Dharamsala, popularly known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’, is divided into lower and upper towns with a difference of 457m(1500ft.) between them. The mountains enfold 3 sides of the town and the valley stretches to the south. There is a beautiful resort of Dharamsala, which stands on the spur of the Dharamsala range Dharamsala is known for its scenic beauty, calmness and serenity. It has high pine trees, tea gardens and timber yielding trees
Dharamsala is now the seat of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. After the Chinese conquest of his country, Dharamsala is evocative of the imperial days in places like Mcleod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj. Dharamsala is the headquarters of the Kangra district. It became the capital in 1852 and is 125 years old.
An earthquake once wrecked Dharamsala in 1905. Since 1960, it became temporary headquarters of the Dalai Lama and has risen to international repute as ” The little Lhasa in India”. After the Indo-Chinese and Indo-Pak wars, the govt. erected war memorials of jawans and officers belonging to Kangra, who died in the war.
Tibetans took shelter in India in 1959. In the wake of Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet, 85000 Tibetans were devastated. Their spiritual leader dalai lama given up the hope of a free Tibet, but to keep the Tibetan art alive, efforts have been made to preserve them. Tibet’s unique form of Thongka painting, woodcarving, metal –crafts and music are very famous. Tibetan works and archive are preserved in the library at Dharamsala where Buddhist monks from distant refugee camps come to study ancient manuscripts.
Tibet has lent importance to Mcleod Ganj. The Buddha temple is situated opposite the present abode of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. This place is well worth a visit and around it is situated Tibetan monasteries and nunnery. A number of residential buildings, restaurants, antique and curio shops are present. There is an annual 10-day fair opera in Dharamsala, which takes place on the second saturday of April.
Lord Eligin’s Memorial:
The Shrine of Bhagasunath: