The Dharamshala hill station in India exerts a magnetic pull over travellers with its scarped valleys, tranquil lakes, cascading falls, immersive temples and rich Tibetan heritage. Also known as the home of the Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, places in Dharamshala are picture-perfect attractions steeped in resplendent natural beauty.
Located amidst the mighty Dhauladhar range, towering deodar trees and dense coniferous forests, Dharamshala is the perfect spot for a nature retreat. While the serene Dharamshala hill station does not offer much to do, there are plenty of places to visit near Dharamshala.
8 Places to visit near Dharamshala:
Home to verdant hills and a breathtaking landscape, McLeodganj is one of the most frequented tourist places near Dharamshala. Fondly known as Little Lhasa due to the dense Tibetan population in the area, McLeodganj is just 3 kilometres from the hill station and the official residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama. Whether you are in for a nature retreat, a thrilling trek or on the hunt for the most scrumptious plate of Tibetan momos, McLeodganj has them all.
One of the best places to visit in Dharamshala and McLeodganj is Triund. A picturesque camping spot, Triund is a well-known spot among adrenaline enthusiasts who undertake the arduous Triund trek. A moderate climb to the snow-capped peaks at a height of 7,700 feet takes around two days but will reward you with a bird’s eye view of the snow-laden Dhauladhar peaks and Kangra valley. If trekking is not your cup of tea, you can camp the night in Triund under the clear skies and watch a mesmerising sunrise after.
3. Kangra Fort
Witness and relive the region’s past glory at the remnants of Kangra Fort that dates back to before 470 AD. Steeped in the rich history of the royals, the fort used to be a sprawling structure with temples, mosques, palaces and royal gateways running along a 4-kilometre stretch. Playing a part in Indian mythology, the ruins of Kangra Fort bear testimony to its vibrant past, where rulers like Jahangir and Maharaja Ranjit Singh flourished before it was taken over by the British. Legend has it that Kangra Fort is one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala.
One of the most sought-after paragliding destinations in India, Bir entices both domestic and international travellers with its thrill-seeking activities. From a quaint hamlet in Himachal Pradesh to a popular adventure spot, the small village is thriving from its tourism industry. Apart from paragliding, you can stroll along quiet tea gardens, go fishing and embark on nature trails in the area.
Doused in an old-world charm, Naggar is one of the ancient villages in Dharamshala, located along the banks of river Beas. An undiscovered gem, the mystical town is secluded from the touristy crowd making it a perfect escape abode for peace seekers. Enjoy Naggar’s scenic beauty, dense deodar trails, gushing waterfalls and a view of the snow-capped mountains ahead.
Nestled along the banks of river Ravi, Chamba near Dharamshala hill station is a picturesque town that opens up a route to the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. Housing an array of temples, palaces and museums, Chamba is a revered spot in Indian history. The hill station was occupied by the Kolian tribe during the 2nd century, which still exerts a cultural influence over the locals. Chamba also organises two annual fairs — the Minjar Mela and Suhi Mata Mela that last several days and are a fun-filled affair to attend, when in the area.
Looking for a spiritual retreat amidst nature? One of the best places to visit near Dharamshala is the pilgrimage town of Baijnath. Housing one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the Baijnath temple is a must-visit site if you are planning a trip to the hill station. Set along the banks of river Gomti, your trip to the religious town will reward you with the most magnificent views of Jalsu peak.
Among the best tourist places near Dharamshala is the hill station of Dalhousie. With an influence from the colonial era, Dalhousie is a treasure trove of attractions that engage every kind of traveller. Lined with historic churches, the revered Chamunda Devi temple, tranquil Chamera Lake and Kalatop Forest, Dalhousie’s scenic views will leave you in awe of its enchanting natural beauty.
If you’ve been having a hectic month, don’t just take the weekend off. Plan a week-long relaxing break as you cover these 8 exciting places to visit near Dharamshala. Trust us, you’ll return as a more rejuvenated and spiritually enriched individual.