Allow me to be the lone dissenting voice on what is otherwise a wildly popular town, to which visitors from the West flock in literal droves. Dharamsala is a place in which you can see firsthand and in exquisite detail the western tendency to view eastern religions as literally magic, taking superficial (if numerous) cultural differences to be some kind of sure sign of enlightenment. There's maroon robes aplenty in Dharamsala, some of them belonging to the genuinely spiritual, some of them belonging to outright charlatans, and many belonging to ordinary human beings just like you and me who happen to come from a culture where joining a Buddhist monastic order is considered a normal life choice, particularly if you're from a large or poor family. The westerners -- barefoot, dressed in rags, and doing yoga or fire-poi -- are as numerous as the locals, and the traffic (HONK!) is a continual aggravation. If you want to see what happens when a rare and ancient culture (Tibet) is transformed into a brand for consumption by entitled westerners, come to Dharamsala.
Tibeten Prayer Wheels fluttering in the gentle mountain breeze.... spiritual, tranquil, beautiful - "sunder", Shanti.... a must to experience for yourself.....
Dharmshala is a small town in district Kangra of HimachalPradesh easily approachable by road from Pathankot. There are so many other road links too like from Hoshiarpur in Punjab. The cool weather of the place give you relief from scorching heat of plains during summer. The main attraction near Dharmshala is Mclod Ganj, the seat of Tibetian religious guru Dalailama and capital of Tibet government in exile.Here you feel, you are in Tibet as You will see so many Tibetians settled here. The weather here is more pleasant as compared to Dharmshala and one should not forget to visit Bhagsunath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.There are so many other sights worth seeing and places of religious importance like Chamunda temple near Dharamshala. You can visit Palampur to see the tea gardens there.
2 hour local bus ride over cliffs and bridges (so narrow that our wheels were off the ground half the time) we arrive in forsaken “crumbville”. Mini-bus to Daramsala, and lo and behold we meet our friends from California and England! 1.3 billion people in India and we meet the same people twice. I guess we make the whole world smaller. Daramsala is probably the most cultural and intriguing places in India. Raku’s place and the English Bakery are the places to chill, read a book, or get to meet people from all walk of life. Also Chabad in Bhagsu (the lower section of Daramsala) has pancakes to die for (and they’re only 40 rupees - 80 cents). A must-see is the Dali Lama’s monastery in lower Daramsala. If you’re lucky, he may even be in. Regardless, it’s neat to see how they learn... or clap their hands when making a point (http://on.fb.me/i0CL5S). Great gifts to be bought on the cheap, great sights to behold, great hikes to trek. The backpacker-cum-locals there were all trying to figure how out how we were "only" staying for a week. But the travels must go on!