Dharamsala popularly known as the Scotland of India , is once of the 80 hill station established by the British between 1815 and 1847 and has one of the most spectacular setting for a hill station.Thais hill station is closest to the perennial snowline and is built along a spur of the Dhaula Dhar range.The town varies in the height from1250 metres at the bazaars to 1768 metres at McLeodjang.Dharamsala is surrounded by deodar forests and provide a superb view of the great granite mountains that almost overhang the town.
About 19 km away from Dharamsala is McLeodganj which has a strong Tibetan influence.Monks in deep red are a common sight in this town and it is the headquaters of the Dalai Lama in India.The Dalai Lama settled here after his flight across the Himalayas following the chinease invasion of Tibet in Oct. 1959.The Tibetan community has tended to take over the hospitality business and provide cheap and clean hotels and small friendly resturants.
The following words might help you in having an exchange in Tibetan:–
Tashi Delek(hello, good luck)
The Namgyal Monastery with the centre of Tibetan Studies, is known as Little Lhasa and is a major attraction in McLeodganj.This cathedral opposite the Dalai Lama’s residence.resembles the centre of the one in Lhasa and is a five minute walk from main market.It contains large gilded bronzes of Buddha,Avalokitesvara and Padmasam-bhava Dalai Lama often leads the prayer when he is in residence and if you sign up at security office an audience with him is possible.The other major attraction is the Church of St John-in-the Wilderness which has attractive stained glass windows.Lord Elgin, one of the few viceroys of British occupied India, to die in office is buried here, according to his last wish, as it reminded him of his beloved native Scotland.The Nechung Monastery in Gangchen Kyishon has a Tibetan library with a good range of books, magazines and photo-copying facilities and a museum.The central Tibetan Administration Offices are located here and you can also attend lectures & classes of Tibetan culture and Buddhism.
WALKS IN DHARAMSALA
From McLeodganj there are a nuber of interesting walks like the 2 km stroll to Bhagsunag which has a spring and a temple or to Dharamkot, 3 kms, has very fine views.If you feel energetic enough, you can continue on towards the snowline.10 kms from the McLeodgsnj bus stand is Dal Lake, the site of an annual fair held in September.It is a pleasant walk to the lake.At the footof the Dhaula Dhar is Triund which is an 8 km trek.A further 5 kms is snowline where a Forest rest house is situated.At an altitude of 1983 metres is Kareri, a picturesque spot where a rest house is located in the cool depths of a pine grove.The beautiful Kareri Lake,further away from this spot is set amidst green meadows and forests of tall oak and pine.