|Tsuglagkhang||Positioned in the southern part of the city on the Temple Road|
|Namgyal Monastery||Stationed within the Tsuglagkhang Temple Complex of Mcleodganj|
|Nechung Monastery||Located in Tsuglagkhang at the base of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives|
|Mani Lakhang Stupa|
|Namgyalma Stupa||Located right in the center of the city Mcleodganj|
|Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa||Stationed along the steep hillside nearly 300 meters below Mcleodganj under the shelter of the Dhauladhar Mountains|
|Gyuto Monastery||At Mcleodganj close to the Tsuglagkhang of His Holiness Dalai Lama|
|St. John in the Wilderness||Located at ForsythGanj on the way to Mcleodganj from Dharamsala|
|Chamunda||Located approximately 38 kilometers from Mcleodganj and 15 kilometers from Dharamsala|
|Triund Hill||A 9 kilometers trek from Mcleodganj will reach you to the crest of the Triund Hill|
|Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts|
|Library of Tibetan Works and Archives||Located at ‘Gangchen Kyishong’ in Dharamsala|
|Norbulingka Institute||Located at Sidhpur near Dharamsala|
|Naam Art Gallery||Located at Sidhbari on the Chamunda Road|
|Peak Art Gallery||Situated on the Temple Road right in the heart of Mcleodganj|
|Tibet Museum||Inside the Tsuglagkhang Complex|
|Tushita Meditation Centre||Located at a small village named Dharamkot near Mcleodganj|
|Dal Lake||Positioned at the distance of approximately 4 kilometers from Mcleodganj near the village Tota Rani in Kangra District|
|Hanuman Ka Tibba||Positioned right in front of Mcleodganj|
|Bhagsu Falls||Just 2 kilometers from Mcleodganj|
Tsuglagkhang; the seat of the ‘Tibetan Government-in-Exile’ and the blessed abode of His Highness Dalai Lama is the most prominent tourist attraction of Mcleodganj. Positioned in the southern part of the city on the Temple Road Tsuglagkhang is the grand temple complex that apart from the holy manor of Dalai Lama also accommodates his administrative office, the main temple, Namgyal Monastery, Nechung Monastery, meditation hall, museum, library and Namgyal Café. Also identified by the moniker; ‘Dalai Lama’s Temple Complex’, Tsuglagkhang happens to be the biggest Tibetan temple existing outside Tibet. The monastery at Tsuglagkhang trains the monks in the Buddhists religious rituals while the large meditation hall provides tranquil and pious environs to ruminate and introspect. This meditation hall adorned with some of the outstanding statuettes, chortens covered with innumerable prayer flags and Buddhist thangka prayer wheels is truly a blissful berth of spiritual ecstasy. The elegantly designed statues of Lord Buddha, Chenrezig, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), Shakyamuni, Avalokite?vara, Goddess Green Tara, Kalachakra & Viswamata, etc particularly fascinate the pilgrims as well as the tourists. Kalachakra Temple of Tsuglagkhang is noted for its peerless murals whereas the Tsuglagkhang Library is exalted for its exceptional compilation of 225 volumes of Buddhist scriptures ‘Tangyur’. Tsuglagkhang, easily accessible by everybody (except for the house of Dalai Lama) provides you a clear insight into the Tibetan religion and culture. The area where Tsuglagkhang is located is known as Gangchen Kyishong or Gangkyi amongst the natives.
The cardinal Namgyal Monastery established by Sonam Gyatso; the Third Dalai Lama in the year 1575 and originally housed in the ‘Potala Palace’ of Lhasa is the personal monastery of Dalai Lama that was relocated to Dharamshala after 1959. One of the two monasteries stationed within the Tsuglagkhang Temple Complex of Mcleodganj is named ‘The Namgyal Monastery’. Christened after the Buddhist deity of Long Life, the Namgyal Monastery seated in the proximity with the domicile of ‘Dalai Lama in exile’ is one of the premier Buddhist religious centers in Mcleodganj. Nested against the towering backdrop of the lofty mountain ranges of Dhauladhar amidst the verdant pine, oak and deodar forests, the Namgyal Monastery reveals the typical Tibetan order of architecture. Exquisitely decorated with Buddhist prayer wheels and prayer flags this monastery enshrines a huge idol of Lord Buddha seated in the conventional meditating position. The chief objective of the Namgyal Monastery is to sustain and propagate the teachings and practices of Buddhism and maintain the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Today the monastery houses about 200 monks who study the Buddhist Sutras and Tantras and also pursue the modern studies of Tibetan and English Languages. Apart from studying, these monks also indulge in the activities such as carving sculptures, creating colored sand mandalas, chanting prayers and performing sacred dances.
The original Nechung Monastery located in Lhasa served as the abode of the State Oracle of Tibet, the Nechung Dorjee – ‘Kuten la’. Also identified as the ‘Sungi Gyelpoi Tsenkar’ which means ‘the demon fortress of the oracle king’ the Nechung Monastery housed the protector of the Horpas; Pehar. The State Oracle Kuten la was always consulted by the Dalai Lama before taking any important administrative decisions. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, six monks from the original Nechung Monastery fled to India with Dalai Lama and settled at Mcleodganj. Henceforward the Nechung Tradition was continued in India here. The present day Nechung Monastery of Mcleodganj is located in Tsuglagkhang at the base of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. Built over the seven years between 1977 and 1984 the Nechung Monastery today houses approximately sixty monks. These monks are given the complete training in the Buddhist religion and culture. Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling of Hawaii is also affiliated with the Nechung Monastery of Mcleodganj and preserves the Nechung Tradition.
Mani Lakhang Stupa
Mani Lakhang Stupa of Mcleodganj built under the command and supervision of the Third Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche; an ‘Avalokiteshvara’ is one of the sacred Buddhist places of worship scattered across the land of Himachal Pradesh. Established in the year 2001, the Mani Lakhang Stupa that is held in much high esteem amongst the followers of Buddhism is regarded as one of the top priority sight seeing destinations of Mcleodganj.
Namgyalma Stupa located right in the center of the city Mcleodganj is a Buddhist place of worship erected in the honored memory of the Tibetan soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting for the free Tibet. This arresting dome-shaped edifice carved out of sandstone is fashioned after the Stupa structure prevalent during the 3rd century AD through the governance of the legendary emperor Ashoka. Namgyalma Stupa that enshrines a magnificent idol of Sakyamuni Buddha is especially cherished amongst the devotees as well as tourists for its peaceful and soothing premises and the touching spiritual ambience. The Stupa is encircled by several prayer wheels and as per the prevailing custom the devotees circle the Stupa chanting their prayers and rotating the prayer wheels. Namgyalma Stupa of Mcleodganj is a monument that metaphorically symbolizes the struggle of chained human beings against the odds of daily life. This Stupa is frequently visited both by the devotees as well as the tourists. Even the tourists from foreign destinations pay a visit to the Namgyalma Stupa in order to study the customs and rituals of the Tibetan culture in India. The Namgyalma Stupa is open the whole day and there is no fixed or restrained timing for prayers. The Tibetans dwelling in Mcleodganj believe that anything that descends upon the Namgyalma Stupa gets purified; hence, even the rain that falls on the Stupa is believed to be blessed. Moreover, they also hold the faith that a visit to the Namgyalma Stupa will cleanse all your sins and even the animals who wander around the Stupa get purified.
Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa
Originally located in Tibet and established in 18th century AD by Rev. Yongzin Yeshi Gyaltsen; the tutor of the 8th Dalai Lama, the Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa was turned to ruins during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Years later in 1992 AD the reconstruction work of Dip Tse-Chok Ling Monastery in India was undertaken and in September 1992, the partially completed monastery was reopened under the leadership of the 6th reincarnation of YYG; Ven Tenzin Gelek Rinpoche. The Government of Tibet in Exile supported and also patronized the regeneration of the Gompa. Presently stationed along the steep hillside nearly 300 meters below Mcleodganj under the shelter of the Dhauladhar Mountains, the Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa is a home to 25 Buddhist monks out of which five monks belonged to the original Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa. Built in the traditional Gompa style in the midst of the resplendent dense woods marked with undisturbed concord and composure, this monastery is a perfect gateway from the hustle bustle of daily life. Mounted with a dazzling golden roof, the central hall of this Gompa enshrines a beautiful statue of Sakyamuni. Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa is particularly renowned for its two large drums wrapped with goatskin. An additional glamour of this holy place is its custom of creating sand mandalas and butter sculptures on the occasion of Losar Festival and retaining them till the next Losar.
The Gyuto Monastery is the university that specializes in the study of Buddhist Tantric rituals, arts, Tantric meditation and Buddhist philosophy. Established in the year 1474 by Jetsun Kunga Dhondup; the chief disciple of the first Dalai Lama in eastern Tibet, the Gyuto Monastery works in the disciplines of the Buddhist lineages including Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka. For past 500 years, the Gyuto monks have been practicing the Buddhist Tantric texts and passing them over to the next generation without fail. Subsequent to the communist Chinese invasion of the year 1959, the Gyuto Monastery was re-established in India at Mcleodganj close to the Tsuglagkhang of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The present day Gyuto Monastery is revered as a popular pilgrim destination of Buddhists and the domicile of Karmapa; the leader of the ‘Karma Kagyu’ school. Also referred to as TCV School, the Gyuto Monastery accommodates a spectacular statue of Sakyamuni Buddha placed in a tiny chamber.
St. John in the Wilderness
St. John in the Wilderness Church located at ForsythGanj on the way to Mcleodganj from Dharamsala is an Anglican church dedicated to and christened after Saint John. Set in the midst of dense deodar forest, St. John in the Wilderness was built in the year 1852. Structured in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture, this church is known far and wide for its Belgian stained-glass windows that were donated by Mary Louisa Lambton; the wife of Lord Elgin. The unyielding structure of this church has also survived the devastating Kangra Earthquake of 1905. Even though, the spire and the bell tower of the church were destroyed in that dire phenomenon. Aftermath the earthquake in 1915, a new bell built by Mears and Stainbank was brought from England and installed in the porch of the church. Lord Elgin; the ex Governor General of Canada lays buried in the churchyard of St. John in the Wilderness.
Chamunda Devi Temple located approximately 38 kilometers from Mcleodganj and 15 kilometers from Dharamsala is a Hindu shrine dedicated to the Goddess Durga who killed the demons Chanda and Munda. Estimated to be nearly 700 years old, this temple is also reckoned in Himachal Pradesh by the name ‘Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham’. As the legend goes, the Goddess Chamunda Herself appeared in front of a Brahmin devotee in his dream and directed him to unearth her idol and build a temple in her honor. The grand entrance of the temple is guarded by the statues of Lord Hanuman and Lord Bhairav. The presiding deity, i.e. the Goddess Chamunda is inaccessible for the visitors as the idol of the Goddess is kept concealed under a cover. The Chamunda Devi Temple is adjoined by a big water tank where devotees take a holy dip and get rid of their sins.
In the rear of the temple there is a cave where a Shiva Lingam is enshrined. Moreover, the Chamunda Temple also houses a number of images of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The devotees of Goddess Chamunda hold a belief that those who pay homage to her will be granted with their desired boon. The Goddess Chamunda Temple of Dharamsala receives thousands of pilgrims every year and the temple premises are particularly cram packed at the time of Navaratri Festival. The Chamunda Devi Temple located amidst the verdant woodlands offer a staggering prospect of far flung mountain ranges. As you visit the Chamunda Devi temple you will come across many saints meditating in the temple premises. Tourists can buy pottery items, wood carvings and toys, tea, honey and such other souvenirs from the handicraft center run in the Chamunda Devi Temple area.
‘Triund Hill’ is the name of one of the peaks in Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges suspended at the altitude of about 2,827 meters above the sea level. Extremely popular amongst the mountaineers and adventure enthusiasts, Triund is a well known tourist attraction and an excursion spot in the proximity with Mcleodganj. A 9 kilometers trek from Mcleodganj will reach you to the crest of the Triund Hill. Nestled right in the middle of nature’s banquet, Triund is acclaimed for its unpolluted environment, fresh air and undulate ambience. The arresting panoramas of the Moon Peak and Indra Pass perceived from the Triund Hill are unquestionably mesmerizing and entrancing. This eco-friendly and unspoiled locale in the lap of Mother Nature is ideal for camping. The trek from Mcleodganj to Triund takes about 4 hours. Hiking through the lush oak and cedar clad Himalayan Forests is certainly an experience of lifetime. An additional attraction for the adventure seekers is the snowline at Ilaka; the nearest Himalayan snowline from Mcleodganj. The best time for trekking in the Triund Hill is from April to June and from September to November.
Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts
The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, also known as ‘TIPA’ is the famous academy of Mcleodganj founded by the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso in August 1959. After the 1959 Tibetan uprising when Dalai Lama took shelter at Dharamsala in India, he established The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in order to preserve the artistic heritage of Tibet. Honored to be one of the earliest founded institutions in India by Dalai Lama, TIPA aims at preserving, sustaining and promoting Tibet’s exclusive tradition of performing arts. The chief areas covered by TIPA include the traditional Tibetan opera, music, dance and drama.
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
‘The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives’ also known as LTWA is a Tibetan library located at ‘Gangchen Kyishong’ in Dharamsala. Founded by the 14th Dalai Lama His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso on 11th June 1970, this Tibetan Library is one of the most extraordinary assemblages of Tibetan works in the whole world. LTWA is the place where the Tibetan sources relocated from Tibet at the time of 1959 escape are preserved. LTWA houses important Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts as well as the archives related to the history, culture, art and politics of Tibet. The library possesses over 80,000 manuscripts, documents and books, more than 600 thangkas, 6,000 photographs, innumerable statues and artifacts of Buddhist legacy and many other articles. The principal objective of the LTWA is to present an all-inclusive resource of Tibetan culture and facilitate research and the exchange of knowledge in this field. A wonderful museum has been put up on the third floor of the library where some of the outstanding artifacts such as a carved three-dimensional wooden Mandala of ‘Avalokiteshvara’ and some of the relics from 12th century are preserved.
‘The Norbulingka Institute’ named as well as designed after ‘Norbulingka’; the traditional summer house of the Dalai Lamas in Lhasa is an institute devoted to the preservation and promotion of the Tibetan language and Tibetan cultural heritage. Established by the 14th Dalai Lama in the year 1988, the Norbulingka Institute is located at Sidhpur near Dharamsala. The most noteworthy bureaus run by the Norbulingka Institute include the Academy of Tibetan Culture, Centre for Arts, the Literary and Cultural Research Centre, library and publications department, etc. In 1995, the ‘Norbulingka Foundation’ was established that works with the target of preserving the ancient Tibetan arts and crafts. The Centre for Arts at Norbulingka Institute provides training in Tibetan thangka painting, statue making, appliqué, tailoring, printing, wood carving, metal craft and so on and so forth. The Academy of Tibetan Culture offers a six year course in traditional Tibetan studies. Apart from that, the Norbulingka Institute also runs two Tibetan retreats; one of them is located at Mcleodganj near the abode of Dalai Lama. Norbulingka Institute also houses a two-storied temple ‘Deden Tsuglakhang’. This Happiness Temple stationed amidst the Japanese Norbulingka garden is also reckoned for its 1,173 murals of Lord Buddha, frescoes and drawings chronicles of the life episodes of the 14th Dalai Lama and the 4 meters high copper statue of Sakyamuni Buddha enshrined in the main hall.
Naam Art Gallery
Naam Art Gallery, located at Sidhbari on the Chamunda Road is the permanent exhibition of the paintings created by Elizabeth Buschmann and Alfred W. Hallett. Elizabeth Buschmann is a professional German painter presently settled in Dharamsala. She has excelled in the paintings made from water colors and acrylic. Alfred W. Hallett who is particularly famed for his oil paintings is an English painter who lived at Dharamsala for more than 40 years and earned tremendous esteem in Himachal Pradesh. He was totally in love with the culture and the scenic beauty of Himachal Pradesh which also comprises the central theme of his paintings. Naam Art Gallery is certainly a tribute to Alfred W. Hallett who died at Dharamshala in the year 1986. Many of his paintings displayed at the Naam Art Gallery are today owned by the Government of Himachal Pradesh. This art gallery of Mcleodganj can be visited from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm all days of the week except for Monday.
Peak Art Gallery
The Peak Art Gallery situated on the Temple Road right in the heart of Mcleodganj is commended for featuring the contemporary paintings and photographs contrived by the communities from Tibetan exile dwelling in India as well as abroad. This art gallery encourages and promotes the works of fresh Tibetan contemporary artists in their study and better representation of the complex themes related to their refugee identity. These themes get expressed here through various mediums such as watercolor, oil, mixed media etc. Every now and then The Peak Art Gallery also organizes events like lectures, poetry readings, workshops etc. The gallery can be visited from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
The ‘Tibet Museum’ of Mcleodganj established inside the Tsuglagkhang Complex is a marvelous museum that manifests the history, tradition and culture of the Tibetan civilization. This small museum is accredited to be the cardinal modern day Museum of Dharamsala illustrating the original Tibetan structural order in the synthesis with the concurrent architectural style. The museum exhibits a precious collection of manuscripts, rare historical documents, Thangka images, pottery items and other Tibetan handicrafts. The cultural and artistic ingenuity of the Tibetan people showcased in the Tibet Museum leave the visitors absolutely dumb founded. Apart from the artistic excellence, what draws attention is the evidences of the historical events associated with the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the escape of Dalai Lama and the formation of Mcleodganj; the Little Lhasa elaborated in much detail. The multimedia section of the Tibet Museum displays videos and photos related to the legendary migration of the Tibetans to India. At the Tibet Museum you can also buy paintings, handicrafts and artifacts sold in the museum shops. The museum can be visited from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday and rupees five are charged as the entry fee.
Tushita Meditation Centre
Tushita Meditation Centre located at a small village named Dharamkot near Mcleodganj is one of the most exalted spiritual centers of this domain where Buddhist Meditation and Tantra can be studied and practiced. Courses in Tibetan Mahayana Tradition are offered here. Tushita Meditation Centre was founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe in the year 1972. Today, the meditation center is managed by Lama Thubten Yeshe’s disciple Lama Zopa Rinpoche. They also run a Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Tushita Meditation Centre offers several introductory, intermediate and advanced courses in mediation and learning Buddhism. Spending a few days in the composed and peaceful environment of Tushita and establishing a harmony between the nature and your soul helps you know your real self better. Meditating and introspecting in the tranquil and spiritual atmosphere of the Tushita Center is undoubtedly a must have experience.
Dal Lake, positioned at the distance of approximately 4 kilometers from Mcleodganj near the village Tota Rani in Kangra District is a tiny mid-altitude lake distinguished for its breathtaking scenery and pristine ambience. Perched at the altitude of 1775 meters above the sea level, this Dal Lake of Himachal Pradesh is named after the celebrated Dal Lake of Kashmir; the beauty personified. Nurturing different kinds of attractive fish, the water of this lake bears the emerald green tint. Enclosed by the thick deodar, pine and oak forests; the Dal Lake also serves as the base camp for the trekkers in Mcleodganj. An additional feature of the Dal Lake consists in its religious aspect. A small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is positioned on the banks of the Dal Lake which is revered a lot by the local tribes of this region. It is commonly believed here that if you bathe in the holy waters of this lake the blessings of Lord Shiva will descend upon you. An annual fair is held at the Dal Lake in the month of August or September and the people from Gurkha and Girth communities chiefly throng this berth to attend this fair.
Hanuman Ka Tibba
Hanuman Ka Tibba positioned right in front of Mcleodganj is the highest peak of the Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges. Highly praised for the awe-inspiring panoramas it offers, Hanuman Ka Tibba is a perfect trekking destination for the adventure seekers. Also reckoned by the appellation ‘the white mountain’, this pinnacle nestled at the elevation of 5639 meters above the sea level yields the spectacular vistas of the Pir Panjal ranges. Tourists pay a visit to Hanuman Ka Tibba all twelve months of the year.
Bhagsu Falls, located at the distance of just 2 kilometers from Mcleodganj is an extremely beautiful site and a must visit attraction around Dharamsala. Reckoned for its ancient Bhagsu temple, a fresh water spring, enchanting waterfalls and the slate mines, Bhagsu Falls; a serene spot in the fondling cradle of nature is a dream location for the voyagers looking for pacification. You can take a dip in the rejuvenating waters of the Bhagsu Falls and enjoy the delectable Tibetan cuisine in the cafeterias and restaurants around.
Dharamkot is one of the most treasured picnic spots for the tourists of Mcleodganj and Dharamshala. Located just few kilometers from the town, Dharamkot is stationed on the crescendo of a hill that affords a panoramic view of the Kangra Valley. One can reach Dharamkot by an easy and uncomplicated trek from Bhagsu. Various small food junctures and shops are situated on the way to Dharamkot that will get you a quick relaxation and revitalization. The scenery perceived from Dharamkot is simply breathtaking and you can also meet the Gaddi folks here.