Dharamshala is a beautiful and peaceful hill station in northern India. It is the district headquarters of the Kangra Valley. The town lies in the Dhauladhar Himalayan Range which is a southern branch of the main Outer Himalayan chain of mountains, and is surrounded by dense forests.The highest peak in the range, just behind Dharamsala is the Hanuman Tiba, or the ‘White Mountain,’ about 5,639 metres /18,500 feet high. There are several peaks visible which are close to 5,180 metres/ 17,000 ft. The town is divided into two parts – Dharamsala (the lower part of the town) and McLeod Ganj (the upper part).

McLeod Ganj is famous as the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of the Tibetan Buddhists. His residence in McLeod Ganj has turned Dharamshala into the Buddhist centre of the world. The headquarters of the Tibetan Government in exile is also situated here. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives teachings every year and followers come to listen to him. A large number of Tibetan refugees who have come here to live since the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959, and this is evidenced by prayer wheels in the main street which are inscribed with the holy chant, “Om Mani Padme Hum”.

Dharamshala is excellent for easy walks or the starting points for treks and rock climbing over the ridges of the Dhauladhar range. There are tailor-made treks in the Kangra valley around Dharamshala to suit all levels of fitness. The trekking season starts from May and goes on to October. Today, Dharamsala is a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists, particularly those interested in Buddhism.