Dharamkot - An Unguided Journey
Dharamkot,  Himachal,  My Experience

Dharamkot – An Unguided Travel Journey in the Himalayas

Do you know an Unguided path makes one a storyteller?

– Yes, It does and Dharamkot did 😄.

An Unguided path for me best defined as –  Entering a cinema hall during the start of a movie, that means you make your own way in the darkness with your destination in your mind.

Here – (Seating in the Hall)

Let’s start this movie (Travel journey) 🚍 in the land of Himalayas!

Shall we?

Okay, Got it.

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Where is Dharamkot? 🙄

Dharamkot is present in Himachal in Kangra district, Dharamshala being the Headquarter in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

It is located just above the McLeod Ganj and one can clearly see spectacular views of Dhauladhar ranges upon reaching Dharamkot.

Dharamkot is truly a place less explored by Indian tourists with a maximum of people making their presence till McLeod Ganj.

How to Reach Dharamkot? 🚌

One can reach Dharamkot upon reaching McLeod Ganj easily.

Dharamkot is at a 2-3 km of distance from McLeod Ganj and can be covered on foot. If anyone willing to take Taxis or Autos that too are available till Dharamkot from McLeod Ganj taxi stand.

The most convenient way is by Bus apart from the fact that your departure is from the states other than Delhi, Punjab region.

Let’s take an example of people coming from Delhi by Bus –

Starting Point – New Delhi

Destination – Dharamkot (486 km)

Dharamkot Route from New Delhi

People taking the option of coming up with their personal vehicle is also a blissful decision because the drive to Dharamshala is scenic and one cannot miss those views.

Ahh, you hoped in your comfort buses and ready to leave.

McLeod Ganj to Dharamkot

There are many ways within the McLeod Ganj region to reach Dharamkot. These include –

  1. Upon reaching McLeod Ganj bus stand and entering the Tibetan market on the left, one way goes to Dharamkot (1.8 km) another goes to Bhagsu nag Waterfall (1.5 km).
  2. Upon reaching Upper Bhagsu, stairs go straight up to Dharamkot passing by a trail less traveled.

( I have explored Dharamkot journey like an unguided path ).

Dharamkot

Me – Welcome to the foreign land!

You – Foreign land?

Me – Wondering why I have stated foreign land here? This is what the majority of the Indians are going to feel here because of the reason of more foreign tourists as compared to native tourists.

Yes, I know you guys.

On a funny note 😂.

This place is mostly covered with foreign tourists especially from Israel, the U.S. and other respective countries and some are settled in the Dharamkot.

It’s a peaceful area with a lot of conversation and less disturbance.

Peaceful surroundings

This might fascinate you because for the reason of no honking, no traffic jam and other areas of disturbance but do you know why?

Because there are no proper roads inside Dharamkot.

i:e No cars = No traffic = Peaceful environment

Lower Dharamkot road

All you have to do is a hike from up-to-down and vice – versa.

Wait, what’s up and down here?

There is an Upper Dharamkot and a Lower Dharamkot.

From a Traveler perspective, there is no such difference but from a hiker perspective, Upper Dharamkot will check your stamina not much but still.

I know you guys will rock.

Okay, what I noticed –

Upper Dharamkot 👆

More Availability of Hostels and Home-stays as compared to the Lower one and that too at a slightly lower rate. Cafes with a full view of the Dhauladhar range is the USP. A quiet place if I have to say in one word.

Lower Dharamkot 👇

What makes this area unique is its cafes and a lively environment. People are interactive and friendly. This area is most preferred my people during the daylight. A happening place if I have to say in one word.

Note – One Insider from a local

Locals of Lower Dharamkot don’t give much preference to the Indians/local tourists when it comes to offering Home-stays and Hotels because foreign people will stay longer as compared to the local tourists.

One of an important reason is behavior too (This was a part of conversation b/w me and local).

i.e more no. of days stay and more – I hope you guys have got this.

Likewise, if anyone says no don’t be disappointed as you always have the option of staying at the Upper part.

Also Read, Chitkul Travel Guide – A Guide to the India – China border

What makes Dharamkot a major attraction among foreign tourists?

From my point of view, I think It’s the vibe and love for the culture which connects them and makes them settle forever.

I noticed people and found that they always try to make a healthy environment like a smile for a smile not with a perspective to make anything but it’s in people’s nature and it can be seen.
Also, they love to speak Hindi like Namaste, Dhanyawad and much more.

What to Pack for Dharamkot

Dharamkot weather remains pleasant when unbearable Delhi’s heat is scorching overhead. As such no hard-hitting packing is required, just like visiting any other mountain place it’s just like that.

Short and Simple.

Places to stay in Dharamkot

Don’t miss out your stay in Dharamkot. Please have a look at the options –


Booking.com

Cafes in Dharamkot

It can’t be possible that a place like Dharamkot doesn’t have pretty cafes.

Let’s see cafes in Lower Dharamkot first –

If you’re planning a visit, keep an eye on these cafes –

1. Funkey Monkey Cafe and Restaurant

From a Healthy breakfast to Homemade Muesli, life happens in Dharamkot.

Contact – 9829873439

2. Chillax Cafe

Just on the other side of Funkey Monkey is Chillax Cafe.

3. Cafe Moon Light

Cafe in Dharamkot - Cafe Moonlight

Make sure to add Cafe moonlight on top of your checklist.

The ambiance is vibrant with delicious food and a feeling of sitting in a lively environment.  (Must Visit)

4. Bodhi Greens

Cafe Bodhi Greens

This organic vegan cafe is a delight for vegan lovers.

5. Space Out

Cafe Space out

Upon entering Lower Dharamkot first cafe you will encounter is “Space Out”.

With sitting arrangements in open fresh air to inside decor. Everything looks perfect with an added flavor of food.

6. Open Heart Cafe

Cafe Open Heart

In this world of jealousy, keep your hearts remain open.

These are my list of must-visit cafes in Lower Dharamkot.

Cafes don’t need an intro and especially Dharamkot cafes what I feel. Therefore, listing down the name of cafes if anyone would like to check out during their visit and wondering any places to eat and chill.

Let’s hike to Upper Dharamkot now –

  1. Day and Night Cafe
  2. Heena Cafe
  3. Friends corner
  4. Dream catcher
  5. Manu’s place

These are some of the cafes in the Upper part, although they are not much talk of the town still you can give it a try.

What I found interesting in Dharamkot is people’s talent like everybody is showing his/her talent whether it’s singing, dancing, yoga. I personally now call this place as a “Talent Hub”.

Upper Dharamkot

You can see on the faces that eagerness to learn and grow is what makes this place attractive.

Like –

  1. An Astrology and Tarot reader (Luna from Argentina)
  2. Jolly music House – Where people come and learn music styles.
  3. Foreigners running yoga and meditation center (You will come across many here)
  4. Tim from Finland running a small handmade candle stand shop ( In Upper Bhagsu).

And much more…………

Also Read, Kalpa Trip – Heritage Village in Kinnaur Valley 

Yoga Centers

Yoga is firmly practiced in the Himalayas and the people from all over the world come here for relaxation and to find peace.

Some yoga centers are –

1. Amara Prema

200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training
June – Sept 1st – 26th

For more details contact – +919072096550 or visit – www.amaraprema.com

2. Himalayan Lotus Yoga

Pranayama free – 9-9:15 a.m.

For more details contact – +919895728187 or visit – www.himalayanlotusyoga.com

3. So Shanti Yoga (Near Trek N Dine)

So Shanti Yoga is present near Trek N Dine Restaurant. Hatha and Meditation with Sat and Sun also open.

Contact – +919130885282 or visit www.soshantiyoga.com for more info.

Without a doubt, Dharamkot is a lovely place I have been to in the Himalayas and I think for you too after visiting.

Things to do in Dharamkot

There are interesting things to do in Dharamkot –

1. Triund Trek

Dharamkot to Triund Trek distance is around 9-10 km and is a perfect beginners trek for indulging in Trekking and Camping activity. The Dharamkot route is an easier one because of proper walkable steps. One can visit Gallu Devi temple which is also a starting point of Triund Trek.

Q. Can Triund Trek be done in one day?
Ans. Yes, Early morning start and you can be back easily before the sunset after spending plenty of time on the foothills.

2. Shop

Like seriously, you guys are far better than me in shopping. But what you can shop here?

Local people make crystal, hand stones which you must definitely check out with local Himachali and western dresses which attract foreign tourists.

Shopping is an essential part of our journey to make the trip more memorable.

3. Relaxation

Relaxing in the Himalayas is what everyone dreams of in the Mountains with a backdrop and breezy wind but don’t forget a cup of tea in your hand.

Ahh, I know you have started to imagine.

4. Eat and Repeat

Dharamkot has some finest cafes and Restaurants in the town. I have listed some above you must check out.

5. Conversations

Who?

I mean who doesn’t want to interact with the people especially with the locals or foreign tourists to gather the knowledge about the Himalayas and some funny stories to inspire from.

I really love conversations, to be honest. Especially from the strangers because it brings out the best from the person.

Done! Are you done with Dharamkot?

Don’t know what to do?



Booking.com

Nearby places You can Visit

Apart from Dharamkot, you can visit –

1. McLeod Ganj

McLeod Ganj is just below the Dharamkot and daily up-down is easily possible. I did 3-4 times up-down a day.

It’s on a walkable distance and Dalai Lama Temple and Monasteries must be on your list.

2. Dharamshala

Dharamshala is about 7-8 km from McLeod Ganj. Tibetan markets and Tibetan food attract tourists from all over the world. Yoga and Meditation are best practiced in these areas.

3. Bir (Trekking and Paragliding)

Bir is about 60-65 km from McLeod Ganj and can easily be reached from Bus which comply every day from the bus stand. Experience paragliding at Asia’s highest paragliding place.

This is Lively Dharamkot from my side.

Do let me know what your thoughts in the comments below 👇.

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