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Masrur Rock cut temple
Written by Amitabh Das on May 20, 2020 Share on

Mountains Calling! Top 11 – Best places to visit near Dharamshala

Lying in the foothills of Dhauladhar Range, which is situated in the lower regions of the mighty Himalayas, is the serene but bustling town of Dharamshala. Surely, there are a number of best places to visit near Dharmashala, which is flocked by tourists, revelers, hippies, and people from all walks of life. Also, this city with its nearby natural escapades caters to your appeal for pristine natural and mesmerizing scenic beauty. Nestled within the dense cedar forested boundaries, which also covers Mcleod Ganj, this town is a mere 18 km drive from Kangra in the foothills of Dhauladhar Range. Excited? So for your ready reference we have curated a list of 11 best places to visit near Dharamshala from this beautiful city which should definitely be on your list!

View of Dhauladhar Range best places to visit near Dharamshala
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Top 11 Best places to visit near Dharamshala in 2020

  • Take a trek to Triund Hill one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala
  • Pay Homage at the Dalai Lama Temple
  • Experience Tibetian way of life at the Norbulingka Institute
  • Visit the Bhagsunag Waterfall
  • Take a trip to Dharamkot – a charming mountain village
  • Go hiking! Do the Hanuman ka Tibba trek
  • Visit the magnificent Masroor Temple
  • St John’s Church in the wilderness one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala
  • Hike the Indrahar Pass one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala
  • Visit the War Memorial and pay homage to our Martyrs
  • Pass by Mc Leod market and offer a silent prayer at the Kalachakra Temple

1. Take a trek to Triund Hill one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala

Situated near Mcleodganj, this beautiful summit offers mesmerizing views of both the Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. Also, the best part about this trek is that it is quite easy and suitable for passionate trekkers barring age, as it has well-defined steps. Lastly, the trek is super adventurous and enlivening and has breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset.

Camping on the way to Triund Trek one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best time for visiting: March-June
Things to do: Stay in camps or Forest rest house, enjoy the sunset, bonfire, starry night dinner
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 18 km from Dharamshala, nearest airport is Gaggal airport (13 km)
Popular places to stay: Nearest village, Bhagsu hosts several basic stay options: GenX great Himalayan resort, Jungle hut, Hotel Bhagsu vie or opt for a camp stay

2. Pay Homage at the Dalai Lama Temple

Mc Leod Gunj which is among the best places to visit near Dharamshala is famous for its scenic beauty and also houses the capital and seat of the Tibetian government in exile. Also, this hill station houses the Dalai Lama temple which is the most revered site for Tibetians in India and is the equivalent of the famed Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. In addition, the interiors of the temple feature lavish murals and if lucky, you might witness the making of a grand sand mandala on the premises. The complex also houses the Namgyal monastery where the monks reside and debate, along with the residence of His holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Buddha in the Dalai Lama temple
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Entry Timings and fee: 9 am – 5:30 pm daily
Ideal time to spend: 3-4 h
Things to do: Place to pray and introspect
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 5-10 min walk from McLeod Ganj taxi stand

3. Take a trip to Norbulingka Institute to get a glimpse of Tibet and one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala

This institute preserves the traditional Tibetan art forms and literature. Also, it has a serene and soothing environment amidst the humming of birds which will provide you a break from the hustles of city life. Surely one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala, it also hosts a temple, Deden Tsuklagkhang which in itself depicts the magnificent Tibetan architecture. It also has a unique losel doll museum and a cafe.

Entrance of Norbulingka Institute one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Entry Timings and fee: 9 am – 5:30 pm daily, Rs 110
Ideal time to spend: 3-4 h
Things to do: Visit the museum, temple, buy the authentic Tibetan artifacts and relish the Tibetan cuisine in the hummingbird cafe
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 30 min drive from McLeod Ganj

4. Go to Bhagsunag Waterfall one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala

It is one of the main attractions near Mc Leod Gunj, known for its sparkling milky water. Moreover, It is almost 20 meters in height and flows in a cascading manner which makes it all more scenic. Lastly, to top it all you can take a trek parallel to the waterfall for a mesmerizing view.

Bhagsunag waterfalls near Mc Leod one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best time for visiting: At the onset of monsoon
Ideal time to spend: 1-2h
Things to do: Relax and enjoy the chilling water to refresh your mind and soul, can also visit the nearby Bhagsunag temple
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 20 min drive from McLeod Ganj

5. Take a trip to Dharamkot – a charming mountain village

In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj, Dharamkot has established itself has the perfect haunt for nature-enthusiasts, trekkers, and hippies with serene ambiance, lush-green forests and sprawling little cafés at its disposal. Firstly, an ideal place to unwind and attain peace and harmony, this place also possesses a couple of monasteries like Tushita and Vipassana meditation center. Secondly, one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala for the mountain lovers and trekkers alike, there are rocky trails leading from this place onwards to Naddi village which boasts of panoramic views of the famous Kangra valley. The beautiful Dal lake, nestled amidst the forests and mountains can also be found en route to Naddi from Mcleodganj.

View from Dharamkot Village near Mc Leod Gunj
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best time for visiting: March-June
Ideal duration of stay: 2 Nights
Things to do: Meditation and yoga, take long walks to enjoy the serene nature                     
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends

6. Go hiking! Do the Hanuman ka Tibba trek

This is one of the best trek in Dharamshala, and you get to visit the highest peak in the Dhauladhar range. However, it does require experience in trekking and nuisances of mountaineering. Further, the trek passes through some very picturesque landscapes. Also, it has a mythological significance that dates back to the Ramayan age and as per legend locals believe that the great lord Hanuman had rested there on his way to deliver the Sanjeevani Booti (medicinal plants) from the Himalayas to bring Lord Laxman back to life.

Hanuman Ka Tibba in Dhauladhar range lesser himalayas - one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best time for visiting: March-June
Ideal time to spend: 3-4 h
Things to do: Mountaineering, hiking
Suited for: Couples, family (without kids), group of friends
Accessibility from: 4.5 km from McLeod Ganj the trek starts

7. Visit the magnificent Masroor Temple one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala

Masroor temple is a must-visit place for all passionate art and history lovers, which dates back to the 8th century AD. It is basically a rock-cut temple that has 15 monolithic mini temples in sculptures depicting various tales from Indian mythology including the great Ramayan. The fine carvings along with minute detailings does captures everyone’s attention and imagination. This is an upcoming best places to visit near Dharamshala and also a popular archaeological site.

Masroor Rock Cut temple complex near Dharamshala
Image Credits: Wikimedia commons

Best time for visiting: Throughout the year
Timings: 9 am to 7 pm
Ideal time to spend: 4-5h
Things to do: Must visit the main shrine of Lord Ram, Sita, and Laxman,
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 32 km from Kangra valley and 42 km from Dharamshala

8. St John’s Church in the wilderness one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala

St John’s in the Wilderness Church is located amidst the famous Deodar forest belt in Forsyth Gunj. Though a bit remote, it can be reached on the way to Mcleodganj from Dharamshala. Built-in 1852, the Anglican church is dedicated to John the Baptist. It boasts architectural style structures inspired by the neo-Gothic period which also uses the remarkable Belgian stained glass windows. A quiet place, wherein one can escape the daily commotion while indulging in a pursuit to find the calmness of mind and introspect.

St John’s Church in the wilderness one of best places to visit near Dharamshala
Image Credits: Unsplash

Best time for visiting: Throughout the year
Things to do: Unwind yourself, Pray and Relax
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 8 km from Dharamshala

9. Hike the Indrahar Pass one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala

An extremely popular trekking route, Indrahar Pass, located 4,342 m (14,245 ft) above mean sea level, offers a breathtaking view to everyone who makes it to the challenging summit. However, despite the odds, Throngs of tourists make it a point to visit this awesome destination, as it is located in a close proximity to the city of Dharamshala. The scenic trail which offers an unhindered access to the surrounding natural beauty connects the two districts of Himachal Pradesh – Kangra and Chamba. It is also 3-6 hrs away from Lahesh caves, another crowd-favorite trekking site, and one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala.

On the way to Indrahar pass along Dhauladhar ridge
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best time for visiting: May-October
Things to do: Unwind into the beautiful picturesque landscapes while trekking
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: Takes around 4 days of trekking from McLeod-Ganj

10. Visit the War Memorial and pay homage to our Martyrs

Located in a picturesque setting amidst lush green pine forests, the War Memorial, in Dharamshala, commemorates the brave soldiers of the Motherland, who valiantly gave their lives while fighting for the nation in the various wars since Independence and from different UN-peacekeeping missions. To immortalize them, three large black marble panels are present wherein the names of the Bravehearts are inscribed. Also, located in close quarters is the GPG college, which boasts quite a beautiful campus itself. Lastly, the presence of café’s and small restaurants, provide the many tourists with a quick and delicious refill with a taste to relish.

Best time for visiting: Throughout the year
Timing and ticket price: 8 am-8 pm, Rs 10/person
Ideal time to spend: 1-2h
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 6 min drive from Dharamshala

11. Pass by Mc Leod market and offer a silent prayer at the Kalachakra Temple

Located within the bustling market premises of Mcleod Ganj, is one of the most beautiful and popular Buddhist temples Kalchakra. The literal translation of the temple name is the “Wheel of Time” and it incorporates magnificent Tibetan style architectural entities and murals. The temple façade is decorated in a multitude of bright and intense colors and also the temple itself is surrounded by a cordon of artistically-inscribed glittering prayer wheels. The temple is primarily used by the Dalai Lamas as the location for public teaching and is one of the most popular places to visit in Dharamshala area.

Kalachakra temple in Mc Leod Gunj
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best time for visiting: All round the year
Ideal time to spend: 15-20 mins
Things to do: Pray, spin wheels and admire the architecture.
Suited for: Couples, family, group of friends
Accessibility from: 5 km from Dharamshala

So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to this culture and nature getaway right now. Also, do check out website pickyourtrail.com for an amazing offering to similar destinations.

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