Dharamsala or Dharamshāla, (literally "Rest House"; Hindi: धर्मशाला; ; Hindi pronunciation /d̪ʱərmʃɑlɑ/) is a town and a municipal council in Kangra district in the northern regions of India in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
The town is notable as the capital of the Central Tibetan Administration, a Tibetan government in exile led by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th and current Dalai Lama. The government's headquarters are located in McLeod Ganj, a suburb that is also referred to as Upper Dharamsala or "Little Lhasa".
The Tibetan settlement of Dharamshala began in 1959, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who had to flee Tibet alongwith the Tibetans, was alotted Mcleodganj (in Upper Dharmshala), a colonial British summer picnic spot, as his new home of refuge. Dharamsala has been connected with Hinduism and Buddhism for a long time, with many monasteries having been established there in the past, built by Tibetan immigrants in the 19th century. The local Gaddi people are Hindu, Gorkhas (Hindu) and for the most part worship many gods and goddesses, principally Durga and Shiva.
In 1848, the area was annexed by the British, and a year later, a military garrison was established in the town. Dharamsala eventually became the administrative capital of Kangra District in 1852. The second Lord Elgin Viceroy of India died here (at the 1st Gorkha Rifles Officers mess) in 1863 and is buried in the cemetery of St. John in the Wilderness. It became a popular hill station for the British working in or near Delhi, offering a cool respite during the hot summer months. However, the town was virtually destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1905, which killed an estimated 20,000 people. Not only the town was devastated, but the nearby town Kangra was also ruined. After this, the British moved their summer headquarters to Shimla (also written Simla) which, though not far away, is off the main fault line and, therefore, less likely to experience a serious earthquake. Dharamsala still experiences frequent minor earthquakes.
When the Dalai Lama left Tibet, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru offered to permit him and his followers to establish a "government-in-exile" in Dharamsala in 1960. Since then, many Tibetan exiles have settled in the town, numbering several thousand. Most of these exiles live in Upper Dharamsala, or McLeod Ganj, where they established monasteries, temples and schools. The town is sometimes known as "Little Lhasa", after the Tibetan capital city, and has become an important tourist destination with many hotels and restaurants, creating a resurgence in tourism and commerce.
In 1970, Tenzin Gyatso opened the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives which houses over 80,000 manuscripts and important knowledge resources related to Tibetan history, politics and culture. It is considered one of the most important institutions for Tibetology in the world.
Dharamsala is in the Kangra valley, in the Dhauladhar mountains, and became the capital of the Kangra District in 1852. It can be accessible from Pathankot which is 120 km away. The nearest railway connection to Dharamsala is Kangra. The nearest airport is Gaggal at Kangra which is just 15km from Dharamsala. There is a daily flight from Dharamsala to Delhi.
The town is divided between McLeod Ganj or Upper Dharamsala (which retains a British colonial atmosphere), and Lower Dharamsala (the commercial centre). Upper Dharamsala (elevation about 1,700 m or 5,580 ft) is about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from Lower Dharmsala by road and is some 460 m (1,510 ft) higher.
McLeod Ganj, or Upper Dharamsala, is the residence of Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama. A substantial community of Tibetan exiles resides in the town. There is a small Anglican church, St. John in the Wilderness, featuring stained-glass windows, just a few hundred metres from McLeod Ganj. Lord Elgin (James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin), one of the British viceroys, is buried here, as is Francis Younghusband.
which is a part of Mandi distt. of HP. and it is an narrow gadge line and for going to Dharmshala nearest railway station is Chamunda Marg which is 1/2 hours from Dharamsala and is well connected by the road to the other parts of country(Chasmunda is an famous SHAKTIPITHA IN the world )
Peace at a Discount: There's Something Magical about Dharamsala They Say. It's a Place Where Peace Reigns Supreme and the World Unites to Uphold It. It Was Up to Us to Find Our Own Definition
Oct 05, 2012; "Of course we weren't expecting to run into the Dalai Lama during a trip to dharamsala, one of the most coveted...