Thursday, May 23, 2013



Manali at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley is a hill station nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. It is located about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla.
Manali with a population of approx. 30,000 is administratively a part of the Kullu district. The small town is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin.


The climate in Manali is predominantly cold during winters, and moderately cool during summers. The temperatures range from 4 °C (39 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F) over the year. The average temperature during summer is between 04 °C (39 °F) and 15 °C (59 °F), and between −15 °C (5 °F) and 05 °C (41 °F) in the winter.


The most natural way of exploring the wonders of Himalaya is trekking. Trekking infuses a feeling of comradeship, self reliance besides inculcating a sense of perseverance. The vast expanse to the highest mountain chain sheer magnitude of its snowy heights and indefinable feeling of joy and elation that they evoke in the mind of a trekker, make a trek in the Himalaya an experience to be remembered.
Trek India organizes treks in the different parts of western Himalaya, ( whole of Himachal Pradesh including Kullu valley, Parvati valley, Lahoul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Sangla, Dharam Shala , Zanskar and Laddakh). as per the requirement of the clients. Our treks are lead by professional guides and our expert team of kitchen staff. Porters and mules are used to cart supplies.We are mentioning some of our treks here. We also organize the treks, to the lesser known and off the beaten paths. and design the tailor made itineraries for your specific requirements.


Rafting in Manali on best price with best camping, to be enjoyed with maximum water and thrill only expert Rafting Professionals of Region. Rafting in Manali is the adventure sport with equipment used modern raft which is an inflatable boat, consisting of very durable, multi-layered rubberized air chambers.

Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and or oars and typically hold 5 to 8 persons. Pairs of paddlers and EXPERT GUIDE navigate on these rafts. The rafting is organised along with camping in Manali. Manali rafting is done on BEAS river and best grades are near CAMPSITE. Manali rafting and camping is the main thrill providing complete sense of summer adventure holiday provided by adventure groups in participation with other tourist activities. Our services are recognised best, safe as well as suitable as our Rafting Location is close to Manali, that is much favored by guests and adventure lovers !


Nainital is a popular hill station in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital district in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, "magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bounded by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas.

 Places to See in Nainital

Naini Lake
Naini Lake is situated in the heart of the city and it is owing to this lake that Nainital earned its name. The eye-shaped lake is a tourist hotspot and acts as a magnet for all those visiting the hill resort.

Nakuchia Lake

Nakuchia Tal is a lake in Nainital, known for having nine corners. This lake is still untouched by majority of the tourist population and owing to this, has managed to maintain its serenity till date. Take a walk around the nine cornered lake to enjoy the beautiful natural setting. Otherwise, you can also go on a boating tour and explore the scenic surroundings.

Bhimtal Lake

Situated 22 km from the city center, Bhimtal Lake is the biggest lake of Nainital. It is named after one of the Pandav brothers Bhim. The lake boasts of an island within its precincts, which is home to a very famous temple. During the day, one can easily hear the chiming of temple bells, even from the embankment.

Snow View Point

Situated at an altitude of 2,260 m, Snow View Point is one of the coldest regions in Nainital. Here, you can capture breathtaking pictures of snow-covered peaks and mountains. The ideal time to visit snow point is during the months of October and November. A sojourn to Nainital is undoubtedly incomplete without a visit to the Snow Point.

Naina Peak

Overlooking the Naini Lake, Naina peak (2611mt) provides the most breathtaking view of the hill station of Nainital. Situated at a distance of about 6 km from the main town, Naina peak is the highest peak of the hill station. Horses or ponies can be hired from Snow View Point or Mallital, if one intends to visit the peak. Naina peak is also referred to as the China peak and is an absolute delight for trekking lovers


Mussoorie is a hill station and a municipal board in the Dehradun District of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is located about 35 km from the state capital of Dehradun and 290 km north from the national capital of New Delhi. This hill station, situated in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges, is also known as the Queen of the Hills. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of 'greater Mussoorie', as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani.


In 1832, Mussourie was the intended terminus of the Great Survey of India that began at the southern tip of India. Although unsuccessful, the Surveyor General of India wanted to have the new office of the Survey of India based in Mussoorie. A compromise was to have it in Dehradun, where it still located.

By 1901 Mussoorie's population had grown to 6,461, rising to 15,000 in the summer season. Earlier, Mussoorie was approachable by road from Saharanpur, 58 miles (93 km) away. Accessibility became easier in 1900 with the railway coming to Dehradun, thus shortening the road trip to 21 miles (34 km).

Mussoorie view from the top of the hill (can be viewable while traveling on the way towards down of the hill)

The name Mussoorie is often attributed to a derivation of 'mansoor', a shrub which is indigenous to the area. The town is in fact often referred to as 'Mansoori' by most Indians.

The main promenade in Mussoorie is called, as in other hill stations, the Mall. In Mussoorie, the Mall stretches from Picture Palace at its eastern end to the Public Library (shortened to 'Library') at its western end. During the British Raj, signs on the Mall expressly stated: "Indians and Dogs Not Allowed"; racist signs of this type were commonplace in hill stations, which were founded 'by and for' the British. Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, deliberately broke this rule every day whenever he was in Mussoorie, and would pay the fine. The Nehru family, including Nehru's daughter Indira (later Indira Gandhi) were frequent visitors to Mussoorie in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and stayed at the Savoy Hotel. They also spent much time in nearby Dehradun, where Nehru's sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit ultimately settled full-time.

During the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, the Central Tibetan Administration of the 14th Dalai Lama was at first established in Mussoorie before being moved to its present location in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The first Tibetan school was established in Mussoorie in 1960. Tibetans settled mainly in Happy Valley in Mussoorie. Today, some 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.

Now, Mussoorie suffers from overdevelopment of hotels and tourist lodges, given its relative proximity to Delhi, Ambala and Chandigarh, and has serious problems of garbage collection, water scarcity and parking shortages, especially during the summer tourist season. Landour, Jharipani and Barlowganj have fewer such problems.

Geography and Climate

Mussoorie has an average elevation of about 1,825 metres (5,990 ft). The highest point is Lal Tibba, at a height of about 7500 ft (although the name Lal Tibba is now also used to describe a lovely lookout point, a short distance from the actual peak).


Shimla formerly known as Simla, is the capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, located in northern India. It is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, and Solan and Sirmaur to the south. The elevation of the city ranges from 300 to 2200 metres. Shimla is well known as a hub for India's tourism sector. It is among the top 10 preferred entrepreneurial locations in India.

In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla came into existence from 1st Sept,1972 on the reorganisation of the districts of the state. After the reorganisation, the erstwhile Mahasu district and its major portion was merged with Shimla. Its name has been derived from the goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Kali. As of 2011 Shimla comprises 19 erstwhile hill states mainly Balson, Bushahr, Bhaji and Koti, Darkoti, Tharoch & Dhadi, Kumharsain, Khaneti & Delath, Dhami, Jubbal, Keothal, Madhan, Rawingarh, Ratesh, and Sangri.

As a large and growing city, Shimla is home to many well-recognized colleges and research institutions in India. The city has a large number of temples and palaces. Shimla is also well noted for its buildings styled in Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architecture dating from the colonial era.

Owing to its scenic terrain, Shimla is home to the legendary mountain biking race MTB Himalaya. The event was started in 2005 and is now regarded as the biggest event in South East Asia.


The history of the area that now constitutes Shimla dates back to the time when the Indus valley civilisation flourished between 2250 and 1750 BCE.Tribes such as the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars and Kirats inhabited the region from pre-historic era. During the Vedic period, several small republics known as "Janapada" existed which were later conquered by the Gupta Empire.

Shimla, along with Almora, Kumaon, Garhwal, Sirmaur, Dehradun and Kangra, was invaded and captured by Prithvi Narayan Shah of Nepal. Shortly later, the British East India Company with local kings went to war with Nepal from 1814 to 1816. At the conclusion of the war, as a result of the Sugauli Treaty, all these captured parts of North India were ceded to the British East India company. At that time, Shimla was known for the temple of Hindu Goddess Shyamala Devi, and not as a city as it is today.

The bridge connecting Shimla with Minor Shimla, erected in 1829 by Lord Combermere, Shimla, 1850s

Not long after gaining possession of Shimla, the British began to develop the area. The Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt Kennedy built the first British summer home in the town in 1822. Lord Amherst, the Governor-General of Bengal from 1823 to 1828, set up a summer camp here in 1827, when there was only one cottage in the town, and only 'half a dozen' when he left that year. There were more than a hundred cottages within ten years. Shimla soon caught the eye of Lord William Bentinck, the next Governor-General of Bengal from 1828 (later of India, when the title was created in 1833) to 1835. In a letter to Colonel Churchill in 1832, he wrote

Simla is only four days march from Loodianah (Ludhiana), is easy of access, and proves a very agreeable refuge from the burning plains of Hindoostaun (Hindustan).

Rashtrapati Niwas, Shimla, former "Viceregal Lodge", built 1888

One of his successors, Sir John Lawrence (Viceroy of India 1864–1869), decided to take the trouble of moving the administration twice a year between Calcutta and this separate centre over 1,000 miles away, despite the fact that it was difficult to reach. Lord Lytton (Viceroy of India 1876–1880) made efforts to plan the town from 1876, when he first stayed in a rented house, but began plans for a Viceregal Lodge, later built on Observatory Hill. A fire cleared much of the area where the native Indian population lived (the "Upper Bazaar"), and the planning of the eastern end to become the centre of the European town forced these to live in the Middle and Lower Bazaars on the lower terraces descending the steep slopes from the Ridge. The Upper Bazaar was cleared for a Town Hall, with many facilities such as library and theatre, as well as offices—for police and military volunteers as well as municipal administration.

During the "Hot Weather", Simla was also the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, India, the head of the Indian Army, and many Departments of the Government. The summer capital of the regional Government of the Punjab moved from Murree, in modern-day Pakistan, to Shimla in 1876. They were joined by many of the British wives and daughters of the men who remained on the plains. Together these formed Simla Society, which, according to Charles Allen, "was as close as British India ever came to having an upper crust." This may have been helped by the fact that it was very expensive, having an ideal climate and thus being desirable, as well as having limited accommodation. British soldiers, merchants, and civil servants moved here each year to escape from the heat during summer in the Indo-Gangetic plain. The presence of many bachelors and unattached men, as well as the many women passing the hot weather there, gave Simla a reputation for adultery, and at least gossip about adultery: as Rudyard Kipling said in a letter cited by Allen, it had a reputation for "frivolity, gossip and intrigue".

Passenger train on the Kalka-Shimla Railway route

The Kalka-Shimla railway line, constructed in 1906, added to Shimla's accessibility and popularity. The railway route from Kalka to Shimla, with more than 806 bridges and 103 tunnels, was touted as an engineering feat and came to be known as the "British Jewel of the Orient".In 2008, it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mountain railways of India.Not only that, there was a significant Muslim population in the region before the partition of British India. In addition, Shimla was the capital of the undivided state of Punjab in 1871, and remained so until the construction of the new city of Chandigarh (the present-day capital of Punjab) Upon the formation of the state of Himachal Pradesh in 1971, Shimla was named its capital.

After independence the Chief Commissioner's Province of H.P. came into being on 15 April 1948 as a result of integration of 28 petty princely states (including feudatory princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya, known in full as the Simla Hills States & four Punjab southern hill States by issue of the Himachal Pradesh (Administration) Order, 1948 under Sections 3 & 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947 (later renamed as the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 vide A.O. of 1950). The State of Bilaspur was merged in the Himachal Pradesh on 1 April 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lt. Governor was appointed. Legislative Assembly was elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory on 1 November 1956. Following area of Punjab State namely Simla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Kanungo circle of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur District; were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966 on enactment of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 by the Parliament. On 18 December 1970, the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged as the eighteenth state of the Indian Union

Pre-independence structures still dot Shimla; buildings such as the former Viceregal Lodge, Auckland House, Christ Church, Gorton Castle, Shimla Town Hall and The Gaiety Theatre are reminders of British rule in India. The original Peterhoff, another Viceregal residence, burned downThe Mall, which ran along the length of the ridge, with a Mall Extension southwards, closed to all carriages except those of the Viceroy and his wife.


Shimla lies in the north-western ranges of the Himalayas. It is located at 31.61°N 77.10°E with an average altitude of 2397.59 meters (7866.10 ft) above mean sea level, the city is spread on a ridge and its seven spurs. The city stretches nearly 9.2 km from east to west. The highest point in Shimla, at 2454 meters (8051 ft), is the Jakhoo hill. Shimla is a Zone IV (High Damage Risk Zone) per the Earthquake hazard zoning of India. Weak construction techniques and increasing population pose a serious threat to the already earthquake prone region. There are no bodies of water near the main city and the closest river, Sutlej, is about 21 km (13 mi) away.Other rivers that flow through the Shimla district, although further from the city, are Giri, and Pabbar (both are tributaries of Yamuna). The green belt in Shimla planning area is spread over 414 hectares (1023 acres). The main forests in and around the city are that of pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron. Environmental degradation due to the increasing number of tourists every year without the infrastructure to support them has resulted in Shimla losing its popular appeal as an ecotourism spot.Another rising concern in the region are the frequent number of landslides that often take place after heavy rains.

Shimla features a subtropical highland climate under the Köppen climate classification. The climate in Shimla is predominantly cool during winters, and moderately warm during summer. Temperatures typically range from −4 °C (25 °F) to 31 °C (88 °F) over the course of a year. The average temperature during summer is between 19 °C (66 °F) and 28 °C (82 °F), and between −1 °C (30 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) in winter. Monthly precipitation varies between 15 millimetres (0.59 in) in November to 434 millimetres (17.1 in) in August. It is typically around 45 millimetres (1.8 in) per month during winter and spring and around 175 millimetres (6.9 in) in June as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 1,575 millimetres (62 in), which is much less than most other hill stations but still much heavier than on the plains. Snowfall in the region, which historically has taken place in the month of December, has lately (over the last fifteen years) been happening in January or early February every year.

Dharamshala or Dharamsala is a city and a municipal council in Kangra district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is the headquarters of the district. It was formerly known as Bhagsu. The Dalai Lama's residence and the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration and the exiled Tibetan government are situated at McLeodGanj, a village within the Dharamshala municipality.


Dharamshala is a city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodars. The suburbs of the town includes -- McLeodGanj, Bhagsunath, Dharamkot, Naddi, ForsythGanj, Kotwali Bazaar (the main market of the town), Kaccheri Adda (government offices such as the court, police, post etc.), Dari, Ramnagar, Sidhpur and Sidhbari (where the Karmapa is based)
The village of McLeodGanj lying in the upper reaches is known worldwide for the presence of the Dalai Lama. On 29 April 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) established the Tibetan exile administration in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie. In May 1960, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was moved to Dharamshala.
Dharamshala is the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the 14th Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population has made Dharamshala a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists, including students studying Tibet.
One of the main attractions of Dharamshala is Triund hill. Jewel of Dharamshala, Triund is one day trek at the upper reaches of McLeodGanj, located at a distance of about 9 kilometre from McLeodGanj.


Dharamshala  ITRANS: Dharmashaalaa; IAST: Dharmaśālā) is a Hindi word (derived from Sanskrit) that is a compound of dharma and shālā . A loose translation into English would be 'spiritual dwelling' or, more loosely, 'sanctuary'. Rendering a precise literal translation into English is problematic due to the vast and conceptually rich semantic field of the word dharma, and the cultural aspect of India.
In common Hindi usage, the word dharamshala refers to a shelter or rest house for spiritual pilgrims. Traditionally, such dharamshalas (pilgrims' rest houses) were commonly constructed near pilgrimage destinations (often located in remote areas) to give visitors a place to sleep for the night. When the first permanent settlement was created in the place now called Dharamshala, there was already one such pilgrims' rest house existing on the site, and the settlement took its name from that dharamshala.
pronunciation is 'Dharamshala'. The official Indian English spelling is 'Dharamshala'.


As of the 2001 India census,Dharamshala had a population of 19,124. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Dharamshala has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80% and, female literacy is 73%. In Dharamshala, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.
As of Census of India 2001
Number of Households - 4,342
Average Household Size(per Household) - 4.0
Population-Total - 19,124
Population-Urban - 19,124
Proportion of Urban Population (%) - 100
Population-Rural - 0
Sex Ratio - 824
Population(0-6Years) - 1,819
Sex Ratio(0-6 Year) - 913
SC Population - 2,611
Sex Ratio (SC) - 861
Proportion of SC (%) - 14.0
ST Population - 99
Sex Ratio (ST) - 833
Proportion of ST (%) - 1
Literates - 14,462
Illiterates - 4,662
Literacy Rate (%) - 77.0


View of Dharamshala valley from McLeodGanj
Dharamshala has an average elevation of 1457 metres (4780 feet), covering an area of almost 8.51 km².
Dharamsala is located in the Kangra Valley, in the shadow of the Dhauladhar mountains.
The city is divided into two distinct sections. Kotwali Bazaar and the surrounding markets are referred to as "Lower Dharamshala" or just "Dharamshala." Further up the mountain is McLeodGanj separated in between by the village of Ganchen Kyishong, the home of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. A steep, narrow road connects McLeodGanj from Dharamshala and is only accessible to taxis and small cars, while a longer road winds around the valley for use by buses and trucks. McLeodGanj is surrounded by pine, Himalayan oak, and rhododendron. The main crops grown in the valleys below are rice, wheat and tea.

Major Suburbs


Dharamshala town is reached by Gaggal Airport, (IATA: DHMICAO: VIGG), about 15 km to the town's south and about 10 km north of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh town. To reach Dharamshala by train, one has to reach Kangra, Himachal Pradesh town by Kangra Valley Railway line from Pathankot 94 km away and then take a bus or a taxi. Pathankot is a broad gauge railway head. There is another railway line from Pathankot to Jogindernagar, a part of the Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh, which is a narrow-gauge line, the nearest station to Dharamshala on this line is Chamunda Marg, half an hour away, where a Shaktipitha is located; the town is also well connected by road to other parts of the country.
Many buses of all classes (deluxe, air-conditioned, and regular) drive daily between Dharamshala and major cities such as Chandigarh, Delhi, and Shimla. Several buses each night connect McLeodGanj with Majnu Ka Tila, the Tibetan settlement in Delhi.


[hide]Climate data for Dharamshala
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 13.5
Average low °C (°F) 5.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 114.5
Dharamshala has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. Summer starts in early April, peaks in early June (when temperatures can reach 36 °C.) and last till mid-June. From July to mid-September is the monsoon season when up to 3000 mm (120 inches) of rainfall can be experienced, making Dharamshala one of the wettest places in the state. Autumn is mild, and lasts from October to the end of November.
Autumn temperatures average around 16–17 °C. Winter starts in December and continues until late February. Snow and sleet are common during the winter in upper Dharamshala (including McLeodganj, Bhagsu Nag and Naddi). Lower Dharamshala receives little solid precipitation except hail. The snowfall of January 7, 2012 was an exception. It was caused by deep low pressure entering the Kangra district. Winter is followed by a short, pleasant spring until April. Historically, the Dhauladhar mountains used to remain snow-covered all year long, however, in recent years they have been losing their snow blanket during dry spells.
The best times to visit are the autumn and spring months.


Before the Raj

From the earliest times until the British Raj, Dharamshala and its surrounding area was ruled by the Katoch Dynasty of Kangra. The Katoch Dynasty is said to be the oldest serving Royal Family in the world.[10] The Royal Family still keeps a residence in Dharamshala, known as 'Clouds End Villa'.
The indigenous people of the Dharamshala area (and the surrounding region) are the Gaddis, a predominantly Hindu group who traditionally lived a nomadic or semi-nomadic (transhumant) lifestyle. Due to the lack of permanent settlements in the area, some Gaddis lost their seasonal pastures and farmland when the British and the Gurkhas arrived to settle.

Settlement by the British and the Gurkhas

In 1848, the area now known as Dharamshala was annexed by the British.
"Dharamsāla lies on a spur of the Dhaola Dhār, 16 miles north-east of Kāngra, in the midst of wild and picturesque scenery. It originally formed a subsidiary cantonment for the troops stationed at Kāngra, and was first occupied as a station in 1849, when a site was required for a cantonment to accommodate a Native regiment which was being raised in the District. A site was found upon the slopes of the Dhaola Dhār, in a plot of waste land, upon which stood an old Hindu resthouse, or dharmsāla, whence the name adopted for the new cantonment. The civil authorities, following the example of the regimental officers, and attracted by the advantages of climate and scenery, built themselves houses in the neighbourhood of the cantonment; and in 1855 the new station was formally recognised as the head-quarters of the [Kāngra] District."[11]
In 1860, the 66th Gurkha Light Infantry was moved from Kangra, Himachal Pradesh to Dharamshala, which was at first made a subsidiary cantonment. An ideal position for the new base was found on the slopes of the Dhauladhar Hills, near the site of a Hindu sanctuary, or Dharamshala, hence the name of the town.[12][13] The Battalion was later renamed the historic 1st Gurkha Rifles, this was the beginning of the legend of the Gurkhas, also known as the 'Bravest of the Brave'. Consequently, fourteen Gurkha platoon villages grew from this settlement, and exist to this day, namely Dari, Ramnagar, Shyamnagar, Dal, Totarani, Khanyara, Sadher, Chaandmaari, Sallagarhi, Sidhbari, Yol, and so on. The Gurkhas worshipped at the ancient Shiva temple of Bhagsunag. The Gurkhas referred to Dharamshala as 'Bhagsu' and referred to themselves as Bhagsuwalas.
The 21st Gurkha Regiment from Dharamshala performed heroic feats during World War I and the North West Frontier Province campaigns. The Gurkha cantonment then reached its zenith during World War II, when battalions from Dharamshala made history. Many place names in the town still retain their former cantonment terminologies: Depot Bazaar, Pensioners' Lines, Tirah Lines (named after the 19th century Tirah Campaign), Bharatpore Lines (named after the 1826 Battle of Bharatpore).
The second Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India died here (at the 1st Gurkha Rifles Officers' Mess) in 1863 and is buried in the cemetery of St. John in the Wilderness, a small Anglican church distinguished by its stained-glass windows. Dharamshala became a popular hill station for the British working in or near Delhi, offering a cool respite during the hot summer months.
"Before the earthquake of 1905, the upper part of the station, which rises to a height of 7,112 feet [2,168 metres], contained the European houses, the station church, and the officers' mess and lines of the 1st Gurkhas, together with the public gardens, post office, and two bazars, the Forsythganj and McLeodganj. The public offices, a bazar, and a few European houses made up the lower station, as low as 4,500 feet [1,372 metres]. The 1st battalion of the 1st Gurkhas used to be stationed here, but was moved to the upper station in 1894-5.... The public gardens, which were, before the earthquake, laid out with much taste in lawns and terraces, contained a valuable collection of indigenous and imported trees and shrubs, and were overlooked by the Assembly Rooms, a handsome building comprising a public hall, a library and reading-room and a billiard-room. The church was beautifully situated in a recess of the mountain."[14]
In 1905, the Kangra valley suffered a major earthquake. On April 4 of that year, the earth shook, demolishing much of the cantonment and the neighbouring city of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh as well as the Bhagsunag temple. Altogether, the 1905 Kangra earthquake killed 20,000 people. "1,625 persons perished at Dharamsāla alone, including 15 Europeans and 112 of the Gurkha garrison."."[15]
The Gurkhas rebuilt the town along with the temple, which today is acknowledged as the 1st Gurkha Rifles' heritage. The British had planned to make Dharamshala the summer capital of India, but moved to Shimla after the disaster.
Not only did the Gurkhas of Dharmshala make a major contribution to India's defence but also many were freedom fighters for the Indian National Army, which had been founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The Indian National Army Captain Ram Singh Thakur, a Gurkha from the village of Khanyara, composed some of India's most popular and stirring patriotic songs, including "Kadam Kadam Badaye Ja". He is acknowledged so by the Netaji Research Bureau, Kolkata. The important contribution of the noted Gurkha social commentator, the late Master Mitrasen Thapa, from the village of Totarani, has also been acknowledged by the Himachal Pradesh government. Recently, a park dedicated to the memory of the late Brigadier Sher Jung Thapa, MVC, the 'Hero of Skardu', has been opened alongside the road between Lower and Upper Dharamshala.

Establishment of Tibetan exile community

The main street in McLeodGanj
The Tibetan settlement of Dharamshala began in 1959, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to flee Tibet and the Prime Minister of India allowed him and his followers to settle in McLeodGanj (in Upper Dharmshala), a former colonial British summer picnic spot. There they established the "government-in-exile" in 1960. Dharamshala had been connected with Hinduism and Buddhism for a long time, many monasteries having been established there in the past, by Tibetan immigrants in the 19th century.
In 1970, The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, opened the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives which houses over 80,000 manuscripts and other important resources related to Tibetan history, politics and culture. It is considered one of the most important institutions for Tibetology in the world,[]; the new director is Geshe Lahkdor, the old translator of H.H. the Dalai Lama.

Dharamshala Today

Several thousand Tibetan exiles have now settled in the area, and most live in and around McLeodGanj in Upper Dharamshala, where they have built monasteries, temples and schools. McLeodGanj is sometimes known as 'Little Lhasa", after the Tibetan capital city, or 'Dhasa' (a compound of 'Dharamshala' and 'Lhasa'). It has become an important tourist destination with many hotels and restaurants, leading to growth in tourism and commerce.
Dharamshala is also the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh. The Legislative Assembly is at Sidhbari, near the Chinmaya Tapovan Ashram, and the winter sessions of the Government are held there.

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