive cultural resource of the highest standard and to promote an environment to facilitate research and to exchange of knowledge. The third floor of the library contains a museum (opened in 1974) containing notable artefacts such as a three-dimensional carved wooden mandala of Avalokiteshvara and items that date back to the twelfth century.
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.
Known for its monolithic rock-cut temples, Masroor is 38 km from Kangra Town. There are 15 rock-cut temples in Indo-Aryan style and are richly carved. It is a unique monolithic structure in the sub-Himalayan region and is a protected monument.
The main shrine contains three stone images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. The temple complex is located on a hill and also has a large rectangular water pond. The view of snow clad Dhauladhar is amazing from the temple premises. The nearest visitable places includes Pong lake near Nagrota Surian, 10 km from Masroor and hot water springs at Tattwani village, on the bank of Gaj rivulet near Salol village on Lunj- Gaggal road, 15 km from Masroor. It is accessible from Gaggal (30 km) on Nagrota Surian link road and 22 km from Ranital road.
McLeod Ganj, McLeodGanj, or Mcleodganj, is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It has an average elevation of 2,082 metres (6,831 feet). McLeod Ganj was named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, a Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, while the suffix Ganj is common Hindi word for "neighbourhood".
Tourism is an important industry in McLeod Ganj, but many people come here to study Tibetan Buddhism, culture, crafts, etc. as well. The town is also known for Tibetan handicrafts, thangkas, Tibetan carpets, garments and other souvenirs. The most important Buddhist site in the town is Tsuglagkhang or Tsuglag Khang, the Dalai Lama's temple. It has statues of Shakyamuni, Avalokitesvara, and a statue of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche).
The permanent exhibition in 'NAAM ART GALLERY' shows paintings by Elsbeth Buschmann - watercolours and acrylics - and oil paintings by Alfred W. Hallett. Elsbeth Buschmann, is a professional painter from Germany, having studied painting in London and Paris .She lived in many countries where she held exhibitions, especially in the USA where she received various awards. Her paintings are in private collections in Germany, USA, Scotland, India and Switzerland. In India she held solo exhibitions at AIFAX, New Delhi and TAG, the Art Gallery of the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. She also took part in 'The Himalayan National Exhibition of Art' and was awarded.
A high point beyond the Dal Lake, Naddi village affords a magnificent view of Dhauladhar mountain range to the north and the vast expanse of lush Kangra valley to the south. Naddi is situated far away from the hustle and bustle of the Macleodganj market and provides complete peace of mind. It is surely the best place to spend some quality time amidst the heart of Dhauladhar mountains.
Namgyaima Stupa, a charming Buddhist structure, is located at the heart of Mcleodganj city. This stupa was built as a mark of respect to the Tibetan soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Tibet. The structure of the stupa is similar to the structures, which was built in 3rd century during the period of the great emperor Ashoka.
The Namgyaima Stupa adorns a majestic image of Sakyamuni Buddha enshrined in a small chamber. The spiritual ambiance of the place is magnificent. Peace and calm rule the stupa and premises. Many Buddhist devotees visit this place to offer their prayers.
Founded by the Third Dalai Lama 'Sonam Gyatso' in 1575, the Namgyal Monastery is a tantric college that performs rituals for his Holiness. Located next to the Central Cathedral in McLeod Ganj, the monastery is a home to more than 180 monks, who perform prayers and rituals of all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Norbulingka Institute, was founded in 1988 , by the present 14th Dalai Lama at Sidhpur, near Dharamsala, India, dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan language and cultural heritage. The institute is located at a vast expanse of lush green land of about seven acres. The area is maintained as an eco-friendly location with many ponds, gardens and bridges. The buildings for library, temple, workshop, studio, college, guest house and all other facilities are constructed without cutting any of the trees in the area.
The different sections in the Institute teaches various aspects of Tibetan art and culture. Music, dance, wood work, handicrafts and carvings are taught in different sections. Many students including local and foreign undergo courses in this Institute. One main attraction in the institute is Losel Doll Museum, which displays more than 160 dolls made in the last 15 years. The dolls showcase the varieties of activities and costumes of different religions in Tibet.
Nurpur is famous for an old fort and a temple of Brij Raj. Nurpur acquired its name in 1672, when Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor named it after his wife Nurjahan. Built in the late 16th century by Raja Basu the Nurpur Fort is massive and sprawling. It spreads across a long flat plateau forming the western end of the ridge and bears signs of great architectural designs. The fort overlooks the Jabhar Khud, a tributary of the Chakki rivulet and the vast valley formed by it. Earlier name of Nurpur was Dhameri, later changed to Nurpur after Empress Nur Jahan who took a fancy to the beautiful valley. Inside, the palace walls, though crumbling, have deep niches, decorative arches and the faint signs of some paintings. The northwest walls of the fort have some deeply carved panels showing animals. Particularly graceful are the bulls in their various actions like pulling a cart, or walking in a file; there are also figures of men, women, children, the kings, gods and goddesses and birds. The overall impact of the fort is one of awe and wonder.
The famous Brij Maharaj temple, inside the fort complex, is dedicated to Lord Krishna and it has a beautiful black stone idol of the Lord. It was brought from Rajasthan during Raja Jagat Singh's reign. The walls are decorated with exquisite paintings from Indian mythology.
Located at an elevation of 2000 feet above sea level, heritage village Pragpur is ideally suited to explore the Kangra valley. The area has several streams that drain into the river Beas. Many places of historic, religious and cultural importance are with in easy reach. With its equitable climate, easy access, safe passage and rich flora and fauna, Pragpur and its surroundings offers an ideal location for village tourism. The ambience of the heritage zone of Garli-Pragpur is zealously protected by the local residents.
Some heritage in Pragpur are : The Taal, Butail Niwas, Nakki, The Judge's Court etc.
Many Buddhist related and Tibet related items can be shopped in Mcleodganj. Tibietan art and craft items are the major commodities sold in this place. Tibetan Carpets, votive objects, ponchos, thangkas, chubas, masks, silver and stone jewellery, bottled products, muesli, jackets, statuettes and many other artifacts and handicrafts. The modern dress materials and electronic items are also available in the shops. One can get Tibetan cheese, flags, prayer wheels and Tibetan tea from the shops in Mcleodganj. One can get the varieties of these items from the street shops in Mcleodganj. Many Buddhist related items are also available plenty in moderate rates here.
St. John in the Wilderness is an Anglican church dedicated to Saint John built in 1852, located near Dharamsala, India, on the way to McLeod Ganj, at Forsyth Gunj. Set amidst deodar forest, and built in neo-Gothic architecture, the church is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin (Mary Louisa Lambton), wife of Lord Elgin.
Its churchyard is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, who served as Governor General of the Province of Canada, who oversaw the Creation of Responsible Government in Canada, and later, while in China , ordered the complete destruction of the Old Summer Palace. He became Governor-General and Viceroy of India in 1861 during the British Raj, though he soon died at Dharamsala on November 20, 1863, and was buried there.
Low rolling hills criss-crossed by narrow fast-flowing streams, scores of tiny hamlets, lush tea gardens and paddy fields with the backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhar mountains - all combine to make Kangra one of Himachal's most beautiful tracts. Here, built in 1931, by the 27-year old ruler of Bahawalpur, Nawab Sadiq Mohammed Khan Bahadur is Al Hilal (literally the Land of the crescent moon), now called Taragarh after Maharani Tara Devi, of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, who became its subsequent owner. Now a heritage hotel, this is a splendid art-deco mansion set amidst large grounds. Memorabilia of past adorn its elegantly appointed rooms while the grounds host a 'jungle camp'.
Tibet museum has the credit of being the first modern Museum in Dharamsala. The Museum is settled in a huge plinth area with separate places for meeting, exhibitions and displays. The Museum is a real example of original Tibetan architectural style blended with modern style of constructions.
The museum encloses valued collections of historical documents, manuscripts, Thangka images, pottery and many handicraft items. The visitors in the museum are amazed with the cultural and artistic excellence of Tibetan people. The Museum is enclosed by green beautiful lawns. There are area for undergoing physical exercises and also places for Kids to enjoy. The Museums consists of shops selling out paintings, artifacts and handicrafts.
Dharamshala is one of the most popular starting points for treks over the rocky ridges of the Dhauladhar Range, which rise steeply from the Kangra Valley to an altitude of 4600m. Trails pass through forests of deodar, pine, oak, streams, rivers and sometimes crossing the occasional lake waterfall and glacier. The most visited route from Dharamsala is to the Chamba Valley, over the Indrahar Pass (4350m). The trail is hard in places, but most trekkers accomplish it in around five days. One can marvel the breathtaking views south to the plains and north to the snowy Pir Panjal peaks and Greater Himalayas. Dharamshala-Nayargraon is also one of the popular routes from Dharamshala. It passes through Bir, Billing, Palchak, Panihardu, Udeg, Marhu, Barabanghal and Dhardiand and concludes in Nayagraon
The most difficult route north is the five- or six-day trek across Bhimghasutri Pass (4580m), covering almost-vertical rocky ascents, sharp cliffs and dangerous gorges. A four- or five-day trek from Dharamsala crossing Bleni Pass (3710m) is comparatively easy. The route here weaves through mountainous meadows and a few streams. It finishes at Dunali on the Chamba road. The best season to trek here is September to November. Due to severe cold in winter months, trekking should be strictly avoided.
It is situated 41 kms. from Dharamshala and can be approached by road the natural cave temple of Trilokpur contains a stalactite and stalagamite is dedicated to Shiva. High on the ridge of the cave are ruins of a palace and baradari (audience hall) of Lehna Singh Majitha, Governor of Kangra hills during the Sikh rule.
18 km from Dharamshala, Triund lies at the feet of the perpetually snow clad Dhauladhar at the height of 2975 m. The snow line starts at Ilaqa (3350 mtr), 5km from Triund. It is a popular picnic and trekking spot. The tracks from Rawa, Dal Lake, Dharamkot and Bhagsunag meet at a ridge known as Galu temple (2130 mtr) which has a small shrine and water point. After the snow nullah the trek rises abruptly waving through 22 curves making the ascent tiring and difficult. On the way one can spot many birds and wild animals.
It is the main temple of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Each March, the Dalai Lama gives 10 days of free public teachings at Tsug-Lag-Khang. For this no need to register in advance. One can see a sand mandala in progress. A collection of sacred texts, direct teachings of Buddha etc can be seen here. In this temple one can see impressive statue of Shakamuni Buddha, Padmasambhava ( the Indian yogi who introduced Buddhism to Tibet)n and Avalokitesvara or Chenresig, of whom the Dalai Lama is considered to be the current emanation. Note that visitors should remove shoes and walk clockwise around the temple and past the chorten (prayer wheels) before sitting down.
War Memorial is adorning the entrance to the great old holy city of Dharamsala. Memorial is placed in a perfect place of peace, amidst the lush green pine trees to pay tribute to Great War heroes from Himachal Pradesh in the Post Independence Era. The war memorial is beautifully decorated and attractive with greenish lawns and artistic landscaping. This is a revered location to place the patriotic feelings of the visitor to the memory of the great sacrifices.
- Narghota Village, Nechung Monastery, Dolma Ling Nunnery, Golf Course, Khaniyara, Machhrial and Tatwani Waterfall, Lord Elgin`s Memorial, Sujanpur Tira Town etc.