Dharamshala Tourism: Best Places to Visit in and around Dharamshala - Sterling Holidays

The beautiful Kareri lake is a scenic spot for tourist activities. Kareri Village (situated at an altitude of about 1,983 m above sea level, 35 kms from Dharamshala) is a favourite place for trekking enthusiasts. Kareri Lake is a high altitude, shallow, fresh waterlake situated amidst thick woods. Snow melting from the Dhauladhar range serves as the source of the lake and a stream, Nyund is the outflow. Visitors can stay in the forest rest house with prior reservation from the Divisional Forest Officer of Dharamshala.

The name Dal lake is taken from Kashmir's natural lake known as Dal lake. Deodar trees cover the lake. Dal Lake lies on the road to Naddi, one of the best locations in Dharamshala and is also popular as a sunset point. Shiva Mandir (Shrine) on is situated on the banks of this lake, making it holy. The Dal lake is popular for its panoramic views. Every year during the month of September, many tourists head to the Dal lake to celebrate a famous festival that marks the presence of Lord Shiva.

Famous for its ancient architecture, the Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to its diety, Lord Shive. The temple is extremely popular for its lingam which is placed much below the ground level. Also known as Maha Rudra of Mata Chintapurni, the walls of the temples are adorned with beautiful sculptures and covered with ancient tombs.

Being one of the largest and oldest forts in India, the Kangra Fort is located 20 km from Dharamsala and 3 km from Kangra. A magnanimous structure built by the royal family of Kangra, the fort is mentioned in 4th century B.C. war records of Alexander. The fort has been a witness to many plunges and confiscations by the foreign rulers like Muhammad of Ghaznavi, Muhammad Bin Tughlak and was finally taken over by Mughal emperor Jehangir, who garrisoned it with his troops. Gushing streams of Banganga and Manjhi rivers can be viewed from the Fort. The fort is also known as Nagarkot. Tourists need to climb through seven gates to reach the three temples located inside the Fort.

Tsuglagkhang Complex is the heavenly abode of the Tibetan leader, Dalai Lama. It is situated at the southern end of the town and is visited by thousands of pilgrims who travel here seeking the blessings of the leader. Reachable by taxi, all the parts of the monastery except the monk's residences are open for public visit. The famous Namgyal Monastery is a part of this complex. Besides meeting the Dalai Lama (which is not an easy thing to do) tourists can enjoy viewing the paintings that depict the stories of various Tibetan leaders.

Namgyal Monastery is a sacred building enclosing the residence of Dalai Lama. The complex is constructed in a location near Mcleod Ganj and is overlooked by the mountain ranges of Dhauladhar. Lush pine forests surround the monastery and add to one of the reasons for the peaceful and serene setting around here. The monastery has a Tibetan museum, a cafeteria, a book shop and a library and Buddhist shrines. One can reach the monastery by taxi. Being a private monastery of the Dalai Lama, no visitor is allowed to enter the temple premises except Dalai Lama and his students. However, tourists can visit the Naam Art Gallery, that is open on all days from 10 am to 7 pm except on Mondays.

Triund is the name of a crest in the Dhauladhar ranges of The Himalayas famous for tourist activitie, a 9 km trek from Mcleodganj. Views from here of the Moon peak and the Indera Pass is breathtaking. The untouched beauty of this place makes it a favourite tourist attraction. Also popular as trekking spot, the place offers fine green forests and undulated hilly areas of the Himalayan Mountain Ranges. A trek to Triund will take around 4 hours from Mcleodganj and the best time to trek is April - June and September - November.

Kangra Art Museum displays unique artefacts of Tibetan and Buddhist culture. The museum preserves Kangra valley's cultural past, crafts, arts and other ancient artefacts. Some of the displayed items in the museum are dated back to 5th century. Kangra Museum has a gallery with miniature paintings of Kangra's rich past, pottery, rare coin memorabilia, sculptures and anthropological materials. It has a varied collection of jewellery of various tribes, embroided costumes and wood carvings. A section dedicated to contemporary artworks adds to the attraction of the museum.

Tourists can easily reach by bus or taxi and it will take 30 mins to one hour to see the museum. While visiting the museum, never miss to explore the Kotwali bazaar.

The Baijnath temple is situated at a distance of 36 km east of Kangra. Built in 1204 A.D., this temple is located on the stretch of Mandi - Palampur road. This temple of Lord Shiva is famous for the Linga (embodiment of Shiva). Every year large number of devotees flock to Baijnath temple to get blessings from Lord Shiva, especially during the month of March. During the colourful ‘Shivratri' festival, many tourists throng Kangra to take part in the festival.

Bhagsu Falls is one of the main attraction of McLeod Ganj. It is 11 Km from Dharamshala and there are some good trek routes to Triund from here.

Dharamkot is situated 14 Km from Dharamshala and is a favourite picnic spot. It offers panoramic views of the Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. Dharamkot from Bhagsu by trek. Many small restaurant are situated on the way for quick relaxation and refreshment. Scenery from Dharamkot is simply breathtaking and you also get to meet the Gaddi folks.

A burning blue flame that seems to be burning constantly from the rocks instead of an idol is what this Temple is famous for. The Jwalamukhi temple is idyllically located in the Beas valley, around 56 km from Dharamsala. According to legends, the flame is believed to be of Demon Jalandhara who was buried under the mountains by Lord Shiva. There are two annual fairs (Nagini Mata and Navratra Fair) held during the month of April and mid-October which would be the best time to visit this temple.


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