Situated in the picturesque Kangra valley and set against the Dhauladhar mountain range in Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala is an ideal retreat for nature lovers. The pristine environment with dense green cover consisting of Deodar and Pine trees provides a visual treat. Dharamsala is also the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh.
Dharamsala consists of two distinct areas which are separated by a 10 minute bus or jeep ride. Lower Dharamsala is where most of the government offices, schools, the local hospital and commercial areas are located. It also has a few tea gardens. The upper Dharamsala, known more commonly as McLeod Ganj, is the seat of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. It is home to the Tibetan community and epicentre of religio-tourism centred around Tibetan Buddhism.
Mcleod Ganj Renowned as the residence of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, the Himalayan hill town is situated in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Situated in Dhauladhar mountain range, it is a suburb of Dharmasala region. It is also known as upper Dharamsala. The town was named after David McLeod, the former Governor of Punjab during British rule.
Mcleod Ganj is a well known learning centre of Tibetan culture, rituals and Buddhism. It is also called Little Lhasa. Tibetans started settling in Dharamsala in 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet. Prime Minister of India Jawharlal Nehru allowed the Dalai Lama and his followers to settle in McLeodGanj. Thousands of Tibetan exiles have made McLeod Ganj their home. In addition to monasteries, the Tibetan exiles have also built temples and schools. McLeod Ganj is also an ideal destination for trekking. The trek to Bharmour which crosses the 4300m Indrahar Pass is the most popular in addition to trails to Lahaul-Spiti Valleys, Kullu and Chamba. Short walks around McLeod can also be undertaken. A trip to Bhagsu (2km) and Dharamkot (3km) offers scintillating views of the Dhauladhar range.