11 Jan 2021


Dharamshala Guide 2021!

A new year is upon us, and with it come exciting new opportunities to explore our hills! Now that Himachal tourism has opened for 2021, there’s so many things to see in Dharamshala and the regions surrounding our resort in Dharamshala. If you were having trouble figuring out the various things to do in Dharamshala in 2021, we’ve got you covered with this guide! 

 near our resort in dharamshala

The district headquarters of the mighty Kangra Valley, Dharamshala is the cradle of Tibetean Buddhism in India. Even before the great Dalai Lama made the decision to establish a center for Tibetean philosophy here in 1959, Dharamshala was a land swathed in spirituality. The very name Dharamshala means “the realm of the spiritual”. Dharamshala was originally part of the kingdom of the Katoch, the royal Kangra family that is said to be among the oldest surviving royal dynasties in the world. They resided along with the indigenous shepherd population of the hills known as Gaddis. The history of the early settlers of Kangra can be dated back to the early 14th century.
With the arrival of the British in the 1800s, Dharamshala also became an important strategic military zone. The mighty Gurkha regiments were moved here a few decades later and Dharamshala soon became synonymous with these brave soldiers, giving rise to the 1st Gurkha Rifles division. Finally in 1959, the Lama sought asylum in the expansive hill range and established the Namgyal Monastery, the first of its kind in India. From here onwards, Dharamshala’s popularity as a center of beauty and spirituality spread and those that seek answers flock to Dharamshala’s monasteries while those that seek an escape from the urban life visit Dharamshala for its large deodar and pine forests, and the Dhauladhars keeping watch over the region like earthly gods.
Dharamshala remains a culturally unique center with multiple communities and people calling it their home. On your visit to Dharamshala you’ll find the same reflected in every facet of life: Cuisine, culture, architecture and lifestyle.

woods near our resort in dharamshala

To help plan for your Dharamshala trip, here’s a list of all major regions within Dharamshala.  
McLeodganj: Perhaps the most famous region of Dharamshala, Mcleodganj is a unique suburb nestled within the hills. Its many markets, monasteries, churches and temples make for a splendid day visit from our resort in Dharamshala.
Bir: Located on the opposite end of our resort in Dharamshala is Bir, the perfect place to take off and soar in the skies. Bir is known for its paragliding scene, popular throughout the country.
Dehra: A sleepy little province to the south of Dharamshala, Dehra is famous for its stunning scenery, the meandering Beas river and the Pong Dam that sits on it.
Palampur: Surrounded by the mighty Dhauladhars, Palampur is another sleepy village close to Dharamshala. It also happens to be the home of our resort in Dharamshala! Palampur’s tea gardens, numerous treks and villages merit a visit during your Dharamshala trip.

Important Information For Your Dharamshala Trip:
Safety guidelines:
While COVID tests or quarantining are not mandatory for your Dharamshala trip, we do advise that you follow all safety protocols in the region and if possible get tested at least 96 hours before your journey. We also kindly request that everyone follow social distancing to maintain the safety of the region!
How To Reach Dharamshala:
Dharamshala is well connected by land, air and rail. There are various options to get to Dharamshala. Out of all of these, we recommend taking the road the most as one gets to truly experience the beauty of Dharamshala through the winding roads that give you a glimpse of true pahadi life.
By Road: Dharamshala is within driving distance from Chandigarh (230km), Delhi (468km) and Ludhiana (192km). You should reach our resort in Dharamshala within a solid 11 hours if you depart from any of these cities!
Sights Of Dharamshala:
Trekking: Dharamshala is trekker paradise. Whether it’s the short day treks around our resort in Dharamshala or scaling the mighty Dhauladhars or even attempting the 12 day Bara Bhangal trek of Kangra, there are trekking options that suit every level of experience or interest. Stroll by an idyllic stream or walk in the snow during the winters on our snow trek. Come sun or snow, there’s always the opportunity to put those shoes on and trek!
Monasteries: Dharamshala without monasteries is unimaginable. There are 4 major monasteries along with numerous little shrines dotted throughout the region. The Namgyal Monastery is the first; established by the Lama in 1959, it remains the most important center for Tibetean learning in the country. The Norbulungka institute and monastery is also an important learning center. The Tsuglagkhang Complex is the current residence of the Lama, set to the backdrop of pine trees and the mountains.
Temples: The numerous temples of Dharamshala give an insight into the region before it became a center for Tibetean learning. The rock cut temples of Masrur are among the most ancient in India going back to the 8th century. There is also the Baijnath Temple, another stone wonder that dates back to the 13th century and is said to be one of the holy sites for the Hindu god Shiva.
Markets: The many markets of Mcleodganj and Palampur are the perfect place to do a spot of shopping while on your Dharamshala trip. Pick up a Kullu camp or gorge on momos from the various stalls. There are a variety of markets, some Indian and some Tibetean that offer both locals and tourists a good number of trinkets along with regular goods.

mountains near our resort in dharamshala

What To Eat In Dharamshala:
Food in the hills takes on a completely different avatar than the plains. Local vegetables and fruits take the precedence of what is generally consumed elsewhere in the country. Meat is a speciality that is served on cold days. Of course, a Dharamshala trip means you cannot miss out on sampling a Dhaam, the traditional Himachali feast, at our resort in Dharamshala. Along with Dhaam, tuck into the various lentil based curries like Maadra and Teliya Maa. These are to be had with freshly made rotis slathered generously with butter. In the cities, don’t miss out on some steaming hot Tibetean Thukpa or Themthuk along with a plate of momos and chutney to go.

There are also a wide variety of pickled delicacies that you must buy on your Dharamshala trip. Lungdu ka achar, Lasure ka achar, galgal ka achar and many more. Finally, a trip to the hills is incomplete without a cup of steaming tea straight from Palampur’s tea gardens!

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061