Dharamshala: Perfect blend of adventure and spirituality.

Photo of Dharamshala: Perfect blend of adventure and spirituality. 1/1 by Pankhuri Agarwal

The things I will tell you about Dharamshala are no different from what other people write/talk about. They are just a blend of my experiences, my favourite places and my way of exploring them.

Dharamshala might sound like another name on the list of a person crazy to explore Himachal, but trust me, Dharamshala is no ordinary place. It is that one heck of a place which offers adventure and religious environment at the same time. Imagine going to a place where you can experience the adrenaline rush and inner peace at the same time. Sounds unrealistic? Well, whether you are a religious person or an adventure seeker or an explorer or someone who is looking to learn a completely different culture, this is the place for you. Lets go on a short trip to the places, which are a-must-visit, in and around this lovely place through this blog.

My bucket list starts with taking me around beautiful places not very far away from Dharamshala. The first on the list is Dharamkot. How about an adventurous start ? Trek Triund ? This four hour continuous trek is worth the destination. Also, this trek proves why they say, it is so much about the journey and not the destination. The beautiful stony ways covered with red leaves and steep slopes which give you an oomph moment every time you cross a slant curve will make you fall in love with every bit of this place. Imagine yourself sitting on the highest peek with your feet hanging out in air, looking at the most beautiful view you have always wished to see, shouting in your highest pitch to get the feel of one of those Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani moments , the peaceful mind, no connection with the outer world, the surroundings, the voices, for a moment everything seems so sorted and fine, everything, every single thing takes you to a new world from where you'd never want to return. Camping at night, looking at those countless starts and Milky way Galaxy adds up the final touch to your almost completed masterpiece. If you have time, you can trek Illaka glacier, Lahesh Caves and kareri lake further.

After adventure, how about some rejuvenation? In search of finiding myself, I left for Mcleodganj which is half an hour drive from Dharamkot. The smaller it looks, the bigger it is. My spiritual journey starts from Tsuglagkhang Complex, where if you are lucky enough, you can meet the Holy Dalai Lama. This place has something, not the hollywood horror movies kind of something, but the alcohol kind of something, which helps you decide the quantity you want to absorb in, to free yourself from all negative thoughts. This place helps you to introspect yourself in a way you never did before, to get closer to your inner self and get some inner peace. If you are a meditation lover, the next on your list should be Tushita Meditation Centre. Namgyal and Gyuto monasteries are my next stop. The calmness and smile on the faces of monks there, certainly makes your day. Did you know that every laughing budhha statue - from the position he is in to what objects the statue holds, has a very deep meaning ? No ? Getting into conversation with one of the monks will sound like an amazing idea to you then. Also, How can I miss the famous momos stalls just opposite to the entrance of these monasteries. Norbulingka institute, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Library of Tibetan works and archives should be on your list next if you want to learn about the Tibetan culture in depth. These places are going to amaze you for sure. Though I am not lets-go-for-shopping kind of girl, but checking traditional stuff in local Tibetan market to buy presents for family and friends or as a memoir of the place is a go go. Tibetan cuisine is unique combination of flavour and health and my day in Mcleodganj is not going to end without a hot tubka in Tibetan Kitchen.

I am no "Oh! wow, water!" kind of person but waterfalls ? Ahan. You got that right. Bhagsunag temple and Bhagsunag Falls are not something you would like to miss. Also, I will suggest you to read a little about the history of this place before, to live the story as you go exploring. A short trek to Shiva Cafe from Bhagsunag to taste the Tibetan cuisine is like drinking chilled water in scotching heat.

I have always been told that if you want to see the real culture of the place, travel local. Not very far away from Mcleodganj, is a small village "Naddi" famous for the Sunset point. The breathtaking view of Himalayas with three most beautiful peaks - Moon Peak, Matrohorn Peak and Dromedary Peak will mesmerize you completely.

I need some air, some aderanaline rush, some adventure. Is Triund everything this place can offer? Well, no. It is time to explore the horizons of sky. Next stop is Bir Billing. World's second best site for paragliding. The kickass magical Bir will give you some lifetime thrilling moments.

Also, 8 Km away from Dharamshala is a village known as Khaneara village. You will definitely want to visit this place if you want to taste the old yet real taste of India. Surprisingly, people here still use conventional methods for their daily chores.

Dharamshala , the land of healing, by all means is a boon for those who are on their spiritual journey. Chamunda Temple in Dharamshala, Dalai Lama Complex, church of St john with wilderness, Bhagsunag Temple and many more places are there to provide you with all the spiritual boost you need. Cricket stadium is the major attraction in Dharamshala. If you are more of a planner and less of a random explorer person, I will suggest you to plan your trip in September. The reason being Annual Dal Lake festival happens in September and it is not something you will like to let go off. Foodies, alert ! Dharamshala has amazing cafes which offers amazing cuisines. To select the best one among them, is a very difficult task.

A trip is not complete without some historical monument or castle revealing its untold story non verbally. Kangra Fort will finally complete my exploring journey. People say this fort speaks for itself. The truth ? Well, go and check it out for yourself. If you ask me, I believe, Old places have souls, not the "Lets haunt visitors" kind of soul but the philosophical "What a beautiful story happened here decades ago" kind of soul.

Now, you can go back to your monotonous life with same office and same daily routine but with a new perspective, as the same person but with a new soul. Dharamshala is a spiritual glimpse of Tibetan culture and it definitely fills you with one.

So, Himachalised ? :)