Dharamsala

Dharamsala popularly known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’ is the administrative headquarters of the Kangra district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India (Kangra district is one of the 12 districts of the state of Himachal Pradesh). Dharamsala is divided into lower Dharamsala and upper Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj). Upper Dharamsala or McLeod Ganj is 9kms from the central bazaar of lower Dharamsala, and is the headquarter of Tibetan government-in-exile, headed by the His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Dharamsala is considered the cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh and is also known for its scenic beauty, calmness and serenity, surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of Deodars. It has high pine trees, tea gardens and timber yielding trees.

Location

Dharamsala lies under wet temperate forests. Chil and Kail are two important species of these wet hill slopes. Ban oak and silver fir are also found at certain places. Deodar is also found in association with these trees at many places. Bamboo groves are also found on the lower west slopes.

Climate

Dharamsala 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 Dharamsala 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 Dharamsala (including McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu Nag and Naddi). Lower Dharamsala receives little solid precipitation except hail. Winter is followed by a short, pleasant spring until April.

Temperature range: 5.1°C in January to 30.5°C in June (annual average ranges between 15.1°C to 23.1°C)

Reachability

Dharamsala town is reachable by air, train and road.