Dharamshala has emerged as one of the top weekend getaways from Delhi for all the right reasons. There are myriad of top things to do in Dharamshala that engage travellers regardless of their age. Youngsters love to pitch their own tents and stargaze, while the older people find peace and spirituality touring the colorful monasteries and temples.
The scenic grandeur of Dharamshala allures couples, families, and group of friends for a quick, or even extended stay. Paragliding, trekking, and a lot more will keep your holiday in Dharamshala in full swing. Plus there are a number of exciting things to do nearby as well. The list below explores the best activities, both in and around Dharamshala.
Top Things To Do In Dharamshala
Here is a list of the best things to do in Dharamshala that will take you on a virtual tour of this beautiful city. From sightseeing to shopping and restaurants to trekking, there is a lot to do there. Make sure you indulge in all these activities during your next vacation. Take a look!
1. Sightseeing: Explore The Cultural Heritage
Owing to many natural, architectural, and spiritual landmarks, sightseeing is one of the best things to do in Dharamshala. While fragrant tea gardens will soothe your soul, colourful monasteries like Namgyal will soothe the mind.
Top places to visit in Dharamshala: Namgyal Monastery, St. John in the Wilderness, Bhagsunag Waterfall, and Tsuglagkhang Complex Dalai Lama Temple
Suggested Read: 15 Hotels In Dharamshala Amid The Misty Hills
2. Cafes: Unwind Like Never Before
Dharamshala is a popular tourist spot among youngsters because of its amazing cafe culture. This town, specifically Mcleodganj, is dotted with several cafes that serve delicious local and international cuisine, and beverages. They are great stops to unwind with your friends, chat all evening, and pamper your tastebuds amid that Instagram-worthy panorama.
Best cafes in Dharamshala: Illiterati, Shiva Cafe, Namgyal Cafe, and Joyful Café
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3. Restaurants: Gorge On Delicious Tibetan Food
Dharamshala has been a Tibetan settlement since 1959, and the influence on local food is a delight for foodies. From freshly steamed momos to delicious soupy Thukpas, you’d want to try the whole menu out in one go. Surely, going on a Tibetan food walk is one of the top things to do in Dharamshala.
4. Shopping: Shop Stone Jewelry & Handicrafts
From jewellery to woollens, shopping is one of the people’s favourite things to do in Dharamshala. Here you have the option of shopping both in the showrooms and on the streets. Walking around the markets in Dharamshala, you’ll come across accessories made of different stones, woollens that are knit right in front of you, colourful prayer flags, and handicrafts that speak volumes about the Tibetan and Indian cultures.
Unlike many shopping destinations in India, bargaining in McLeodganj Market might not be fruitful. However, we suggest going to different other shops and you can find some stuff for a cheaper price.
What to buy: Woolen, handicrafts, Himachal wines, and accessories
5. Classes: Take Up Volunteer Work
Teaching English or going on a cleaning spree amidst the Himalayas with other volunteers in Dharamshala is fun. There are many NGOs in Dharamshala that encourage volunteer work. You will see foreign tourists staying for a month or two to extend a helping hand and make their stay worthwhile. Join them and spread the joy.
Organizations for volunteer travel in Dharamshala: Waste Warriors, Dharmalaya Institute, and LIT Dharamsala
6. Camping: Enjoy Bliss
The forested hills soaring up above the clouds, and the breezy environs will urge you to ditch cemented walls and pitch your own tent for the night. Dharamshala is a paradise for someone with a tent; or even without (you can rent one)! Doesn’t if you’ve never went camping before, Dharamshala is the perfect place for you to start
Best places for camping in/around Dharamshala: Triund, Kareri Lake, and Indrahar Pass
Note: In case you’re new to camping, TravelTriangle organises weekend group tours, most of which feature camping in/around Dharamshala.
7. Bir Billing: Go Paragliding
Paragliding is one of the best activities to do in Dharamshala. This is going to be the best part of your trip to Dharamshala. Bir Billing, merely 65 km from Dharamshala, is one of the best places for paragliding in India. This town is known across the globe for hosting the world’s first paragliding world cup, and thus people from different regions come over to experience one of India’s finest paragliding sessions. One of the top things to do in Dharamshala, paragliding is a heavenly reward for a two-hour drive to Bir Billing.
Cost of paragliding: INR 1,500 onwards (for a 20-minute session)
8. Himachal: Trek On The Best Trails
If hills are where your heart is, you’d love to go trekking – one of the top activities to do in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Dharamshala is great for everyone who wants to go trekking. The town also acts as a gateway to many famous trekking routes to places like Chamba, Triund, and Indrahar Pass.
Popular trekking routes in and around Dharamshala:
- Mcleodganj- Triund- Illaqua Gote- Mcleodganj: Moderate
- Dharamshala – Indrahar Pass: Moderate
- Dharamshala – Kareri Lake: Easy
- Dharamshala – Thamsar Pass: Difficult
- Dharamshala – Nag Dal: Difficult
9. Activities: Indulge In Light Adventure
There is a wide range of lighter adventures and fun activities in Dharamshala perfect for families and groups. You can choose from rock climbing, ziplining, hiking, fishing and cycling. All these activities are relatively easy and safe. Don’t forget to experience them during your trip to Dharamshala.
10. Cycling: Fun Around The Town
Staying fit while vacationing sounds like a great idea, and it gets more fun when you’re cycling amidst the Himalayas. Cycling/ mountain biking is one of the best things to do in Dharamshala for someone who loves exploring at their own pace. Most of the roads here are well-maintained, and since the network issues are almost negligible, you can also rely on GPS to find the best routes around the town.
Suggested Read: 15 Hotels In Dharamshala Amid The Misty Hills
11. Dal Lake: Embrace The Peace
One of the best things that you cannot miss on your Dharamsala trip is visiting the very famous Dal lake. The lake offers scenic views and is surrounded by Deodar trees that decorate it in a beautiful manner. You can also visit a temple dedicated to Shiva near this lake.
Location: Kangra district, Village Tota Rani
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12. Gyuto Monastery: Indulge In Meditation
Want some me-time while in Dharamsala? Then, head to the beautiful and old Gyuto monastery that is a great source of peace and tranquillity. The monastery teaches few very nice things that you will remember your whole life. You can meditate here which will help you kill all the anxiety and restlessness!
Location: Sidhbari, Himachal Pradesh 176053
Suggested Read: Camping In Dharamshala: An Exquisite Stay In The Lap Of Nature
13. Tea Gardens: Admire The Surroundings
If you are a chai lover and want to see the source of your joy every morning and evening, then visit the Tea Gardens. Located on the route of Dharamsala-McleodGanj, these tea gardens will not only tell you about the whole process of tea making but will also leave you mesmerized by the jaw-dropping views.
14. Namgyal Monastery: Let Loose
Monasteries are one of the most tranquil places and Dharamshala is no short of them. And you will be glad to know that Namgyal monastery is one of the largest monasteries in India. Located up in Mcleodganj, the monastery is home to 200 monks which help maintain peace. Through this place, you will get to know about Tibetan cultures and rituals.
Location: McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219
15. Kareri Lake: Go Trekking
Kareri lake is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Dharamshala. Trekking to this lake is one of the famous activities in Dharamshala. that will fill you up with utmost joy and excitement. During the trek, you will pass beautiful trees and breathtaking views. You will also come across Nyund Nallah which is a refreshing lake. Once you reach the lake, marvel at the beauty of the surroundings and do not forget to click pictures.
Best time to visit: May to July, September to November
16. Kangra Fort: Learn The History
You cannot miss out on Kangra fort while visiting Dharamshala. Perched on the top of Dharamshala amidst the two rivers, Patal Ganga and Banganga. The fort offers an insight into the history of the place and you will get to learn a lot there. You will feel like walking in the old world charm while visiting the fort.
Location: Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh 176001
17. Naddi Village: Acquaintance With Rural Life
Getting acquainted with rural life is one of the must-do things in Dharamshala. Naddi village is a beautiful village that offers magnificent views of the valleys in the surroundings. The village will give you the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and have peace. If you are travelling with your family, then you must visit the village.
18. Masrur: Explore The Rock Cut Temples
Masrur is a very famous archaeological site and offers ravishing rock-cut temples that will steal all your attention. The temples give a glimpse of Indo-Aryan art and are beautiful sights to behold! Observe and marvel at the intricate details of the structure of the temples and click pictures for memories.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
19. St John’s Church: Old Is Gold
Also named as The Church in the Wilderness, the church stands as a significant part of the culture of Dharamshala. The church dates back to the year 1852 and has a unique architecture, that is, Neo-Gothic style. The church looks like that of a movie and will definitely fascinate you. Seek your blessings there and admire the beauty.
Location: Road to Naddi Village from McLeod Ganj, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176215
20. Triund: Trek
Not only is Dharamshala filled with unparalleled beauty but also offers amazing places to visit nearby. And one such place is Triund. Trekking in Triund is one of the best activities in Dharamshala and will give you immense pleasure and a soul-stirring experience. It is a 9km trek and during the activity, you will come across breathtaking views that will cast a spell on you to like never before.
Best time to visit: March to May, September to December
21. Bhagsu Falls: Embrace The Beauty
If you are still thinking about what to do in Dharamshala? Then, head to Bhagsu falls and rejuvenate yourself like never before. The waters fall down from a height of 20 metres and offer gorgeous views that will make you fall in love with Dharamshala.
Location: Temple, near Bhagsunag, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 17621
22. Dharamkot Village: Feel The Magic
Dharamkot village is a magnificent place that will leave you spellbound by its magic and spiritual vibes. The simple life of the village will attract you and compel you to stay there forever. The village also offers yoga and meditation courses that will give you the most relaxing experience during your vacation. So, make sure you visit this place while visiting Dharamsala.
Location: Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219
So, these are some of the best things to do in Dharamshala that will thrill you up from head to toe. Aren’t you excited already? If yes, plan a trip to Himachal Pradesh right now!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Dharamshala
Is it worth visiting Dharamshala?
Dharamshala is truly worth visiting as you will experience the upper ranges of Kangra Valley.
Which is better Dharamshala or Dalhousie?
Dalhousie is located at a higher altitude and tourists will witness the snow-capped mountains and glistening snow. Dharamshala is a culturally enriched spot and you will witness the Tibetan roots here in this area. So, both places have their own beauty to be explored.
Is Dharamshala Safe for planning a trip in this Covid situation?
Yes, it is safe to plan a trip to Dharamshala, however, proper precautions should be taken before you plan to visit there.
Where can I go paragliding in Dharamshala?
Paragliding is not arranged in Dharamshala, but in Bir Billing, which is just a two-hour-long drive away from the town. This is one of the best places for paragliding in India, and has also organized world’s first paragliding world cup competition!
What are the best things to do with family and kids in Dharamshala?
Dharamshala is a kid-friendly hill station, considering easy access to healthcare, hotels, and transportation. A family can go exploring tea gardens, meet Dalai Lama (specific days in a year), and visit the massive Dharamshala Cricket Stadium.
What are the best things to do in Dharamshala for couples?
Thanks to its scenic charm, Dharamshala is a delight for couples. There are many things couples can indulge in, like – couple spa, nature walk, food walk, sightseeing tours.
Is Dharamshala safe to visit with family?
Yes, Dharamshala is totally safe to visit with family. The shops remain open tonight till 9 pm and the locals are helpful.
What is the best time to visit Dharamshala?
The best time to visit Dharamshala is from February to June. During this time, the weather is perfect for an escapade.
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