Finding ‘Happiness’ In Dharamshala

As far as hill getaways are concerned, Dharamshala is on the been-there-done-that list of just about anyone. But then that is for the average tourist. But for the true traveller, Dharamshala will offer you something new every single time you visit it. Take the views, for instance. The chortens (Tibetan prayer flags) against the snow-capped peaks will never look the same because the skyline will never be the same! There will be perhaps a rainbow added, or the master-painter would probably make the blue a tad more cerulean than just sky. One of the most beautiful hill stations of India, Dharamshala dons a new look almost every day – perhaps even adapting itself to your moods.

The seekers of solitude end up missing on so much when they avoid what are considered oft-visited places such as Dharamshala by assuming it would be full of tourists. But do not let this assumption make you miss out on the timelessness of this gorgeous destination. You may not be entirely wrong if you believe Dharamshala would be a full of a selfie-taking battalions of tourists. Rumi had once said, ‘What you seek is seeking you’. And in Dharamshala, you will still find that solitude despite the crowds. What else do you expect but a sense of serene calm in the lap of the imposing Dhauladhar range that watches over the town also known as ‘Little Tibet’.

Dharamshala’s offerings will leave you truly spo  ilt for choice because there is something for everyone – adventure sports, mountaineering and trekking, pilgrimage sights and natural beauty (especially the apple orchards, profusion of monasteries, and skyline to live for!).

Choose Happiness

While journeys are the most important thing during travels, a place to sleep off the weariness is also crucial to re-energise you on a holiday. If on a trip to Dharamshala in the quest of happiness, why not stay in a place that is called just that. Adivaha is the perfect home for solitude seekers, families, bagpackers, honeymooners and every other type of traveller who seeks to experience (and not just see) Dharamshala.

Adivaha Dharamshala

Imagine a place recreating imperial luxury like nowhere else. How about a weekend at an erstwhile viceregal home? Adivaha is a place that will take you back in the glory of colonial times. This 300-year- old heritage building, formerly known as ‘East Home’, was once home to British bureaucrats. As per recorded evidence, the building was erected in the year 1840. It was home to a British colonel named Arthur Cannole and also the official residence of Viceroy of India. Now under the management of the Leisure Group of Hotels, Adivaha (meaning ‘happiness’) is the ideal base when on a quest for seeking the joys of travel in Dharamshala.

View of Dhauladhar from Adivaha Dharamshala

 Options Galore In Dharamshala

Nature is at its scenic best when it comes to picturesque views of Dharamshala and is definitely the place’s biggest draw. Surrounded by deodar, dedar and oak trees,  Dharamshala is a delight for the senses. It offers you an ideal escape to at once do a lot, or may be do nothing at all! Several walking trails, a base to many major treks in the surrounding Himalayas, a food lover’s haven, shoppers’ paradise, and the best meditation ground for the spiritually inclined.

Dharamshala
Buddha Statue at a shop in McLeodganj

Nestled on the higher reaches of Kangra Valley, the city of Dharamshala offers you experiences at every hilly bend. For instance, a 30-minute drive from Dharamshala takes you to the majestic Kangra Fort. It is the epitome of rich cultural history of the Kangra Valley and the surrounded region. It was built by the Rajput rulers of the region, Katoch Dynasty, which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in Mahabharata. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India.

Dharamshala
Standing through centuries walls of majestic Kangra Fort

Missed by majority of the travellers in Dharamshala is the Norbulingka Institute. This is a lesser known destination among tourists, but should definitely top your to-do list while in Dharamshala. that allows you to experience the true Tibetan spirit and take home some souvenirs. It’s an attempt of a self-sustained community to conserve its art and culture in the purest literary and artistic form. This place takes you to another dimension with its enchanting vibes and lush green gardens.

Dharamshala
Norbulingka Institute, Dharamshala

Another destination that you can’t afford to miss is the St. John-in-the-Wilderness Church. It was built in the year 1852; this edifice is dedicated to John the Baptist. Set amidst lush deodar forests, it is another edifice from the days of the Raj. A major Hindu temple in the vicinity is the ancient Shiva Temple of Bhagsunag – a must-see because of the historical style of architecture.

Seeker’s Paradise

Home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1960’s, Dharamshala is also a perfect place for all kinds of seekers. From an entire government seeking asylum, Dharamshala has catered to almost everyone who came in the quest for something or the other in this part of Dev Bhoomi Himachal.  Solo travellers, honeymooners, families, bikers, trekkers, pilgrims etc achieved their own form of nirvana here. One should live with no excuses and travel with no regrets. Therefore explore Dharamshala before you plan to avoid it on the assumptions of what you read on the internet.  Find your stay at the right place and you will experience something unusual in what you thought was just another ‘crowded tourist destination’.

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