Dharmashala

Nature At Its Best

Dharmashala is the second winter capital of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and a municipal corporation in Kangra district. It also serves as the district headquarters. The Dalai Lama’s residence and the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile) are in Dharamshala. Dharamshala is 18 kilometers from Kangra. Until the British rule, Dharamshala and its surrounding area were ruled by the Katoch Dynasty of Kangra, a royal family that ruled the region for two millennia. The royal family still keeps a residence in Dharamsala, known as ‘Clouds End Villa’. The Katoch dynasty, although highly regarded culturally, had been reduced to status of jargidars under the Treaty of Jawalamukhi, signed in 1810 between Sansar Chand Katoch and Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Sikh Empire.

Several thousand Tibetan exiles have now settled in the area, and most live in and around McLeodGanj in Upper Dharamshala, where they have built monasteries, temples and schools. It has become an important tourist destination with many hotels and restaurants, leading to growth in tourism and commerce. The place attracts many tourists every year, with its Tibetan Buddhist inspired architecture, with monasteries and museums that all represent a different part of India; Dharamshala gets many visitors looking forward to learn more about the culture there, unique from any other in India.

The major attractions and sites to explore around are Namgyal Monastery, Kangra Art Museum, Norbulingka, Jwalamukhi Devi temple and much more that can be all found within this region of Himachal Pradesh. Other than that the picturesque surroundings of Dharamshala and the presence of great Buddhism culture make this hill stations one of the best in India. A point to be noted is that Dharamshala tourism is at its peak during summer, when the temperature is at its peak. There are a lot of other attractions in Dharamshala like the charming St. John Church, headquarters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dal Lake, etc. that draw tourists from different parts of the country.

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