Dharamsala will steal your heart for many reasons. It is the place to come if you are seeking out inner peace and authentic spiritual experiences. It is where the Dalai Lama calls home and is nestled among steep mountains. There are many yoga teachings in Dharamsala as well as opportunities to meditate in monasteries. There is also the sanctuary of the great outdoors that will have you wanting to do absolutely nothing but take it all in. You can do treks, experience the tea culture here and so much more. Here are 7 places you shouldn’t miss when you come to Dharamsala.
The Hillside Houses
You’ll want to visit the hillside houses that hang off the mountains in upper Dharamsala. This is where primarily the Tibetans live. They hold a certain mystique and magic. You may even wonder how those houses have remained here for so long as they look like they could fall off the cliff anytime. The whole scene is surrounded by an old cedar forest. This area is known as McLeod Ganj which you may have seen in some movies as there’s really no other place on earth like it.
Places of Peace
If you’re looking to find peace within yourself, you can find it in many spots here. There are monasteries you can visit but you may find that with so many natural surroundings, you are easily able to find that inner peace. Take a walk around and you’ll find yourself attracted to a spot that feels sacred to you. Mountain peaks, meditation halls, lakes in the forest are all waiting to nurture your soul here.
The Kangra Valley
This is a must if you’re coming to Dharamsala. There is a one-day tour that will take you into the Kangra Valley. It is a splendid natural phenomenon with the must-see gorge as the star attraction. If you’ve ever seen 7 Years in Tibet where Brad Pitt treks across mountain peaks, this might give you an indication of what this hike is like. Mountains tower over you and while it’s a challenging hike, it’s well worth seeing the ancient Masroor Rock temples. They are Hindu temples cut out of the rock and face northeast in the direction of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas.
Go to the Tsuglagkhang Complex Dalai Lama Temple
One of the big draws for many is coming to visit the Dalai Lama’s temple. There is a monastery in the large complex with beautiful stupas. Along with a traditional Buddhist temple setting, there is a representation of the life and culture in Tibet here. You can learn a lot about the history and what the Tibetans went through. If you’re looking to feel closer to the Dalai Lama, you can meditate among the confines of this truly peaceful place. The prayer halls here are magical so take it all in as you have the most memorable meditation experience of your life. There is also a library and cafe on-site.
The Tibet Museum
If you’re interested in the Tibetan culture, their history, and the recent changes, this is the place to come to learn more. You can do this the same day you visit the Dalai Lama’s temple as it’s nearby. There are many important pieces of Tibetan history that were saved and now reside in this museum.
The Dharamsala Tea Company
Even if you’re not a fan of tea, you will enjoy this space. It is also one of those peaceful places in Dharamsala and the history of tea here is an interesting one. It has played a big role in the Himalayas for six generations. They harvest Kangra tea is known throughout the world for its ability to grow in such a high altitude, giving it a unique taste. The surroundings are stunning and their philosophy will be felt. They believe that everything should be simple, natural, pure, and full of love.
Yoga in Dharamsala
This is a highly inspiring place to take in yoga. Yoga in Dharamsala is going to be a much more authentic experience than anything you’ve done before. It may enhance your practice in ways you won’t expect. There are drop-in classes available and many come here to do yoga teacher training in Dharamsala. It actually costs much less than other places around the world plus you get deeper teachings than you would in the West. There are many places to choose from here so you can find what is going to fit your beliefs and skill level. If you love yoga, don’t miss out on doing it here.
You will be mesmerized by Dharamsala and all it has to offer. Trekking, yoga, meditation, important history, a variety of food and culture, and a place of absolute peace. The majestic mountains and the people that call it home will all change you in beautiful ways. If you are looking for a real spiritual experience, look no further than Dharamsala.