India TravelDharmashala Hill Station - The Little Tibet In India

Dharmashala Hill Station – The Little Tibet In India


As soon as the name of Dharmashala is taken one word is remembered by everyone and that is Cricket. Nobody knew about the Hill station present over there, but if talked about Indo- Pak matches or IPL then they will recognize this place. But the unique thing about Dharmashala Hill station is its bewitching hills, far spread tea gardens, pine, and deodar forests. It looks more mesmerizing when covered with milky white snow and mountain peaks which look like a cherry on the cake. The beautiful view of Kangra Valley can be enjoyed here. Lot more famous destinations are worth watching at Dharmashala Hill Station for couples and tourist all around the world.

Dharmashala Hill Station is the headquarter of Kangra District. Dharamshala is also known as Little Lhasa. Dharmashala is 18 km away from Kangra situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It was in the past known as Bhagsu. Dharmshala has developed into a worldwide and profoundly slanted town. It is likewise known for the living arrangement of Dalai Lama, the Nobel Laureate of the city of McLeodGanj. This is the motivation behind why Dharmshala Hill Station is affectionately likewise called ‘Little Tibet.’ Dharamshala has been chosen as one of the hundred Indian smart cities to be created as a proficient city under PM Narendra Modi’s Smart Cities Mission. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh declared Dharamshala as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh state on 19 January 2017.

History of Dharmashala Hill Station

Dharmashala is the compound word of Dharam and Shala which means a shelter or rest house for spiritual pilgrims. Until the British Raj, Dharamshala and its surrounding area were ruled by the Katoch Dynasty of Kangra, a royal family that ruled the region for two millennia. The illustrious family still keeps a home in Dharamsala, known as ‘ ‘Clouds End Villa’. Under the British Raj, the districts were a piece of the unified territory of Punjab and were led by the governors of Punjab from Lahore. In 1848, the area now known as Dharamshala was occupied by the British. In 1848, the area now known as Dharamshala was annexed by the British.

Gurkhas from past

In 1860, the 66th Gurkha Light Infantry was moved from Kangra, Himachal Pradesh to Dharamshala. An ideal position for the new base was found on the slopes of the Dhauladhar Hills, near the site of a Hindu sanctuary, or Dharamshala. This was the commencement of the legend of the Gurkhas, also known as the ‘Bravest of the Brave’. The Gurkhas referred to Dharamshala as ‘Bhagsu’ and referred to themselves as Bhagsuwalas. Dharmshala was hit by a tremendous earthquake in 1905. After this earthquake, the new construction of Dharmshala started again. In 1959, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama came to India after the Chinese conquest of Tibet and was offered refuge in Mcleodganj.

The 14th Dalai Lama

In 1960, the Tibetan displaced people began moving to Dharmshala and henceforth, shaped their Government in a state of banishment. Today, this slope station has been partitioned into two sections, the lower part is called as the business base where local people remain while the upper part is overflowing with Tibetan shops and bistros alongside religious community and resorts. This upper part is called as McLeodGanj and Forsythe Ganj. Mcleodganj is named after David Mcleod, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab.

Places to Visit Dharmashala Hill Station

The total geographical area of Dharmashala Hill Station has stretched around 27.60 square km and has an elevation of 4780 ft above the sea level.

Dharamshala Map

1. Bhagsu waterfall: The alluring waterfall is situated around 11 km from Dharmashala. One can find beautiful stones on the footmark. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Dharamshala and is known for its old temple, a freshwater spring, and slate quarry a waterfall surrounded by stunning rocks and trees.

Bhagsu waterfall, Dharmashala

Tourists can take a dip in the cool water of this fall and visit the Bhagsunag temple to seek the blessing of Lord Shiva.

2. Dalai Lama Temple Complex: From McloedGanj bus stand, it is present at a distance of 3-4 km. It comprises of the 14th Dalai Lama monastery and his residence.

Dalai Lama Temple Complex
Dalai Lama Temple Complex

Several tourists from different part of the world gather in this spiritual place for inheriting eternal peace from this place.

3. Norbulingka Institute: This institute was founded in the year 1988. This Institute was dedicated to preserving the culture of Tibet.

Norbulingka Institute, Dharmashala

The name Norbulingka is taken from the name of the residence of Dalai Lama in Tibet. That preserved memento includes sculpture, Thangka paintings, and woodwork.

4. HPCA Stadium: In 2003, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium was constructed. It has international importance and serves as the home ground for IPL teams especially Kings Eleven Punjab.

HPCA Stadium

The most tempting Cricket Stadium in the world so far. The mountains covered with snow can be seen from the cricket ground which adds the beauty of the stadium.

5. Jwalamukhi Temple: From Dharamshala, this temple is situated at a distance of 53 km. Jwalamukhi Temple is devoted to the Divine of Light. The temple does contain any kind of statue of the god which is the most interesting and strange thing about this temple.

Jwalamukhi Temple, Dharmashala
Jwalamukhi Temple, Dharmashala

The continuous burning of light is considered as the existence of the Divine of Light. 

6. Triund: It is approximately 17 km away from Dharmashala and present at the height of 2,827 m above the sea level. People love visiting this spot as the superb snowline of Dhauladhar range starts just 5 km from Triund.

Triund, Dharmashala

Those who want to trek or enjoy a picnic, Triund is the best place for them. This place is the crown of Dharamshala, situated on the edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range.

7. John’s Church: This beautiful church is built between the valley of Mcleodganj and is located around 8 km away from Dharamshala. It is dedicated to Lord Elgin, ex viceroy of India.

John’s Church, Dharmashala

The building of the church is so powerful that it survived the 1905 Kangra earthquake, which killed around 19,800 people and destroyed most buildings in Kangra, Mcleodganj, and Dharamshala.

Also Read: Dalhousie – Switzerland Of India

Modes of Reaching Dharamshala Hill Station

The cool and pleasant weather of Dharamshala is one reason why many travellers visit this place to beat the heat in summer and to experience snowfall during winters. The best time to visit Dharamshala is from March to July especially during the months of the sizzling summer sun. One can also visit Dharmshala around February or March to attend the Buddhist Festival of Losar. The time from Mid July to September are the best for romantic couples as it rains during this time.

Kangra rail map

By Airways:

Gaggle which is approx. 13 km away from Dharmashala and the nearest airport to it. From New Delhi, you can take the various flight of Spicejet, IndiGo, Jet Airways to reach Gaggal.

By Railways:

Pathankot railway station is the nearest railway station to Dharamshala, which is located at a distance of around 85km. The Kangra Valley Railway interfaces Pathankot to Kangra and Joginder Nagar. This is a normal administration, which will give you an incredibly moderate yet picturesque experience. From outside the railroad station, you can take cabs or taxis to reach anyplace in Dharamshala.

By Roadways:

Travellers can travel through Himachal Pradesh State Bus services. Further, you can take a bus or hire a cab to reach Dharamshala. From Delhi and Shimla various Volvo and sleeper transports are accessible at intervals for Dharamshala. You can get immediate transports from Chandigarh, Jalandhar, and Amritsar.

Hotel at Dharmashala Hill Station

Dharamshala is filled with several private hotels and tourist lodges that provide a peaceful and safe stay for the guests. The hotels are divided into categories like stars, ratings, standard and budget hotels, so the tourists can choose the best accommodation according to their budget and convenience. We have provided the list of hotels in Dharamshala for your convenience, please have a look.

Hotel Name Distance from Dharmashala Starting Price(INR)*
Treebo Trend Gk Conifer 6.8 km 2,200
Vaikunth Hotel 3.5 km 1,500 – 2,800
Karnika Resort 5.4 km 1,300 – 1,700
Norbu House Hotel 3.5 km 4,600 – 5,800
G K Guest House 0.0 km 1,200


Treebo Trend Gk Conifer, Dharamshala
Treebo Trend Gk Conifer, Dharmashala

Prices may vary from sites to sites and may depend upon the availability of the room.

In the end, we can only say that be an enthusiast, just relax and explore different places and cities because life is short, do stuff that matters to you the most. We can tell you that by visiting Dharmashala Hill station, you will be blissfull.

Also Read: Pahalgam – Hill Station Of Jammu And Kashmir

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