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Kangra valley is one of the Himachal’s beautiful valleys. It rolls down the southern edge of magnificent Dhauladhar range in gentle slopes covered with forests of pine, orchards, green tea gardens and terraced fields. The Dhauladhars -the “White ranges” rise upto 14000 ft . providing a dramatic backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamshala. This is the principal township of Kangra covering a wide area  in the form of town settlement.  Lower Dharamsala (1380 mt)is a busy commercial centre, while upper Dharamsala (1700 mt)     with the suburbs of Mcleodganj and Forsythganj, -retains the British flavour more or less colonial lifestyle. The charming stone church of St. John in the  Wilderness,  with its beautiful stained glass windows is situated here and this church yard is the final resting place of lord  Elgin a British Viceroy of India who was buried here in 1863, as he chose to remain in the town he loved. Up in Mcleodganj is a charming Tibetan settlement with bustling Bazars that sell carpets, handicrafts and delicious Tibetan food A giant prayer wheel ornaments main street and in the monastery, a serene statue of the Lord Buddha presides over the gentle chanting of the monks. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama resides in Mcleodganj, which is now a major centre for Tibetan Government -in- exile and Tibetan culture. It has a School for Tibetan studies with rare manuscripts and  texts,  Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and a handicrafts centre. Dharamshala has everything for a perfect holiday. Winter in the Kangra Valley is enchanting. The snow line remains close enough at all times and during winter months, the northern part is swaddled in a blanket of freshly fallen snow allowing the magic of Kangra to take on yet another hue. Numerous ancient temples like Jawalamukhi, Bajreshwari, Chamunda and Baijnath (Vaidyanath) lie on the below Dhauladhar


The Nagri Resort - the back alley to paradise. A blissful cluster of cottages amongst natural and man-made luxuries. Just 10 kilometers from Palampur, the Nagri Resorts is perched among paddy fields, a stream called Khadd and picture perfect views of the snow capped Dhauladhar. Read more


New in Dharamshala

Location :Sidhbari Dharamshala H.P.


Opening ceremony of Naam Art Gallery


The permanent exhibition in ‘NAAM ART GALLERY’  shows paintings by Elsbeth Buschmann - watercolours and acrylics - and oil paintings by Alfred W. Hallett.

Elsbeth Buschmann, is a professional painter from Germany, having studied painting in London and Paris .She lived in many countries where she held exhibitions, especially in the USA where she received various awards. Her paintings are in private collections in Germany, USA, Scotland, India and Switzerland. In India she held solo exhibitions at AIFAX, New Delhi and TAG, the Art Gallery of the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. She also took part in ‘The Himalayan National Exhibition of Art’ and was awarded.

A.W.Hallett is a very well renowned painter from England. He studied art in London and participated in two exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Art, London which entitled him to become a Fellow of the Academy. He held various international exhibitions. He lived over 40 years at Dharamsala and became very popular in Himachal al Pradesh. Many of his paintings are owned by the government of Himachal Pradesh. A.W. Hallett held a special interest in the culture and scenery of Himachal Pradesh which are the main elements of his work. He passed away in 1986 at Dharamsala.. The display of his paintings in ‘NAAM ART GALLERY’ are a tribute to this great painter.                   website www.naamartgallery.com

Gallery Timing: 10 am to 7 pm (Monday closed)

Dharamshala View

Dharamsala View



Naddi Village



Kunal Pathri Temple

Sun set view from Cantt area



Photos of mud brick houses in Sidhbari                              Mud building workshop

Transport :- There is an airport about eighteen kilometers from lower Dharamshala connecting to Delhi, Kullu, Shimla.
Dharamshala can also be reached by an overnight or day bus from Delhi, which takes about twelve to fourteen hours.
    A more comfortable alternative would be to take a twelve-hour train trip from Delhi to Pathankot and then a three-hour bus or two-hour taxi ride to Dharamshala. From there buses and taxis regularly shuttle people to McLeodgunj.

The Kangra Valley is rich par in unexplored archaeological sites of great importance to understanding Indian Buddhism; in 635 AD the Chinese monk-pilgrim, Hsuan Tsang recorded fifty monasteries with around 2,000 monks in this fertile region. But, a century later, Buddhism and all its sites were eliminated from the valley during an upsurge of Brahminical revivalism. Dharamsala's earliest history is obscured by time and the successive invasions that swept through all North India. But it is known that the original tribes identified with Kangra's hilly tracts were Dasas, a warrior people, later assimilated by Aryans. In 1849 the British posted a regiment in Dharamsala, but the place was not to remain a military cantonment for long. By 1855 it was a small but flourishing hill station and the administrative headquarters of Kangra District, which had been annexed by the British in 1848. The two main areas at the time were McLeod Gunj, named after Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, David McLeod, and Forsyth Gunj, named after a divisional commissioner. Lord Elgin, Viceroy of  British India and a former Governor-General of Canada, loved the forests of Dharamsala so much that, before dying here in 1863, he asked to be buried in the graveyard of St. John's Church in the Wilderness. Had he lived longer, Dharamsala might have become the summer capital of British India. The name Sir Francis Younghusband - leader of British India's fateful incursion to Lhasa in 1904 - also has Dharamsala connections. In 1856 his parents, Clara Shaw and John Younghusband, lived in a bungalow in the pine forest above St. John's Church and later bought land in the Kangra Valley to pioneer a tea plantation. Clara's brother, Robert Shaw, was a renowned explorer of Central Asia and an early Kangra tea planter. But in 1905 a severe earthquake changed the face of Dharamsala. Many buildings collapsed and the whole settlement, once ravaged, was never reoccupied .The local officials advised residents to move to the safety of Lower Dharamsala which at that time comprised little more than a jail, a police station and a cobbler's shop. The pine-clad hillsides continued to flourish as a quiet health resort for the "sahibs" and "memsahibs" of British India. The visits of "sahibs" and "memsahibs" ended
when India achieved independence in 1947. McLeod Gunj then quickly became a sleepy, undistinguished village until His Holiness the Dalai Lama, fleeing persecution in his homeland, made it his home    in exile and moved the Central Tibetan Administration, in effect the
Tibetan Government-in-Exile, from Mussoorie to Dharamsala in 1960. Today, more than 8,000 Tibetan refugees consider Dharamsala their second home

Present Facts:-

Dharamsala is situated in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It lies on a spur of the Dhauladhar range, the Pir Panjal region of the Outer Himalayas; and commands majestic views of the mighty Dhauladhar ranges above, and the Kangra Valley below. Dhauladhar means "white ridge" and this breathtaking, snow-capped range rises out of the Kangra Valley to a height of 5,200 meters (17,000 feet).  The mountains dominate the scenery in McLeod Gunj. They form a treacherous range creating unpredictable weather, but passes of 2,400 meters (8,900 feet) provide route for the herdsmen of the Ravi Valley beyond. The Kangra Valley is a wide, fertile plain, criss-crossed by low hills. The scenery touched the heart of a British official who wrote: "No scenery, in my opinion, presents such sublime and delightful contrasts. Below lies the plain, a picture of rural loveliness and repose... Turning from this scene of peaceful beauty, the stern and majestic hills confront us... above all are wastes of snow to rest on." Dharamsala is divided into two very different parts. Kotwali Bazaar and areas further down the valley (at the average height of 1,250 metres) are called Lower Dharamsala, while McLeod Gunj (at the height of nearly 1,800 metres)   and surrounding areas are known    as Upper Dharamsala. McLeodgunj is      nine kilometers by bus route and four kilometres by taxi route up the hill from Kotwali Bazaar.While inhabitants of Lower Dharamsala are almost all Indians,                   McLeod Gunj is primarily a Tibetan area. McLeod Gunj is surrounded by pine, Himalayan oak, rhododendron and deodar forests. The main crops grown by local Indians in the valleys below McLeod Gunj are rice, wheat and tea. Today, streams of Tibetan refugees from all over the world flock to McLeod Gunj to receive blessings and teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Western and Indian tourists and scholars come here to see the rebirth of an ancient and fascinating civilization. The high altitude and cool weather contribute physically to this recreation of the original Tibetan environment. Dharamsala pulsates with the sights and sounds of old Tibet. Though certainly more modern, life is basically Tibetan in character. Shops strung out along the narrow streets of McLeod Gunj sell traditional Tibetan arts and handicrafts and the aroma of Tibetan dishes lingers in the air.

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For a bird watcher, Kangra is just incredible. About half of the known world population of Bar --headed Geese winters in the foothills of this part of the Himalayas at Pong wetland. And every year, a migration route of over 10,000 Steppe Eagles passes over Mcleod Ganj. The excitement of discovering these things is something I can't express in words," Jan den Besten


Dharamsala Bhagsunag waterfall


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