As the tourist destination is located in the Himalayan foothills, the climate is cool and comfortable. For those who are tired of the scorching heat in the Indian subcontinent, the destination will provide a refreshing change. The lower and upper divisions of the tourist destination — the upper being Mcleodganj and the lower Dharmshala town itself — have many alluring sights to offer to the visitors. Hence the land enjoys a prominent position in the tourism map of India.
Dharamshala was not very famous as a tourist destination until the British annexed the place as their province in 1848. In 1959, when the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and his followers sought refuge in India, the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, allowed them to settle in Dharamshala. Thus the Namgyal Monastery was established here. Now five decades after their settlement, Dharamshala has become a mixture of Indian and Tibetan cultures. Dalai Lama has established Buddhist monasteries and a Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in the place.
Thus the land has many cultural and historical monuments that make it an alluring destination for history lovers. Ancient temples dating back to the 8th century and the historical church of John of the Wilderness are some of the monuments worth a visit. Located at an average elevation of 1457 meters above sea level, the land has rich natural beauty. The snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, deodar forest, and so on accentuates it. Here are some of the best places to visit in Dharamshala.
Top attractions in Dharamshala
Best Time To Visit Dharamshala
The peaceful tourist destination follows the climatic conditions of any foothill town in the Himalayas. The peak time of tourists is from March to June, which marks the summer season in the region. It is deemed the best time to visit Dharamshala. But there are some seasonal attractions for those interested in it.
- March to June – Summer Season: The summer season, which falls between March and June, has a pleasant climate, with the temperature ranging from 20 degrees to 35 degrees Celcius. All adventure activities like trekking, camping, cable car riding, and every tourist spot are open during this time of the year. Make sure your pack sunscreen as the sun can be a bit harsh on your skin due to the elevation of the tourist destination.
- July to September (Monsoon Season): Monsoon is the most romantic season in Dharamshala. The mornings are usually humid, but the evenings are cool and comfortable. The atmospheric temperature ranges between 18 degrees Celcius to 22 degrees Celcius. The rains can be quite unforgiving during the time. Sometimes it can cause landslides and road blockages. If you prefer this time of the year, you can get a tour package at a very low rate. Be sure to pack an umbrella if you visit the place in Monsoon.
- December to February (Winter Season): Winters can get very cold in Dharamshala. Though the average temperature ranges between 4 and 7 degrees Celcius, strong gusts of winds can quickly bring it down to the minus range. If you love snow and want to enjoy adventure activities like skiing, this is the best time to visit Dharamshala. But make sure that you are properly dressed to resist the biting cold. Pack your sweaters, thick overcoats, mufflers, and so on. Do not forget to wear snow boots and woolen socks. Moisturizers and lip balms are also indispensable if you prefer to visit Dharamshala during winter.
How To Reach Dharamshala
Tourists expect that Dharamshala, being a mountainous town, is difficult to reach. But the fact is that the tourist destination has great air connectivity with frequent flights from all the major cities in India. The railway station is farther away, so it is better to choose air travel.
- By Air: Gaggal airport is the closest to Dharamshala. Tourists can get direct flights to the airport from New Delhi. Most people from different parts of India like Chennai, Kochi, Jaipur, and Hyderabad take one-stop flights to make it to the destination. From the airport, frequent taxi services are available to Dharamshala and will reach within half an hour.
- By Rail: For those who prefer a cheaper means of getting to the place, catching a train is a good option. However, Dharamshala has no railway station of its own. The nearest one is in Pathankot, almost 86 kilometers away. Most of the major cities in India are connected to this terminal. Tourists hire a taxi from the Pathankot, which will take them to the tourism destination in about three to four hours.
- By Road: Dharamshala has excellent road connectivity. National Highways NH154 and NH503 are direct routes from Delhi to the hill station. Many prefer to drive to the destination as the roads are in good condition. Public transports are available from NewDelhi like Buses, which will cost between 1200 and 1800 Rupees. It is better to take an overnight bus as it will take around 11 hours to reach Dharamshala from New Delhi.