TheLoneRider
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Dharamshala, India

DHARAMSHALA

Dharamshala, India

Dharamshala is widely known as the residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Many Tibetans have since settled here, giving the once Buddhist and Hindi place a dominant Tibetan flavour with the development of Tibetan monasteries, temples and schools. With the popularity of the Dalai Lama and Dharamshala's cool Himalayan climate, the place has become an important tourist destination.

When people talk about "Dharamshala", they mean lower-Dharamshala or the Kotwali Bazaar market where most commerce take place. McLeod Ganj, also upper-Dharamshala is further up the mountain. The main tourist hub is McLeod Ganj where the Dalai Lama resides.

Surrounded by a forest of cedar trees, it is already on the foothills of the Himalayas with its highest altitude at 2352 MASL.


Dharamshala Blogs by TheLoneRider

Life in Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala traveling

Life in Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala

(June 16-23, 2018) My 7 days in Upper Bhagsu was nothing less than magical. The cool mountain climate, the scenic valley view, the eclectic cafe scene, the chill denizens who endured the high climb with their heavy luggage to pursue their spirituality, the affordability of the place, its isolation, the be-in events, etc., all amounted to a sensory bliss quite rare given all my travels.....more »»

Matters of the Heart lucid

Matters of the Heart

(Jun 17, 2018) If I have a weak link in my human chain, it might be the heart. I intellectualize nearly everything. Now, my benevolent universe is telling me along clear lines not to use my head to accomplish the tasks that the heart was meant to do.....more »»

A First Timer in Dharamshala traveling

A First Timer in Dharamshala

(Jun 14, 2018) Having done my mini-life in Rishikesh, it was time to move on again. Manali? Ladak? Shimla? They were the likely destinations during the monsoon season. However, since I only had 30 days left in my visa for another 30-day mini-life, I had to go to Dharamshala - the residence of his Holiness, the Dalai Lama and seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.....more »»

Google Map

Dharamshala (city), India

hotels in Dharamshala hotel

Travel Tips for Dharamshala

  1. in June, the average temperature high is 31° and average low is 21°. It rains usually in the afternoon/evening beginning mid-June
  2. July and August see the most rainfall, up to 22 inches
  3. Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) happens 30 October to 2 November in McLeod Ganj
  4. trekking is one of the highlights in Dharamshala - to Dharamkot, Bhagsu, cutting through Dhauladhar to the upper Ravi Valley and Chamba district, or the 8km trek to Triund
  5. Wednesday is vegetarian day - other days, meat dishes are served by cafes and restaurants
  6. Bhagsu and Dharamkot are a quiet alternative to McLeod Ganj. They are also cheaper in accommodation when the Dalai Lama is in town and McLeod Ganj hostels are fully booked (with inflated prices)
  7. If you wish to stay in McLeod Ganj but want quiet, stay along Jogiwara Road where balconies will offer scenic views
  8. short power outages frequently happen during the day
  9. for quiet stays and scenic views, stay in Upper Dharamkot or Upper Bhagsu. The "upper" you go, the cheaper the accommodation prices go.
  10. in Upper Dharamkot is a cluster of cafes and lodging (Salvation Cafe area)where the community is chill

How to get to Dharamshala from Rishikesh by bus

  1. bus terminal Bus - Rishikesh to Dharamshala is 449 kms. The usual route is to go to Haridwar and take the State transport buses to Lower Dharamshala, but it's less hassle to get a bus from Rishikesh that go all the way up to McLeod Ganj - a little more money (INR 1150) but worth it specially if you a carry bulky pack. You will leave Rishikesh 4pm and arrive in Dharamshala the following day (you save one night lodging) at 7am.

Travel Tips for India

General Travel Tips

  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
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