McleodGanj.Dharamsala.Kangra valley

"Close to Heaven"



Places to See | Attractions | SightSeeing | What to see | Tourist Spots|Tourist Places in Dharamsala , Mcleodganj and Kangra Valley Himachal Pradesh

St. John's Church

The church is small in size and was built in 1852 in the Gothic style. Its tapering high windows, the front and back sides of its building all seem to be in perfect harmony with the deodar grove which is a home to lots of monkeys, baboons and birds. In 1905 earthquake, the bellfry of the church was completely destroyed. However, the rest of the building escaped damage. A new bell (built in 1915) was brought from England and installed outside in the compound of the church. The church witnessed a special event in 1992 when visitors from 39 countries participated in its service.

Tsuglag Khang (Dalai Lama's Temple Complex)
Tsuglag Khang, The Dalai Lama’s temple complex, is the life-blood of the village. Located a short walk away from the bus station at the center of town, the complex houses the Namgyal Monastery (which trains monks for rituals associated with the temple), the main temple and a smaller shrine that houses a huge gilded statue of the Buddha, along with two smaller, but no less impressive statues of Chenresig and Guru Rinpoche. In addition, the Dalai Lama’s residence and administrative offices are in the complex.
The temple complex is always busy. Services are held daily and are attended by lamas, monks, nuns and lay people. Visitors are welcome to observe, but remember to remove your shoes and walk clockwise around the temple and past the chorten (prayer wheels) before sitting down. In the shrine, you might come across a group of monks building an intricate sand mandala, and outside on Thursdays, groups of monks are scattered around the grounds practicing their debating techniques–an entertaining and thought-provoking ritual worth catching. Around the temple complex there is a long meditation trail with small shrines, stupas and a massive chorten. The shrines near the chorten are always covered in thousands of prayer flags placed by pilgrims to the Dalai Lama’s home, which stands above and behind it.

Tibet Museum

Opposite Tsuglagkhang, tel. +91-1892-22510.Small but interesting museum on the history of Tibet and its people. Open Tu-Su 9AM-5 PM, entry Rs.5.

Norbulingka Institute
The Norbulingka Institute is located about 15 km from McLeod Ganj and is well worth the effort to get there by taxi or local bus. Developed by the Dalai Lama as a center for the continuation and training of traditional Tibetan arts and crafts, the ground alone are testament to the Tibetan’s architectural and artistic skill. A number of buildings, all ornately decorated cover several acres complete with a koi pond, bridges and gardens.
Plan to spend a whole day here, watching the craftsmen at work in the thangka studios, woodworking and sewing workshops. The temple complex is stunning, with portraits of all the Dalai Lama’s lining the upper story. One building also has a photographic exhibition on the creation of the Institute and talks about how it was built using traditional techniques.
But the real highlight is the Losel Doll Museum, an exhibition of intricately detailed, beautiful dolls depicting the costumes and activities of the people in each of the regions of Tibet. There are also dioramas of religious events, festivals and daily life. Replicas of the dolls are for sale, along with crafts produced at the Institute.

Norbulingka also has a restaurant and a guesthouse on the grounds, and, if you happen to find someone who will show you, an apartment that is one of the Dalai Lama’s residences

Dal Lake

Dal Lake is a small mid altitude lake (1,775 m above sea level) near of a very beautiful village "Tota Rani".The lake is surrounded by deodar trees and is considered as a sacred spot as there is small Shiva mandir (shrine) on its bank. There are different kinds of fish that live in this lake. This lake has greenish water.


A popular nine-kilometre trek for a day or overnight stay on the 9,000 foot ridge behind the Dhauladhar range. Food is available at tea shops. But it is always safer to carry one's own food and drink, just in case you reach there to find the tea shops closed. There is a Forest Rest House atop the ridge, which can be booked through Himachal Tourist Office in Kotwali Bazaar.

The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
A short walk from the Dalai Lama’s temple will bring you to Gangchen Kyishong, the administrative center of the Tibetan Governmnent-in-exile. Along with temporary refugee housing, political and social work offices, you will find the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

An impressively ornate building, the Library houses the literary treasures of Tibet and has an ongoing exhibition on Tibetan history. While only scholars may access the library’s closed shelves, regular visitors are welcome to visit the open stacks with reference books, take classes (see Alternatives, below) and ask questions of the helpful staff.

Tushita Meditation Centre

Tushita Meditation Centre is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition. The centre is located in the forested hills above McLeod Ganj in the beautiful village of Dharamkot.

Tushita was established in 1972 by Lama Thubten Yeshe, a highly qualified teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Since Lama Yeshe's passing away in 1984, his main student Lama Zopa Rinpoche has been the spiritual director of Tushita and the FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition).

The meditation centre provides a friendly and conducive environment for the people of all nationalities and backgrounds to learn about the teaching of the Buddha. Tushita organizes regular introductory courses on Buddhist philosophy and meditation. There are various intermediate level courses, group and personal retreat which are available for experienced students.


In the middle of the town of Kangra is the temple dedicated to Bajreshwari Devi. Known once for its legendary wealth, this temple was subject to successive depredation by invaders from the North. Mohammed of Ghazni is known to have departed with a king's ransom in gold, silver and jewels in 1009. Destroyed completely in 1905 by an earthquake, it was rebuilt in 1920

The Tibetan Institute for the Performing Arts (TIPA)
TIPA is located a short walk from the center of town. Another impressive complex built around an open courtyard, the Institute trains Tibetans (and occasionally foreigners) in the traditional Tibetan forms of opera, theatre and dance. Performances are held in the courtyard and an opera festival takes place each spring. Check the bulletin boards for announcements. But even when there is a hiatus in performances, you can watch the students rehearsing.

Bhagsunath Temple

Bhagsunath Temple is a medieval temple 3km east of Mcleodganj.The ambience of the temple is tranquil and reposed, with plentiful pools around, considered sacred by the Hindu devotees.

Bhagsu Waterfall

Bhagsu Waterfall is situated at Bhagsu . It lies behind the famous Bhagsunath Temple. During monsoons the fall turns into a glorious 30 ft cascade. The mountain side of the fall is decorated with stylish slate graffiti. It is an ideal spot for picnics and recreation.


3 kms. north from McLeodganj past the Mountaineering Institute you reach the settlement of Dharamkot. Set amidst tall pines and rhododendron forests, the site offers good views of the Dhauladhar range and has the Tushita Research Centre that runs courses in meditation. A fair and festival dedicated to Shiva is held at the small Dal Lake at a height of 1,837 metres. At Dharamkot is the Tibetan Children’s Village, which runs a school and training institute to about 2,000 students.

Namgyalma Stupa
Located in the center and surrounded by prayer wheels, this Buddhist stupa, is a memorial to those Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for a free Tibet. A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha is enshrined in a small chamber, and all day and night, you will see devotees turn the prayer wheels as they circumambulate the stupa, reciting mantras.

Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa
Down a steep path from the bus station, the Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa is a jewel. Perched on a steep hillside overlooking the valley, the main temple is small and intimate, but houses an impressive statue. Many of the young monks in residence here are intrigued by their visitors and, in halting English, will answer your polite questions. The Gompa also has a guesthouse for visitors and a trail that will lead you through the woods to the Dalai Lama’s temple complex.

The Tibetan Children’s Village
Thousands of children flee Tibet each year and arrive in McLeod Ganj, often without their parents. The Tibetan Children’s Village is where they live and study, along with other Tibetan children whose Indian-resident parents send them to TCV to receive a Tibetan education.The children–over 3,000 of them–are housed in numerous dormitories and small apartment complexes near Dal Lake. They attend classes in Tibetan language, literature, history, science, math, English and the performing and visual arts. Visitors are welcome to observe classes and long-term volunteers are sometimes accepted to help with the many needs of the children.

Stitches of Tibet
The Tibetan Women’s Association has developed a number of vocational training programs to assist Tibetan refugees in developing employment skills. One such program is Stitches of Tibet, where newly arrived Tibetan women and girls are taught sewing and weaving skills. Visitors are welcome to tour the carpet weaving workshop on Jogibara Road and the tailor shop across the street. The Stitches of Tibet showroom sells traditional Tibetan clothing and rugs, and the proceeds support the Tibetan Women’s Association’s programs.

Kangra Art Museum

Kangra Art Museum is treasure trove of the Kangra valleys arts, crafts and rich past, display artifacts that date back to the 5th Century. It includes a gallery of famous paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamiyanas and local dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jail and pndals are also on display. Coins jewellery and manuscripts are included. A section houses the works of conteporary artists, sculptures and photographers.


Known for its monolithic rock temples, Masroor is 40 kms. from Kangra Town. There are 15 rock cut temples in Indo-Aryan style and richly carved. The temples partly ruined now are profusely decorated with sculptural ornamentations , conceived in the same manner as the great temple of Kailash at Elora in Maharastra with which they bear a striking resemblance. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Ram, Lakshman and Sita.

Kunal Pathri Temple

Kunal Pathri Temple (located in the Dhauladhar Ranges in Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh) which is rock pilgrimage near dharamsala. Its said that there used to live a great devotee of lord Vishnu named Kunal. This temple is dedicated to goddess Kapaleshwari. It has beautiful carvings of gods and goddesses. It is believed that the skull of Devi Sati (Dakshayani), the wife of Lord Shiva, fell here after being cut off by the Chakra of Lord Vishnu into fifty-one pieces, to stop the ferocious dance, Tandava Nritya, of Shiva carrying the corpse of Sati(Dakshayani).

War Memorial

The War Memorial is situated in Dharamshala town, near the entry point to Dharamshala commemorates. This was built in the memory of those who fought valiantly for the honour and defence of the mother land. The place is ideally located amid the pine forest. There is also a cafe just close to War Memorial serving fast food and beverages.

The Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute

Established in 1961 and provides traditional Tibetan medicine and medical treatments. It has more than 50 students every year who study traditional Tibetan medicine, and also has a pharmacy, an in-patient unit and a surgical center. The institute also does research and development on thousands of medical compounds. They even distribute traditional Tibetan medicines to medical facilities all over the world.

Chinmaya Tapovan

An ashram complex has been established by late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita, at a distance of approximately 10 km from Dharamsala on the banks of the rivulet Bindu Saras. The complex includes a 9 m high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.

Gopalpur Zoo

Gopalpur Zoo was established by the wildlife department of Himachal Pradesh Government on Dharamsala-Palampur road, in Kangra District. It is spread over 30 acres of thick forest. The Himalayan black bear is its major attraction. The zoo also houses animals such as leopard, asiatic lion, sambhar, hog deer, barking deer, red fox and angora rabbits.

Jwalamukhi Temple

It is nearly two-hour excursion would take guest to the famous Jwalamukhi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of Light. There is no idol to worship as such in the temple. Rather a constantly burning blue flame emanating from inside the rocks is worshipped.

Nowrojee's General Store

This is one of the original businesses in the bazaar at McLeod Ganj; located next to the taxi and bus stand, this shop is a veritable museum. So closely are the Nowrojees (the proprietors) associated with McLeod Gunj that it is impossible for older Tibetans to think about the town without thinking also about "Nehrujees". Today, in New York, Switzerland, Nepal or elsewhere, older Tibetans would fondly reminisce about their Nehrujees when they talk about their early days in exile.


At a distance of 16kms. from Palampur, Baijnath is a pilgrimage centres of the Hindus in Kangra Distt. Here one finds the oldest existing Shiva temple in the country, believed to have been originally built by the Pandavas close to the Binwa Khad.


Home of the famous artist, SOBHA SINGH and late play-writer. Ms. NORA RICHARDS. There are beautiful paintings worth seeing in their private houses. It affords an excellent view of Dhauladhar range. Andreta is 12 Kms from Palampur.


Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low hills, is an ideal landing around for para-gliders. Bir has Buddhist Monasteries that are worth visiting. Fine Tibetan handi craft are also produced here. Billing, up in the hills 14 kms. from Bir with an arena of 200 kms. for high altitude and cross country flying, is one of the best aerosports sites in the country.

Aghanjar Mahadev Temple Trek
This trek is to the Mahadev (Lord Shiva) temple by the river stream. This temple is known for the special arti of one hour everyday at different timings. The temple is situated inside a cave. The treck covers 8 km both ways and is arranged from 7 AM to 11 AM.

Kangra Fort
This tour covers visit to Brijeshwari Temple and Kangra Fort. The Kangra Fort is sited on a precipitous cliff overhanging the Ban Ganga and Manjhi rivers. Bath can be availed at Ban Ganga. An earthquake destroyed the palace and the fort in 1905. The ruins still dominate the Kangra valley. In the courtyard, there are two temples, one of Lakshminarayan and the other of Ambika Devi, a family goddess of Katoch. A Jain temple with Adinath in stone image can also be visited.

Tatwani Hot Water Springs, famous for its medicinal values, is situated 25 km from Dharamsala, in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. The springs lies on the banks of the Gaj Khad River, a tributary of the Beas River.

Machhrial, famed for a picturesque waterfall, is only five km from Tatwani.

IndruNag Temple

This Temple is located on way to Khaniyara Village about 3 kms from Kotwali Bazaar. 2 kms road route upto the village Chola and 1 km trek route to the Indrunag temple. This temple is dedicated to Nag, the Lord of Snakes, and the Lord of Rains. In the Month of July many devotees of the local areas visit the Temple.

Tashi Jong

The location of the Khampagar Monastery, founded by the eighth Khamtrul Rinpoche, Dongyu Nyima, in the late 1950s. It is near Bir in Himachal Pradesh.H.E. the eighth Khamtrul Rinpoche Dongyu Nyima had rebuilt his main seat, Khampagar, in Tashi Jong as he saw that Tashi Jong and its surrounding areas were the body, speech, mind, quality and activity mandala of Manjushri.Khampagar Monastery is renowned for their Togdens or Yogis. A Togden is someone who has realized the nature of his own mind through practicing the Six Yogas of Naropa and Mahamudra meditation as well as all other Drukpa practices. He keeps the monk's vows while practicing Tantras, and is normally dressed in white and keeps his hair long, just like the great yogi Milarepa. This tradition of yogis has been very well-developed in the Drukpa monasteries in Kham, Tibet. In actual fact, the entire Drukpa lineage is the lineage of Togdens, and the people of the Drukpa lineage are supposed to follow the Yogis' path. From Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa and Milarepa of the past to the recent yogis of the lineage such as Drubwang Shakya Shri and Tipun Pema Choegyal, their spiritual attainments prove that enlightenment within one lifetime is possible through walking the path of a yogi.Most of the living Drukpa masters that we meet today were educated and brought up by H.E. the eighth Khamtrul RInpoche Dongyu Nyima in Tashi Jong.

Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery(DGL Nunnery)

Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery is a project started by Ven. Tenzin Palmo. The aim of the nunnery is to provide formal education as well as spiritual development to nuns in the Himalayan border region who are of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage. DGL Nunnery is located at Himachel Pradesh in India. Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery is located in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, near the small village of Padhiakhar. It is twelve kms from the town of Palampur, six kms from Tashi Jong and approximately sixty kms from McLeod Ganj (Upper Dharamsala).Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery is the sister Nunnery to The Drukpa Kagyu Monastery of Khampagar at Tashi Jong. The head of the Monastery, His Eminence 9th Khamtrul Rinpoche, Shedrup Nyima, is the Nunnery’s Spiritual Director. The craft community of Tashi Jong and Khampagar Monastery are well-known by taxi drivers in McLeod Ganj.From Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj travel time to Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery is approximately two hours by taxi and three hours by local bus. Take the bus for Baijnath from the main bus station in Kotwali Bazaar, Lower Dharamsala and ask to get off at Padhiarkhar. (You may have to change buses when you travel through Palampur).



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