The Land of the Lamas
|State||: Himachal Pradesh|
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station Tourism, Heritage Tourism|
|Weekend Getaways||: McLeodganj, Bir(30km), Palampur(35km).|
|Area||: 29 square kilometers|
|Population||: 19,124 (as per 2001 census)|
|Best Tourist Season||: May to October|
|What to buy||: Tibetan handicrafts, Thangkas, Carpets and garments.|
|Adventure sports||: Paragliding at Bir,|
|Food Specialties||: Momo|
Dharamshala, located 17km North-East to the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh offers a cross-section of the worldwide Tibetan community. Often referred to as the ‘Little Lhasa of India’, this town of Dharamshala brims with the sights and sounds of the Tibetan traditions and culture.
Nestled on a spike of the Dhauladhar range or the Pir Panjal region of the Outer Himalayas, Dharamshala is simply irresistible. It is covered by thick woods of oak and coniferous trees and is enfolded on its three sides by the Dhauladhar ranges. The peculiar geographical location of Dharamshala offers views of the snow capped Dhauladhar range above and the Kangra valley below.
Dharamshala is not only the seat of the exiled Tibetan Government, but also is the residence of the spiritual leader, Dalai Lama. The town also houses a number of organizations and monasteries who preserve and continue the aspects of Tibetan culture.
Dharamshala is divided into two distinct parts- Lower Dharamshala and Upper Dharamshala. While the lower part of the town is a bustling commercial hub of Indian traders, the upper section retains a colonial flavor of lifestyle with its modeled suburbs of McLeodganj and Forsythganj.
The town of McLeodganj has many things to offer. From ancient forts and monuments to old Buddhist Gompas) educational and religious centers), the town basks in the glory of the Tibetan cultures and conventions and is a must-see for the tourists to Dharamshala.
Dharamshala has become the hub of Tibetan handicrafts, thangkas, carpets, garments, etc. A trek through the landscaped township, with views of snowy peaks, deodar and pine forests, tea gardens and beautiful hills has also become a popular activity.
The best place to shop in Dharamshala is the Kotwali Bazaar. It is representative of the actual color and lifestyle of the Tibetan community of the town.