A road trip is a unique experience of its own. A road trip gives you a real time experience of the places that you will be traveling through which leaves a deep impact and creates wonderful travel memories. Delhi is the essential gateway to many breath-taking road trips which takes one across some phenomenal landscapes and splendid destinations. A journey from Delhi to Dharamsaala, Mc Leod ganj is one of the most beautiful trips by road to a beautiful, clean and serene towns with breathtaking views is a welcome change any day.
We started our journey early morning from Delhi to Dharamsaala so that we could reach our destination till late evening. The total distance from Delhi to Dharamshala is roughly 490 km. National Highway 1 (NH-1) is the best route to take. The journey can be completed in 10-11 hours. On the way, the major towns you pass through are Panipat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, and then finally you reach Chandigarh. The total distance from Chandigarh to Dharamshala is 245 km, and its takes 5-6 hours to complete the journey, via NH503. On the way, you pass through Hoshiarpur and Kangra, and finally you reach the beautiful picturesque town of Dharamsala, the place where His Holiness The Dalai Lama lives.
One major stop to make on the way is Chandigarh, to take rest and have some refreshments. Otherwise one can also indulge in finger-licking food available at the numerous wayside Dhabas to enjoying your road trip. One can also see the Bhakra nangal dam on the way to Dharamsaala built on the river Satluj which is world’s highest straight gravity dam. In late evening after reaching our first destination Dharamsaala we had our exclusive north indian dinner provided by our hotel where we chosed to stay and then retired to bed for rest to get ready for next day to explore Dharamsaala.
We started our day enjoying beautiful views of snow filled mountains of Dharamsaala from our hotel room balcony. some of beautiful places we explored in dharamsaala are:
- Dharamsaala Cricket Stadium: Nestled in the lap of the majestic Himalayan mountain range of Dharamshala lies a quaint little cricket stadium. Located at the height of 1,457 meters above sea level, it is one of the highest sports grounds in the world. Visiting a cricket stadium while in Dharamshala may sound like a strange thing to add to one?s itinerary, but the magnificent natural backdrop and the cool winds constantly drifting across the grounds is what makes a trip to HPCA Stadium (as it is also known) worth it. Indigo skies, an eternal stream of the fresh mountain breeze, and the vast expanse of lush green field offers a sensory experience like no other.
2. St. John in the Wilderness Church: This neo-gothic church was built in 1852 and is one of the most important churches in Himachal Pradesh. Located near Dharamshala and on the way to Mcleodganj, this church was built in dedication to John the Baptist.It is the oldest built structure of Dharamsala. This church was built in dense woods that is why it is famous as ‘St. John in the Wilderness’. It is also the final resting place of Lord Ergin, one of the governor generals and also a viceroy of India during the British Raj.
3. War Memorial: War Memorial is situated in the pine forests near Dharamshala town and the journey itself to this place is totally worth it. There is the beautiful GPG College which was made during British Era. This is the memorial which has been made at the entrance point to Dharamsala in the memory of those who fought for saving our motherland.
4. Gyuto Monastry:
5. Dal Lake and Naddi: Dal lake is 11 km from lower Dharamsala and lies in between hills and deodar trees. This is a starting point for trekking and excursion, which is covered around the lake to make the walk memorable. Small Shiva Temple is also situated on the banks of this lake. A lively fair is held here every September annually.
6.Tea Gardens: The smallest tea region of India, Dharamshala has beautifully lined and organized tea gardens across the Kangra Valley. It is known for its good quality tea and is available for purchase in many shops across Dharamshala and Mcleodganj.
7. Triund: Triund is a 9-km trek away from Mcleodganj. It is situated at a great height and provides a mesmerizing view of the Moon Peak-Indera Pass. This is an ideal spot for picnics and the clean and pristine environment will surely rejuvenate your senses.
8. Bhagsunag Waterfalls: The Bhagsu Falls are situated 2 km away from McLeodganj. Set amidst lush greenery and nature in its most pristine form, these falls are majestic and grand and should not be missed by all tourists travelling here.
9. Bhagsunag Temple: This temple is located at a height of 1770 m above sea level. Surrounded by beautiful pools and lush greenery, this temple attracts a lot of devotees and tourists throughout the year. The pools around this temple are believed to be sacred and contain miraculous powers of healing. The temple was built by King Bhagsu and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
10. Tsuglagkhang: This is the place where the Dalai Lama resides. This complex has a monastery, various stupas and temples, bookstore and a cafe???? which will attract devotees from all over the world and serve tourists as well. Except for Dalai Lama’s residence, every other part of the complex is open for tourists. If lucky, one can even get to meet His Holiness.
These are some of interesting places to explore in Dharamsaala. Now, when it comes to shopping Mc Leod Ganj Shopping street is worth trying for doing some shopping and tasting some delicious food too.