One Day in Dharamshala Itinerary – What to do in Dharamshala, India

As a majorly popular tourist destination, Dharamshala has gained a lot of fame for it’s beautiful spots and the experiences it offers to travellers. Not only does Dharamshala give tourists picturesque locations to explore, but it also offers yoga, meditation, trekking and hiking activities along with other adventure sports. This small town can very much be explored in just one day, so if you’re busy backpacking across the Himalayas, take a stop at Dharamshala and witness this gorgeous destination. Your time here will be unforgettable!

One day in Dharamsala itinerary

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What’s the best time to visit Dharamshala?

You can seldom go wrong with a visit to this beautiful hill station situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. Then again, it depends upon the weather conditions you enjoy the most. If you are looking for an escape from the scorching heat during summer months (April-June), you will love to drive along the airy, hilly roads here.

Dharamsala, Author: Lisa Tully, Source: Flickr

If monsoon showers are your thing and you are looking for a romantic getaway, visit Dharamshala during July, August or September. Post monsoons (October-November), you can dodge the heavy rains as well as enjoy trekking and other activities because the weather is pleasant during the day with chilly nights. The winter months are freezing here, so if you are a fan of snow-covered mountains and snowfalls, this is the best time for you to be in Dharamshala.

Triund, Dharamsala
Triund, Dharamsala, Author: Travelling Slacker, Source: Flickr

One Day in Dharamshala Itinerary

One day in Dharamshala is a perfect opportunity not just to see the Himalayas but also to get to know this part of India and its culture. Therefore, plan your activities ahead to make the most of your time here. Or just follow this detailed itinerary!

Experience Early Morning Spiritual Awakening

Dharamshala is home to various Buddhist monasteries and a visit to one of them first thing in the morning would make for a wonderful start to your one day here. Visit the Dalai Lama Complex, the Namgyalma Stupa, or the Tsechokling Gompa to experience the meditative and spiritual soul that is Dharamshala.

Lamps at the Dalai Lama Temple
Lamps at the Dalai Lama Temple, Author: Geoff Stearns, Source: Flickr

The monasteries are open from 6am to 6pm from November to March, and 7am to 5pm from April to October. Not only do you get to observe the beautiful architecture of the monasteries, but you also experience a mesmerizing sunrise from the top.

McLeod Ganj from the Dalai Lama Temple
McLeod Ganj from the Dalai Lama Temple, Author: Geoff Stearns, Source: Flickr

Take a Stroll in the War Memorial Garden

Head over to the historic War Memorial Garden after your morning ritual at the monasteries. 9am is the perfect time to visit this location, and it is easy to reach since it is located near the main bus stand next to Dharamshala College. A delightful and bright building, the War memorial garden is one of the most popular tourist spots of Dharamshala. Pay respects to the martyrs of war whose names are inscribed onto the walls of the building.

Check out the International Cricket Stadium

Situated close to the war memorial garden is the cricket stadium that has caught many a tourist’s eye due to its brilliant and unique design and architecture. It could well be the most beautiful cricket stadium in India.

HPCA Cricket Stadium, Dharamsala
HPCA Cricket Stadium, Dharamsala, Author: Anirudh Singh, Source: Flickr

Find a Place for Your Lunch Break

Now that it’s time for a little pit stop for refilling your system for the rest of the day, take a break at any of the cafes located in the main town area. Don’t forget to enjoy the special Thupka found only in Dharamshala, which is a unique dish of momos dipped in a thick, spicy soup. There are many cafes and restaurants located near the monasteries as well, which makes it easier to stop and grab a quick bite if you choose.

Retreat to the Bhagsu Nag Temple

Next up is the visit to a Lord Shiva temple in Dharamshala known as the Bhagsu Nag Temple. Not only is this temple a popular tourist destination due to its religious importance and stunning architecture, it garners praise because of the fresh water spring of Bhagsu waterfall that flows through the hill near the shrine.

Bhagsu Nag Temple, Dharamsala
Bhagsu Nag Temple, Dharamsala, Author: Miran Rijavec, Source: Flickr

The local legend about this temple is an interesting one that you can discover by visiting it and hearing it from the words of a dweller of Dharamshala. During the monsoon, it is rather enjoyable to visit the Bhagsu waterfall as it gives an incredible experience and you can get some beautiful photographs. An afternoon can be easily spent admiring the beauty of this place.

Shrine at Bhagsu, Dharamsala
Shrine at Bhagsu, Dharamsala, Author: Geoff Stearns, Source: Flickr

Make Time for a Late-Afternoon Church Visit

The famous St. John’s Church in Dharamshala is another one of its marvelous tourist attractions. Perched carefully within the wilderness, St. John’s Church has a neo-Gothic construction that has given it a good reputation amongst tourists. The church easily stands out even within a thick forest grove, and not only is it a spiritually awakening destination, it is also in a peaceful and gorgeous environment to keep tourists calm and relaxed while enjoying the area.

St. John in the Wilderness, Dharamsala
St. John in the Wilderness, Dharamsala, Author: Geoff Stearns, Source: Flickr

Hit the Lake Trails

The Dal Lake is situated very close to St. John’s Church, so a lakeside walk or moment of resting can be taken advantage of. Spend around 30 minutes or more admiring the beauty of the Dal Lake before venturing into the evening hours of the trip. The Dal Lake is another one of the most popular tourist spots of Dharamshala that shouldn’t be missed.

See the Sunset in Bazaar

The evening bazaar in Dharamshala is to die for. You can spend a couple of hours shopping and collecting souvenirs for your friends and family at the marketplace and enjoy the cooling evening time of the town when it comes alive. The chances of meeting new people and engaging with the locals are very high during this time in the bazaar, and it is a great way of gathering new experiences. Tibetan artifacts, jewelry and textiles are the highlight of this bazaar, so you’ve got something for everyone here.

End the Day with a Dinner

Make sure to end your wonderful trip to Dharamshala by indulging in delicious South-Asian and Chinese cuisine in one of the local restaurants. Since momos are a specialty of Dharamshala, don’t forget to enjoy some of those while you’re at it.

Not only will you have had a great experience in Dharamshala by now, but you’ll also be healthily tired enough to get a good night’s sleep.

McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala
McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, Author: Miran Rijavec, Source: Flickr

Where to stay in Dharamshala?

Hotel Udechee Huts

Hotel Udechee Huts

Village Naddi, Cantt,, 176216 Dharamshala

Hotel Udechee Huts offers a comfortable and relaxing stay away from the crowds. The hotel features the porch overlooking the valley with the most spectacular views. A very nice hiking trail and Dal Lake are accessible by foot from the hotel. The rooms are spacious with basic furniture and beautiful views.


White Ridge Hotel

White Ridge Hotel

VPO Sidhpur, Tehsil Dharamshala, Distt. Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

White Ridge Hotel is a great value boutique hotel that features a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a garden, bar, restaurant and a conference hall. The rooms are personally designed and crafted with classical furniture for the best comfort.


Extra Tips for Visiting Dharamshala

– Dharamshala stays cold throughout the year. Therefore, it would be beneficial to carry light and heavy woolen clothes with you.

– The languages prevalent here are Hindi, English and Punjabi. Therefore, communication will not be an issue if you speak any of these languages.

– If you want to enjoy skiing in Dharamshala, go during the winter season and make sure that you carry spiked shoes and gloves with you. The gear provided by dealers might be insufficient.

– It is recommended to eat only at hygienic eateries and drink only boiled or mineral water in order to stay safe from stomach infections.


Best of Dharamsala, India - What to do and where to stayA complete one day itinerary for Dharamsala, India

If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Dharamshala Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!

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Rohit TransIndiaTravels
Travel Blogger at TransIndiaTravels

Rohit, being a solo traveler has gathered the above experiences which we are sharing with you in order to make your dream holiday come true and make your journey a value for money in its true sense. Look out for TransIndiaTravels to know more of the amazing places present in India.


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