One of my beautiful journey with three friends starts from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Delhi. We left Delhi somewhere around 09:30 pm from Semi Deluxe bus, which cost us around 570 INR per head. We reached Dharamshala bus station in the next morning around 08:00 am. Being there is something whole new thing to me, that I had never experience in my life. Cool breeze touching the face and being surrounded by beautiful gigantic mountain.
After some talk with locals, one of my friends finds a room at 500 INR per night. I always prefer to have talked with locals, this help to find some new information about that place. It also helps in finding cheap accommodation, which always saves few extra bucks. Accommodation owner was a very humble person, he helps us in renting the scooter and getting some cash during cash crisis. We are thankful Maruth bhaiya and bhabhi for your selfless love, supports, help and tasty parathas.
We rented Dio and Vespa at cost of 500 INR and 600 INR per day from Sunny Gandhi. He also provides Royal Enfield, scooter, and many others vehicle at a reasonable price. After making the list of our visiting place we started our tour.
Note: Price of room and vehicle might change with season and passage of time. IF YOU WANT TO CONTACT MARUTH BHAIYA & SUNNY GANDHI FOR ROOM/VEHICLE [CLICK HERE].
HOW TO REACH DHARAMSHALA
The nearest airport is at Gaggal, about 13 km away from Dharamshala. Gaggal airport connects Dharamshala to Delhi via Air India and Spice Jet flights. Tourists from other parts of India would find it easier to take a flight till Chandigarh and book a taxi for their onward journey to Dharamshala, which is about 275 km away.
Dharamshala is well-connected to Delhi and other parts of North India via a network of state-operated buses as well as private tour operators. The journey is almost 520 km from Delhi.
Most buses stop at the main bus terminal in Lower Dharamshala, but there are also some public Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses that go all the way to the main square of McLeod Ganj. An overnight journey from Delhi takes about 13 hours. You can book HRTC tickets online.
An overnight train journey is a good option to reach Dharamshala. The nearest major railway station is at Pathankot, 85 km away. There are numerous trains that go to Jammu and Kashmir that stop by in Pathankot. You can take a taxi or bus from Pathankot to reach Dharamshala. There is also a smaller railway station, Kangra Mandir, just 22 km from Dharamshala but none of the important trains halt here.
PLACES TO VISIT IN DHARAMSHALA
1) Tea Garden
In the lap of the mountain, there is a beautiful tea garden spread across the acres of land. It is located about 1 km from the Kotwali Bazar. There is not much to do, but you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of tea garden from the scooter or the window of your car. We were on the scooter, all I saw there was tea all over the mountain. Those who have never seen the tea garden, it will become a quite memorable experience.
2) Mata Kunal Pathri Temple
About 3 km from the Kotwali Bazar, there is a temple dedicated to goddess Durga called Kunal Pathri Mata temple. Inside the temple, there is a stone which always remains wet. According to local, if stone starts getting dry, rains start. According to history, the skull of Mata Sati (wife of Lord Shiva) had fallen here in the temple spot, when Lord Vishnu cut off the dead body of Mata Sati into 51 pieces using Sudarshan Chakra in order to stop Lord Shiva Tandava Nritya ( a form of dance).
3) Kangra Fort
This is a beautiful fort built at the confluence of river Banganga and Majhi river is located about 20 km from Dharamshala. It was built by the royal Rajput family of Kangra state, it is the largest fort in the Himalayas and oldest dated fort in India. At the entrance gate, there is a museum where you can see the old photographs of the fort before 1905 earthquake, idols, stone, carving etc. There are five main gates, Ranjit Singh gate, Ahani gate, Jahangiri gate, Andheri gate and, Darshini gate. Darshini gate has defaced idols of Goddess Yamuna and Ganga on either side of the entrance.
When I reached the top, I was totally amazed by the mesmerizing scenic view. You can see the river flowing down the valley and beautiful mountain beside fort. You can rent audio guide at the entrance and listen to the history of the fort. First I thought that lady at the gate was selling some sort of gadget and headphone, but later I find that was an audio guide. We wanted to stay there for more, but it was getting late and we had to drive back, so we left the fort.
4) Dharamshala Stadium
Dharamshala stadium is located about 3 km from the Kotwali Bazar. When we reached there it was already closed, so we couldn’t go inside. This is a good a place for a cricket fan and afternoon would be the best time to visit here. After this, we returned back to our room as it was quite dark to see the things. Next day we went to McLeod Ganj and visited many interesting places around there.