10 Best Places to Visit in Dharamshala 2024: Timing, Entry Fee

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Places to Visit in Dharamshala: Set against the backdrop of the mighty Dhauladhar Range and dense coniferous forests, Dharamshala is one of the most scenic and serene hill stations in India. Nestled in Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, this city is at an elevation of 1457 m above sea level. Dharamshala boasts a distinctive blend of Tibetan and Kangra culture and serves as the abode of the Dalai Lama.

Being a beautiful gem in the lap of nature, Dharamshala is dotted with many lakes, waterfalls, and other attractions. You can also find some monasteries, temples, vintage forts, and museums here. The hill station attracts tourists and devotees year-round and is well-connected to nearby towns and cities by air, road, and rail. Kangra Airport (13 km away) and Pathankot Junction (86 km away) are the nearest options for air and rail travelers. The hill station also enjoys good road connectivity with Shimla, Pathankot, Jalandhar, Amritsar, and other nearby places. So, you can take the state bus or book a cab to reach Dharamshala comfortably.

To help you plan a memorable trip, here is a list of places to visit in Dharamshala. Each place oozes a distinctive charm and is worth exploring.

01. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, Dharamshala

Places to Visit in Dharamshala

Also known as the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium, Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is a must-visit for cricket fanatics. The stadium is located at an altitude of 1457 m above sea level, amidst the stunning Dhauladhar Range. It is particularly famous for being the highest international cricket stadium in the world.

The best thing about HPCA Stadium is that it is open to tourists as well. So, you can visit this amazing place even when no cricket matches are scheduled. The Tibetan style of architecture on the main stand and scenic location make this stadium one of the most amazing Dharamshala tourist places.

  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Ideal duration: Less than 1 hour
  • Entry fee: INR 20 per person (on non-match days)

02. Places to Visit in Dharamshala, War Memorial

Places to Visit in Dharamshala

Counted among the most popular places to see in Dharamshala, the War Memorial is worth visiting. It was built as a tribute to the brave soldiers of Kangra who sacrificed their lives during the wars of 1947–48, 1962–1965, and 1971 and UN peacekeeping operations. The memorial has three huge walls in black marble with the names of the martyred soldiers etched on them. The place also houses many replicas of guns, war tanks, airplanes, and more. The surrounding forests and lush green environs add to the beauty of the memorial and make it a famous tourist attraction.

  • Timings: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Ideal duration: 1 hour
  • Entry fee: INR 20 per person (free for children up to 5 years of age) 

03. Gyuto Monastery, Dharamshala

Places to Visit in Dharamshala

Known for its tantric meditation and teachings, Gyuto Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries in Dharamshala. It was originally established in Tibet in 1474. However, after the communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, it was re-established in Dharamshala by the Tibetan monks This was the time when the Dalai Lama, monks of the Gyuto Tantric Monastery, and refugees came to India. The monks in the monastery work towards preserving and promoting the tantric teachings of the great teacher Tsongkhapa for the well-being of people.

This stunning monastery is located on a hilltop with the majestic Dhauladhar Range in the background. It houses a beautiful gold-plated statue of Lord Buddha that looks particularly breathtaking when illuminated by the morning sunlight The eye-catching architecture and serene vibes of the monastery make it one of the best tourist places in Dharamshala.

  • Timings: 7 AM to 7 PM
  • Ideal duration: 1-2 hours
  • Entry fee: Free entry
04. Triund Hill
Places to Visit in Dharamshala

A favorite among trekkers and adventure seekers, Triund Hill is one of the most beautiful places in Dharamshala. It is perched at a height of 2850 m above sea level and surrounded by rolling hills. The clean air and natural environment make Triund Hill a popular choice among those looking for a relaxing break from all the hustle and bustle.

Triund Hill is known for some amazing trekking trails and offers breathtaking views throughout. On reaching the summit, you can bask in the mesmerizing beauty of the snow-capped mountains and pristine surroundings. Triund is a wonderful spot for picnics as well. You can also enjoy night camping here and count the stars in the clear sky.

  • Timings: Open 24 hours
  • Ideal duration: 5-6 hours
  • Entry fee: Free entry
05. St John in the Wilderness Church
Places to Visit in Dharamshala

Nestled amidst verdant green deodar trees, St. John in the Wilderness Church is one of the most serene and famous places to visit in Dharamshala. This Anglican church was built in 1852 and is dedicated to John the Baptist. It is located on the way to McLeod Ganj and is about 8 km from Dharamshala.

Known for its stunning neo-gothic style of architecture, the church is a popular attraction among architecture lovers. The Belgian stained-glass windows add to the charm of this holy place. Although one of the oldest structures in the region, its distinctive construction and peaceful vibes make it one of the most important churches in Himachal Pradesh.

  • Timings:
  • Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Ideal duration: 30-45 minutes
  • Entry fee: Free entry
06. Kalachakra Temple

Kalachakra Temple, whose name translates to “Wheel of Time,” is counted among the top places to visit in Dharamshala. It was built in 1992 and is located near Tsuglagkhang Temple. Kalachakra Temple is replete with murals and artworks that speak volumes about Tibet’s rich spiritual and artistic background. Its serene surroundings and divine aura attract devotees and tourists from different parts of the country.

This beautiful temple with eye-catching architecture is dedicated to Kalachakra. It houses a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, mural paintings of 722 deities of the mandala, and a Kalachakra image in the center. You can also admire some of the finest Tibetan Thangka paintings on the temple walls and columns. The sacred temple complex has a bookshop and a small yet charming café as well.

  • Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Ideal duration: 1-2 hours
  • Entry fee: Free entry

Now that you know about the best places to visit in Dharamshala, you can easily plan a trip to this peaceful and picturesque hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Apart from visiting popular attractions here, you can also check out the local shops for Tibetan carpets, shawls, handicrafts, brass statues, and other local products. Just make sure you book air tickets and hotel rooms in advance to avoid last-minute hassles.

07. McLeod Ganj
McLeod Ganj

Also known as Little Lhasa or Dhasa, McLeod Ganj is a popular and picturesque suburb of Dharamshala. It comes under the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and is only 5 km from Dharamshala. McLeod Ganj is particularly famous for the Dalai Lama Temple, or Tsuglagkhang Temple, as this is the place where His Holiness resides.

Besides being a popular pilgrimage for Buddhists, McLeod Ganj is a haven for nature lovers, trekkers, and peace seekers. Namgyal Monastery, Nechung Monastery, Naddi Viewpoint, and Minikiani Pass are some of the many wonderful attractions here. Boasting a perfect blend of rich Tibetan culture and nature’s bounty, McLeod Ganj is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Dharamshala.

  • Best Time to Visit: March to June
  • Ideal duration: 2-3 days
08. Jwala Devi Temple
Jwala Devi Temple

Dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Jwala Devi, this temple in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh attracts devotees and tourists from around the country. It is also one of the 51 Shakti peethas in India and a highly respected Shakti temple.

Jwala Devi Temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Light. It is also believed that this is the place where Goddess Sati’s tongue fell when her lifeless body was cut into 51 parts by Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshan Chakra The temple has no idol, and Goddess Shakti is manifested here in a series of natural flames. Devotees believe that the goddess resides in the flames that have been burning miraculously for hundreds of years without any fuel.

  • Timings:
  • Summer: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Winter: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Ideal duration: 1-2 hours
  • Entry fee: Free entry
09. Bhagsu Waterfall
Bhagsu Waterfall

Plunging from a height of 20 m, Bhagsu Waterfall is one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala. The waterfall boasts unique scenic beauty and is a perfect spot for those looking to spend quality time amidst nature.

The best time to visit Dharamshala’s Bhagsu Waterfall is during the monsoon season when you can see water gushing down to form a pool below. Although you may get tempted to take a dip in the pool, avoid it if you can’t tolerate extremely cold water. You can also plan a picnic here with your loved ones or go on a trek to enjoy stunning views of the waterfall from different points.

  • Timings: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Ideal duration: 1-2 hours
  • Entry fee: Free entry
10. Dharamkot Studio
 Dharamkot Studio

Located in Dharamkot, a village that is 2 km from McLeod Ganj, Dharamkot Studio is a must-visit for those interested in pottery. The studio has trained instructors who give pottery lessons to tourists and locals looking to try their hands at this beautiful art. One can also opt for courses here to learn different aspects of pottery.

Dharamkot Studio is particularly famous for reviving black pottery – an art used for making utensils. Although counted among the unexplored places in Dharamshala, the charm of the studio makes it a must-visit.

  • Timings: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Friday to Wednesday)
    • The studio remains closed on Thursdays
  • Ideal duration: 2-3 hours
  • Price for Pottery Courses: Starting from INR 1350 per person
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