Dharamsala is located in the Kangra Valley, in the Dhauladhar mountains, and became the capital of the Kangra District in 1852. It is one of the leading hill station which enjoy a high rank on the tourism map of India. Dharamsala became the new home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile in 1960 when the prime minister of India granted the land to exiled Tibetans. It has now become a centre for Tibetan activity with numerous organizations, monasteries and nunneries, schools, and over 8,000 resident Tibetans.
Dharamshala is today the seat of spiritual Buddhist leader Dalai Lama, who have been living in exile here since the Peoples Uprising in Tibet since 1959. His Holiness Dalai Lama came to Dharamsala, along with thousand of Tibetans, who have made Dharamsala there home today. Tibetans have kept alive their Arit forms, Dances, Music and Culture in Dharamsala. Today seat of Tibet Culture is Mcleodganj. They try to hold their culture alive till they do not return to their homeland.
This hill station (Dharamsala) is divided into two parts. One is Upper Dharamsala, it also called as Mcleodganj. Other is Lower Dharamsala. Lower Dharamsala is the commercial centre of the Hill Station. Dharamsala, which is located in Kangra Valley, will offer you amazing beautiful snow covered peaks, Tea Plantations and pure water bodies. In winter a visitor can enjoy the its snowy weather, while summer provide a respite to the people.
The history of Dharamsala dates back more than 3,500 years. The earliest known tribe was the "Dasu Warriors", who were later assimilated by the Aryans.
British, who stay here till the independence of India, were annexed this hill station in 1848. In 1849, the British posted a regiment here, but this small township did not remain a military base for long ! The pine-clad hillsides continued to flourish as a romantic - health resort for the English Sahibs and Mem-Sahibs. The two main areas at that time were Mcleodganj, named after Lt. Governor of Punjab, David Mcleod and Forsythganj. Lord Elgin, Viceroy of British India liked this sleepy hamlet so much that it was his desire to be buried here at St. John's Church in the Wilderness in 1863.
After India achieved Independence in 1947, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet on his "famous" flight to freedom from his native place of birth - TIBET, under Communist occupation came to India in 1959. In March 10, 1960 His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet along with his people came to Dharamsala and made it His Home in effect the Tibetan Govt-in-exile. Today, thousands of Tibetan refugees have made this scenic Kangra Valley, their home. With them came the different Tibetan flavours of Lhasa making it popularly known as the Little Lhasa of Tibet.!
Dharamsala is at an altitude of 1700m, so be prepared for all types of weather. The cool summer months were the prime motivators, which made the British to choose Dharamshala as their summer capital. While summers are pleasant, during winters the temperature sinks to freezing point and it becomes imperative to protect oneself from chilly winds and minus temperature, in the hill station. The spring and summer season will completely keep you enchanted with diverse hued flowers adding bewitching beauty to the freshly snow melted hill station. July to September is a time in Dharamshala which is famous for heavy rains in the region. During the months of December to February, Dharamshala is completely covered with pure white snow. Please bring wet-weather gear during monsoon and thermals or warm clothes during the winter months. Be sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots or walking shoes to enjoy the beautiful surrounding nature of the Himalayan foothills.
Being located in sub-Himalayan range of mountains, Dharamsala experiences pleasing weather conditions in summer also. The summer season in Dharamshala lasts from March to July. This season is ideal for touring Dharamsala, since the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. Here the mercury doesn't touch 300 centigrade and beyond. The pleasant summers of Dharamshala in fact are a reason, why many of the people from plains flock to the hill station. Light cotton clothes are suitable during this season. The summer days are pleasant at Dharamshala while the nights become slightly cold.
Monsoons set in Dharamshala from mid July and last till the month of September. During this time, the entire valley gets drenched in the pure drops of rain and attains a green hue. This is the perfect time for couple to come here, as the weather becomes truly romantic. However, make sure to carry things like umbrellas and forget about trekking. Heavy rains however sometimes lead to landslides and it becomes advisable to not to venture out with your automobiles due to slippery roads.
Winters in Dharamsala are cold and chilly. The temperature here goes down to freezing point, during the months of December and January. Heavy snowfall is common during this weather condition. During the winter months, entire Dharamshala is covered in pure white snow. Winters do not stop adventurous tourists who come here for skiing on ice. Heavy woollen clothes are required to save body during this weather condition.