Dharamshala is a Hindi word that is derived from 2 words ‘dharma’ and ‘shala’. In English translation would be ‘spiritual dwelling’ or ‘sanctuary’. In Hindi language, the word ‘dharamsala’ refers to shelter or a rest house for spiritual pilgrims. Traditionally ‘dharamsala’ were given to visitors for a place to sleep at night. A dharamsala is a hall for conference, discussions preaching sermons especially in Buddhism. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit. It is also called ‘Dharamshala’. It is the second winter capital of Himachal Pradesh. It also serves as the district headquarters. Earlier, it was known as ‘Bhagsu’. Dalai Lama’s residence is here at Dharamsala.
On 19th January 2017, it was declared as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh is the 3rd state of India with two capitals. Jammu & Kashmir and Maharashtra are the other two.
It is a city in the upper reaches of Kangra valley. It is surrounded by dense coniferous forest. It consists of mainly Deodar cedar trees. The suburbs include McLeodGanj, Bhagsunath, Dharamkot, Naddi, ForsythGanj, Kotwali Bazaar, Kaccheri Adda, Dari, Ramnagar, Sidhpur and Sidhbari. The main market is in Kotwali Bazaar. Government offices such as the court, police, post etc. are in Kaccheri Adda.
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The village of McLeodGanj is wordwidly known for the presence of Dalai Lama. The 14th Dalai Lama established the Tibetan exile administration in the north Indian hill of Mussoorie. Dharamsala is the centre of Tibetan exile world in India. The 14th Dalai Lama & the Tibetan population have made Dharamsala a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists including students studying about Tibet. One of the main attractions of Dharamsala is the Triund Hill. Triund Hill is known as Jewel of Dharamsala.
Busses of all classes ply daily between Dharamsala & major cities as Chandigarh, Delhi & Shimla. Deluxe, air-conditioned or regular all buses are available. Each night several buses connect McLeodGanj to Majnu Ka Tila. Majnu Ka Tila is the Tibetian settlement in Delhi.
Dharamsala town is reached by Kangra Gaggal Airport codes which is about 12 km to the town’s south and about 10 km north of Kangra. To reach Dharamsala by train, one has to reach Kangra by Kangra Valley Railway line from Pathankot(which is 94 km away) & then take a bus or a taxi.
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium(HPCA)
There is also an International cricket stadium here known as Dharamsala International Cricket Stadium(HPCA). This serves as a home ground of Himachal Pradesh State Cricket Team. It also serves as the home ground for the IPL team Kings XI Punjab to a certain extent. It is one of the most attractive stadiums in India. The first ODI held at this ground was played between India & England on 27thJanuary 2013 which England won. These snow-capped mountains can be easily viewed throughout the year. There is also a Dharamsala college by the side.