Queen Of The Hills
against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar
mountains, Dharamsala is perched on the high slopes reaches of Kangra Valley . The town is
divided into two distinct and widely separated
sections, Upper and Lower Dharamsala, which differ
almost a thousand metres in height.
Today, Dharamsala has become the synonymous to the
Tibetan government in exile and the home of Tibetan
leader Dalai Lama. Even if the Tibetan community
dominates the town, still it has retained the
colonial lifestyle and British fervour.
Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded
by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby
snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy
atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive.
is a busy bazaar town and has established itself as
the travellers base camp, who come to explore the
nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar provides the
entire colour and characteristic of a small town,
which is mixed with the simple life style.
colourful temple and Gompas, which reflect the
culture of Tibet, adds attraction for the visitor.
The Kangra museum gives an overview of the rich past
of the region and on the other hand there are
institutes that have been established to preserve
the Tibetan art, cultures and traditions.
Kangra Art Museum: This treasure trove of the Kangra
valley's arts, crafts, and rich past, displays
artifacts that date back to the 5th century. The
museum also includes a gallery of Kangra's famous
miniature paintings and a representative collection
of sculptures, pottery, and anthropological items.
Memorial: Set amidst the pine groves is a war
memorial, built on the entry point of the Dharamsala
to commemorate the post independence war heroes of
Himachal Pradesh. A web of narrow paths and
landscaped lawns lead towards this monument.
Lake: Surrounded by high and green Deodar trees is
the lake, which fills a mountain bowl. Situated
11-kms away from the town, this lake is easily
approachable by road and makes an enchanting and
serene picnic spot.
John's Church: One of the most poignant memories of
the British Raj is the church of St. John, situated
in the wilderness. This charmingly dressed stone
church is located just 8-km from Dharamsala on the
way to McLeod Ganj. Under the shade of Deodar
branches, a memorial has been made over the body of
the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at
Dharamsala in 1863.
Tatwani & Machhrial: There are hot springs situated
at Tatwani, 25-km from Dharamsala but on the way, at
Machhrial, is a waterfall twice as big as the one
near the Bhagsunath temple.
Shrine of Bhagsunath: Just 11-km from the town
centre of Dharamsala is the ancient temple of
Bhagsunath. There are many fresh water springs close
to the temple, which are considered sacred by the
Pathri: These are the rock temples from which the
place derives its name. Kunal pathri is at a 3 kms flat
walk from Kotwali Bazaar.
Dharmkot: Just 11-km away from Dharamsala, located
on the crest of a hill lie on this attractive picnic
spot, which presents a panoramic view of the Kangra
valley and Dhauladhar ranges.
Norbulinka Institute: Just four kms from Dharamsala,
Norbulinka was established to preserve and teach the
ancient tibetan arts. The shady paths, wooden
bridges, small streams tiny water falls make this
place look like heaven. Here one can watch the
wooden carvings and the tangka paintings, golsithing
and embroidery being done. The nunnery close to the
institute is a place where women are taught the
advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy.
Chinmaya Tapovan: Just 10-km from the town is the
tranquil ashram complex set up by the great exponent
of the Gita--Swami Chinmayananda. Situated on the
banks of Bindu Saras, the ashram includes a 9m high
image of Hanuman, a Ram temple, a meditation hall, a
school and a health & recreation centre.
Andretta: Situated just 13-kms away from Palampur,
lies on this dwelling place of artist S.Sobha Singh. It
houses a gallery of some of his major works and a