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 travelers 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
1. Go sightseeing to explore the historical and 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, the colorful 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
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Head to Himachal to witness lush valleys surrounded by snow-capped hills. Indulge in skiing, paragliding, and other adventure sports. Book holiday packages inclusive of airport transfers, cab, resort, sightseeing, and meals to Shimla, Manali, Kasol, Dharamshala, and more.
2. Unwind at the famous cafes
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
3. 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 try out 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. Shop for lovely stone jewelry and cute handicrafts
From jewelry to woolens, shopping is one of 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, woolens that are knit right in front of you, colorful 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 same stuff for a cheaper price.
What to buy: Woolen, handicrafts, Himachal wines, and accessories
5. 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 helpful 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
Top things to do in Dharamshala and nearby places
6. Camping in the most beautiful spots around the hill station
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. Go paragliding in Bir Billing
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 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. Trekking on some of the best trails in Himachal
If hills is where your heart is, you’d love to go trekking – one of the top things 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. Indulge in light adventure and fun activities
There is wide range of lighter adventure 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.
10. Cycling 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.
So, this was the list of top things do in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. Fun, tranquility, flavorsome food, and a lot more awaits you here. Still, there are some commonly asked questions about what to do in Dharamshala, which we have answered below.
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 for 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.
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