Kangra Valley, Dharamshala - Club Mahindra Resort
PLACES OF INTEREST
10 kms away from the resort is the famous town Mcleodganj often called the ‘Little Lhasa’. This is the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara. The Tibetan community and the presence of traditional architectural designs, drawn from Tibet have enhanced the charm of the area. The Tibetan Institute of performing Arts (TIPA) is a 1km walk from McLeodganj and preserves a number of musical, dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet. It holds an annual 10-day folk opera commencing on the second Saturday of April. There is also a Tibetan handicraft centre situated at McLeodganj.
St. John’s Church
12 kms from the resort, between Forsythganj and Mcleodganj is the charming St. John’s Church built with dressed stone and beautiful stained glass windows. Popularly called the church of St. John in the Wilderness, it also has a monument of Lord Elgin, one of the Viceroys of India, who died in Dharamshala and was buried here in 1863.
The Museum of Kangra Art Gallery
Arts, crafts and showcasing a rich past, artifacts dating back to 5th century are housed in the Museum of Kangra Art Gallery. Located in the Kotwali bazaar area, it includes a gallery of Kangra’s famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. A section houses the work of contemporary artists, sculptors and photographers.
Located 38 km south east of Dharamshala is Palampur, one of the major attractions in the Kangra valley. The town is home to the famous Kangra tea, which is internationally acclaimed. Palampur and its surroundings offer many adventure activities like trekking, gliding and camping.
The famous temple of Jwalamukhi is 30kms.from Kangra and 56 kms. from Dharamshala. Dedicated to the "GODDESS OF LIGHT", the temple is recognized as one of the 51 shaktipeeths in India. There is no idol of any kind and the eternal blue flame emanating from a fissure is worshipped as a manifestation of the goddess Jwalamukhi. Priests feed the flame with the offerings from the devotees. The golden tower (dome) of the temple was installed by Emperor Akbar. Two important fairs are held here during the Navratras in early April and mid October.
One of the important centres and located at a distance of 80km from Dharamshala is the Chintpurni Temple. This temple is also one of the famous shaktipeeths. The temple is dedicated to Bhagwati Chinmastika or Chintpurni – the goddess who grants all wishes. Devotees in large numbers throng the place during the auspicious days of navratras from all over the country.
The Shrine of Chamunda Devi
This temple, one of the important shaktipeeths of Kangra Valley, is located at a distance of 18km from Dharamshala. The goddess Kali is worshipped as Chamunda Devi. The place is an enchanting spot with glorious view of the mountains. Pilgrims congregate on Navratras and it is believed that the Devi grants boons at that time.
Located at a distance of 56 km from Dharamshala is the Baijnath temple, which is a splendid example of the Nagara style of temple architecture. The lingam enshrined in its sanctum is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Vaidhyanath or the ‘Lord of Physicians”.
It was at this very place that the demon king Ravana of the epic Ramayan offered his nine heads to Lord Shiva for the boon of immortality. Every year during the Shivratri festival, devotees and visitors descend on this holy site for the colourful festivities.
Other places to see
Dharamshala is a haven for nature lovers. Key places to visit would include Dal lake that lies amidst hills and stately fir trees, Dharamkot which is situated on the crest of a hill that offers a panoramic view of the Kangra valley, Pong Dam lake, Dhauladhar ranges, and Bhagsunag Falls which is a soul refreshing spot. All these spots are just within 17 kms from Club Mahindra Kangra Valley.