20 Best Things To Do In Dharamshala (2023)
Dharamshala, located in the upper Himalayas has emerged as a beautiful destination for couples, families, and a group of friends to spend a peaceful time and create some exciting memories by doing some of the best activities here. There are myriad of best things to do in Dharamshala that can make your trip quite interesting and fun-filled. Touring around the wonderful monasteries and temples, enjoying the scenic beauty of nature, and getting involved with activities like trekking, paragliding, and a lot more in Dharamshala will make your vacation quite amazing. As you read further, you can explore some of the best things to do in Dharamshala.
An Insight Into The Peaceful Destination, Dharmashala
Dharamshala or Bhagsu is a magnificent hill station in the upper Himalayas that is known for its natural beauty and numerous tourist attractions. Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh is blessed with many beautiful things that make travelers a must-see place in India. This hillside city in Himachal Pradesh is home to the holy Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-exile.
Some of the stunning places that could keep visitors entertained and enchanted are the Dal Lake, Kangra Fort, Jwalamukhi Devi Temple, Bhagsu Waterfalls, Tea Gardens, and Dalai Lama Temple Complex. You can be engaged in a lot of things like paragliding, camping, and trekking. When you are in Dharamshala, try to catch a cricket match at HPCA stadium( if possible). You will surely enjoy your stay here in this lovely hill station.
20 Best Things To Do In Dharamshala
1. Visit Monasteries And Experience Peace
Dharamshala is known for many monasteries that give you an instant feeling of utter peace and tranquility when you enter them first. Some of the major monasteries located in Dharamshala are Gyuto monastery, Dalai Lama Temple, Namgyal Monastery, Nechung Monastery, and Tsechokling Gompa. You will find many stupas, statues, and temples of Lord Budha in these monasteries. When you visit these monasteries, you will not only get a chance to relax and meditate but also get a wonderful scope to experience inner peace. The beautifully decorated trees and flowers all around the monasteries will surely take your breath away for a while.
2. Go For Paragliding At Bir Billing
Do you love adventure sports? If yes, then Dharamshala has a lot to offer you. You can go paragliding at Bir Billing which is one of the best adrenaline-rushing adventure activities in Himachal Pradesh. Many tours and travel agencies in Dharamshala and Bir Billing offer the service of paragliding. The hilly terrain of Dharamshala makes it one of the famous places for such exciting adventurous sports. The best time to try out paragliding here is from March to June or during the summers when the wind blows with balance.
3. Visit Tibetian Museum And Know About Tibetian People
Inside the Dalai Lama Complex, there is an excellent museum that depicts the atrocities faced by the Tibetan people since the Chinese occupation. You can know about the culture of Tibetan people and know how they are not safe in their country and what made them come here and make their home. In the Tibetan museum, you can find stories of many temples that are being destroyed, and people being punished for speaking their language or hanging a portrait of the Dalai Lama in their homes.
Since the Chinese occupation, thousands of Tibetan people came to India from Tibet to keep themselves safe and have a better life. You will see portraits of Dalai Lama’s holiness everywhere in the museum and it would be a great feeling to see and know about Tibetan refugees running their successful businesses here.
4. Go On Trekking To Triund, Kareri Lake, and Lahesh Caves
One of the best things to do in Dharamshala is to go on trekking. Several places in Dharamshala would give you a scope to experience trekking and hiking and witness the stunning view from the hilltop.
Triund, located in the north of Dharamshala is one of the best places where you can go on trekking. With Dhauladhar mountains on one side and Kangra Valley on the other side, Triund Hill offers you a spectacular view. You can travel to Bhagsu Nag and then start your trek from there. You will be crossing through beautiful forests lined with trees while trekking. Along the way, many establishments serve light snacks and beverages, thus making your trekking journey much easier. It would take around 5 to 6 hours to reach the summit. Once you reach the destination, you can spend the night there watching the stars and creating beautiful memories.
Kareri Lake, located in the Dhauladhar Range, lies at a distance of 40 kilometers from Dharamshala is another place where you can get a chance to trek and enjoy the path. The entire path is lined with green vegetation that makes the journey more beautiful. You should start your journey from Ghera Village, which can be easily accessible from Dharamshala via different bus services. You can find several camping areas in Kareri that give you ample scope to spend the night and then return to Dharamshala in the morning.
The trek to Lahesh Caves is another fascinating and thrilling journey for adventure lovers. The Lahesh Caves are located at a height of 3475 meters above sea level and are one of the most famous trekking routes for travelers who search for adventure. The trekking track starts in McLeodganj where you can have a magnificent view of the Shivalik hills. The trekking to Lahesh Caves includes forests of deodar, rhododendron, and oak.
5. Hike To Bhagsu Falls and Admire the Surrounding Beauty
Bhagsu falls in Bhagsu nag hamlet, which lies at a distance of 1 kilometer from McLeodganj is a great place surrounded by the beauty of nature. You can hike to Bhagsu falls and enjoy watching the waterfall that gives you a magnificent sight to behold. The crystal clear water with lush green surroundings will give you an awe feeling. You can visit the Bhagsu Nag Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
6. Pay Respect To Soldiers And Martyrs At Dharmshala War Memorial
Dharamshala War Memorial is something that you should not miss out on when you are in Dharamshala. This is one of the first memorials built in Dharamshala after India got its independence. The Dharamshala War Memorial honors soldiers who died in service to the country. The monument contains the names of all martyrs and soldiers who died in the wars and peacekeeping operations like those during 1947-198, 1962, 1965, and 1971. So, do not miss out on visiting this place and paying respect to our great soldiers and martyrs when you are in Dharamshala.
7. Camp On The Trails Between Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj
The trails between Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj have a stunning mountainous landscape where you can camp under the clear sky and feel the fresh air. This would surely be enjoyable and remain as an unforgettable camping experience for you. The best thing about camping here is that many shops nearby sell/rent camping pieces of equipment. The best time for camping in this region is during the summer and spring seasons.
8. Go On Café Hopping Around Dharamshala
Dharamshala is known for some of the wonderful cafes that serve delectable local as well as international cuisine and beverages. You will have a great time hanging out at these cafes in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj with your family or friends, treating your stomach, while enjoying the beautiful view of the Himalayan mountain ranges.
9. Go On A Day Trip To Kangra Valley
You will surely be attracted to the Kangra Valley because of its breathtaking views. This amazing gorge in Himachal Pradesh has been one of the best places to explore near Dharamshala. On the way to Kangra valley, you will get a chance to witness an amazing view of the lush green valleys. Do not forget to explore the 8th century-old rock-cut temple aka Masoor temple. You can also visit Norbulingka, which is a Tibetan Art and Craft Institute located near Kangra valley.
10. Stroll Around The Tea Gardens
“A good morning begins with a good cup of tea.” India is the world’s second-largest tea exporter and Dharmashala is quite known for its tea plantation in India. The tea estates on the Dharamshala to McLeodganj road will take your breath away with the aroma of tea all around. If you are a tea lover, you will enjoy strolling around the tea gardens for hours. The lush greenery and aromatic mist of tea all around will give you a great feel.
11. Try Delicious Tibetan Food
If you are a foodie then you will surely love the Tibetan food in Dharamshala. Since 1959, Dharamshala has become a Tibetan settlement and the Tibetan influence on local food gives an amazing flavor that excites your taste buds. So, you should try out some delicious food here like steamed momos, soupy Thukpas, etc.
12. Get Involved In Shopping
One of the best things to do in Dharamshala is go shopping. From woolen items to jewelry, there are a variety of things you can check out and shop for yourself. There are many showrooms where you can shop for your things. You will also find several stalls on the streets where you can find some unique items. Walking around the markets in Dharamshala will make you feel great with so many colorful prayer flags all around, handicrafts, and woolen items hanging around. All of these talk about the Indian and Tibetan cultures.
13. Get Indulged In Cycling Or Mountain Biking
Are you fond of cycling or mountain biking? If yes then you get an amazing chance to go on cycling amidst the Himalayas in Dharamshala. Mountain biking or cycling is one of the best things to do in Dharamshala if you love to explore the place while enjoying the surrounding at your pace then cycling will give you immense pleasure here.
14. Explore The Rock Cut Temples
Every place in Dharamshala has something unique to offer. Another great thing to do here is to explore the rock-cut temples. Masrur is a popular archaeological site where you can check out some of the ravishing rock-cut temples giving you a glimpse of Indo-Aryan art. The intricate details of the structures in the temples will steal your attention.
15. Go For Meditation At Gyuto Monastery
“Take time to make your soul happy. Go for meditation.” Dharamshala is a blessed place where you can get ample scope to sit and meditate. Gyuto Monastery, situated on the Palampur-Dharamshala road offers you a great space for meditation. It is an important monastery in Buddhist history. The beauty of this monastery and its peaceful environment will make you feel relaxed and fill you with spiritual bliss.
16. Seek Blessings At Some Of The Best Temples
The wonderful town of Dharamshala is also known for a lot of mesmerizing temples that would surely immerse you in spirituality. You can visit some of these temples and seek blessings from the almighty Gods there. Chamunda Devi, Aghanjar Mahadev temple, Brajeshwari, and Bhagsu Nag temple are some ancient temples in Dharamshala and many devotees visit these temples every year.
17. Spend Some Good Time At Dal Lake
Dal Lake, situated north of Dharamshala and McLeodganj in the Kangra district, is a beautiful and popular lake in Himachal Pradesh. The canopies of deodar trees all around the lake make this beautiful lake look more beautiful. There is a famous Shiva Temple near the lake. So, you can spend a good time at Dal Lake when you are in Dharamshala.
18. Go On A Trip To Dharamkot Village
You can go on a day trip to Dharamkot village when you are in Dharamshala. This little village is known as the mini Israel of Himachal Pradesh in India. This is the only settlement with a Jewish community center, the Chabad Home. Tourists from Israel come to visit this place at regular intervals. Dharamkot is the starting point for most trekkers who are willing to head toward Triund or other notable treks. The aura of this small village will make you find peace and beauty at an ease. So, do not skip a trip to Dharamkot when you are in Dharamshala.
19. Explore Kangra Fort And Learn The History
Another best thing to do in Dharamshala is to explore Kangra Fort and learn its history. This fort was built by the Kangra Rajput family on the outskirts of Kangra town. Kangra fort is the largest fort in Himachal Pradesh and is well-known in medieval Indian history. The outer wall of this fort stretches for 4 km, and the inside chambers are filled with relics from the Mughals period and British Eras in India. So, do not forget to explore this fort while you are in Dharamshala.
20. Learn A New Skill In Dharamshala
Several creative and cultural education programs go on from time to time in Dharamshala. So, another thing that you can do while you are on your Dharamshala trip is to learn a new skill. Try to learn any of the skills like wood carving, painting, cooking Tibetan dishes, and so on.
With so much to do and explore in Dharamshala, you will surely have a great time here. So, if you are planning a peaceful and enjoyable trip in India, then get ready to visit this amazing place of Dharamshala. We assure you that you will have a memorable trip.