The land of Lamas: Dharamshala

Tripoto
25th Jun 2015
Photo of The land of Lamas: Dharamshala by Damini Aggarwal
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Dal Lake
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Dal Lake
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Kangra Fort
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St. John's Church
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HPCA Stadium
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Tea gardens, Palampur
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Bhagsu Waterfalls
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Dharamshala located in the Kangra Valley, is the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh. The upper Dharamshala is known as 'Little Lhasa' or McLeodganj, named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, a Lieutenant Governor of Punjab.

This place has everything you can wish for: A calm and serene Himalayan destination, breathtaking landscapes to rich culture and heritage of Tibetans.

On my next visit, I would definitely trek to Triund, till then 'Om Mani Padme'

Kangra Fort has a small temple at the top and you need to climb seven gates to visit it. The Fort is mainly in ruins due to the earthquake in 1905, but still what remains is impressive. The view of mountains is spectacular from the top. The Fort has a museum at the entrance which was under renovation when I visited the Fort. Audio guide is also available at the gate.

Photo of Kangra Fort, Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Kangra Fort, Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Kangra Fort, Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Kangra Fort, Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

The board outside the church claims that this is one of the oldest Anglican Church in India, built in 1852 and dedicated to John the Baptist. The surrounding Deodar forest and the Belgian stained glass windows add to the architecture of the church. Buried in the graveyard right behind the church are the British Residents. History: in 1905, the bell tower and spire of the church were destroyed due to earthquake, while the structure survived. Ten years later, a new bell was brought from England and installed in the compound of the church.

Photo of St. John Church, Road to Naddi Village from McLeod Ganj, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of St. John Church, Road to Naddi Village from McLeod Ganj, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of St. John Church, Road to Naddi Village from McLeod Ganj, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

The Dalai Lama’s temple complex consists of Namgyal Monastery, the main temple, statue of the Buddha, library, the Dalai Lama’s residence and various administrative offices. The monastery offers a delightful insight into Tibetan art and culture. A must visit place if you seek spiritual relief away from the crowded lanes of McLeodGanj.

Photo of Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

Sit back and relax after hiking. This place is usually crowded, probably due to June being the Tourist month. You can also go to Shiva Cafe to enjoy the view. The route to Bhagsu from McLeaodGanj is usually jam packed. It's better if you can walk all the way to this place (approx 3.5km one way) by parking your car near St John's Church, otherwise be prepared to spend hours stuck in traffic jam. The surrounding areas can also be cleaned by the government as people just eat and litter around.

Photo of Bhagsunag Waterfall, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

The temple is dedicated to Shiva and to the local version of the serpent deity, BhagsuNag. The Temple is the starting point for a short steep trek to the Bhagsu waterfalls.

The name is synonymous to Dal Lake, Kashmir but sadly the condition of lake is not. The lake water is muddy and the nearby area stinks. The beauty is in the surrounding Deodar Trees. There is small Shiva shrine on its bank. This lake definitely needs some attention and maintenance from the Government. The road from McLeodGanj to Dal Lake also needs to be repaired.I would recommend you to skip this place from your itinerary. It's a wasted asset , Overall a disappointing place!

Photo of Dal Lake, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Dal Lake, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Dal Lake, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Dal Lake, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

A high point beyond the Dal Lake, Naddi village affords a magnificent view of Dhauladhar mountain range to the north and the vast expanse of lush Kangra valley to the south. It is situated far away from the hustle and bustle of the McLeodGanj market and provides complete peace of mind.

The spectacular view of snow capped Dauladhar ranges can be seen from this well maintained and clean stadium. A place to witness a combination of the lush green ground, the clear blue sky and the mountains in the backdrop. The venue is unique in India as it is situated at a height of 1,457 m (4,780 ft 2 in) above sea level and recently, the stadium hosted two IPL matches acting as the home stadium of Kings XI Punjab.

Photo of HPCA International Cricket Stadium, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of HPCA International Cricket Stadium, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

The monastery and institute take you away from the city into a calm, peaceful and serene environment. The fish ponds, flowing water and surrounding trees add to the view. There's a Doll Museum, a souvenir shop, a Cafe and a guest house.I visited this place on a Sunday, when the workshops were closed but the person on the ticket counter never informed me. In some way I feel cheated after paying the entrance fee and not being able to see the workshops.

Photo of Norbulingka Tibetan Institute, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Norbulingka Tibetan Institute, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Norbulingka Tibetan Institute, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Norbulingka Tibetan Institute, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Norbulingka Tibetan Institute, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

An ashram that has been established by late Swami Chinmayananda, which includes a 9 m high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.

A hidden beauty of Himachal Pradesh that is 500 years old. The temple is situated inside a cave. It has beautiful surroundings, a river flowing in the back of temple and the view of snow capped mountains. The route till this mountain is peaceful, enjoy the nature on your journey to this temple.History: Once when Arjun, of Mahabarat, was on his way to the Kailash Mountains, Lord Shiva appeared in front of Arjun and blessed him with the Boon of Victory over the Kauravas. At this place Baba Ganga Bharati fired "Akhand Dhuni" (Sacred Fire).

A well built, accessible and clean monastery that is built from Japanese funds. You can sit with the monks during their prayer time and witness the grand monastery. Around 500 monks live there and study various courses of Tantric studies. A place to experience Tibetan Culture at its best.

Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Gyuto, Karmapa (His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's residence), Kardiana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

Palampur is called the Tea Capital of northern India. Tea plantations on both sides of the road when you drive through Palampur are mesmerising. The tea produced is known as Kangra Tea. The various stages of processing of tea leaves can be seen by visiting the Palampur Tea Factory.

Photo of Tea Plantation, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

The goddess Chamunda, derives her name as a slayer of two demons, Chanda and Munda.

Saurabh Van Vihar is named after Captain Saurabh Kalia, who sacrificed his life during Kargil operation on 9th June, 1999. There are swings and a small artificial pond for boating inside the van.

Photo of Saurabh Van Vihar, Bundla Kandi Road, Uwarna, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal
Photo of Saurabh Van Vihar, Bundla Kandi Road, Uwarna, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

Exhibition of watercolours and acrylic paintings by Elizabeth Buschmann.

The name of war heroes are inscribed on large slabs of black marble. A 1971 fighter plane is also a prominent attraction here.

Photo of War Memorial, Jawahar Nagar, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

It's a small stream surrounded by the Dhauladhar range. Cross over the beautiful Iron bridge over Neugal Khad on your way to the Van and enjoy the view.

Photo of Neugal Khadd, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Damini Aggarwal

McLeodganj has numerous places to eat as well, a few well known ones are:

• Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen- pasta/pizza and Jimmy’s bakery

• Hummingbird café, dharamshala - lemon cake, coffee

• Seed café- sandwich, pancake, lasagnas, noodles, desserts, pasta/pizza

• Tibet Kitchen- thupka, momos

• Namgyal café- wood fire thin crust pizza

• Tibet Quality Bakery- nutty bars

• Nick’s Italian Kitchen- cakes, quiches, pasta, pizza

• Kunga’s- Chocolate Mousse/ Italian food

• Woeser Bakery- choco chili balls, walnut tarts, carrot cake, cookies, brownie and chocolate tart

• Moonpeak Expresso- Coffee, breakfast- sandwich, carrot cheese cake, banana cake, himachali thali

• Crepe Pancake Hut- pancake breakfast

• Illetrati- coffee and book

• Lung Ta- Japenese

• Shambhala Restaurant- coffee, smoothies, pancakes

• Clay Oven Restaurant- Nepali Thali

• Kaku, Kangra- Rabri, Baddam Milk, Lassi

• Seed café-

• Chocolate Log- chocolate brownie, coffee, homemade bread, lemon pie – closed by 6pm

• Taste of India and Indique

• McLlo Café- late closing time- cast menu

• Ogo’s Italian café- Choclate Puddings

• Peace Café- stir fried noodles, bread, tea

• Morgan’s place/ Out of the Blue, Dharamkot- pizza

• Four Seasons café- Tibetian cuisine

• Common Grounds café- momos

1 Comment(s)
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Awesome pics Damini! Good luck to you.
Fri 01 01 16, 20:32 · Reply · Report