Dharamshala is one of the top-rated places to explore in Himachal Pradesh. This noted hilly destination witnesses maximum tourist footfall because of its scenic & serene environment. Located in Kangra Valley, this city in Himachal Pradesh is set at a high altitude of 1457 m above sea level. The place is not just confined to its natural beauty but also draws attention for its being the abode of the famous spiritual leader Dalai Lama. Today, we bring you the checklist of 20 amazing places to visit in Dharamshala in 2023. This checklist will help you as a travel guide in visiting the most-visited travel spots in this hill station.
20 Amazing Places To Visit In Dharamshala In 2023
1. Kareri Dal Lake
The name Kareri Dal Lake will surely remind you of the famous Dal Lake in Kashmir, popularly called Paradise on Earth. Talking about Kareri Dal Lake, you will be smitten by its natural beauty & peaceful atmosphere.
Encircled with greenery all over, & snow-capped mountains, & deodar vegetation, this lake in Dharamshala is a perfect retreat for all those who want to escape from the strenuous urban life routine. The best time to visit is from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
2. Library of Tibetan Works & Archives
Dharamshala is famously known as the abode of spiritual master the 14th Dalai Lama, who laid the foundation of the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives 1970 on 11th June. A must-visit for history buffs, this library stocks confidential Tibetan literature comprising 80,000 manuscripts, books, & documents concerning Tibetan history, politics, culture, & art.
Apart from these, there are 10,000 photographs, artefacts, statues of Buddhist heritage, 600 thangkas, & more. The library holds prime importance as it reserves manuscripts, books, & archives brought during the 1959 escape from Tibet by the monks.
To learn more about Tibetan culture, visit the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM or 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. It is open from Monday to Saturday.
3. Kangra Fort
Among the top sightseeing places in Dharamshala, there is an ancient fort named Kangra Fort, which was built by the Katoch dynasty in the 4th century BC. This largest fort in the Himalayan region had witnessed numerous war battles. Still, it has remained intact for centuries.
But in 1905, it suffered heavy destruction when an earthquake with high magnitude struck the region. Even though it is in ruins, this old fort still holds the attention of history buffs & architecture lovers from all over the country. Not to forget, this ancient structure had been an abode of the royal Kangra family.
If you climb to the watchtower, you can see the beautiful surroundings filled with verdant greens, & rivers (Manjhi & Banganga) that flow nearby. The fort also houses three temples: Shitlamata Temple, Ambika Devi Temple, & Lakshmi Narayan Temple. You can visit here from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
4. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is a great tourist attraction for all the cricket fans who can watch the cricket matches between the two countries. Nestled at 1457 m above sea level, this stadium lies in the alluring Dhauladhar Range. There are hotels near Dharamshala Cricket Stadium to plan your comfy staycation.
Even if there is no schedule of cricket matches, you can still explore the stadium & admire its incredible Tibetan-style architecture, & mountains at its backdrops. Visit Dharamshala Cricket Stadium from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
5. Tsuglagkhang Temple
Dharamshala is a place that showcases rich Tibetan culture, & monasteries. One such example is Tsuglagkhang Temple. Also popular with the name Dalai Lama Temple, this is one of the fantastic & peaceful places to visit in Dharamshala for those looking for mental peace from the exhausting urban life.
When you visit this temple, you will see a huge sitting idol of Gautam Buddha with other statues of Avalokiteshvara, Padmasambhava, & Buddhist monks. The atmosphere here is completely tranquil, where Lamas spend their time chanting mantras on beads & prayer wheels that read ‘’Om Mani Padme Hum’’. Since it is not a travel touring spot, strict silence is expected from the visitors. The temple is open from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
6. Dharamkot Studio
If you want to try your hands in making pottery, then do visit Dharamkot Studio in Dharamshala. Here, you can take pottery lessons from the instructors who teach you with their expertise and knowledge. So, you cannot learn the different aspects of pottery by opting for courses here.
Dharamkot Studio has gained remarkable acknowledgement in restoring the art of black pottery for making utensils. Except for Thursday, you can visit the studio from Friday to Wednesday. It is open from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
7. Jwala Devi Temple
Jwala Devi Temple is a famous holy shrine visited by many devotees nationwide. Nestled in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, this highly worshipped sacred site is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Jwala Devi, & is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas.
Like other respective temples with idols of Hindu deities, there is no idol of the goddess, as she is worshipped in the fire form. As per the belief, she resides in the natural flames that have been burning without fuel. Now, it does seem a miracle.
According to Hindu mythological belief, it is the place where the tongue of the lifeless body of Devi Sati was dropped. Lord Vishnu chopped her body with his Sudarshan Chakra. It all happened when Devi Sati immolated herself on the fire after becoming intolerant to insults done by her father, Daksh, to her consort, Shiva.
After discovering the news of her death, Shiva could not control his tears & was wailing uncontrollably while carrying her corpse. So, to stop him, devas requested Lord Vishnu to intervene. During summer, the temple is open from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM, & in winter, it is available from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
8. Gyuto Monastery
Gyuto Monastery is another sacred site representing the Tibetan faith. It is famously known for tantric teachings & meditation. Founded in 1474 in Tibet, it was re-established in Dharamshala by Tibetan monks after the communist Chinese invasion in 1959. It was when the 14th Dalai Lama, with monks of Gyuto Tantric Monastery, & other people took refuge in India.
In this sacred Buddhist Monastery, preserving & promoting the tantric teachings of their great teacher Tsongkhapa for the wellbeing of people are done by monks. Nestled on the hilltop of the astonishing Dhauladhar Range at the backdrop, this stunning monastery houses a ravishing gold-plated statue of Gautam Buddha, which radiates when touched with early morning sunlight. The monastery opens from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
9. Triund Hill
For those seeking adventure fun & trekking, Triund Hill in Dharamshala comes as the best travel retreat. Situated at 2850 m above sea level, this beautiful place is enveloped with rolling hills.
What makes Triund Hill an appealing travel destination is its pristine natural environment & fresh air that is enough to give respite from the tedious & stressful urban life. It is perfect for picnicking, night camping, & counting stars in the clear night sky. There are no fixed hours for coming to Triund Hill. It is open for 24 hours.
10. Bhagsunag Temple
If you have immense devotion towards Lord Shiva, then you won’t leave any temple of Shiva unexplored. Then how can Bhagsunag Temple be exempted from your travel list?
This divine temple in Dharamshala is one of the oldest temples known & is frequented by devotees yearly. Located in the lofty hills & winding trails, the encircling beauty of this temple makes it one of the most captivating tourist attractions.
When coming to Bhagsunag Temple, don’t miss taking a dip in its holy pond; as it says, the water here has a magical healing effect on the body. The temple is open in two shifts. One is 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM & another is 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
11. McLeod Ganj
Coming to Dharamshala to spend your vacations, & skipping McLeod Ganj is unacceptable. This beautiful place is located in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, & is just 5 km from Dharamshala. The site attracts tourists with its famous Dalai Lama Temple, Tsuglagkhang Temple.
Besides this Buddhist Temple, McLeod Ganj is also an excellent haven for trekkers, peace seekers, & nature enthusiasts. The other main attractions include Naddi Viewpoint, Namgyal Monastery, Minkiani Pass, & Nechung Monastery.
McLeod Ganj is one of the most attractive travel destinations to visit in Dharamshala as it is endowed with natural beauty & rich Tibetan culture. The ideal time to come here is from March to June. Do check out the luxury resorts in Dharamshala.
12. Kangra Art Museum
Kangra Art Museum is a splendid hub located near the Dharamshala bus stand. In this museum, you will see the objects displayed to show the Buddhist & Tibetan cultures that are centuries old. You will also see weapons, temple figurines, Kangra Valley paintings, statues, utensils, & fabrics.
There is one section for sculptors & modern painters. Holding its heritage value, this is a popular place in Dharamshala, which has existed since 1990. Today, it has become a not-to-miss sightseeing spot. Kangra Art Museum is open all day in two shifts except on Monday. One is from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM & from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
13. The War Memorial
The sacrifice of war martyrs never goes unnoticed, as they fought bravely for their motherland. In Dharamshala, there is a tourist place called The War Memorial, nestled amidst the lush greenery of this hill town.
The foundation of this memorial was laid to remember the martyrs of Kangra warriors who sacrificed their lives during the Indo-China war in 1947, 1962, 1965, 1971, & UN Peace Operations.
Encircled by pine trees, the place also has a cafe nearby where tourists can dine out to feast on lip-smacking snacks & beverages. The best time to visit The War Memorial is from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
14. Aghanjar Mahadev Temple
Aghanjar Mahadev Temple is another famous Shiva temple after Bhagsunag Temple in Dharamshala. This temple is 19th century old & still holds its relevance in its splendid architectural structure & tranquillity. The temple opens from 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM.
15. Masroor Rock Cut Temple
Masroor Rock Cut Temple is an ancient temple from the 8th century AD. Now, it also joins the brigade of top travel spots in Dharamshala. Here, you will find 15 monolithic temples showcasing many tales from great epics from India, & also the depiction of Indo-Aryan style architecture.
This famous ancient temple in Dharamshala witnesses the footfalls of travellers, including history buffs, nature explorers, painters, & art enthusiasts. The carvings on the temple are beautifully crafted with superb detailing. All these make this place worth visiting for its depiction of Indian art. You can see the temple from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
16. St. John In The Wilderness Church
Dharamshala stocks ancient tourist spots that you would love to explore. Coming up with one more example is St. John In The Wilderness Church. Built in 1852, this church is nestled near Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj. The church is captivating with its neo-Gothic architecture & its Belgian stained-glass windows. It is open from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM.
17. Bhagsunag Falls
For all those who cannot contain their desire to watch cascading waterfalls, Bhagsunag Falls, or Bhagsu Falls, is the best sightseeing attraction in Dharamshala. This waterfall’s name will make you link it with the Bhagsunag temple. So yes, this cascading waterfall is a few kilometres from the latter Shiva temple. The spectacular cascading milky white water flow looks fantastic during the monsoon, & it feels amazing to dip in its chilled water. You can visit here anytime.
If you are fed up with your usual urban life routine, plan a long weekend holiday to experience mental peace at Dharamkot. Nestled in the Kangra Valley, this place is worth visiting in Dharamshala, which is enveloped with lush greenery. But another reason to visit Dharamkot is there is less tourist footfall. Hence, if you are not comfortable moving into crowded areas, this place in Dharamkot is the ideal option. Visit cafes & dine out for dishes that tantalise your taste buds.
19. Lahesh Caves
Lahesh Caves is a great travel destination for adventure seekers looking for trekking. Nestled at 11,482 ft above sea level, this place welcomes its visitors to come & have a worthy trekking experience. If you wish to move out from the busy world, visiting Lahesh Caves is worth visiting. The place is encircled by hilly terrains & coniferous forests that add more beauty to this small tourist attraction in Dharamshala. You can see any time here.
20. Naam Art Gallery
Naam Art Gallery is the best tourist spot in Dharamshala, especially for art lovers. If your attention stops at beautiful paintings, this place is definitely for you. Here, you can see unique artworks by Elizabeth Buschmann, who is also the founder of this art gallery. Besides her, Naam Art Gallery also stocks paintings by English painter A.W. Hallett. Except Monday, this art gallery is open on all days from 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM.
Where to stay in Dharamshala
To experience all these excellent travel spots, you need to book your luxurious stay in Dharamshala. jüSTa Birding Resort & Spa is one such example. This is the top 5-star luxury resort in Dharamshala, enriched with all modern amenities for its guests. It has 22 rooms with third occupancy, bathtubs, a banquet hall, a spa, & a gymnasium. You can dine out with your loved ones at Sabor. It is one of the best restaurants in Dharamshala.
So, this ends our checklist of 20 unique places to visit in Dharamshala in 2023. In this list, we covered all those top spots that witness maximum tourist footfall owing to the place’s popularity. But if you are someone who is not comfortable travelling in crowded places, then Dharamkot is a place that suits your choice. There are many of the best hotels in Dharamshala to book your staycation.