HILL RESORT DHARMASALA
It is located on a ridge of the Dhauladhar Range.
The town up the hill from a height of 1.250 metres to 2,000 metres. The peaks
of Dhauladhar rise above the town. Farbelow are the misty plains. The Dalai
Lama resides at the Macleodganj, the upper Dharamsala. In the colourful Tibetan
township are the newly built Gelugpa Monastery and a school of Tibetan culture.
Another popular holiday destination is the hill resort of Dharamsala, the
headquarters of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of the Tibetans.
Besides being an interesting town in itself, Dharamsala is also the starting
point for many exciting treks and trips. Essentially a twin settlement, Dharamsala
consists of the mainly Tibetan Upper Dharamsala and the more commercial Lower
Dharamsala. There are however traces of the British presence here such as
the church of St. John in the Wilderness where Lord Elgin was buried and suburbs
called Mc Leodganj and Forsyth ganj.
This is hardly surprising, considering that Dharamsala was once a British
hill station. Upper Dharamsala is dominated by the Buddhist temple with its
prayer wheels, the Tsuglagkhang with its three images of Shakyamuni, Padmasambhava
and Alokitesvara. The Dalai Lama’s residence, the Library of Tibetan Works
and Archives, the Tibetan Secretariat and the Astro Medical Institute are
all housed in Mc Leodganj. Accommodation and eating are no problem — there
are a range of hotels to suit every budget and there are restaurants specialising
in Tibetan, Chinese, Indian, Western and even Israeli fare.
The most popular trek is from Dharamsala to Chamba over the Indrahar Pass
though other routes are also possible. From Dharamsala, one can move onto
Palampur which with its verdantgreen tea gardens and pine and deodar forests,
is a resort yet to be discovered by many tourists. Hang gliding, a new sport
practised at Billing is fast making Palampur popular as it is considered to
be one of the best places for this sport.
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