If you’re looking to go to Dharamsala, you probably already have your reasons as to why you want to visit. It might be because it’s the home of the Dalai Lama or perhaps you’re coming to do yoga training in Dharamkot.
There is excellent hiking to be done here as well and nature is breathtaking. The hill houses will mesmerize you and you’ll love the cool art culture here. Give yourself plenty of time to do nothing because that’s one of the best things to do here. Let life pass you by, just be, and let go of all your plans. Here are some of the things you should when you’re going to Dharamsala and places that just can’t be missed.
You can take a bus from Delhi which takes about 11 hours. Alternatively, there is a train to Pathankot and then a 2-hour drive. The drive is easy to arrange with a yoga teacher training retreat center or guest house. You can also just take a taxi without any worries. The cost is low for catching a ride either way. The train is something of an Indian experience where you may not be guaranteed a seat at all. Standing for 11 hours might not be your cup of tea. If you want to spend the extra money, fly to Gaggal. This is the closest airport to Dharamsala.
Research Your Stay
The question is, do you want to stay at a place with a party scene or are you seeking serenity. There are certain guests houses that offer both options so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s always nice to stay with like-minded people. If you are doing yoga training in Dharamkot, they will have accommodation for you so you can fully immerse into your teachings.
Booking Your Stay
It’s important to book your stay in advance. You’ll want to do some serious internet research to find out where the safest places to stay are. There are guest houses that may service the more hippy vibe or the party culture so you want to ensure you end up with the right group of like-minded people. If you are doing yoga in Dharamkot, you will probably have accommodation included so you don’t have to worry about looking for anything else. You’ll be safe and sound within the confines.
Taking in the Sites
Dharamsala life is slow paced so don’t worry too much about making an itinerary. You can visit a tea plantation, go to the Dalai Lama’s temple, and explore nature. There are day trips that take you to incredible spots near Dharamsala. Don’t miss the hill houses in upper Dharamsala. While the lower part has mainly Indians inhabiting it, the upper part is primarily Tibetan. Here, you can find out about Tibetan history and their way of life.
Explore the Area
You want some extra time here to explore on your own. This is what will give you a greater sense of the area. There are so many peaceful spots and you want the time to sit in a spot that calls your name. There are little hikes you can take that offer breathtaking views. The cafes in upper Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj) are perfect for an afternoon. People are incredibly open-hearted here too, tourists and locals alike so give yourself time to have a conversation that expands your mind and heart.
Yoga in Dharamkot
Dharamkot is close to Dharamsala. It is peaceful and quiet, not as busy as Dharamsala. Many people will do yoga training in Dharamkot but there’s also plenty of opportunities to take in a yoga class. What’s so great about it here is that there’s only one road in. It is a place of true serenity and the yoga feels incredibly authentic. The village remains unchanged from tourism and you’ll get a sense of the old school charm here.
There are hikes that start here including Triund, and the Indrahar Pass. The natural beauty is incredible. There is a narrow pathway that leads to viewpoints, waterfalls, and some pretty epic treks. There is always an orchestra of birds singing their songs in the background.
Dharamsala has so much to offer. When you leave, you will notice that you view life in a different way. You can take in some epic treks, go camping in the mountains, do yoga training in Dharamkot, take in the art scene and so much more. This is where the Dalai Lama calls home. It is his refuge from the throws of war that took him out of his country in the first place. Many important saints and sages have come here to honor him. It attracts people who are looking for something more or for people who just want to be. This gives it a special feeling that you’ll notice right away.