Dharamshala is located in the upper section of the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh and is located at an average altitude of 1475 meters above sea level. The city is surrounded by thickly covered deodar cedar trees and is one of the most important strongholds of Tibetan refugees and the seat of the 14th Dalai Lama of the Tibetan sect of Buddhism. Thanks to its picturesque surroundings and the presence of the Dalai Lama, the city has made it a popular tourist destination for both Indians and foreign tourists. Here is a list of the best things to do in Dharamshala:
Top Things to do in Dharamshala
1. Go and Listen, Dalai Lama
One of the most spiritually enlightening things you can do here is to learn about life and listen to philosophies from His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who is the leader of the Tibetan people. He was forced into exile when China took over Tibet and was granted asylum by the Indian government. He has lived in India since 1959. In 1960, after discussions with the Indian government about the future of Tibetan refugees, he headed for Dharamshala, where he decided to set up his home and temple. However, the Dalai Lama often travels, especially because his teachings are preached in various communities around the world. Therefore, it is best to visit his official website before visiting him, just to make sure.
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2. Explore the Dalai Lama Residence
The Dharamshala temple complex, home to the Dalai Lama, is open to visitors and is a wonderful way to experience how Buddhist monks live their lives. There is also a great museum in the complex where the history and situation of the Tibetan people are depicted in the hands of the Tibetan people. Numerous scrolls, documents, manuscripts, paintings, and books are related to Tibetan philosophy, as well as many other sculptures and works of art. There are some beautiful Buddhist temples in the complex. Remember to see the movement of the prayer wheels. One of the things visitors need to keep in mind is that the church complex is completely quiet, so you need to stay quiet. The other monks study, meditate and meditate on life in this very sacred place. Photography inside the main church is also strictly prohibited.
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3. Buy Apples for Home
Everyone knows how delicious apples from Himachal Pradesh are and in Dharamshala, you can meet the freshest and juiciest. The apple orchards here are very famous, the product is sent not only to different parts of India but also abroad. In addition to chewing on the apples themselves, which are often part of the breakfast menus of all restaurants and hotels, you can also indulge in fresh apple juice, apple beer, cider, and cider. Apple pies are very famous here and you won’t find anything anywhere else. While famous restaurants like the German bakery sell them, many locals can also find homemade food. This is one of the budget-friendly things to do in Dharamshala. They are mostly made at Christmas.
4. Studying and Practicing Meditation
As mentioned earlier, Dharamshala is a spiritual retreat and many come here to practice and learn about yoga and meditation. This is one of the best places to get to know Buddhism. Here you can go to a yoga class or take part in a quiet 10-day meditation retreat. Silence is seen as an integral part of looking back and is much needed for spiritual healing. Tourists who come here for this purpose usually stay for two weeks or a month and mostly rent fairly cheap apartments here, around INR 500-600 per night. Beds, wardrobes, kitchenette, hot water, and even Wifi are available. For those planning a longer stay in Dharamshala, this would be the best accommodation option. When it is very cold outside, this is one of the beautiful things to do in Dharamshala.
5. Trekking in Dharamshala
There are many tracks in and around Dharamshala so it would be a great place for a little exercise. There are mountain villages here and there where you can go on day walks and connect with the locals and then return in the evening. There may also be a small paced picnic at the foot of the Himalayas, the mountains facing you. However, this is not recommended at all during s. Care should also be taken in winter as the roads are slippery with snow. This is one of the popular things to do in Dharamshala in the summer.
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6. Go Shopping in Dharamshala
As Dharamshala is such an important center of Tibetan culture, it is natural that there are many objects about Tibet here and excellent souvenirs are offered. Buddha’s idols, which are made of various metals such as copper and brass, are the most important. Then there are Tibetan shawls, rugs, and carpets and you will be introduced to the authentic Tibetan jewelry sold here. The products here are quite cheap and most are made by Tibetans by hand. There are items that are covered with semi-precious stones and gemstones and would involve very valuable purchases. One thing is for sure: it may just as well be in front of the break-in Dharamshala when we are just in the mood for shopping. The workmanship is so detailed and nuanced that each element is in itself a kind of work of art.
7. Visit the Museum to know the History of Tibet
The museum inside records the events of the temples destroyed in Tibet, how people were imprisoned and punished for hanging a photo of their spiritual and religious leader, the Dalai Lama, and forbidding them from teaching and practicing their own language. Over the years, hundreds of people have traveled to India to get a chance at a better life and to offer their children a safe life, often risking their lives. Tibetan refugees today are successfully running their own businesses, away from danger.
8. Explore the Picaresque Bhagsunag Falls and the Temple
Once you have explored the temple, you can take winding roads to the small Bhagsunag region. It is about 2 km from Mcleodganj and is a rather hidden treasure of the Himalayas. The beautiful falls are fueled by the melting snow of the mountains. Before you get to the fall, you have to pass a driveway lined with endless gift booths on all sides, and when you reach the waterfall, there is only beauty around it. Anyone who doesn’t have many climbers can admire the falls from below. However, there are a few adventure fans who can climb the steep hill and offer a wonderful panorama from the top. You can also swim in the natural waters here, but it is only recommended if you visit during the summer. During s, the waterfall is extremely fast and fog is formed from the misty water. In fact, it’s best to use waterproofing electronics because even if it doesn’t get in the water, the spray from the fall can get to you.
9. Visit Dharamkot
Nestled in the Himalayas, Dharamkot is almost like an extension of Dharamshala. If you visit in winter, you have a wonderful view of the snowy mountains. While once a sleepy town, today it is full of cafes, guest houses and shops, and a popular ghost for backpackers. In fact, backpackers would say food is more expensive than Dharamshala and Mcleodganj! But those who come here do so to enjoy the view. It is a great destination for backpacking and camping, and a huge number of young people are seen here. Moonlight Café and Om Café are popular food and beverage joints here.
10. Taste local Delicacies
As Dharamshala is today the official refuge for Tibetans in India, it is natural to have a number of restaurants selling authentic thukpa and momos, the most popular Tibetan food. Thukpa is a kind of soup, mostly available with meat and some homemade pasta, hence the name of the dish. Thukpa is available without meat and only with a variety of vegetables. Hot plate Thukpa longs for exactly what her body and soul long for on cold evenings. And momos are now a universal favorite. Dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables and very stuffed. Winter and evenings require nothing else. Moreover, both momos and thukpa contain almost no oil or spices, so you realize that these are the most nutritious foods you’ve ever tasted. When steamed, they contain a complete diet of meat and vegetables. The stands of Bhagsu Waterfall mentioned above sell the best momos.