Dharamshala is a city in the Himachal Pradesh state of India. This hillside city, surrounded by cedar woods on the edge of the Himalayas, is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. The Thekchen Chöling Temple Complex serves as a spiritual hub for Tibetan Buddhism, and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives includes thousands of valuable manuscripts.
Himachal Pradesh, India’s snow-covered wonderland, is one of the country’s most picturesque mountainous areas. It is not just the magnificent beauty of the magnificent diversity of flora and animals that the state is proud of; the state’s ever-glorious tradition and culture are also quite appealing!The state is home to a variety of gorgeous hill stations, which are among of the most popular honeymoon locations in Himachal Pradesh due to the captivating experience they provide. That being said, there are certain spots in the state that will provide you with the inner calm you seek, far away from the bustle of city lights. Dharamshala is one such area in the state where visitors go for a spiritual holiday.
The state is home to a variety of gorgeous hill stations, which are among of the most popular honeymoon locations in Himachal Pradesh due to the captivating experience they provide. That being said, there are certain spots in the state that will provide you with the inner calm you seek, far away from the bustle of city lights. Dharamshala is one such area in the state where visitors go for a spiritual holiday. The beauty, tourist spots, and activities that this enchanting town has to offer to make for an amazing vacation opportunity for all kinds of travelers.
You will have a wonderful experience when you visit Dharamshala and the surrounding areas, which will provide you with adventure, beauty, history, and tranquility all at the same time. You may need to plan many journeys to see all of the beautiful spots near Dharamshala.
18 Best Places to Visit in Dharamshala & Nearby
- McLeod Ganj
- Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
- Dal Lake
- Hanuman Tibba
- The War Memorial
- St. John in the Wilderness Church
- Masroor Rock Cut Temple
- Camping Sites
- Kangra Art Museum
- Tea Garden
- Kangra Fort
- Bhagsu Falls
- Prashar Lake
1. McLeod Ganj
McLeod Ganj, the Dalai Lama’s official home in India, is a lovely neighbourhood of Dharamshala. This location, also known as ‘Little Lhasa’ or ‘Dhasa,’ has long been a favourite of visitors to Dharamshala from Himachal Pradesh. The Dalai Lama now dwells at the Tsuglagkhang Complex in McLeod Ganj. The complex, which is regarded as one of the holiest sites of religion, attracts tourists from all over the world. This mountainous village is about 5.2 kilometres from Dharamshala. Mcleodganj, often known as Little Lhasa, is the present residence of the Dalai Lama, who took sanctuary in India following China’s takeover of Tibet. Almost everyone who travels to Dharamshala also travels to Mcleodganj and vice versa. This hill village is a spiritual retreat with a variety of ashrams, including the Osho Ashram, the Chinmay Tapovan, the Chamunda temple, and, most notably, the Dalai Lama’s main temple. Trekkers travel from all over the globe to visit here, and it is frequently used as a base camp from which they go on various trails.
The church of St. John, which is nestled in the dense forest and is quite an adventure to discover, is one of the most popular tourist attractions here. During the summer, boat trips are available on Dal Lake. It is one of the greatest venues to sample real Tibetan cuisine, and a handful of restaurants also serve superior continental fare. Some of the most well-known include Nick’s Italian Kitchen and Jimmy’s Bakery. Take a bus from Dharamshala to Mcleodganj and you’ll be there in about an hour. The complex houses not only the Dalai Lama’s palace, but also the Tsuglagkhang Temple, Namgyal Monastery, and the Tibet Museum. Within the compound, there is a magnificent statue of Lord Buddha, as well as sculptures of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche. Because of the peacefulness it provides, this is unquestionably one of the nicest spots to visit in Dharamshala.
2. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
Whether you are a cricket lover or not, a visit to the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is something you should not miss. With a height of 1457 metres above sea level, this cricket stadium is one of the highest sporting fields in the world and, of course, a popular tourist destination in Dharamshala. The captivating beautiful background of the Himalayan range, the splendorous beauty of the lush greens, and the chilly winds rushing across the pitch with the indigo sky ruling over the entire region make this one of the top spots to visit in Dharamshala not just for cricket enthusiasts but for all visitors. The time you spend at the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is well spent.
3. Dal Lake
Another place to visit is Dharamshala’s Dal Lake, which has a popular name. Although not as well-known as the one in Kashmir, Dharamshala Lake is worth a visit while in town. The Dal Lake in Dharamshala is a medium-altitude lake that provides tourists with a nice experience. It also boasts a walking track with an amazing backdrop of the hills, which is very well complimented by the town’s pleasant weather. The lake is 1,775 metres above sea level. The lake is surrounded by dense green Deodar trees and has a Shiv Mandir on its banks, making it one of the nicest sites in Dharamshala for a restorative respite.
4. Hanuman Tibba
With this destination, the list of exciting places to visit in Dharamshala is incomplete. Hanuman Tibba is the tallest mountain peak in the Dhauladhar Range, rising roughly 19626 feet above sea level. This location is a refuge for all adventure seekers, as it provides for activities such as mountain climbing, trekking routes, or simply camping at the base while admiring the magnificent splendour of the mountain range.
5. The War Memorial
The War Memorial, one of the top attractions to see in Dharamshala, will fill you with pride. The memorial honours those heroic souls who gave their lives for the country through the Indo-China wars of 1947-48, 1962 and 1965, the 1971 conflict, and UN peacekeeping missions. Many of Kangra District’s young valiant individuals have given their lives to the service of the homeland. The War Memorial is set among the trees and is magnificently constructed out of black stone. It is divided into three massive panels, each of which is 24 feet high. The names of the deceased troops are inscribed on the black stone panels, so take some time to pay your respects. This great area to visit in Dharamshala is surrounded by lush greenery and has a neighbouring college where you can have some scorching hot tea and food.
Triund is just approximately 13.5 kilometres from Dharamshala, and most visitors arrive via hiking. The Triund Trek has quickly become a popular destination for trekkers not just from India, but from all over the world. Trekkers do, in fact, depart the Triund path in droves practically every day. On top of Triund Hill, there is a modest temple known as the Galu Davi mandir. The primary hiking track is around 6 kilometres long and is a fairly light and simple walk, which is why it is quite popular among beginning hikers. Seasoned hikers go above and beyond, frequently camping in the laps of the mountains at night. The route is surrounded with gorgeous rhododendron trees, and there are around 22 switchbacks in and out of the main track, so you will never be bored, and each journey will reveal something new to you. When you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Dhauladhar Mountains and the Mun Peak. It is important to remember that hiking is the only means to get to Triund, as there is no route for automobiles beyond the Galu Devi shrine.
The journey to Triund is made possible by a wonderful walking track that is on the bucket list of travellers from all over the world. To be honest, Triund is one of the most gorgeous hidden jewels that Himachal Pradesh has to offer. The Triund trip will allow you to escape into the arms of the gorgeous Himalayas, enhancing your visit to the city. The trekking track begins at Dharamkot and leads you through the wonderful picturesque vistas of the Kangra Valley, only a few kilometres from the town of Dharamshala. This basic yet lovely spot is unquestionably one of the nicest spots to visit near Dharamshala. The journey can also begin in the scenic neighbourhood of McLeod Ganj, continuing on to Dharamkot and then the path. Evenings here are among of the most visually appealing experiences you’ll ever have. This Dharamshala tourist attraction should surely be on your schedule, with the sky glittering with a blanket of stars, a glimpse of the snow-capped Himalayas, and nice weather.
7. St. John in the Wilderness Church
There are a few places in India that have the same name but are located in two different cities or states. And this must-visit Dharamshala sightseeing spot is yet another example of the same. The St. John in the Wilderness Church is among the state’s most visited and important churches. Constructed in the year 1852, this is one of the famous places to visit near Dharamshala because of its neo-gothic architecture and the majestic Belgian stained glass window, which is very swiftly combined with the breathtaking backdrop that’s full of lush deodar trees. The church was built to honour John the Baptist and is called ‘St. John in the Wilderness Church’ as it is set amidst dense woods. There are a few sites in India with the same name but in distinct cities or states. And this must-see Dharamshala tourist attraction is just another example. The St. John in the Wilderness Church is one of the most frequented and significant churches in the state. This is one of the most renowned destinations to visit near Dharamshala because of its neo-gothic architecture and the grand Belgian stained glass window, which is quickly coupled with the stunning backdrop of thick deodar trees. The church was erected to honour John the Baptist and is known as the ‘St. John in the Wilderness Church’ due to its location among impenetrable woodlands.
.8. Masroor Rock Cut Temple
The Masroor Rock Cut Temple is an ancient landmark that was cut out in the Nagara style from a single monolithic rock and is one of Dharamshala’s most popular tourist destinations. The complex, which consists of roughly 15 rock-cut temples built in the Indo-Aryan architectural style, was created in the 8th century facing the North-East towards the Dhauladhar range. The facility is accessible via three different entrances. However, it is thought that there was a fourth entrance that was left unfinished. The temple complex, inspired by Hindu literature, has a sacred pool of water and symmetry structure spread out in a square. The Masroor Rock Cut Temple, located 32 kilometres from Kangra on the Nagrota-Surian Link Road, is one of the most attractive sites to visit in Dharamshala. Visitors may enjoy breathtaking vistas as well as a very spiritual experience at this temple, which should be included to your list of must-sees when visiting Dharamshala.
9. Camping Sites
While visiting Dharamshala’s tourist attractions, don’t forget to try camping here. Camping beneath the night sky with the brilliant stars and foggy yet comfy atmosphere will make your journey even more spectacular because the town is set within the sparkling Dhauladhar range. That being stated, you do not need to be concerned about your stay. You will have a variety of alternatives to pick from, ranging from Alpine and Swiss tents to cottages with nice bedrooms.
10. Kangra Art Museum
The Kangra Art Museum, located in the heart of Dharamshala, is the second tourist attraction on the list. This museum is dedicated to the grandeur and wonders of Tibetan art and culture. From real Tibetan jewellery and rare coins to a wealth of sculptures and paintings, a visit to this location will bring you face to face with Tibet’s marvellous heritage. If you want to learn about a different culture, this is the place to go in Dharamshala.
11. Tea Garden
The splendour of the lush greens combined with the pleasant scent of tea leaves is a winning combination! The Dharamshala Tea Gardens provide an unforgettable experience. The tea garden, known as India’s smallest tea district, is full of elegantly lined tea plants across the Kangra Valley, making it a popular tourist destination in Dharamshala. You may go to the garden, take photographs, and enjoy the beauty that Himachal Pradesh has to offer.
12. Kangra Fort
Kangra Fort is around 20 kilometres from Dharamshala and is nestled in the Kangra town’s foothills. It is one of the few Rajput forts in the highlands and was erected by the Katoch dynasty’s kings. Naturally, this fort is quite important. This dynasty is considered to be an offspring of the Trigarta Dynasty, which is referenced in the Mahabharata. The fort is located in the oldest portion of town, right next to a high cliff. It was erected directly at the junction of the Banganga and Majhi Rivers, and the cliff and rivers offered excellent natural protection for the fort. The Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum, which is located next to the fort, is one of the greatest places to learn about the history of this fort. It contains all of the information on the dynasties that controlled Kangra over the millennia, as well as the history of the hill tribes that inhabited the region.
13. Bhagsu Falls
Bhagsu Falls is a famous site in town and should be included in your Dharamshala tour itinerary. This area, also known as the Bhagsunag Waterfall, is the pinnacle of peacefulness where you may spend some time in silence while listening to nature’s symphony and the singing of the birds. Another reason this area is a popular tourist destination in Dharamshala is the Bhagsunath Temple, which is located near the waterfall. Starting at the Dhauladhar Valley’s foot, the stream flows through the temple before cascading down in a spectacular waterfall. Water dropping from a height of 30 feet is a sight to behold.
If you visit during the monsoons, you will be treated to a beautiful and spectacular vista of the falling waterfalls, which is accentuated by the touch of brilliant greens. The hike to the waterfall will provide you with an unforgettable adventure experience.
Places to Visit near Dharmshala
This city is around 153 kilometres from Dharamshala. Chamba is situated at the junction of the Ravi and Sal Rivers and is home to a variety of ancient temples and palaces. The Suhi Mata Mela and the Minjar Mela are the city’s two biggest yearly fairs and jatras. At this time of year, the city is alive with singing and dancing, and a large number of visitors from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh visit. The temples and palaces here each have their own narrative to tell, and there are local guides who can tell you all about them. The Champavati Temple is one of the important temples in the area, as is the Banni Temple. The Akhand Chandi Palace is the most visited of the palaces. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Church of Scotland, which was founded by Scottish missionaries when they arrived in the area. Taking the wide gauge railway train from Pathankot is one of the simplest methods to go to Chamba.
15. Prashar Lake
Prashar Lake is located in the Himachal district of Mandi, around 166 kilometres from Dharamshala. There are few spots that would provide such a wonderful picturesque vista of the Pir Panjal Range. One of the finest ways to go to the lake is to begin your journey at Bagi Village. The splendour that awaits you en way will captivate you. You may also take a local HRTC bus from Mandi. The lake has a particularly mysterious aura due to the little piece of land that floats on it, and it has yet to be feasible to determine the depth of the lake for unexplained reasons. There’s also no explanation for the island in the centre of the lake. The temple of Prashar Rishi’s pagoda, after whom the lake is called, is another attraction here. It’s a three-story building surrounded by mountains and lovely meadows. To go to the lake, take a train to Kiratpur Sahib and then a local taxi.
Dalhousie is located around 116 kilometres from Dharamshala and is spread across five hills. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the vicinity of Dharamshala. This hill town, located at an elevation of 1970 metres, was developed by the British and the Scottish, and most of the architecture still dates from the colonial era. Some of the residential schools here date back to the British era. As you walk through the Scottish and British buildings that still house government offices or have been transformed into hotels, you won’t believe you’re in India. The little settlement of Khajjiar is a picture-perfect illustration of mountain living. It is regarded as India’s “Mini-Switzerland.” Visit the Panchpula waterfall, which is a sight to behold. Many hikers come here since the Daikund Peak route begins here. The Chamera Dam is an excellent location for photography. Many authors come to Dalhousie from time to time to think, write, and reflect on life.
Naggar is located in the Kullu district, about 217 kilometres from Dharamshala, and is surrounded by the magnificent alpine river Beas. It is a historic town that few people know about, which makes it a fantastic place to appreciate the tranquillity of the hills without the noise of visitors. For almost 1400 years, this hill city was the capital of the Kullu Kingdom and has its own unique culture and way of life. The primary attraction here is Naggar Castle, which was erected over 500 years ago by Raja Sidh Singh and was built from the stones of Rana Bhonsle’s abandoned castle. It is a very uncommon and spectacular example of Pahadi architecture. You should also go to the Nicholas Roreich Art Gallery, which is named after a Russian painter and adventurer who settled here in the twentieth century.
Bir is around 64 kilometres from Dharamshala. You should absolutely go to Bir on your next vacation to Dharamshala, which is recognized for being the world’s second-highest paragliding spot. This Himachal hill town is located in the Joginder Nagar valley and also features a Tibetan refugee camp. It is a well-known hill station in Himachal Pradesh. There are few things more breathtaking than sailing over the mountain peaks and valleys that stretch out for kilometres below you as you enjoy a bird’s eye view of the whole range when paragliding in Bir. The Dharmalaya Institute is one of the most important destinations to visit here. It has an eco-campus that promotes eco-tourism in the area and works to encourage sustainable development. The Deer Park is a must-see since you will see several new types of deer. Visit the Bir Tea Factory for some tea sampling and to purchase some uncommon blends. The Chokling Gompa is a fantastic cave that is perfect for some mild exploring.