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Dharamsala (in North India) Hill Station Guide
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The High snow clad Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas form a magnificent backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamsala. this is the principal township of Kangra district and overlooks the wide spread of the plains. with dense pine and deodar forests. Numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamsala has everything for a perfect holiday. It is full of life and yet peaceful. And therefore the headquarters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are here. Covering a wide area in the form of twin settlement, Lower Dharamsala (1380m) is a busy commercial centre. While upper Dharamsala (1830m) with the suburbs of Mcleodganj and Forsytheganj, retains a British flavour and colonial lifestyle. The charming church of St. John in the wilderness is situated here and this is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, a British Viceroy of India during the 19th century. There is also large Tibetan Community who have made this their home. Numerous ancient temples like Jwalamukhi, Brijeshwari and Chamunda lie on the plains below Dharamsala.

Dharamsala is the main hill station in the Kangra Valley - a fertile, undulating valley, lying between the gentle Shivalik Hills and the foothills of the mighty Dhauladhars - a valley noted for the beauty of its scenery - lush terraces, wooded hills, manicured tea gardens and sparkling streams. The Dhauladhars, "the white mountains" that rise 4,000 m above the valley floor, provide a dramatic backdrop.

Picturesque Dharamsala, built on a spur of the Dhauladhar range, commands splendid view of the surrounding country. Originally a little hill resort built by the British, Dharamsala rambles up in levels to very near the snow line. While Lower Dharamsala (1,250 m) is the busy commercial area with government buildings, the bazaar and the bus stand, Upper Dharamsala (1,982 m) has suburbs with evocative names like Forsythganj and Macleodganj that are quite fascinating.

Access by Air:
Dharamsala can be approached by air from Delhi. The nearest airport is at Gaggal, just 13 km away.

Access by Rail:
Pathankot the nearest broad gauge railway station is 85 km away and the toy train stations just 17 km at Kangra. Taxis Buses for Dharamsala are available at both places. From Pathankot the drive takes about three hours.

Access by Road:
You can drive from Delhi (526 km) via Chandigarh, Kiratpur and Bilaspur. this should take around 12 hours. From Delhi and Shimla luxury buses play to Dharamsala. Well connected by road. Some distances are as follows: Delhi 526 Km, Chandigarh 239 Km, Kulllu 214 Km, Shimla 332 Km, Chamba 192 Km.

Location Map of Dharamshala:

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Climate:
Lower Dharamsala is at an altitude of 1400m, while McLeod Ganj is at around 1750m, making them considerably cooler than the plains below. Temperatures in January can dip below freezing, while June can go up to 38C, and the monsoon season from July to September is very wet indeed. Even in March, when the Dalai Lama holds his teachings and the weather down in Delhi is downright balmy, you will still need a heavy winter coat, but these can be purchased at reasonable prices in town.

Sightseeing places in and around Dharamsala (few selected soft places to visit)  :

The variety Dharamsala offers for sightseeing ranges from temples, churches and monasteries to museums, ancient towns and places of natural beauty. Every season and every spot has its own special offering.

KANGRA ART MUSEUM, KOTWALI BAZAR: This treasure trove of the Kangra Valley arts, crafts and rich past, displays artifacts that date back to the5th century. It includes a gallery of Kangra's famous miniature painting and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamianas and dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jails, lintels and pandals are also on display Coins, jewelry and manuscripts are included. A section houses the work of contemporary artists, sculptures and photographers. The library is just below this.

WAR MEMORIAL: At there start of town, landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monuments has been raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh.

KUNAL PATHRI: A 3 km level walk from the Kotwali Bazar leads upto this rock temple.

ST. JOHN'S CHURCH: 8km from Dharamsala, between Forsythganj and Mcleodganj is the charming dressed-stone church of St. John in the Wilderness. Under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863. There is a well tended old graveyard on these grassy sloped.

MCLEODGANJ: Often called the Little Lhasa at 1770m this is the residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Government-in-exile has been here for over three decades. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avaloktwshwara. The large Tibetan community and the presence of traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet hace enhanced the area. Tibet handicrafts, and garments are available on sale on every Sunday. The Tibetan institute of performing Arts is just a km away and it organises a ten day festival from the second Saturday of April.

DAL LAKE: 11 km from Dharamsala and surrounded by deodar trees, the lake fills mountains bowl on the motor road, this is an enchanting and serene picnic spot.

Suggested Hotels for stay at Dharamsala during Meditation Course :

HOTEL DHAULADHAR
:
Poised against the mighty Dhauladhar ranges, Himachal Tourism. Hotel Dhauladhar offers a commanding view of the mountains and of the Pong Dam Reservoir. Situated in the heart of town. Hotel Dhauladhar is on Dharamsala's main road and is easily accessible from all sides.
Category ~ Deluxe Hotel.

Accommodation facilities :
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The luxury suites have fire places, separate sitting and dressing
     rooms/balconies.
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All rooms, have wall to wall carpeting. They are airy, spacious, well
     furnished and have attached baths with running hot and cold water.
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CTV in all rooms with multi channels.
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Telephone in every room. Room Service. Laundry and dry-cleaning.
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Parking within premises. Safe deposit. Doctor on call.
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Conference facility for 60 persons, billiards room for guests.
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Restaurant -52 covers. Serves Indian, Chinese, Continental and Himachal
     Cuisine.
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Open air restaurant -20 covers. Amidst lawns, overlooks the valley.
++
Bar serves Indian and Foreign liquor.

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