The land of Dalai Lama Jun 12, 2011
I had long since been yearning to visit Dharamshala as after having read the religious books from all the main religions the only one I could agree with was Dalai Lama ...the man is simply GREAT.
Anyways I was attending a marriage in Jammu and decided to travel on to Dharamshala from there.
I had found "Pink Hotel" with good reviews online and had booked ahead of my travel. India has much more to offer in destinations like Kullu Manali and Kashmir but Dharamshala has special attraction for those who are influenced by Dalai Lama.
I woke up each morning and set out to discover the main attraction sights. There aren't that many but Bhagsunag falls are pretty nice.
More than anything else doing"Kaura" a circumnavigation of the Temple grounds is a pretty sublime experience.
I have always loved spinning those big Prayer wheels...and you can easily get into a conversation with the monks and nuns who are always around.
I for one didn't mjiss "Kaura" for a single day while I was there...
The air is so healthy that I was walking the whole day and eating just one hearty meal at Greenview Hotel's roof top restaurant which gives you a lovely view of the mountains.
I also made sure to walk the by lanes observing the residential parts to get an idea of the lifestyle.
Once in Dharamshala you will must buy the singing bowl ...its vibes and sounds are simply divine...I did pick up a nice Turquoise and garnet silver ring as well P)
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Peaceful and Spiritual experience at Dharamshala Nov 15, 2008
I am a resident of Delhi.
We booked air tickets till Dharamshala by Kingfisher Red airlines (quite affordable). The nearest airport is Gaggal airport which is at a distance of 20 kms from main Dharamshala, for which we took a taxi directly from the airport. We had booked Hotel Spring Valley (http://www.springvalleyresorts.com/rooms.php) for our entire stay. Though all the booking were made through a travel agent but we were quite happy with what we got.
The rooms at Sprinf Valley were made of wood and were quite spacious, warm and clean with a huge veranda in front of the rooms to enjoy the winter sun. November was a good time to visit, since it was quite pleasant and sunny during the daytime.
Dharamshala is a small hill station with very simple and warm people. You can enjoy the peace and the
beauty of this place and visit the nearby attractions at leisure. Though we had hired a taxi to take us to all the places, since the hotel was at upper McLeodganj on road to Bhagsunath...you can also walk if you are keen on trekking etc.
Mcleodganj Monastry is the home to Dalai Lama, and we were quite lucky that HE the Dalai lama was visiting at that time and we could have a glimpse of his through the tinted glasses of his gypsy. As soon as the locals came to know that he has arrived at Gaggal, the queue started forming outside his abode, with people silently waiting for him in the winter sun.
Mlleodganj and Monastry are definitely the central attraction of Dharamshala.
Besides, trek to Bhagsu Nath waterfalls is definitely recommended. Don't forget to enjoy the Maggi and tea at the small kiosk on your way to the falls.
Then there is Dal lake where you can enjoy boating and then Kotwali Bazaar where you can shop for some Tibetan dresses or shawls etc and enjoy local cuisine.
I in particularly liked the Momos made of bok-choi (Chinese spinach) and fruit wines. Also tried the Tibetan tea but realized it was not my cup of tea :).
If you are keen on visiting other places, there are some forts at a distance of around 50-60 kms, which you can cover.
After spending three days at Dharamshala, we headed back and took a late evening taxi till the bus terminal from where we boarded a state run bus to
Chandigarh (not very comfortable and clean) and not recommended in winters since its Non-AC though cheap. Distance from Dharamshala to Chandigarh is around 187 kms, say 4. 5 hours by bus.
Reached Amritsar by morning...did sightseeing at Amritsar covering Wagah Border, Jalli wala Bagh and Golden temple(recommended during night time). Golden Temple was best of all, all lit up during the night time with excellent gurudwara food.
1 day seems quite enough to cover Amritsar, so we boarded the Amritsar Shatabdi to Delhi next morning from Amritsar Station (6 am) and reached Delhi by 1300 hrs. Covered two cities quite different but all in a all a beautiful and memorable trip with family.
Part of the My Space travel blog