‘The Scotland of India’, as Dharamshala is famously referred to, has snow-clad mountains on three sides and valley on one side. The mountains being over 4000 m height, you can have an excellent view of them from every viewpoint. Pine trees and tree gardens along with snow covered mountains render magic to the air. Here are some top attractions in Dharamshala.
• McLeod Ganj
• Kangra Museum
• Kangra Fort
• Dal Lake (of Dharamshala)
• Namgyal Monastery
With an average elevation of 2,082 meters above sea level, McLeod Ganj is named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod who was the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab under whom the area was developed. The place is known for its various attractions including the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama. The place is one of the most frequented spots in Dharamshala and is famous for its Tibetan culture, handicrafts and temples. The Hanuman Tibba is the highest peak at the height of 5,639 meters above sea level and can be viewed from McLeod Ganj.
Masrur is famous for its various rock-cut temples that date back to the 8th century AD. The carvings in the temples are finely detailed and are similar to that of the Ellora caves in Maharashtra and contain various images of the Hindu deities like Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshamana from the oldest Hindu epic, Ramayana.
Kangra Museum houses various articles and artifacts that are significant to the Tibetan Buddhists and the Kangra Valley culture. The various manuscripts, handicrafts, pottery place here date back to the 5th century and the facility also contains a library.
Kangra Fort was the seat and residence of the one of the oldest existing dynasties in the World. The Katoch rulers of Kangra belong to the lineage of the rulers of Trigata mentioned in the Hindu Epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha and also in Alexander the Great’s war records. The fort complex contains several well detailed halls and watchtowers along with a couple of temples that date back to the 9th century AD.
The Dal Lake in Dharamshala is named after its eponymous counterpart in Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is spread across 1 square kilometer and resembles the lake at Kashmir. It is one of the popular picnic spot and is surrounded by the thick deodar and juniper forests. The Kali temple located near the banks is home to a marvelous annual fair.
Namgyal Monastery was established by the 3rd Dalai Lama in 1575 and was relocated to Dharamshala following the 1959 Tibetan uprising. The monastery is one of the major learning and cultural centers of the Tibetan populated in Dharamsala. The monastery currently houses around 200 Tibetan monks and is one of the most frequented places in Dharamshala.