This appealing lake is set amidst lush green Deodar forests at an elevation of 1,775 metres and exudes perfection in peaceful climates. Placed at a distance of 2 kilometres away from McLeodganj Market, Dal Lake is just a walk away and also appears to be a major appeal for tourists as it serves as a base camp for several trekking expeditions. But if you don’t want to walk all the way, you can also go by car or taxi. The lake is also known for a popular temple of Lord Shiva that’s located on its banks.
The Kangra Fort is a majestic sample of construction, which was constructed by the imperial family of Kangra and dates back to around 4th Century B.C. This is familiar to be the largest fort in the Himalayas and is one of the oldest forts in India. This ancient fort is placed about 20 kilometres away from Dharamshala and houses a few temples that can be achieved by passing through seven gates. A major visitor appeal at the Kangra Fort is the elegant view of the Manjhi and Banganga rivers from here. Right next to the Fort is also the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum, which is run by the Royal Family of Kangra.
Also called Bhagsu Falls, this site houses the popular Bhagsunath Temple, enthusiastic to Lord Shiva. This is a popular visitor appeal and also an important place for Hindu pilgrims. The overflow waterfalls, about 20 metres in height, are an absolute marvel to look at, specially during the monsoons. There is a nice cafeteria next to the falls and the area provide as an attractive picnic spot for guests. Bhagsunag Falls are placed about 2 kilometres away from McLeodganj and are best vacation while on a trek, although you can also drive up to Bhagsu village.
It is at McLeodganj (Dharamsala) in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. This has larger than life images of Buddha, Avloketshwara and Padmasambhav besides several Thangka paintings. It is also called Namgyal Dratsang in local language. The monastery was established so that Namgyal monks could assist the Dalai Lamas in public religious affairs, perform ritual prayer ceremonies for the welfare of Tibet and function as a center of learning and meditation on the profound Buddhist treatises. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was granted asylum in India, the monastery was re-established here to preserve and continue the Tibetan culture and traditions. The monks here go through a rigorous and streamlined course of training, which includes a study of philosophy, sacred arts, meditation and debates. Even those who are not particularly inclined towards religion will be fascinated by the serene ambience all around the campus and the imposing figures of Buddha.
Kangra Art Museum:
The Kangra Art Museum is an appealing museum performing artifacts from Tibetan and Buddhist cultures. Inaugurated in 1990, the museum has protected a valuable growth from Kangra valley’s cultural past, crafts, arts and other antique artifacts including miniature paintings, temple carvings, fabrics and embroidery, weapons, and palanquins belonging to local royalty. It has a collection of rare pottery, coin memorabilia, sculptures and anthropological materials. It showcases jewelry of various tribes, embroidered costumes and wooden carvings. Some of the items displayed in the museum go back to 5th century. A section in the museum is also dedicated to contemporary artists and photographers. Located close to the bus station in Dharamshala, you can spend about an hour exploring the museum.
The Tsuglag Khang convolute is one of the first designs to be built when His Holiness the Dalai Lama appeared in India in 1959. It houses the popular Namgyal monastery, a museum, a café, a book shop, a library and the special residence of the Dalai Lama. Located just about 1 kilometer out of the center of McLeodganj, down the Temple Road, apart from being a place of worship, the temple is also where the Dalai Lama holds his public and private audiences and his public teachings. Thousands of pilgrims come here every year seeking the blessings of the Tibetan leader. Several religious festivities and dances are organised here through the year. Visitors can see all parts of the monastery except for the monks’ residences. Named after a 7th century temple in Lhasa, Tibet, Tsuglag Khang is an extremely peaceful place reverberating of Buddhist culture.
Visiting Gyuto Monastery is an absolute to do thing at Dharamshala. This spacious and silent monastery is located at the beautiful backdrop of the mountains and valleys. It was established in Tibet in 1474 by the essential enthusiast of the first Dalai Lama, Jetsun Kunga Dhondup. After the communist Chinese aggression in 1959, the monastery was re-established in India. The monks here form the main Tantric texts including Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka. They have developed these lineages on to the younger generation of monks for more than 500 years. The main chamber of the monastery has a majestic statue of the Buddha and with the backdrop of the snow-clad mountains; this is a very serene and peaceful place to spend an afternoon.
Jwalamukhi Devi Temple:
Jwalamukhi is one of the greatest antique temples of Goddess Durga. It is believed that Sati's tongue fell here and the goddess is manifest as small blue flames that burn through fissures in the old rock. There is no idol is located in the temple and Jwalamukhi, or the deity of flaming mouth, is worshipped in the form of flames coming out of the rock. There is a small platform in front of the temple and a huge brass bell that was presented by the King of Nepal. The temple also has a mystic Yantra or diagram of the goddess, which is covered with, shawls and ornaments. The puja in the temple goes on almost the whole day with the aarti being performed five times in a day, and the havan once. The temple has the most beautiful location with the Dhauladhar range in the backdrop. It is found on a small offshoot on the Dharamshala-Shimla road about 20 kilometres from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station. Jwalamukhi temple is one of the 52 Shakti Peethas and thousands of pilgrims visit the temple every year to seek the blessings of the goddess.
Hanuman Ka Tibba:
Hanuman-ka-Tibba is the highest point in the Dhauladhar mountain range. Also known as the 'White Mountain' this is at an altitude of about 5,639 metres (18,500 feet) above the sea level and offers breathtaking views of the valley. You can also spot the Pir Panjal range from here. Legend has it that this is where Lord Hanuman rested while returning with the Sanjeevani Buti in his hand. While this makes for a scenic and adventurous route for those up for trekking, it’s not recommended for amateurs.
Naam Art Gallery:
This is a great place for art lovers, located about 32 kilometres away from the town. The gallery was opened by Elizabeth Buschmann from Germany, and displays paintings by her as well as A.W. Hallett, an English painter. While Buschmann uses watercolours and acrylics, Hallett’s works are made using oil paints. Hallett died in 1986, and a large number of his are owned by the Himachal Pradesh Government. You can also buy paintings here or even order them online if you like. The gallery is located at Sidhbari village on Dharamshala-Chamunda road.