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.


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17 Responses

  1. Hitesh Patel

    I love the pictures on this write up so nice and make the place look even more attractive.

  2. Charlie Brown

    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.

  3. Amati


    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.

  4. Ganesh Patle

    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

  5. Margareta Urquiza

    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.

  6. Teo Vineg

    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 😉

  7. Thomas

    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.

  8. David

    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.

  9. Penny Imes

    you will have an amazing weblog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?


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