Dharamshala, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, is a Hindi word for “Spiritual Dwelling”. Also the headquarters of Kangra district, which is 18 km away, the city is divided into two sections, lower Dharamshala and upper Dharmshala. The main attraction of this city is Mcleodganj, a suburb of upper Dharamshala.
Places to Stay
Finding accommodation in Dharamshala is not a problem as the city has sufficient budget hotels which offer great tour packages at affordable prices. Hotel Snow Crest (Tariff – Rs. 1000), Pine View Hotel (Tariff- Rs. 1000), Hotel Staywell (Tariff - Rs. 700), Seven Seas Hotel (Tariff - Rs. 800) are some of the popular hotels near Dharamshala bus stand.
Hindi, Tibetan, Pahadi or Kangri and English are the main languages of the area.
A large number of events and festivals are celebrated in Dharamshala. The festive season begins with Haldi festival followed by Lahori in mid-January. One of the most important festivals of Dharamshala is Losar Festival or The Tibetan New Year which is celebrated between February and March .Other such events are the Saka Dawa festival, Prashar Fair held during the summer season, Dal Fair in August and the International Himalayan Festival around December.
Places of Interest
There are several places of tourist attraction in Dharamshala. Some of them are Dal Lake (11 km away from lower Dharamshala and 3 km away from upper Dharamshala), McleodGanj or upper Dharamshala, Triund (20 km), Chamunda Devi (15 km) and St. John’s Church (8 Km from lower Dharamshala).
How to Get There
The nearest airport to Dharamshala is Kangra airport (10 km). Other airport which is situated near Dharamshala is Gaggla airport (13 km) from the hill station.
The nearest railway station is in Pathankot situated at a distance of 85 km from Dharamshala.
There are buses plying daily from Delhi, Manali, and Kangra. Various bus operators provide excellent services with best prices available like Joy Travels and Bus India. Numerous travel websites provide discount coupons for bus booking frequently to their customers.
Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is known as the hub of India’s tourism sector. It is also among the top 10 preferred entrepreneurial locations in India. Shimla is famous for its apples, natural beauty and architectural buildings. The city has a large number of temples and palaces. Shimla was declared the summer capital of India during British rule.
Places to Stay
Shimla offers a wide variety of options for budget travelers near the main bus stand like Hotel Gulmarg Residency – 3km (Tariff – Rs. 1200-1500), Dreamland Hotel – 2.8km (Tariff – Rs. 600-800), Rajdoot Hotel – 0.2km (Tariff – Rs. 800-1100) and Samrat Regency Hotel - 0.4km (Tariff – Rs. 900-1200).
The Summer Festival held in the month of May is a cultural function with performances. Ruhru Fair, held in April on the banks of river Pabbar is a religious and cultural fair. The Winter Sports festical, running between months December and February, experiences ice skating and ice hockey. The famour MTB (mountain biking festival) is held in Shimla each year.
Tha official language of Shimla is Hindi.
Places to Visit
Jakhoo Hill, highest peak there, offers a great view of Shimla is 2km from main bus station. The Tara Devi Temple, located on top of a hill is 11km from main bus station. Shimla State Museum is located 5km away from the main bus station.
How to Get There
The Jubbarhatti Airport is located 23km from Shimla.
Trains operate from Shimla Railway Station to Kalka and connecting trains can be taken from there onwards.
The Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation operates buses from all cities in the state to Shimla. City Land Travels and Laxmi Holidays are some of the major bus operators here. Booking bus tickets online is the easiest mode of getting your tickets.