Dalhousie - Dharamsala break(5 Nights)

Chandigarh, Dalhousie, Dharamsala, Chandigarh

for Family Traveller, Honeymooner

Holiday Overview

Mountain Views around Dharamsala (Nivalink Trip Dated - 27 March 2006)
St Johns Church Entrance
View of Dalhousie
Chamera Lake
Views from Dalhousie Bus Stand
Dalhousie Town Centre (Nivalink Trip Dated - 27 March 2006)

Dalhousie - Dharamsala break is a popular short break itinerary that allows guests to visit two of the most popular hill stations in North India.(Dalhousie (6500+ ft asl) and Dharamsala (3500+ ft asl)).


Dalhousie(3) - Dharamsala(2)

Summarised Itinerary
  • Day-1 Arrive at Dalhousie. Local Visits.
  • Day-2 Khajjiar, Chamba, Chamera Lake excursion
  • Day-3 Kalatop Excursion / Walk
  • Day-4 Dalhousie - Dharamshala. Visit Norbulingka Institute.
  • Day-5 Mcleodgunj Visit and options visits around Dharamsala
  • Day-6 Departure
Sightseeing Summary

Dalhousie - Churches in Dalhousie (3.00 kms), Satdhara (3.00 kms), Jandhri Ghat and Barkota Hills (4.00 kms), Kalatop Trek and Paragliding (10.00 kms), Khajjiar Meadows (25.00 kms), Chamera Lake (30.00 kms), Chamba Pilgrimage (50.00 kms)

Dharamsala - War Memorial (1.00 kms), Walk to Kunal Pathri - Rock Temple (3.00 kms), Norbulingka Institute (4.00 kms), Naam Art Gallery (7.00 kms), St Johns Church (8.00 kms), Mcleodgunj Tibetan Market (9.00 kms), Chinmaya Tapovan (10.00 kms), Dalai Lama Monastery (10.00 kms), Bhagshunath Temple (11.00 kms)

Preferred Arrival /Departure Destination
Arrival - Chandigarh Departure - Chandigarh
Best Season to Travel
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Popular Extensions to the Itinerary

An additional night in Dharamsala will allow for better exploration of the area that may include Kangra valley devi temples, Palampur Tea estates etc. Guests arriving or departing at Amritsar also prefer to stay a night at Amritsar and vist Golden Temple.

  • Chandigarh to Dalhousie -310 kms (7 hrs)
  • Dalhousie to Dharamsala -120 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dharamsala to Chandigarh -250 kms (6.5 hrs)

Chandigarh - Dalhousie(3) - Dharamsala(2) - Chandigarh

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1 Arrive at Dalhousie. Local Visits. Arrive at Pathankot and proceed to Dalhousie (7000+ ft asl - 80 kms - 2.5 hours). Time permitting visit local markets and local places to visit such as Churches in Dalhousie, Panchpula / Sat Dhara (confluence of 7 streams said to have medicinal effect).

Day-2 Khajjiar, Chamba, Chamera Lake excursion Full Day excursion to Khajjiar Meadows (22 kms), Chamba (riverside pilgrim centre at 44 kms from Dalhousie can be visited with Khajjiar) and Chamera Lake (large lake with watersports centre). Enroute visit Barkota hills. Back by late evening.

Day-3 Kalatop Excursion / Walk Explore Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary (The sanctuary is home to a variety of species including black bears and barking deer, abundant variety of bird life), Dainkund peak etc. Kalatope is an 8 km moderately uphill walk through pine forests. The hilltop offers excellent views of the area around and snow peaks. Paragliding is offered here in Summer. Guests looking to relax and not do walking may just enjoy snow peak views of Dalhousie and relax.

Day-4 Dalhousie - Dharamshala. Visit Norbulingka Institute. Proceed to Dharamsala (3500+ ft asl, 120 kms - 4 hrs). Visit Norbulingka Institute, a must visit for any visitor to Dharamsala for a Tibetan cultural heritage experience and St Johns Church. Time permitting, visit war memorial at Dharamsala, that commemorates martyrs of the area.

Day-5 Mcleodgunj Visit and options visits around Dharamsala Morning visit to Mcleodgunj (6500+ ft asl, 10 kms), visit Dalai Lama Monastery and Bhagshunath Temple (3 kms from Mcleodgunj). Visit local street market for tibetan artefacts. Naddi Area near Cantonment (8 kms from Mcleodgunj) has one of the best Himalayan views of the area. In the evening time permitting, Pilgrimage oriented travellers may head for Chinmaya Tapovan, an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda (10 kms from Dharamsala). Guests who can do a bit of walking can head for Kunal Pathri Temple, a 3 km walk from Dharamsala is a rock temple dedicated to Goddess Kapaleshwari. Guests also have an option to head for Naam Art Gallery, a renowned art gallery.

Day-6 Departure Depart for onward journey. Time permitting, guests may visit Brajeshwari Devi temple (Shaktipeetha) at Kangra and Kangra Fort OR Jwalamukhi / Chintpurni Temples.

Detailed Sightseeing

Dalhousie :

  • Churches in Dalhousie - Dalhousie is gome to four churches i.e. St. Andrews Church, St. Patricks Church, St. Francis Church and St. Johns Church.

  • Satdhara - Satdhara is a confluence of 7 springs which is said to have therapeutic value as they contain mica.

  • Jandhri Ghat and Barkota Hills - Just 2 km from town centre, Jandhri Ghat offers spots for picnicking. It has streamlets around with fragrant pine forests. Bakrota Hills, few kms ahead offers excellent views of the snow-clad himalayan peaks on a clear day.

  • Kalatop Trek and Paragliding - Kalatop is a soft trek ex-Dalhousie, off Khajjiar Route. The is a half day trek is via thick forest and there are excellent Himalayan views on offer on a clear day. Paragliding is on offer during summer at Kalatop.

  • Khajjiar Meadows - Khajjiar is home to natural meadows and a popular excursion and summer hangout place for tourists to Dalhousie. Horse riding is available in summer for kids.

  • Chamera Lake - Chamera lake was formed after building of the Chamera dam and is one of the popular excursions for tourists from Dalhousie. Boating, Speedboating etc. are on offer here.

  • Chamba Pilgrimage - Chamba is a riverside ancient temple town with Laxmi Narayan Temple Complex (10th century) being the main attraction. Chamba is base point for the Manimahesh Yatra (undertaken during month of August/September). Pilgrimage significance of the lake is only next to Kailash Mansoravar yatra.

Dharamsala :

  • War Memorial - At there start of town, landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh

  • Walk to Kunal Pathri - Rock Temple - Kunal Pathri Temple 3 km walk from Dharamsala is a rock temple dedicated to Goddess Kapaleshwari

  • Norbulingka Institute - The Norbulingka Institute was founded in 1988 by the present 14th Dalai Lama at Sidhpur, near Dharamshala. The institute is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan language and cultural heritage. The institute is named after Norbulingka, the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lamas, in Lhasa, Tibet. The main building is a replica of the Norbulingka palace in Lhasa. The Centre for Arts, offers training in Tibetan statue making, thangka painting, printing, applique and tailoring, wood carving, wood and metal craft. The Academy also offers long term courses in Tibetan Buddhism. The institute also has the two-storeyed Seat of Happiness Temple (Deden Tsuglakhang) built in 1985 and set amidst the Japanese inspired Norbulingka gardens. It is known for its 1,173 murals of Buddha, frescoes of all the Dalai Lamas and drawings chronicling the life of the 14th Dalai Lama. In the main hall stands the 4 mt high gilded copper Budddha, one of the largest outside Tibet. Around the temple are workshops of artisans and apprentices, which produce various handicrafts, also sold at the Norbulingka Gift Shop and Showroom, for the benefit of Tibetan refugees. A short distance from the institute lies the Dolma Ling Buddhist nunnery, and the Gyato Monastery, temporary residence of the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Norbulingka institute is a must visit for any visitor to Dharamsala for a Tibetan cultural heritage experience.

  • Naam Art Gallery - Naam Art Gallery exhibits paintings by Elsbeth Buschmann - watercolours and acrylics - and oil paintings by Alfred W. Hallett. Both artists have lived here and created some of their best works which are displayed in the gallery. The Gallery is popular with inbound travellers.

  • St Johns Church - Between Forsythganj and Mcleodganj is the charming church of St. John. The area is under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863.

  • Mcleodgunj Tibetan Market - Nurpur is famous for old fort and a temple of Brijraj. Nurpur acquired its name in 1672, when Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor named it after his wife Nurjahan.

  • Chinmaya Tapovan - 10 km from Dharamsala on the banks of the rivulet Bindusaras, is an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita. Courses for learning Gita are conducted here. The complex includes a 9 meter high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama Temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.

  • Dalai Lama Monastery - Most prominent site in Mcleodgunj is Dalai Lama Temple or Dalai Lama Monastery. It has a large statue of Padmasambhavna

  • Bhagshunath Temple - 3 kms from Mcleodgunj town centre is lands end, where road ends. This is where Bhagshu temple is situated. The temple is popular with North Indians and there are a number of hotels situated here. Guests can walk upto a perennial waterfall adjoining to the temple at a short walk away.

Destination Overview

Chandigarh - Chandigarh is a major business centre and hub for Software, IT and ITES companies. Chandigarh is a tourist destination being a transit point for guests on Delhi - Manali route and an access point to visit neighboring hills of Himachal Pradesh and hill station of Shimla.

Dalhousie - Dalhousie (6700 ft) is a British-era hill Station and a weekend getaway destination. Dalhousie is known for its very good Himalayan views and still retains a quaint, idyllic, offbeat character.

Dharamsala - Dharamsala (3500 ft asl or Lower Dharamsala), is a laidback town at the base of Dhauladhar, 12 kms Short of Mcleodgunj.

Prefered Arrival : No ImageChandigarhNo ImageChandigarh
Prefered Departure : No ImageChandigarhNo ImageChandigarh
  • Chandigarh to Dalhousie -310 kms (7 hrs)
  • Dalhousie to Dharamsala -120 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dharamsala to Chandigarh -250 kms (6.5 hrs)

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Travel Ideas incorporated in the itinerary

Lines indicate the best available driving routes.
Arrows indicate connectivity other than Road (e.g. Waterways or Air).
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  • Chandigarh to Dalhousie -310 kms (7 hrs)
  • Dalhousie to Dharamsala -120 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dharamsala to Chandigarh -250 kms (6.5 hrs)

Expert Speak

For guests arriving and departing from Amritsar, a visit to Golden temple can be an excellent addition to this itinerary.

Expert Connect

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