Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT – A Heaven for the Peaceful Soul in Himachal Pradesh, India
Sometimes it is compulsory to have the tranquility of mind to get placidity of Soul and for that what is better than the musical sound of the wind, water & birds, Early morning Yoga in the lap of nature, Free meditation at world-class Meditation Centre, No sound of traffic, Waterfalls with the purest water of the Himalayas and Snow-clad mountains of the Himalayas if you are probing for all of that than Dharamkot is the place for you.
Dharamkot is a minuscule hippie village near Mecleodganj & Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. These are highly popular destinations amongst foreign & Indian travelers due to their mesmerizing location and resplendent ambiance: which is a fusion of Tibetan & British cultures. It is the centre point for Vipassana Mediation Centre, Tushita Buddhist Meditation Centre, and famous Triund & Indrahar treks. So as a town, it splendidly maintains a great balance between spirituality and adventures.
Dharamkot is the perfect base for multiple hikes in the Himalayas such as Triund, Illaqua, Indrahar Pass, etc. It is just an overnight bus ride away from the famous backpackers’ hot spot –Kasol
Best Time to Visit Dharamkot from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Dharamkot is a scenic paradise for lush green landscapes, spirituality, and trekking havens. It can be visited throughout the year and roads are accessible. But you must avoid the rainy season from July to September. The best time to visit Dharmkot is from March to June and October to February. The temperature in Dharamkot hovering around 18° to 28° in summers and -1° to 10° in winters.
How to Reach Dharamkot from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Dharamkot is about 475 km from Delhi and 8 km from Dharamshala. You can reach Dharamkot by road, by train, and by air.
It is very easy to reach Dharamkot from Delhi by road. You can take a direct overnight bus from Delhi to McLeod Ganj that will cost you around INR 1000 – 1200 per person.
The nearest railway station is Pathankot from where you can take a taxi or a local bus to McLeod Ganj. The taxi will take around 2-3 hours depending on the traffic and the buses will take 4-5 hours.
The nearest airport to Dharamkot is Kangra Gaggle Airport which is also called Dharamshala airport. You can easily find a taxi or local bus to Dharamshala or McLeod Ganj from the airport.
If you decide to travel by a local bus, it will drop you in McLeod Ganj. You can walk to Dharamkot that is 20-30 minutes hike from McLeod Ganj. You can also just take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi that will cost you around INR 100-300.
Where is Dharamkot? from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Dharamkot is in Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh state of India. As mentioned before, it is near the more famous Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj.
The page of Vibe in Dharamkot:
The best thing about Dharamkot is the vibe. Let me try to describe the vibe here if I can. The vibe is a mix of some of magic, pure spiritual energy of the Himalayas, happiness of the simple folks that live there, peace & serenity and a feeling on oneness with the nature. The sounds of mountain birds, the whistling of air through deodar tree leaves, the distant smells of farm animals mixed with herb-based cooking will awaken all your senses. This is a good spot for early morning yoga and meditation – if you’re in that sort of stuff.
PLACES TO VISIT in Dharamkot: from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
It is about 9 kms. from Dharamkot. This place is known as Upper Dharamsala and is the seat of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government – in –exile. There are beautiful colonial houses of the British era and a church which is the resting place of Lord Elgin, a British Viceroy of India who liked the place. He died while on tour of this place. There are some beautiful monasteries and famous ancient temples in the area. There is a Museum on Tibetan culture, art and crafts within the Tsuglagkhang Complex where the Dalai Lama resides. There are forts within the area. Most of them are in ruins after the devastating earthquake in 1905.
his small hamlet lies at the base of the majestic Dauladhar range of mountains and is a haven for trekkers. There is an old trail through this place used by the Gaddi shepherds of the Chamba Valley. Triund is 2842 metres above sea level. Triund is on an altitude immediately below the snow line that starts at Illaqa and perhaps this is the only place in the world with a majestic view of the Himalayan ranges.
Galu Devi Temple:
is at an altitude of 2130 metres. There is a small shrine and is a watering hole for the trekkers.
This place is around 11 kms. from Dharamkot. This place is divided in to two:The Upper Dharamsala or McLeodganj and Lower Dharamsala which houses the Indian Government offices and quarters.
Masroor Rock Temple:
There are fifteen temples that have been chiseled out of sedimentary rocks. It is believed that these temples were built during the time of Pandavas while in exile.
loot that was found in the wells. Jehangir too played a part in destroying the fort. Historians have stated that if a fort is successfully conquered, it was to be assured that the fort or palace was also completely ransacked and burned or destroyed by the invader.
Devi Himani Chamunda:
Situated at an altitude of 10500 feet above sea level, this temple can be visited only by mid-March to early November after which, the temple will be closed due to freezing winter. There are two other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman.
Bhagsunag Shiv Mandir and Bhagsunag Waterfalls:
The legend is that when King Bhagsu, the demon king ruled with his capital at Ajmer during the Thretha yug, there was a severe drought in the capital. The people of Ajmer beseeched him to provide water.
The king being an Asura (Demon) could use his magical powers to draw all the water from the Lake Nag Dal. On his way back with the magical pot containing the entire water from the lake, he fell tired and went to sleep in a glade. The Nag Devta on his visit to the lake found the lake empty and was furious of the deed. He traced the footsteps to the Asura King and when the king refused to part with the water, the Nag Devta challenged the king to a duel. In the ensuing duel, the king was mortally wounded and requested the Nag Devta to ensure that water be provided to his people as a boon.
This was granted and water continues to flow. The place came to be known as Bhagsunag, a derivation of both the names. Years later, in the beginning of the Kali Yug, King Dharamchand ruled this place and one night he had a vision of Lord Shiva asking him to build a temple at the place. The temple is believed to be 5080 years old.
Trek to Triund and camp there overnight from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Triund is four hours hike away from Dharamkot. I recommend you start this hike very early in the morning and camp at Triund at night. You don’t have to carry a tent because it is possible to rent one there. The hike is almost fully uphill and is strenuous. For more information, read my travel guide for Triund.
Vegan Food in Blue Caterpillar and Once in Nature
To continue my talk about the awesome food in this area, I must mention how presently surprised we were to discover a few Vegan cafes in this village. The most famous one is towards the other side of the village, on the way to Bhagsu near the rocks. It’s very easy to find this because you will find many rocks with “Vegan Café” painted on them and they will lead you to this place.
When we visited, there was live trance music and a few traveling artists with their work on display. There were a few other vegan cafes around as well. Do check out Blue Caterpillar and Once in Nature if you’re a Vegan. Personally, I tried to be a Vegan for a few weeks but had to give up because I can’t quit Honey.–
About Dharamkot from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Dharamkot is a village adjoining McLeod Ganj that oozes sparkling sceneries. Just three kilometres to the north of McLeod Ganj, forests of towering pines and rhododendrons welcome you to experience bliss first-hand. Not far from Dal Lake, the festival-fair organized every year adds to the vividness of Dharamkot. More spellbinding views of the Dhauladhar range await you, and a spiritual retreat at one of the several dedicated centres is just a step away.
Although located only a stone’s throw away, the village of Dharamkot is in complete contrast to the Tibetan realms of McLeod Ganj. Trek to the villages at Naddi and Triund, which are right around the bend, and delve into the offerings of bountiful nature. A few cafes en route to Dharamkot sees the crowd dwindling, and peace is on the offing at throwaway prices.
One of the most popular things to do among hikers is to rent a room in relatively noiseless Dharamkot and travel back and forth to McLeod Ganj—with the goal being solitude. Getting one’s own stock of alcohol from a kilometre away and chilling in the cafes is another one of travellers’ favourites.
Things do in DHARAMKOT: from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Triund trek is one of the most popular and easiest treks in Himachal Pradesh. Every year lot of trekkers and tourists hike this astonishingly beautiful trek. Triund is at an altitude of about 2,827 m in Kangra valley. It is around 8 km trek from Dharamkot starting from the Gallu Devi temple where people going for trek register their names. The reason this peak called Triund is because you can visually perceive three snow-capped mountains Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, and Mani Mahesh Kailash.
Triund trek will take around 4 hours to complete. You will experience an enthralling view of the Dhauladhar range & the Kangra valley, the pristine snow glittering in the sunlight, and exploration of the forest amidst pine and oak trees that make any trip to the mountains so special. At the top you can rent a tent or install your own I highly recommend staying at Triund for one night to enjoy adorable sunrise in the early morning.
Those who are in love with trekking can additionally visit Snowline that is a 2-3 hour trek from Triund. It is conventionally a stop for those wanting to go further up to Laka Glacier & Indrahar Pass trek. Walking on the snowline and reaching to the Laka Glacier- all filled with snow & ice that will give you spectacular and freezing views of the place.
No Name Waterfall from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Unlike the famous but crowded Bhagsu waterfall that has the same distance from Dharamkot & Mcleodganj, No Name Waterfall is less kenned hence it is quite a peaceful place to enjoy hiking & water. It is about a 1-hour trek from Daharmkot in the same way as Triund trek near a village called Gallu. The view of the waterfall made it all worth the trek. It is virtually hidden by stone boulders and the curves of the hills. You can enjoy your time by dipping your feet in the ice-cold water and absorbing nature’s beauty. You can additionally enjoy some snacks or refreshments at Sunset Cafe near Gallu village.
Yoga & Meditation from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
The fresh mountain breeze, stunning landscape, and abundant natural beauty create an impeccable environment to practice Yoga and Meditation. Tushita Meditation Centre is the most popular meditation center in Himachal. All the classes are led by experienced Buddhist practitioners. It offers a wealth of meditation and spiritual retreat facilities along with courses on Buddhism. Here you can completely immerse yourself in silent meditation amidst the beautiful, natural environment. It withal offers accommodation to the disciple who joins them for short term courses. There are also a good number of yoga retreat centers like Himalaya Iyengar yoga center Himalayan LOTUS YOGA and more.
Food In Dharamkot from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Every year a lot of Israelis, Europeans, and Tibetans travelers visit Dharamkot. As a result, most of the café serves delicious Italian, Israeli, Tibetan, and Asian cuisine. Strangely, lasagnas, pasta, pancakes, and hummus taste superior to Indian food. It has many places to eat but Trek N Dine, Morgan’s café, and Bodhi Green café are my personal favorites. You will simply never have a bad meal here.
Trek N Dine has great ambiance and accommodates high-quality food. The rooftop terrace of Mrgan’s cafe has the most glorious view of the mountains. Bodhi Green is the organic vegan cafe that serves the best vegan food made with dress ingredients. Bhagsu cake is the most amazing dessert to eat in this area that has crunchy pie crust, layered with sticky caramel sauce, and topped with dark chocolate or white chocolate. Overall I can verbalize you fall in love with the food in Dharamkot.
Drinking: from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
If you like drinking light alcohol, you can try some of the few Himalayan fruit wines and apple cedar which you will easily find in the grocery shops for INR 200 – 300. My favorite was the peach wine but the shopkeeper insisted I try Kiwi as well which was the highest selling. Everything herbal is available in plenty so if you want, you can skip alchohol altogether.
Where To Stay In Dharamkot from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Dharamkot is a quaint traditional Himachali village. Initially, there was a limited option to stay in Dharamkot. But now there are plenty of homestays, budget hotels, and few backpackers hostels too. Dharamkot hotels or stay options have boomed up in the recent past because the place is quite famous for foreign travelers, backpackers, and spiritual seekers.
Booking in advance is recommended because searching for a room can mean a lot of walking up & down and in peak season it can be difficult to find a room at all. If you arrive here without a booking, just keep in mind that the room rates are high at the entry point. They get cheaper as you enter the village and walk on the narrow road.
There are various online options to book hotels in Dharamkot like Booking.com Hostelworld.com and more. In my opinion, Dharamkot Inn, Alt Life, Zostel, and Shalom Backpackers are the best places to stay in Dharamkot. You can easily find decent accommodation at around INR 500.
Weather of Dharamkot: from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Owing to its high altitude, the weather of Dharamkot remains cool and pleasant for most of the year. Winters here can be a bit harsh though for some people. From December until February, the region receives moderate snowfall and the temperature remains close to zero at this time. Things start to warm up a bit in March and this is when the tourist season here begins. The months of April, May, and June bring moderately warm days and pleasant nights which attracts thousands of tourists in the nearby areas of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. Days, in fact, can get a little hot here in June but nights mostly remain pleasant.
July and August is the time of monsoon and it can pretty much rain anywhere and anytime in these two months. Sometimes it can rain non-stop for several days, enough to cause landslides and block roads. Monsoon recedes in early September but leaves behind plenty of greenery making the region look like it has just been washed clean. Autumn arrives in October and all that was green now turns Orange, giving a golden magical touch to the valleys around.
Winter starts to settle in towards the end of October and temperature starts to dip down again. By Mid-December, a snowfall can happen anytime, covering the entire region under a sheet of white.
Shopping in dharamkot: from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
Dharamkot is just a small village and there isn’t much to buy here. There are only a handful of shops here selling groceries and other daily commodities. If you ware interested in shopping, you will have to come down to Mcleodganj and check in the market there. For a list of items that you can buy here, I will recommend you to read Mcleodganj Travel Guide.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
The best time to visit Dharamkot will be from mid – September to June. The monsoons arrive in July and will continue till mid – September. This season is not good for travelling around Dharamkot as there may be landslides. Summer starts in March and continues till June and temperature varies between 220C to 380 C. Autumn, from mid – September to November is excellent and the climate is generally pleasant at that time. Visitors can take light woolen / cotton clothes in summer and since winters will be severe, heavy woolen clothes are recommended.
ACTIVITIES: from the pages of Top 10 places to visit in DHARAMKOT
A lovely place for meditation, there are a few meditation centres in and around Kangra – Vipasana Meditation Centre, Thushitha Meditation Centre, which is a study centre for the Mahayana system of Buddhism and Dhamma Shikara.
Trekking is another activity that is prevalent in this area. Dharamkot is actually a base for the long haul trekkers as well as for the shorter trail. During summer, Paragliding is another activity and skiing is also held in the higher slopes.
So, what do you think about Dharamkot? You can also share your experiences if you visited this place.
Have a Pleasant time. Take a very good care of yourself, Always try to take deep breath, and water in sips, Enjoy. Every Moment. It is precious than anything of this materialistic world.
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