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Weekend Getaways From Ludhiana to Dharamshala
For many tourists, weekend getaways have been a charming way of spending a few days in their favourite places, far from the crowded and hectic life of the cities. To satisfy this wish of the tourists, hundreds of locations are there in India, which are having picturesque importance as well as provide an ambient environment for city residents to get refreshed and rejuvenated. Among the various places in India, there are the hill stations, which are quite well known among the people in India as well as those coming from abroad. In the north of India, close to the Himalayan ranges, there are plenty of hill stations, which provide the perfect backdrop for holidaying, with scenic beauty and snow capped mountains. Dharamshala is one of those hill stations, which have become well known in recent years, located in the Kangra Valley along the Dhauladhar mountain ranges.
This provides a good backdrop of snowlines, making Dharamshala a perfect place for those who love to vacation in the snow capped hill stations. Due to the cooler climatic conditions, the weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala have become a common thing among the people in the north India. deodar and pine covered slopes of the hill stations, give a great place for touring, which is having a rich tradition of Buddhism in the region. Although, the history of Buddhism in Dharamshala dates back to about 8th century AD, the actual settlements started after Indian Independence, when the exiled Tibetan Dalai Lama came into the hill station and established their independent government. Most around the region of McLeodganj, there is the primary cluster of Buddhist settlement and is also the centre of activity in the hill station. But the geographical distribution of the region is spread around a few places, which are named as Upper and Lower Dharamshala, Bhagsu and Dharamkot, which are within walking distance of each other. Furthermore, these localities are situated at different heights, so that tourists on weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala can stay in the hotels as per their interest. Majority of known history is from the time of Tibetan Buddhist settlement, although, the british officers tried to make Dharamshala as their summer capital. But, a major earthquake destroyed the region and the idea was hit majorly. After the earthquake, many years later, the Tibetan people migrated to this hill station and are presently one of the largest Tibetan settlements in India. Gradually, many people from other states of India and nearby regions migrated to the place and it has a substantial hindu population, where the primary occupation is involvement in agriculture and tourism.
Transportation to Dharamshala by air is possible due to the presence of Gaggal Airport, at a distance of about 15 kms from the hill station, towards Kangra city. Few flights from Delhi and some other cities are used by tourists coming on weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala. Road traffic is quite good to Dharamshala from the cities in North India, but these have sharp bends and narrow winding roads. Lower Dharamshala has the main bus terminal, although bus service is available till McLeodganj. From various nearby regions, there are private bus services, for which tickets can also be booked in advance. Due to the undulating terrain, the railway network to Dharamshala is not very much developed, but the nearest broad gauge railhead is present till Pathankot. Small or narrow gauge railway track of Kangra valley railway brings tourists till Kangra, on a 6 hours journey, but McLeodganj is still around 18 kms away. To reach Dharamshala, tourists can pick up the taxis from various cities in the North India and drive all the way to the hill station, which is becoming an easy and convenient method of travelling for weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala.
When visiting Dharamshala, tourists need to check out various hotels, since there are plenty of options for them to stay in hotels and resorts or even dormitories. These range from the few hundred rupees worth lodges to the luxury hotels costing thousands for a day. Depending on the comfort level and the affordability, tourists can stay in these accommodations, when going on weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala. Most of the hotels and lodges can be found in the bus centre, in and around McLeodganj, as this is the oldest part of the hill station. But, increasing settlements around the region have provided options for people, mostly in the newly developed Bhagsu and Dharamkot areas. There are mid range and premium hotels, if tourists are seeking accommodations in these places.
Famous sightseeing places
Due to the huge influence of Buddhist culture in this hill station, many of the Buddhist monasteries and museums are possible to be viewed. Tsuglagkhang Monastery complex is the largest Tibetan temple outside of Tibet, comprising of large meditation hall and various statues and Thangkas. Tibet Museum, Tibet Library and Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts are structures which have maintained the Tibetan culture in its finest form, providing a thorough glimpse into the Tibetan history. From the point of view of natural surroundings, the Bhagsunag Fall is quite an interesting place. It is about 11 kms from McLeodganj and can be reached by road. A number of waterfalls are found in this location, along with the famous Nag temple and various fresh water springs. Dharamkot makes for a beautiful picnic site, with views of Himalayan ranges from the place. Triund is a well known place in Dharamshala, which is visited by tourists on weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala, which also is a trekking route for many. By walking a few kilometres into Triund, people can view the Himalayan ranges very clearly and it is an ideal place for camping, although the great height makes it colder than the hill station. Bhagsu waterfall is another important sightseeing place near Dharamshala. There are also many temples in the hill station, which are good and interesting places to visit. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is a newly built huge cricket ground, where a few international matches have been played and is the home ground of Himachal Pradesh Cricket team. Various important educational institutions are also found in the hill stations, many of which have been established since the time of the British rule.
Nearby places to visit
From the hill station of Dharamshala, tourists can walk or trek along different trekking routes, an activity which is famous in the region. Many of the tourists arrive in Dharamshala for this purpose only, so that they can enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings and come across the natural fauna and flora of Himalayan ranges. Palampur is a beautiful valley, which is well known for its tea gardens and temples, and is close to the town of Dharamshala. Tourists can go to Manali, which is further closer to the Himalayan ranges. Near to Pathankot, there is the hill station of Dalhousie, which can also be visited. In the region of Dharamshala, tourists on weekend getaways get to stay in many of the yoga ashrams in the region and practice yoga for a few days.
Best season to visit
Being at an altitude of about 2000 mts, the weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala are taken up by tourists mostly during the summer months, starting from March till June, when the temperature is quite cooler. But, during the winter seasons, there is heavy rainfall while monsoon makes the region quite muddy and chances of road blockage due to the landslides are common. The best time to visit Dharamshala would be during the autumn and spring months.
Since Dharamshala is a small place, one can move about in the hill station on foot. Trekking gear is good for moving from one place to another due to the rough terrain and people can easily walk, rather than go by roads as they have to walk some distance. Still, autorickshaws are commonly available to people who are not able to walk long distances. Buses do not move inside the hill station, although they come from nearby cities and towns and reach up to the McLeodganj area. If people have brought their own vehicles on weekend getaways from Ludhiana to Dharamshala, then it is a good way of conveyance inside the town limits, especially when going for sightseeing.
Food of different types is available in the hill station of Dharamshala. Hundreds of restaurants and diners are opened in the region of McLeodganj and other settlements for the tourists. These hotels serve full meals as well as tiffins, while sweets can also be found. The cuisine in most of the hotels comprises of both non vegetarian and vegetarian delicacies. There are also a number of cafes in the region, which allow hot cups of coffee and tea and some snacks. Road side eateries are few as people like to eat indoors, especially when it gets colder outside.