Places to Visit
This is the main temple complex in Dharamsala, built without cutting a single tree! In fact it is based on trunks of growing deodars, held in place by adjustable iron rings. The main deity inside is a 9 ft high gilded Buddha on a lotus seat. Also located within are 12 ft high gold images of the Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshwara. In fact, it is believed that some elements of the temple were brought from the originalTsuglakhang in Tibet. The temple also provides beautiful views of the neighbouring Dhauladar peaks. Evening is the best time to visit it when prayers and other rituals are conducted by the Dalai Lama. The courtyard is the centre of activities as the monks make preparations for the Kalachakra ceremony. The café here is also the best place to try out some Tibetan herbal tea and South Indian coffee.
Note – Photography is not permitted inside the monastery.
Relax in our luxury bars with great drinks This institute was established as early as 1959 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as an attempt to preserve Tibet’s unique performing arts. The institute houses over 112 members proficient in various arts, singing, playing instruments and dances. Along with these, there is a handicrafts section, with produces in-house costumes and props needed for the performances. A special highlight of the TIPA is the Traditional Tibetan Opera, which hosts the annual 9-day Shoton Opera Festival marked by Lhamo performances. Performers, dance and perform to the tune of cymbals and drums, and sport vibrant Tibetan masks. Another annual festival is the 3-day Yarkyi Festival, which is held in August to commemorate the establishment of TIPA. Along with cultural performances, it is marked by sporting competitions like soccer, basketball, badminton and volleyball. To make its presence felt across the world, TIPA also organizes several tours, showcasing Tibetan culture to audience across the world.
Literally the Jewelled Park, this drew inspiration from the Dalai Lama’s summer palace and is a fine example of Tibetan craftsmanship. It is an institute that was established to preserve and teach ancient Tibetan arts. Among the teachings are thangka making, statue making, carpentry, traditional Tibetan image sculpting, woodcarving and metal crafting. The thangkas are bright illustrations of traditional Tibetan gods created as per details laid down in the ancient manuscripts. You can also place orders for these in the painting department.Open from: Craft department timings – 8.00 am-5.00 pm (Sunday closed) Showroom timings – 9.00 am-6.00 pm (closed for lunch, 12 noon-1.00 pm)
This Buddhist stupa is surrounded by prayer wheels, located centrally in McLeod Ganj. It is dedicated to the Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for their homeland. There is a shrine with an idol of the Sakyamani Buddha and reflecting a typical indo-Tibetan style of architecture. This stupa is a hub of activity through the day as you watch devotees turning turn the prayer wheels and chant mantras. Stupas originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli in which śramaṇas were buried in a seated position called chaitya. After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers.
Naam Art Gallery
The Gallery exhibits Painting by European Artists, which is situated at a distance of 1km from the hotel. The exhibition in ‘NAAM ART GALLERY’ exhibits paintings by Elsbeth Buschmann – watercolours and acrylics – and oil paintings by Alfred W. Hallett. Elsbeth Buschmann, is a professional painter from Germany, having studied painting in London and Paris .She lived in many countries where she held exhibitions, especially in the USA where she received various awards. Her paintings are in private collections in Germany, USA, Scotland, India and Switzerland. In India she held solo exhibitions at AIFAX, New Delhi and TAG, the Art Gallery of the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. She also took part in ‘The Himalayan National Exhibition of Art’ and was awarded.Gallery Timing 10.00 AM to 7.30 PM ( Monday close )
Losel Doll Museum
Located inside the Norbunlingka Institute, this doll museum houses more than 160 different dolls. It is probably the best place where you can get a glimpse of the original Tibetan costumes, most of which don’t exist in reality anymore. Norbulingka Institute is fortunate to be the home of the Losel Doll Museum, the world’s largest collection of Losel Dolls. These beautiful collectors’ items are hand-crafted by monks of the Drepung Loseling monastery. The Losel Doll project was started in 1983 as a way of preserving the tradition of Tibetan costumes, while making innovative use of the artistic heritage for which many monks were known in Tibet. Losel dolls have been showcased in the US, Europe and Asia, and several museums have purchased collections for permanent display.Open from: 9.00 am-6.00 pm (closed for lunch, noon-1 pm)
Located close to Dharamsala, this temple derives its name from the eternally burning flame from rock in the sanctum. This flame is said to be the manifestation of Goddess Sati and offerings of rabri, misri, milk and fruits. Near the flame, two pools of clear water flow, fed by the underground springs. Though the water seems to be boiling, it is actually refreshingly cool! This temple is the site of the vibrant Navratri Festival held in honour of the goddess.
Jwalamukhi is a famous temple to the goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of flaming mouth. Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra, a great devotee of goddess Durga, dreamt of the sacred place and the Raja set people to find out the whereabouts of the site. The site was traced and the Raja built a temple at that location. The building is modern with a gilt dome and pinnacles, and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates.
Located 2 kms from McLeod Ganj, this is a small lake set amidst forests and hills. It is a scenic picnic spot and you can even feed the goldfish that abound here. The locals consider this lake extremely sacred and it is believed that a dip here fulfills wishes.
Dal Lake is a small mid-altitude lake (1,775 m above sea level) near the village of Tota Rani in Kangra district (Himachal Pradesh) in northern India. The name ‘Dal Lake’ is taken from Kashmir’s Dal Lake. The lake is surrounded by deodar trees and is considered to be a sacred spot as there is small Shiva mandir (shrine) on its bank. There are different kinds of fish that live in this lake. The lake has greenish water.