Dharamshala, Himachal Prdaesh: Dharamshala is located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala is located at an elevation of 1457 meters (4780 feet), covering an area of almost 8.51 km² and its geographical coordinates are 32°13′19″N 76°19′02″E.
The area is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, green meadows and dense forests. Dharamshala comes in the Dhauldhar circuit of Himachal. The Dhauldhar Circuit derives its name from the Dhauldhar peaks of Western Himalayas.
The Kangra district is surrounded by Chamba to its North, Lahaul and Spiti to its Northeast, Kullu to its East, Mandi to its South and Punjab to its West. River Beas mainly irrigates the district. The area is mainly hilly and hence not much of the land is cultivated. The region is mainly covered with barren land and small forests.
Dharamshala is made of Dharma (duty) and Shala (place) meaning a holy place of duty.
Dharamshala or Dharmsala is a city in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It was earlier known as Bhagsu. Dharamshala is the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh and the district headquarters of the Kangra district.
Located in the Kangra Valley the city is surrounded by dense coniferous forest and Deodar trees.
The city is divided into two separate divisions. The Kotwali Bazaar (the main market of the town ) and the surrounding markets are called as "Lower Dharamshala" or simply "Dharamshala." The city higher towards the mountain is "McLeodGanj". The Ganchen Kyishong village, the abode of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, separates the two divisions.
The main crops grown in the valleys are rice, wheat and tea.
There are many Tibetan meditation schools and centers in the city that give lessons on meditation at a very economical price.
Shopping in Dharamshala:
The Kotwali Bazaar - This is the main market of Dharamshala that has shops selling the arts and crafts of the area. Visitors can buy Tibetan crafts and local crafts along with beautiful clothes and accessories from this market.
Sports in Dharamshala:
Trekking: Dharamshala is the origin of a number of trekking trails. These trails lead to the Dhauladhar ranges into the upper Ravi Valley and Chamba district. On the way one finds the forests of deodar, pine, oak and rhododendron trees. The streams, rivers, cliffs, lake, waterfall and glaciers make the expedition unforgettable and give a life time experience.
Starting from Dharamshala a 2 km trek takes one to Bhagsu, this follows a 3km trek leading to Dharamkot. Still further the 8km trek leads to Triund. The snow line of Ilaqa Got is just a 5km walk.
Other trekking paths from Dharamshala are:
- Dharamshala - Tang Narwana (1150m) (10 km) - Toral Pass (4575m)
- Dharamshala - Bhimghasutri Pass (4580m). This is a difficult trek and takes about 6 days to complete.
- Dharamshala - Bleni Pass (3710m) - Dunali. This is an easy trek and takes about 5 days to complete.
Comfortable walking shoes, water proof warm jacket, woolen / tennis socks, stockings, sunglasses, headgear, water, food, torch, first aid box, umbrella and rucksack are the essentials that one needs to carry while going on this expedition. Local guides and tour operators are available to guide visitors to the right path of trekking.
Proper information about the slope of the trekking hill is a must. Some hills have a gentle slope, some have a moderate slope and others are rash. It is advisable to match the slope with the physical fitness before venturing into the track.
Rock Climbing: Dharamshala is an ideal destination for rock climbing. The adventure can be ventured on the Dhauladhar range.
Cricket: The Dharamshala Cricket Stadium (DCS) is a popular cricket stadium that has been internationally recognized. It is the home ground to the Himachal Pradesh state cricket team and also for the IPL team Kings XI Punjab. It is one of the most beautiful cricket stadia in India owing to its natural scenic beauty around of the snow-capped Dhauladhar mountain ranges. In addition to Ranji matches, some international matches are also played here. The recent match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Superkings was played here. To add to the glory, the Dalai Lama adorned the match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at this stadium.
The nearest big town is Kangra which is about 17 km from Dharamshala. Kangra is a well-developed city of Kangra district.