Baijnath Shiv Temple
This particularly beautiful ancient Shiv temple at Baijnath is 16 Km from Palampur, on the Pathankot-Mandi national highway. Built of stone in the 9th century AD in the shikhara style, it is a fine blend of sculpture and architecture. The temple is easily accessible from both Palampur and Kangra. The linga enshrined in its sanctum is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. Every year during the Shivratri fair, pilgrims decend on Baijnath for the colourful fair and festivities.
A 12 Km trek from Mcleodganj passing through Dal lake, Satobari and Ghera leads to Kareri village. It overlooks the flat & fertile lands of Himachal and Punjab, seems to stretch on to infinity. Kareri village has a picturesque forst rest house. 13 Km further is the Kareri lake (3200 mtr) having beautiful high altitute meadows, extensive pasture lands and undulating slopes carpeted with patch work of green floral patterns.
St. John's Church
This Church stands on the Gandhi Chowk approximately 2 Km. from the main bus stand of Dalhousie. This Church was the first to be built after the town of Dalhousie was founded. Prior to 1863 a wooden structure stood at this place.
Nurpur is famous for an old fort and a temple of Brij Raj. Nurpur acquired its name in 1672, when Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor named it after his wife Nurjahan. Built in the late 16th century by Raja Basu the Nurpur Fort is massive and sprawling. It spreads across a long flat plateau forming the western end of the ridge and bears signs of great architectural designs. The fort overlooks the Jabhar Khud, a tributary of the Chakki rivulet and the vast valley formed by it.
Kotla Fort is another heritage monument on the State Highway between Shahpur and Nurpur. Kotla fort stands on an isolated peak, impressively looking around the deep valleys. The fort was built by the Guler Rajas. The road to the fort winds upwards and is not too difficult; the climb going through the dense forest of pine is pleasant. At the main entrance is the Bagulamukhi temple, one of the incarnations of Durga.
A level 3 Km walk from Kotwali Bazar leads upto the rock temple of the local goddess Durga. In the temple there is stone which remains always wet. According to local belief, the moment it starts drying, it
Undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist places in Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, also known as Little Lhasa is the most important part of Himachal Pradesh. This scenic hilltop is a part of Upper Dharamshala and holds some of the major tourist attractions in the area. The place is located at a height of approximately 1770 meters and is the residence of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. Mcleodganj is also a historic place as the Tibetan Government in exile has been headquartered here for over three decades and thousands of Tibetan refugees have been living here since 1959.
Mcleodganj is named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, who was the lieutenant Governor of Punjab and under whom the area of Mcleodganj was developed. The place has emerged as a major Buddhist center as it embraces great and impressive monasteries with larger than life images of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Avaloktwshwara. It represents the Tibetan community, who makes its presence felt in the city through traditional architectural designs, Tibetan handicrafts, culture, temples, and garments. There are many Tibetan markets, restaurants, and shops in Mcleodganj that offer the amazing handicrafts of Tibet and serve people with delicious food, prepared in the rich flavors of Tibet.
Namgyal Monastery, Dharamshala
Namgyal Monastery is also the home of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. This beautiful monastery was founded in the 16th century by the second Dalai Lama and it was established so that Namgyal monks could assist the Dalai Lama in public religious affairs. The monks living here perform rituals for the welfare of Tibet and work as a center of learning and meditation on the profound Buddhist treatises. In 1959, the Red Chinese invaded Tibet, after which, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama along with thousands of Tibetans, including hundreds of Namgyal monks, fled into the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan, and India and re-established the Namgyal monastery in India.
The Namgyal Monastery was first established by the 3rd Dalai Lama in 1575 in Tibet and was relocated to Dharamshala following the Tibetan uprising in 1959. The monastery currently houses around 200 Tibetan monks, who help preserve the monastery's ancient rituals, artistic skills and traditions. The study of Buddhism includes modern studies of both Tibetan and English language, study of Sutra and Tantra texts, Buddhist Philosophy, making butter sculptures, torma offerings, sand mandalas, playing various ritual musical instruments, ritual chanting, and dances.
The beauty of this monastery is so evident that even those who are not particularly inclined towards this religion will be fascinated by the serene ambience all around and by the imposing figures of the Buddha.
Bhagsunag Fall, Dharamshala
This enchanting waterfall is located about 11 kms from Dharamshala and is easily approachable by road. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Dharamshala and is known for its old temple, a fresh water spring, and slate quarry a waterfall surrounded by stunning cliffs and trees. Tourists can take a dip in the chilly water of this fall and visit the Bhagsunag temple to seek blessing of Lord Shiva. The Bhagsunag Fall falls on the way to Triund, so the tourists can continue with their journey to Triund once they visit this elegant fall. Though, this spectacular waterfall lies a little distance away from the town of Dharamshala, the tourists make sure that they visit this spot, which is also an important place for Hindu pilgrims.
The height of this waterfall is approximately 20 meters and it is an absolute marvel to look at, especially during the monsoon. There is a nice cafeteria next to the fall for tourists to indulge in lip-smacking snacks and drinks that are served with warmth. The Bhagsunag Fall is located only 2 kms from Mcleoganj and can be best visited while on a trek.
This spectacular hilltop is located approximately 17 kms away from Dharamshala at an altitude of 2,827 meters above sea level. People love visiting this spot as the stunning snowline of Dhauladhar range starts just 5 kms from Triund and affords a breathtaking view of the snow beautiful valleys . Those who want to trek or enjoy a picnic, Triund is the best place to spend some time at. It is a popular picnic and trekking spot and those who want to do a return trek in one day are advised to start early. This place is the crown jewel of Dharamshala, situated in the laps of Dhauladhar mountain range.
It offers a majestic view of the Dhauladhar range on one side and Kangra valley on the other. This tranquil trek can be easily accomplished by people of almost all age groups, and so a lot of tourists every year from India and abroad visit this beautiful destination. On the way to Triund, one can go across a beautiful forest of Oak, Deodar, and Rhododendron trees that look even more beautiful in the months of January and February, when a blanket of snow covers the entire forest.
Another famous picnic spot in Dharamshala, Dharamkot is a beautiful hill station, situated on the crest of a hill, around 14 kms away from the main town of Dharamshala. This stunning spot provides panoramic views of the Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. One can easily reach Dharamkot by simply trekking from Bhagsu; along the way one can enjoy the breathtaking views of the place while relishing quick refreshing drinks offered at the various restaurants. The area has been occupied by several foreigners, who live in village homes and tiny guest houses and indulge in early morning Vipassanam (meditation), which is a part of the study and practice of Buddhism.
On the way to Dharamkot, one can visit the Galu Devi Temple, located amidst the dense forest of Deodar and Oak trees and seek blessings while enjoying the scenic views of the Kangra valley.
War Memorial, Dharamshala
War Memorial is located at the entry point of the Dharamshala town and it was built to commemorate the memory of those who fought valiantly for the honor of their motherland. This place is ideally located in the pine forest of Dharamshala and offers a very pleasant walk through the woods. There are two main attractions nearby the War Memorial-the beautiful GPG College Dharamshala, made during the British Era and a café serving fast food and beverages. Surrounded by sprawling gardens, the elegant looking War Memorial is a tribute to those brave souls who sacrificed their life for the country and this signifies that these soldiers will always be alive in our thoughts. During the operations of 1947-48, 1962, 1965, and 1971 and various peacekeeping missions, many soldiers lost their lives, and it was in their memory that the War Memorial was built with the names of those many heroes inscribed on the stone.
Jwalamukhi Temple, Dharamshala
If you are visiting Dharamshala, then make sure that you visit the Jwalamukhi Temple, which is one of the most renowned ancient temples of Goddess Durga. There is no idol located in the temple as it is believed that Sati's tongue fell here and the goddess is manifested as small blue flames that burn through fissures in the old rock. So, the Jwalamukhi, or the deity of fire, is worshipped in the form of flames coming out of the rock. The temple has a small platform in front and a huge brass bell, which was presented by the King of Nepal.
There is a mystic Yantra or a diagram of the Goddess inside the temple, which is covered with shawls and ornaments. Aprayer is performed five times in a day and a havan once, and a lot of tourists visit this beautiful temple to attend the prayers, which goes on for almost the whole day; and to enjoy the scenic views of the Dhauladhar range in the backdrop of the temple.
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