Dharamshala is a city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh and lies at a height of 4,790 feet above sea level (1460 m). It is also the district headquarters of the Kangra Valley. Dharamshala is easily accessible by air, bus and train. The two economical ways to get there are— either by boarding a bus from Delhi while another is by taking a train to Chakki Bank at Pathankot which is the nearest broad gauge railway station to Dharamshala, which is just a three hour drive from there. The city of Dharamshala is divided into two distinct sections. Kotwali Bazaar and the surrounding markets are referred to as “Lower Dharamshala”. Further up the mountain is McLeodGanj.The two are separated by the village of Ganchen Kyishong, the home of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. A steep, narrow road connects McLeodGanj to Dharamshala and is only accessible by taxis and small cars, while a longer road winds around the valley for buses and trucks to use. Lower Dharamshala is surrounded by oak and coniferous trees while snow capped mountains enfold three sides of the town, the valley stretches in front. The snowline is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamshala than at any other hill resort as it is possible to make a day’s trek to a snow-point after an early morning start. Being a city there are very few traditional Himachali houses with more buildings found in the city. The people of Dharamshala are of Punjabi or Tibetan decent this is evident by the language spoken in the town which is Hindi, Punjabi, English and Pahari. Most of the people in lower Dharamshala work in offices and have commercial jobs. Very few rely on agriculture for their income. There are plenty of NGO’s where one can volunteer while spending time in lower Dharamshala if one decides to stay for a lengthy period of time. Many of the locals volunteer in these NGO’s on weekends. In and around the town, one can visit the Kangra Art museum at Kotwali Bazaar, war memorial, Kunal Pathri temple and tea gardens on the way to Kunal Pathri. There is also a beautiful cricket stadium in the city which is the highest cricket stadium in the world. Kotwali Bazaar, is a general shopping area where one can find woolen garments and wooden art work among a plethora of wares. The summers in lower Dharamshala are very warm with the day temperature crossing 35 degree Celsius till June when the monsoon starts. While the winters are extremely cold, the temperatures drop to 0 degree Celsius. The best time to visit is from March to mid May. Light cotton clothes are recommended on a trip to the city. Since lower Dharamshala is a city accommodation and food is not very cheap and one will find it hard to get a budget motel or lodge. The few motels that are there are not economical and have dingy rooms. Lower Dharmashala is not a backpacker-friendly place and it is better if budget travelers avoid spending a night there. However, this part of the city is an ideal place for families as it has more to offer in terms of a luxury stay. It is recommended that travelers head to upper Dharamshala–McLeodGanj which is a much better place for backpacker and travellers. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... 17 Responses Top 10 places to backpack across India - The Land Of Wanderlust July 14, 2016 […] and banners, good food and street performances are something that makes McLeodganj or upper Dharamshala one of the most happening towns in the Himalayas. Backpackers are spoilt for choice when it comes to […] Reply 11 days Blueprint around the Backpackers trail in Himachal Pradesh - The Land Out There February 28, 2016 […] Take a HRTC ordinary bus from New Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Dharamshala (12hrs) […] Reply Blueprint around Rewalsar and Mcleodganj in 6 days | The Land Out There November 24, 2015 […] From Mandi take a ordinary H.R.T.C bus to Dharamshala 127km […] Reply Backpacker’s blueprint around Kasol and McLeod-Ganj in seven days | The Land Out There August 19, 2015 […] Reach Bhuntar by 16:00 HRS and take a H.R.T.C bus to Dharamshala. […] Reply Top 10 places to backpack across India | The Land Out There August 29, 2014 […] and banners, good food and street performances are something that makes McLeodganj or upper Dharamshala one of the most happening towns in the Himalayas. Backpackers are spoilt for choice when it comes to […] Reply Hitesh Patel February 1, 2014 I love the pictures on this write up so nice and make the place look even more attractive. Reply Backpacker’s road map to & around: McLeod-Ganj | The Land Out There June 23, 2013 […] from Dharamkot to lower Dharamshala by local HRTC bus, taxi or […] Reply Charlie Brown June 8, 2013 I was trying to find some info about which is the highest cricket ground in the world and I reached your blog I must say this is a well written blog. Reply Amati June 5, 2013 Hi, I really loved your website. The content, pictures and travel tips are really nice. I must say India has always intrigues me but in your website I see a side of this country that truly makes me wanna visit it and experience Incredible India for myself. Thanks for the information, keep up the great work, You are doing a swell job. Reply Ganesh Patle May 29, 2013 I have just wanthed a cricket game in this cricket ground and i must say the snow capped mountains just make the ground look majestic Reply A Shiva temple and waterfall to behold: Bhagsunag, Himachal Pradesh | The Land Out There May 29, 2013 […] bus from Delhi to McLeod Ganj which is a 12 hour ride. One can also opt for a flight from Delhi to Dharamshala or a train ride to Phatankot which is the nearest broad gauge railway station to Bhagsunag which is […] Reply Land The Dalai Lama Calls Home: McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh | The Land Out There May 29, 2013 […] a height of 6,832 feet above sea level lies McLeod Ganj which is also known as Upper Dharamshala, a part of Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh. McLeod Ganj can be easily accessed by air and bus […] Reply Margareta Urquiza August 17, 2012 I have been to this place and I really loved the whole feel about Dharamshala what a wonderful place to stay and find some peace and quite time. Thanks a lot for sharing this brought back some really good memories. Reply Teo Vineg August 14, 2012 Hi there I love reading your Blog post because they are always about places that are Unheard off and something that I must say even Lonely Planet does not cover. I hope the passion to travel to these unknown places never dies out in you. waiting to read some more post. Cheers 😉 Reply Thomas August 2, 2012 The one thing that makes Dharamshala an amazing holiday experience is that it offers a perfect blend of luxury as well as the backpacking experience. Thus, it manages to cater to both the types of holidayers. I took a holiday to Dharamshala once, and I found it to be an amazing experience. But, obviously, it is advisable to visit the place on a slightly higher budget. Dharamshala is easily accessible and everything is easily available too. And at the same time, it offers such an amazing mixture of peace, serenity, luxury and adventure, you begin to feel better the moment you enter the place. And let me not forget to add that exhilarating feeling of being at the highest stadium in the world! I think it is an ideal place to visit, if you want to just soak in that beautiful weather, yet at the same time, not cut off entirely from the rest of the world. Reply David July 30, 2012 Dharamshala is one of the most renowned tourist spot in himachal pradesh. It offers various distinctive scenic beauty spots attracting nature lovers across the globe. Proximity with the snow line makes it suitable for adventure sports. Easy access via various transport services makes it a good option for both travelers as well as for family holidays. Full fledged with resources, it has every thing to offer a luxurious stay.Unique cricket stadium along with huge markets make dharamshala simply incredible. Reply Penny Imes July 28, 2012 you will have an amazing weblog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog? Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.