Why Dharamsala must to be in your Destination list this Summer

So the Indian Summer is approaching. It’s going to be hot, and days will be long. Fleeing from the scorching heat along with school holidays make these few months the most awaited escape time for northern Indians. Thankfully, the options are plenty. Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand furnish a wide assortment of choices for us all, irrespective of our palates and penchants. Dharamsala, lovingly labeled as the Mini Lhasa, is a small hamlet with every potential.

Whether it’s a fun family vacation, a romantic getaway or simply an escape from your corporate existence, the laid-back little town of offers a world of possibilities for every traveller. Read on, to find why Dharamsala must be in the destination list this summer. Bringing a few rare pursuits that only Dharamsala can bestow.

Tea Gardens Picnic amidst the Clouds

dharamsala tea garden
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the cleanly manicured tea gardens dotted with silvery oaks on the way to Kunal Pathri Temple. Breathe in the delicious aroma of fresh tea and set up your little corner amidst the picturesque gardens. Pack your picnic basket in advance, you’ll regret if you don’t plan a picnic here in your itinerary.
Remember to pick up some fresh Kangra tea, Oolong and Jasmine Tea to take home with you.

Whoop it up at the Bhagsu Waterfalls

Bhagsu Waterfall McLeod-Ganj
Nestled in a valley covered in pristine forests, strewn rocks and fluttering prayer flags. The Bhagsu waterfall cascades into a plunge pool where you can, frolic in the cool mountain water, after a visit to the medieval Bhagsu Shiva Temple. Or you can simply munch on some deliciously steamed Tingmo (Tibetan bread), while your feet skim the water!

Rewind your youth in the Shiva Cafe

shiva cafe dharamsala
What works best after a long seemingly tiring trail than a place like a Cafe to unwind? Coming from the Bhagsu waterfall, settle yourself at the Shiva Cafe. Let the cafe’s laidback atmosphere and magnificent location work its magic on you. Let the cool rustic look adorned by hand made paints of Bob Marley, Shiva and Buddha take you to a different level of amusement. Have a cup of coffee, read some books, spend time with fellow strangers, visit locals. Asking for more?

 

Norbulingka Institute – be part of the Tibetan revolution

norbulingka institute dharamsala
Watch local artisans work on woodcarving, metal statue making, thangka painting and embroidery at the Institute before wandering through the lushly canopied gardens. Gape at the gilded Sakyamuni statue and the beautiful hand crafted puppet dioramas at the unique Losel Doll Museum, before picking up some traditional Tibetan chubas at the souvenir shop.
Engage yourself in live demonstration, hands-on workshops, theaters, Tibetan culture, Dalai Lama handprints. Gurgling streams run through immaculately maintained Japanese styled gardens, while birds of all different species can be seen flittering among the treetops. The architecture, built in traditional Tibetan style gives a feeling of returning to old Tibet. Truly a place to experience Tibet while in India.

Experience History at the Kangra Fort

kangra fort
Considered as one of the most beautiful forts in India, this fort was built by the Royal Rajput family of the state of Kangra in the 15th Century. Adjoining the Fort is the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum run by the Royal Family of Kangra.Take an excursion to the fort, and experience the history and rich tradition.

Try your hands in Tibetan Cuisine at Sangyes Kitchen

sangyes kitchen mcleodganj
Learn the art of Tibetan cuisine from a friendly Tibetan chef at Llhamo’s Kitchen – Tibetan treats, focusing on momos, including chocolate momos! Sangye claims “Use only your fingertips to mix and to make, no need to mess up your entire hand”.

The place’s motto “Ask me anything about Tibet, let’s enjoy conversation” really works. Rarely any tibetan dish you could find that is not available here, or you cannot learn to cook!

The Church in the Wilderness

st johns church dharamsala
Dating back to the colonial era, St Johns Church is a beautiful gothic church set amidst verdant deodar forests threaded with the golden sun rays. The church with its greying stone walls, beautiful Belgian stained glass windows and dreamy surroundings, is the perfect place to spend some quiet leisurely moments.

Stroll with Lamas in the Mcleodganj market

mcloedganj market
A truly global village, Mcleodganj’s streets bustle with an interesting fusion of people, from red-robed monks and modern hippies to globetrotting tourists. Bargain for snuggly woollens, silver trinkets, statuettes and Tibetan uniques like thangkas, meditation bowls, prayer wheels and yak cheese at the main market. Don’t miss to pick up some unusual finds at Nowrojee’s.

 

And there you go.
For the adrenaline pump geeks, we have few excitements in store!

Reach to the sky at Indrunag

paragliding in indrunag
Feel the pumping in your veins and the wind gurgling in your ears as you paraglide amidst the snow-clad peaks of Dhauladhar at Indrunag, treating your senses to a glorious bird’s eye view of Dharamshala. For those who want more, there is free rock climbing at the Dharamshala – Nayagroeon trail too.

Tranquility at Triund

Triund Trek
For the secret trekker and hiker inside you. Feel the crisp mountain air swirl around you as you trek on sun kissed forest trails towards the Triund Peak for panoramic views of the majestic Dhauladhar range and the vast valley of Kangra. Savour the piping hot tea and steaming maggi served by the tiny makeshift shops on the way.
The trek is easy enough for beginners and the views are definitely worth all the huffing and puffing.

Homestay – best way to experience the Place, People and the Culture

Homestay is a popular form of hospitality and lodging whereby visitors stay in a house or apartment of a local resident of the place they are traveling. Homestays are becoming increasingly popular, allowing you to experience the place, people and the culture around, and too at a much affordable prices.

Here are a few reasons why you should choose homestays over Hotels.

Stay with local people

When you stay in a homestay you experience something that you won’t in other forms of accommodation. Not only do you meet the local people, you get to live with them too. It’s a way to live a destination, not just visit it.
homestay

savour home-cooked local delicacies

The best part about staying in a homestay is undoubtedly the delicious home-cooked food. It allows you to understand local cuisine and even learn what goes into the preparation as most hosts willing share secret recipes with you.

Homestays generates income for locals

Homestays are simple establishments run by local families to augment their family income. These families tend to open their homes to travelers for want of company or for the sheer passion for hospitality. By staying in these homestays, you contribute to their income.

Ease of moving into a new city

If you are moving to a new destination then it is both daunting and exciting. On arrival, you’re in unfamiliar surroundings, and it takes time to get used to the place. Stay in a homestay and straight away you’ll have met some local people, in their home, who will quickly help you to feel more comfortable, secure and generally at ease in your new destination.

Homestays are spacious

Homestay is just like a home away from your home. It is anytime more spacious as comparable to hotel rooms. Some Homestays have private gardens, lawns, drawing rooms too.
homestay

Listen to 100 stories of the place

You can sit with the family and talk with them for hours. They can tell you the stories associated with the destination and hence u can actually know more about the culture of the people. Besides this, if you are lucky, you will be able to attend any of their family functions and in turn experience their culture.

Homestay people are your local guide

Nobody knows a place better than someone who was born and raised there. Whether it be the contact number of a reliable auto driver, closing time of a local museum, good entertainmaint places or the info about the good places to buy local stuff, everything can be guided by the homestay people.

See beyond the tourist trail

It would be great to see the parts of a destination that only the locals know about. Stay in a homestay, and your hosts will be able to tell you about those hidden secrets.

Learn local language and local craft

If you want to stay a little longer at certain destination, It would be great to learn the local language to interact with the local communities. Homestay people will help you to do so.You will lso get an opportunity to learn some local craft of the place.
homestay

Best for solo traveler

If you are travelling alone, then this option works out the best . You will never feel lonely and as you are always with a family. You will feel more safer and warm.