If you’re going to Dharamshala, chances are you are interested in trekking, culture, times of reflection and yoga. This is a wonderful place to visit for all those reasons.
There are so much history and beauty floating in the air of Dharamshala. There’s something about being surrounded by the Himalayan mountain range that inspires you, ignites your heart. Many people come to Dharamsala to do an intensive yoga teacher training that changes their lives forever.
The city itself is surrounded by an ancient cedar forest. The Tibetan part of Dharamshala is a famous scene where the houses sit on the side of the rock. There are many wonderful scenic spots in nature. The city offers a peaceful experience far from the noise of the cities in India. You can take in rustic camping, check out historical sites and of course see the Dalai Lama’s temple. Here are some of the places you’ve got to see when you come to Dharamshala.
It might be a bit of a challenge but well worth the trek to walk through this stunning valley. The day trek begins in Dharamshala and takes you through the sights.
You’ll walk through a gorge and the towering cliffs above. This trek is in the state of Himachal Pradesh. As you walk through, you’ll get to see the Masroor Rock temples which date back to the 8th century.
Tsuglagkhang Complex Dalai Lama Temple
This complex has a lot going on. It is where the 14th Dalai Lama has his personal temple. There are also many stunning stupas, a museum, library, and café.
This place holds a lot of important aspects for the Tibetans and there’s an air here you won’t want to miss. The museum gives you all the information about what the Tibetans went through when they had to run away from Tibet and into India for refuge. There are pieces of the past for Tibet that exist nowhere else in the world.
The monastery, which is also known as the Namgyal Tantric College is where the Dalai Lama performs important rituals.
You can’t help but feel something incredible in this space. You can even spend some time in the grand halls of the monastery offering up compassion during your meditation.
The Dharamshala Tea Company
Even if you are not the biggest fan of tea, it’s a beautiful plantation and their Kangra tea is world famous!
The tea leaves here are the highest growing in the world. It’s a great place to relax for the afternoon.
Bring a book and just take it all in. They’ve been growing tea here for generations and there is a historical feel to it.
In the Kangra district that sits at the foot of the Dhauladhar ranges, there is a small hill station. The mountain ranges you walk under to get the hill station tower over you with maximum heights of just over 2,800 meters.
There are incredible views to be had and you get to walk through beautiful forests on the way. You get to see the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar mountain range. You will trek all the way to the summit.
There are stalls on the way up that allow you to buy some snack and drinks. The trek isn’t easy but it’s worth it!
This is pretty easy to get to. The trail is a long walking trail that takes you to a scenic waterfall should you choose to walk. The falls go right into a perfect watering hole so bring your swimsuit.
Another great swimming spot is Dal Lake which is north of McLeod Ganj, the upper part of Dharamshala. It’s at high altitude and the lake is surrounded by a canopy of trees. There is also a beautiful Shiva temple here that is important in mythology.
If you don’t feel like walking, you can catch a cab up to the lake. You can usually catch one back down too because they drop a lot of people off here.
This monastery is 9 km from Dharamshala. It is the premium tantric college which is important to the Buddhists. The Gelug Order is an important part of Buddhism and is practiced here. This is your more modern style of Buddhist order. The focus is on ethics and discipline with the belief that this is what will help you achieve fulfillment and enlightenment. You can come here and meditate by yourself.
It is a very peaceful place that allows you to find the calm within yourself.
There are many places to do things you love as well. If you’re planning to do your yoga teacher training in Dharamshala, there are many things that will support your journey.
With so much spiritual history that is still alive today, it’s a wonderful place to really hone your understanding. If you’re just coming for a visit, do make sure to take in some yoga and meditation classes. It’s a major part of the culture here. You are a part of the source.
photo source: natalia klimova + giphy