Top 10 Places To Visit In Dharamshala , Himachal Pradesh
Dharamshala is a scenic and panoramic hill station, tucked away in the Himalayas. With the Dhauladhar ranges and thick deodar forests in the background, Dharamshala has become an important highlight in most Himachal tour packages. As the place of residence of His Holiness – the Dalai Lama – this picturesque destination is not only popular among tourists but among spiritual seekers and religious travelers. Dharamshala boasts of jaw-dropping backdrop, stunning lake, vibrant monasteries, colorful temples, sparkling waterfalls, and vintage forts & museums. To make your trip to Dharamshala more fascinating and organized, here is the list of places to visit in Dharamshala. And don’t just visit them; take time to explore and discover their real beauty and charm.
10 Best Places To Visit In Dharamshala
Dharamshala is a stunning place in the mountains in Himachal Pradesh. Head here during the summer with a group of friends or solo. From February to June is believed to be the best time to visit Dharamshala that will make you capture the best of this place! Find below the best places to visit there.
- Tsuglagkhang Complex
- Namgyal Monastery
- Kareri Dal Lake
- Bhagsunag Temple
- Bhagsunag Waterfalls
- Gyuto Monastery
- Kangra Fort
- Kangra Art Museum
- Masroor Rock Cut Temple
- Naddi Village
1. Tsuglagkhang Complex: Visit This Religious Centre
Located on the Temple Road, the Tsuglagkhang Complex is a religious center and one of the important points of interest in Dharamshala. It was built when His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited India for the first time in 1959. The complex is one of the most important places to see in Dharamshala and comprises of Dalai Lama’s abode and monastery. Nowadays, this complex also houses public and private sessions of Dalai Lama along with numerous Tibetan dance and music performances.
Location: Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219
Don’t miss: Namgyal Monastery, the Tibetan museum, the in-house bookstore and library, monastery café, and the prestigious private residence of His Holiness
Opening hours: 6 am to 7 pm
Entry fee: Free entry for all
2. Namgyal Monastery:
As a major learning center, Namgyal Monastery in McLeodganj is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Dharamshala. With almost 200 monks, the famous monastery is the largest Tibetan temple outside the geographical boundary of Tibet. This monastery looks vibrant and pulls crowd round the year. The prayer wheels, the décor, the Tibetan-style architecture, and overall color scheme is visually appealing and mesmerizing.
Location: McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219
Don’t miss: The prayer room and meditation sessions of monks
Opening hours: The monastery is open from 6 am to 7 pm and the café is open from 10 am till 10 pm, daily
Entry fee: No cost
3 Kareri Dal Lake:
Spread over 1 sq km, Kareri Dal Lake is named after its marvellous counterpart of Kashmir. Its spell-binding beauty and calm setting make it one of the most popular places to see in Dharamshala. The stunning lake is surrounded by lush green deodar vegetation and snow-capped mountains.
The lake is located at an elevation of 1775 m and its serenity and charm attract a lot of travelers. It is also a site of a base camp for trekkers leading to expeditions on nearby hills.
Location: Kangra district
Don’t miss: Boating, picnic, and the Kali-Shiva temple located on the banks. You may be lucky to experience the gala annual fair held there while you’re sightseeing in Dharamshala.
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Entry fee: No entry fee
4. Bhagsunag Temple:
Bhagsunag temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most ancient temples and one of the most frequented tourist places to see in Dharamshala. Every year thousands of pilgrims flock to this temple, nestled in lofty hills and winding trails. The surrounding beauty of this temple has made it one of the most mesmerizing tourist attractions in Dharamshala.
Location: Palampur – Dharamshala Rd, Bhagsu Nag, McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh 176216
Don’t miss: A holy dip in the freshwater man-made pool. If you happen to be there in September, do not miss the annual fair held in the Bhagsunag Temple.
Opening hours: 6 am to 7 pm
Entry fee: None
5. Bhagsunag Waterfalls: Watch The Water Cascading Down
Popularly known as the Bhagsu Falls, this scenic cascade is located few kilometers up slope from the Bhagsunag Temple. It is one of the most important Dharamshala sightseeing destinations. The waterfall is 20 m in height and surrounded by pristine natural beauty. The sparkling cascade of milky white water looks most charming during monsoon. Hands down, its awe-inspiring natural surrounding makes it one of the best places amid the plethora of Dharamshala tourist places.
Also, Bhagsunag falls in McLeodganj is a popular trekking stretch and one of the splendid places to see in dharamshala.
Location: Temple, near Bhagsunag, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176215
Don’t miss: The mesmerizing natural beauty which surrounds the falls. Take a dip in the chilled water and refresh your mind and soul. You can enjoy a small picnic near the torrent and also try some munchies from the café located right next to it.
Opening hours: NA
Entry fee: None
6. Gyuto Monastery:
This beautiful monastery is one of the best places to see in Dharamshala. Gyuto Monastery is the residence of Karmapa – the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism. It is quite a popular place for sightseeing in Dharamshala courtesy its research on Buddhist Philosophy, Tantric rituals, and Tantric meditation. This famous monastery was built in the memory of soldiers who devoted their lives to Tibet Freedom War.
The monastery complex is serene and beautiful and it’s décor, style, and architecture look amazing. The monastery with the mesmerizing Dhauladhar in its background is one of the finest tourist places in Dharamshala.
Location: Sidhbari, Himachal Pradesh 176053
Don’t miss: The Image of Sakyamuni Buddha. Also, Karmapa’s speech on every Wednesday and Saturday is not to be missed.
Opening hours: 8 am to 11 pm
Entry fee: None
7. Kangra Fort: One Of The Oldest Forts Of India
Witness awe-inspiring history and marvelous heritage at Kangra Fort, which is one of the popular tourist places in Dharamshala. It is an ancient structure dating back to 4th century BC. As one of the oldest forts in India and the largest fort in the Himalayas, this royal specimen of architecture was once an abode of the Royal family of Kangra – Katoch Dynasty. The ruins speak for the kind of historical incidents the fort has witnessed. Unveil the truth of Kangra fort history by visiting the place and listening to the stories forsaid by the locals. This is one of the best places to visit near Dharamshala which offers a close look to the ancient fort.
Location: Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh 176001
Don’t miss: The jaw-dropping view of Manjhi and Banganga River and Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum. The complex even houses many ancient temples.
Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm
Entry fee: INR 150 per person for Indians and INR 300 per person for foreigners.
8. Kangra Art Museum: Delve Into Some Brilliant Artworks
Located near Dharamshala bus stand, Kangra Art Museum is a magnificent hub that displays the objects of Tibetan and Buddhist culture, dating back to many centuries. Due to its heritage value, it is one of the most popular places to visit in Dharamshala. The museum started its operation in 1990 and is now considered as one of the not-to-miss sightseeing in Dharamshala.
The museum is known for preserving ancient traits and ethos of Kangra valley in the form of paintings, statues, fabrics, weapons, utensils, and temple figurines. The museum has one dedicated section for modern painters and sculptors as well.
Location: Kotwali Bazar Rd, Sudher, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176215
Don’t miss: Rare collection of coins, anthropological items, pottery, and tribal ornaments.
Opening hours: 10 am to 1.30 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm. The museum is closed on Monday and on every public holiday.
Entry fee: INR 10 per person for Indians and INR 50 per person for foreigners.
9. Masroor Rock Cut Temple
A historical site, Masroor temple is known for age-old rock-cut temples that date back to the 8th century AD. This is an upcoming and one of the most liked tourist spots in Dharamshala. There are 15 monolithic temples depicting Indo-Aryan style architecture, depicting various tales of great Indian epics.
Masroor – one of the famous Dharamshala tourist places is mostly frequented by history lovers, art enthusiasts, painters, solo travelers, and nature admirers. The temple carvings are excellent and superbly detailed. They make the place a glorious site of Indian art and of course one of the major Dharamshala points of interest.
Location: Masroor, Lahalpur, Himachal Pradesh 176026
Don’t miss: Carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana displaying Ram, Lakshman, and Sita
Opening hours: 9 AM – 7 PM
Entry fee: None
10. Naddi Village: Explore The Remote Place
Naddi is a serene and absolutely charming village, located up the hill, far away from the chatter of the main town. One of the most picturesque places to visit near Dharamshala. Naddi hill point is located in a remote village that offers a mesmerizing view of the lofty mountains, deep plush Kangra valley, and luxuriant deodar forests. On a clear day, you can also view snowy peaks of the Dhauladhar ranges which is why it’s one of the most charming places to see in Dharamshala.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Don’t miss: The panoramic view of the surrounding – that is what makes it a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate for families and friends. Stay overnight to experience the most photogenic sunrise.
Entry fee: None