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Dharamshala and Mcleodganj

The Dalai Lama, little Tibet with nuns and monasteries, a spectacular international cricket ground where the bowler seems to 'run in from the Himalayas', this and so much more to un[travel] in Dharamshala. Literally bursting at the seams with everything Tibetan, from momos to monks, there are Tibetan souvenir shops around every corner and nirvana-searching souls of every known nationality. This former colonial hill station, in the higher reaches of Kangra Valley, is now the centre for the exiled Tibetan government. Surrounded by beautiful dense pine and deodar forests, Dharamshala is divided into the Upper section (which is essentially Mcleodganj about 4 kilometres north) and Lower section of town. Usually the base camp for fantastic trekking opportunities in the area, cafe culture is huge here with the gentle rustling of red robes at the table next to yours as monks and nuns visit for their daily cuppa as well.

Things to do

Camping at Triund- Begin this trek early in the morning from Dharamkot literally on stairs through coniferous trees. Slate grey stone steps lie in stark contrast with the green of trees here. Intermittent prayer flags and chirping birds keep you company on this hour-long steady climb to the revered Galu Devi temple. With spectacular views of the valley below, winding through forests, the path to the Galu Devi Temple might seem like an ancient river bed. A few steps below the Temple, is the stand-alone cafe that serves you steamy noodles, chai and other snacks with a view of the valley below.

Hatu Temple Drive Joaba Walk- Sights of dense deodars and sounds of various feathered friends lead you to the famous Hatu Temple atop Hatu Peak. This small wooden temple is dedicated to 'Mandodari' (Ravana's wife from the epic Ramayan).

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Best time to visit October to March

Late September to early November is the ideal time to visit here after the rains have subsided.The chilly winter arrives by late November and stays on till the end of February.

Clear skies stay on through March till the haze in by mid-April to the mid-June rains. Frequent landslides are the only dampener till the monsoons end.

How to reach

Air

  • Gaggal Airport (DHM) is the nearest airport to Dharamshala which 15 kilometre away. Gaggal Airport officially known as Kangra Airport lies in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Air India regional and Spicejet provide regular flights services from Delhi and Chandigarh. From outside of airport, you can take cab for Dharamshala.

Rail

  • Nearest railway station is in Pathankot which is 85 kilometre from Dharamshala. Pathankot is located in Punjab and is 89 kilometre from Dharamshala. Pathankot is well-connected to all the major cities in India. There are daily trains from Delhi to Pathankot. You can take cab or bus from Pathankot to reach Dharamshala.

  • Chandigarh Railway station is also another railway station which is 246 kilometre. Chandigarh is a union territory which act as a capital of both Haryana and Punjab. You can cab or bus from Chandigarh to Dharamshala.

Road

  • Roads of Dharamshala offers the best connectivity within and out of the state. All the major and minor destinations in Himachal Pradesh are well connected to Dharamshala via roads. You will find bus and cab facility throughout the state connecting Dharamshala to different places. These roads offers some of the most beautiful views of different Himalayan ranges and valleys.

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