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
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(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 »»
Dharamshala (city), India
Travel Tips for Dharamshala
- short power outages frequently happen during the day
How to get to Dharamshala from Rishikesh by bus
- 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
- e-VISA - visa on arrival is no longer done. Tourists should apply online for an e-VISA (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html). Tourist e-VISA for 60 days = US$51.25 (including surcharges, non-refundable). NOTE: e-VISA is only honored in 25 designated airports and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore,Mumbai,Chennai). You CANNOT do a land crossing using an e-VISA.
- US$1 = Indian Rupee (INR) 67.18
- nearly every food served is spicy...there is no escaping it
- other travel destinations in India
General Travel Tips
- 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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