Dharamshala region is well known as His Holiness Dalai Lama residency at McLeodganj. Must be for a reason why this part of India is chosen by his holiness.
Dharamshala is a scenic and picturesque hill valley surrounded by the Himalayas. With the Dhauladhar ranges and thick deodar forests in the background, Dharamshala has become an important destination for cultural travelers in India.
This charming destination is not only famous among tourists but among spiritual seekers and religious travelers.
Dharamshala possesses a jaw-dropping landscape, stunning lakes, vibrant monasteries, colorful temples, sparkling waterfalls, and ancient citadels. To make your trip to Dharamshala more fascinating and organized, I have created the list of places to visit in Dharamshala.
But please - don’t just visit them, take time to explore and discover their real beauty and charm. As I fell in love with it.
As a heart of monk learning center, Namgyal Monastery is one of the most popular places to visit in Dharamshala.
With more than 200 monks, this famous monastery is the largest Tibetan temple outside the Tibet. The prayer disks, the décor, the Tibetan-style architecture, and overall color scheme is visually appealing and mesmerizing.
One of the must-visit places in the temple is the prayer room and meditation sessions of monks. It's a fascinating experience.
The monastery is open from 6 am to 7 pm daily
Entrance is for free
You will find a huge diversity of fishes in the lake. It amazes a lot of people that the lake has green water. On the bank of the lake, there is a temple of Lord Shiva. The entire place is surrounded by Deodar trees which make the place look very attractive.
The Lake is quite close to the city of Dharamshala.
Known also as the Bhagsu Falls. This spectacular cascade is located a few kilometers up from the Bhagsunag Temple.
The waterfall is 20 m in height and surrounded by primitive nature landscape. If possible - try to visit it in the monsoon season as then the sparkling cascade of milky white water looks most charming.
Swim in the chilled water and refresh your mind and soul. You can enjoy a cozy picnic near the flow and also try some munchies from the local café.
Bhagsunag is also a well known for its trekking routes.
Entrance is for free
Gyuto Monastery is the house of Karmapa – the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism.
It is quite popular for its research on Buddhist Philosophy, Tantric rituals, and Tantric meditation.
The monastery complex is peaceful and gorgeous and its décor, style, and architecture look astonishing.
The monastery is open daily from 8 am to 11 pm
Entrance is for free
This is one of the temples which are the main destination of visiting pilgrims, monks and a lot of travelers. Tsulag Khang is loved by people owing to its rich aura and the natural surroundings.
It is located in the close-by town of McLeod Ganj which has good accessibility with public transport.
This marvelous historical heritage Kangra Fort is one of the most popular tourist places in Dharamshala.
It is an ancient fort formation dating back to 4th century BC. It is one of the oldest forts in all India and the largest fort in the whole Himalayas region. This royal example of architecture was once a residence of the Royal family of Kangra – Katoch Dynasty.
Open daily from 9 am to 6 pm
Entrance - INR 300 per person for foreigners
Masrur is an old village located in a remote area of Himachal Pradesh. Most of the tourists visit this village to see the architecture of the temples here.
It is very close to Dharamshala and is quite accessible from roadways through Lunj.
Masrur is quite well-known for its rock-cut temple which is also known as Himalayan Pyramid. The set of complex temples is known for their classic Indian architectural style. These temples are around 6-8 centuries old which makes them more extraordinary.
St. John church In The Wilderness
St. John Church, is a well-known Anglican Church built in 1853.
Dedicated to John the Baptist, the church is located close to Dharamshala on the way to McLeodGanj.
The natural charm of the place and the cathedral building attracts plenty of tourists here.
The church is ideally set in the middle of the beautiful deodar forest and has impressive features of neo-Gothic architecture.
Triund hills are better known as the crown jewel of Dharamshala. It is situated in the middle of the Dhauladhar mountain range and gives an exceptional view. Triund is also one of the most popular hiking spots in India which attract a lot of tourists.
You can also hire a mule to take you to the top if you are not active to hike for a long distance.
Jawalamukhi Devi Temple
The well known Jawalamukhi Devi Temple of the “Flaming Goddess” is located nearly 56 km from Dharmashala but worth to visit.
The goddess temple is built over some natural streams of combustible gas. Many people believe that the gas fountains are the manifestation of Goddess Jawalamukhi.
The legend says that these flames originate from the mouth of a demon named Jalandhara, a Daitya King whom Lord Shiva buried under the mountains.
The dome of this beautiful temple is made of gold, and steeples and the door is made of silver plates by Sikh Raja Kharak Singh.