Dharamshala itinerary

Sightseeing in Dharamshala can be a supremely pleasurable experience if main places are added to the itinerary. Known for its boundless beauty and elegance, Dharamshala is located at the foothills of the Dhauladhar mountain range in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and populated by the rich Himalayan flora and fauna, this is the perfect hill station for families and couples looking to escape the travails of city life.

Here are nine must-visit places to visit in Dharamshala while on a family vacation:

1. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium:

The closest airport to Dharamshala is Gaggal Airport, situated about 13 km away. For a quick understanding of what’s in store in terms of places to see in Dharamshala, simply head to the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium once you settle in. Popular as the most picturesque of all cricket stadiums in India, it is the only one situated at such a high altitude. The lush green stadium has the snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhar Range as backdrop. Try catching the brilliant sunset as you amble around.

2. McLeod Ganj:

McLeod Ganj, or ‘Little Lhasa’, is 5.4 km from Dharamshala and at an altitude of over 2000 m above sea level. The town is a fine blend of Tibetan and colonial cultures. Its vibrant marketplace is home to trendy street fashion and jewellery. The people are stylish, simple, and graceful. One can shop for stoles, shawls, jackets, jewellery, bags, Tibetan carpets, essential oils, tea, and much more. Choose from an assortment of cuisines – Tibetan, Indian, Korean, Thai, Italian, or Japanese. The cafes with their cheerful, hospitable staff exude a cool vibe.

3. The Dalai Lama Temple Complex:

A short walk downhill along Temple Road leads to the Dalai Lama temple complex. A serene world by itself, the courtyards and gardens are full of children at play, and young monks going about their daily schedule. Further inside, thousands of monks chant in unison with their prayer beads. Visitors are allowed to take part in it as well. Notice the main prayer wheel encased in gold at the centre of the temple. Remember to spin the stretch of prayer wheels in the clockwise direction to receive divine blessings! The temple is open from dawn to dusk.

Read Also: Trip to Bhutan – Land of Thunder Dragon

4. Tibetan Museum:

This is one of the top places to visit in Dharamshala and is located within the Dalai Lama Temple Complex. It sheds light on Tibet’s volatile history and its struggle against Chinese occupation, and also offers a window into the rich cultural heritage of Tibetan life, their religion, and the Dalai Lama himself. A little theatre screens audio-visual programs at 11 am and 3 pm, which are definitely worth watching. The place is open from 9 am to 5 pm, and is closed on Mondays.

5. Bhagsunag Village:

Barely 2 km from McLeod Ganj, Bhagsunag village is one of the most popular places to visit in Dharamshala. Its main attraction is the ancient Bhagsunag temple. The marble temple is filled with mythological paintings and intricate inscriptions. A stroll away is the popular Bhagsunag waterfall, where one can enjoy a refreshing dip. The local cafes offer tea, noodles, and sandwiches. Shoppers can have fun picking up stuff like local jewellery or clothing.

6. Dharamkot:

From McLeod Ganj, head upslope to verdant Dharamkot situated in Kangra Valley. The charm of this little hamlet surrounded by pine forests is that it is less frequented by tourists. One can experience a delicate spiritual vibe replete with mountain views and clean, fresh air. For those inclined towards yoga, meditation, and alternative therapies, there is a wide range of interesting courses and workshops on offer. You will also find many cafes and bistros serving delicious local cuisines. Try out the Bhagsu cake for sure! Return to Dharamshala for the night or stay back in a homestay or in a tent at one of the camps.

7. Triund Hill:

Triund - Dharamshala Itinerary
Triund – Dharamshala Itinerary

Start your day with a memorable trek to Triund Hills located in Kangra district, about 6 km from Dharamshala. Trekkers can catch a beautiful sunset, gaze at the panoramic vistas of the luxuriantly green Kangra Valley and the Bhagsu village settlement, or lie beneath a clear starlit night sky upon reaching the top. Camping overnight is recommended to fully experience the enthralling beauty of the place. The gradual climb takes 3-4 hours, ideally with a tour guide, and the view completely compensates for the effort. Little eateries along the way sell noodles and tea. This is one of the most scenic places to visit in Dharamshala.

8. Palampur:

If intensive trekking is not your thing, Palampur should be one of the key places to visit near Dharamshala. This hill station is located at the foothills of the Dhauladhar range, about 50 km from Dharamshala. The place is famous for its tea plantations, green pastures, and paddy fields, the gorgeous green landscape is further enhanced by the beauty of pine forests and the backdrop of snow-capped peaks. The art colony of Andretta, Sobha Singh art gallery, and Norbulingka Institute are worth a visit. One can expect wonderful Tibetan art exhibits and dolls at the Losel Doll museum, also located inside the institute.

9. Bir:

Adventure seekers can visit Bir, 65 km away from Dharamshala. The place is called the paragliding capital of India, and with good reason. Swoop down the delightful Dhauladhar Range and delight in the panoramic views of snow-capped peaks. Of all the places to see in Dharamshala, make sure you don’t miss this one!

Where to stay

For a supremely comfortable stay, opt for the Club Mahindra Resort in Dharamshala. The rooms are spacious and include all the modern amenities you need. Allow the staff and chefs to indulge you with local delicacies from the in-house restaurant and add to your experience of sightseeing at Dharamshala. Check out the Club Mahindra reviews online to read about the experiences of our satisfied guests!

Written by

Manu Khandelwal

An engineer and a travel blogger. Loves trekking and doing bike road trips. Burger lover (want to try every burger in the world). Clinomaniac. Sports fanatic. Likes technology but not a technology addict.