Visit Dharamshala In Your Budget
Dharamshala is a combination of peace and beautiful nature. Every mountain lover should visit Dharamshala. It is a place which every vacationer would love to visit. It has its own fantastic view of Himalayan mountains and lush coniferous forest.
My holi celebration of the year 2019 and the birthday bash of my husband was at Dharamshala. We decided to visit Dharamshala and enjoy nature, climate, and peaceful place. It was Just a perfect time to visit Dharamshala.
Those who visit Dharamshala, also go to Dal Housie and McLeodGanj. We do have an option to go on the trek when we visit Dharamshala. A small and memorable vacation can spend for 3-4 days in Dharamshala peacefully.
Best Time To Visit Dharamshala
Ways To Reach Dharamshala
Places To Visit Dharamshala
How to make your Visit to Dharamshala Budget Friendly
Dharamsala is popularly known as “Scotland of India”. It is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by cedar forests on the edge of the Himalayas, this hillside city is home to The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. The average altitude of Dharamshala is 1,475 above sea level.
Dharamshala has a monsoon-influenced climate. Winter starts in December and continues until late February. Snow and sleet are common during the winter in upper Dharamshala.
Autumn is mild and lasts from October to the end of November. Autumn temperatures average around 16–17 °C.
Summer starts from April to early June when temperatures can reach 36 °C.
From July to September is the monsoon season, when up to 3,000 mm of rainfall can be experienced, making Dharamshala one of the wettest places in the state.
Best Time To Visit Dharamshala:
Dharamshala is a pleasant hill station which we can visit throughout the year. The interesting and strikingly beautiful mountains welcome us throughout the year. A pleasant climate is always refreshing. You can enjoy the cone-bearing forest after visiting Dharamshala.
If you are planning to Visit Dharamshala in summers between April to June, you can skip just the blazing summers from your town and head towards Dharamsala. Snow slowly starts melting at the start of April. The temperature in summers ranges between 20 and 35 degrees Celcius. This the ideal time to go on a trek and visit Dharamshala for the trek lovers. This is the peak season so it may be crowded.
Monsoon arrives in Dharamsala during July and carries on till September. Monsoon is not actually the right time to visit Dharamshala for most of the tourist. Treking becomes difficult due to heavy rainfall. Adventure sports are also almost shut down during this phase.
Winters is the BEST TIME to enjoy the exquisite and equanimity of Dharamshala. Most of the tourist prefer the duration between October to March (the winters) for exploring Dharamshala. The temperature goes up to 4° C. It snows during the month of January. The snow-capped mountains of Dharamshala are just breathtaking.
Before we move forward to the place to visit in Dharamshala, let’s check out the tips and tricks for travellers. The TO-DO list for BackPackers.
Ways To Reach Dharamshala:
It is approximately 12km from Dharamshala. We get a cab, taxi, and auto near the airport to travel to Dharamshala.
If we plan to visit Dharamshala via railway, the nearest major railway station is Pathankot which is just 85km from Dharamshala.
We get a taxi or buses from Pathankot to Dharamshala. We have one more non-popular railway station near Dharamshala Kangra Mandir, it is just 22km from Dharamshala. The connectivity from major cities to this Kangra Mandir is limited.
Places To Visit Dharamshala:
Bhagsu Nag Shiv Mandir
The Dalai Lama Temple
St. John Church
Bhagsunath Waterfall is the main attraction of McLeodGanj. When you visit Dharamshala, never miss this place.
McleodGanj is 12km from Dharamshala and if your living in McleodGanj then Bhagsunath waterfall is walkable. It is located 2km from the Bhagsu village.
Bhagsunath waterfall is situated behind the Bhagsu Temple in Bhagsu village. We need approximate 2-3 hrs to visit the waterfall and return to Bhagsu village.
A walk of approximate 2km along with 200-250 steps is to be crossed to reach the Bhagsunath waterfall. So the use of sports shoes or comfortable footwear is highly recommended.
In winters do carry warm clothes. To enjoy the pleasant climate and the beautiful view do reach Bhagsunath waterfall by 9-10am.
In summers we feel hot to climb the steps and reach till the waterfall, so it is highly recommended to go early in the morning. Visiting hours for the Bhagsu waterfall from 7 am to 8 pm.
We do not have any fees to visit Bhagsu waterfall, as it is a public place. Bhagsu waterfall is famous for scenery lovers, for photography and serenity.
There are many lip-smacking eateries on the way to Bhagsu waterfall.
Shiva Cafe is a famous place near the waterfall to have a sip of coffee and enjoy the view. We come across handicraft shops and shopping market while going waterfall.
Bhagsu Nag Shiv Mandir
Before you reach Bhagsunath waterfall you come across Bhagsu Nag Shiv Mandir. It is a temple of God Bhagsu Nag and to Lord Shiva. We have a small pool outside the temple, you can take a dip in that pool. We also have an open space outside the temple, and benches to sit.
It is said that many years ago Nagdevata, the snake God was drawn into a battle with a local King Bhagsu, Bhagsu dared to steal water from the sacred NagDal Lake. King Bhagsu was vanquished and forgiven by the Snake God and the site consecrated as BhagsuNag. Amongst all the devotes, the temple holds a special significance for the Gorkhali community. Temple patronage had been the essence of Gorkha culture.
Triund is a small hill station at in the Kangra district in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is at the foot of the Dhauladhar ranges and is a part of Dharamkot.
Triund hill is a large land of green grass. One can see the lusty Dhauladhar range from one side and Kangra Valley on the other side. Triund is at a height of 2,828 m.
Triund hill is trekking spot and those who love to take a top view of the mountains must go to this place when they visit Dharamshala. This place is the crown jewel of Dharamshala. It is an easy trek which can be done by all the age group members. It is 7km one why trek from McLeodGanj.
On the way to Triund, we come across a beautiful forest of Oak, Deodar, and Rhododendron trees. It looks even more beautiful in the months of January and February when a blanket of snow covers the entire forest.
As I said Triund hill is a trekking spot. We can complete this trek easily in one day or we can also stay overnight at Triund. For one day trek, I would recommend you to start the trek early in the morning so that you can come back before it gets dark.
You have many options to eat once you reach. For an overnight stay, you can go camping. It would be good if you pre-book the tent and then start the trek. Renting a tent will cost you around 600 INR whereas for an online booked package tour will cost you more than 1500 INR. Price may change according to the seasons.”
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium also known as HPCA Stadium is the scenic place in the Dharamshala for the visitors. The HPCA Stadium was established in 2003, but the first One Day International match was played in 2013. Due to snowfall and extreme weather conditions, the stadium was considered fit for an ODI in 2013.
HPCA Stadium spreads over an area of 16 acres. It is the major attraction for people who visit Dharamshala. Address of Hpca Stadium is Civil Lines Rd, Jawahar Nagar, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176215, India. The time to visit HPCA Stadium is from 9 am to 5 pm. They also have a minimal entry fee of 20 INR.
The Dalai Lama Temple
The Dalai Lama Temple is also called as Tsuglagkhang Temple (Home of the Dalai Lama). It is a peaceful and pleasant place to visit in Dharamshala. For the budget travellers, it is just at a walkable distance from McLeodGanj bus stop.
We do not have any entry fee to visit this temple. Best time to visit is in the morning so that you can see the monks practicing their daily routine, yoga, pranayama, and meditation. However, you can visit any time from morning 5 am to 8 pm.
Many people visit Dharamshala especially to see the Tsuglagkhang Temple. The complex has a monastery, various stupas and temples, a museum, library, bookstore and a cafe. Make sure you keep the silence and do not disturb the people who have come to visit the temple in search of peace. Footwears are not allowed in the temple.
Toilets are available inside the temple complex. If you are travelling in your own car then parking is available close to the temple itself.
Tibet Museum is located in The Dalai Lama Temple. Museum gives us information about the history of Tibetans, struggles over the centuries and the Chinese invasion. We have free entry in the museum. Make sure you visit the museum between 9 am and 5 pm. The museum is very informative. I shall make a different blog, and share the history abt Tibetans.
The War Memorial is the memorial made to salute the soldiers who fought for our nation. This is a memorial where names of martyrs are mentioned in memory of their contribution to the nation and in honor of their bravery. It is a recollection of all the war heroes who fought courageously for their motherland and sacrificed their lives.
The wall of the memorial is curved, signifying the continuity of life and the fact that these great soldiers will immortal in the minds of Indians forever. The entry fee is Rs. 5/- per person. The timing to visit war memorial is in between 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. A small cafe is situated near the memorial.
St. John Church
When we visit Dharamshala and we are moving towards McLeodGanj we come across a St. John Church. It is one of the oldest church built in North India, in the year 1852. St. John’s Church is known as the ‘Church in Wilderness’ as the area is uninhabited, completely surrounded by tall Deodar trees and left in its natural condition.
The church is famous for its stained glass windows and magnificent architecture. Just near to St. John’s Church is the memorial of Lord James Bruce. Lord James Bruce died in 1863 and was buried near St. Johns Church in Dharamshala. There are many other graves outside the St. John’s church where many Britishers of that period have been buried.
How to make your visit to Dharamshala budget friendly.
If we plan our trip properly and then visit the place, then no one can stop us from making our trip budget-friendly. Similarly, before you visit Dharamshala do make a program of how to reach Dharamshala, places to visit in Dharamshala, how many days to stay, options to stay in your budget and food to eat. This will help you in making your trip budget-friendly.
When I had a visit to Dharamshala for 3 days 2 nights, my total expenditure was around 8000 for 2 people. Which includes travelling from Delhi to Dharamshala, stay, food, paragliding, local sightseen and shopping.
Starting from the Journey:
We have 2 options to reach Dharamshala from Delhi, by road or by railway.
We have direct buses from Delhi to Dharamshala that will cost us from 600INR to 1000INR depending on your requirement, AC/NON-AC, Sleeper/Semi-Sleeper, etc.
The other option is by train, the nearest railway station is Pathankot. From Delhi to Pathankot we have travel by train, the cost varies from 250INR to 800INR, depending on the which class of train ticket you book. From Pathankot to Dharamshala or MeclondGanj we have public buses, share taxis, and private cabs. This totally depends on you what option you would like to select.
We have many economic hotels in McleodGanj starting from 400 INR to 999 INR per day. Try booking hotels in McleodGanj. Sky Pie Guest House is one which I have experienced. We have many such options, it is just that we need to search.
Many places are at a walkable distance if you book a hotel in McleodGanj. The Dalai Lama Temple, Bhagsunath Waterfall, Bhagsu Nag Shiv
Adventure sports like paragliding:
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Do scrutinize blogs and visit the places and share your experience with me when you come back from your trip.